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Old 27-05-2011, 15:22   #46
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Re: Autopilot Computer Simrad vs. Raymarine

When I bought my current autopilot, I asked the local electronics shop what unit they had the least problems with. The answer was simrad, hands down.

I don't have the latest simrad pilot, but I think that a look at the troubleshooting page will give you an idea of why simrad is superior to the raymarine stuff. There is a long list of failure diagnostic displays, including 'mains current too high', 'mains voltage too low', 'rudder feedback failure', 'actuator failure', 'compass failure', 'clutch circuit overload', 'high temp in junction unit', etc. Maybe someone with a raymarine AP can see if their units have the same level of protection and diagnostics.

I have a friend with a raymarine unit with hydraulic actuator. His drive motor partially failed--it turned, but slowly. The resulting high current destroyed the main circuit board and he had to get both the ($$) motor and the ($$$) board replaced. The simrad protective circuitry would have saved the circuit board and pointed you at the problem.

I had another friend with a raymarine below-decks unit with a mechanical actuator, brand new and installed by a raymarine dealer. A mis-programmed waypoint caused the autopilot to turn hard to port and destroyed the internals of the actuator.

The second AP was fixed under warranty (although the Australian dealer first tried to claim that it was the operator's fault), but if you are going out where there are no raymarine dealers, you will do a lot of handsteering.
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Old 28-05-2011, 00:22   #47
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Re: Autopilot Computer Simrad vs. Raymarine

My Raymarine underdeck pilot has been 100% reliable (apart from a lightening strike that took out all electronics) it steers in all conditions without protest.
The boat has been around the world .
Raymarine started as Autohelm. For many years all they made was autopilots.
The also make a lot of tiller and wheel pilots. These do not survive offshore conditions very long and unfortunately can give autopilots in general and Raymarine in particular a bad name.
The underdeck pilots are strong and reliable.

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Old 28-05-2011, 15:32   #48
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Re: Autopilot Computer Simrad vs. Raymarine

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Have you checked the power draw for the Simrad AP?
All AP's of the last 10-15 years are power efficient. The power draw is defined by the weight of your boat, size of the waves etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Nick , give it a rest
Why are you answering for DotDun in such an unfriendly way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Maybe the electric linear drive is lasting as it is being used within the design constraints - a type 1 and the vessel is <22,000lbs. Your boat is heavier than the type 2 is rated to handle.

How does N2K work on that 10 year old SR AP?
Yes, you indeed keep the electric linear drive within it's design constraints, which is the reason you keep it in one piece. What I really meant to make clear is that it will not reliably steer you through offshore storm conditions, meaning hand steering if one takes that drive into those conditions.

My "old" AP25 does not have N2K rudder angle nor N2K compass (RobNet compass and analog rudder angle sensor). However, the AP25 display unit has a SimNet connector which allowed me to use a SimNet-to-N2K adapter cable to connect it to my N2K network. The unit outputs N2K PGN's for rudder angle and compass/heading over this link, meaning it puts the same info on the N2K network as the current versions. Very impressive for a 10 yr old piece of equipment!

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Simrad....if you want professional grade equipment. Raymarine is not professional grade stuff.
Exactly. Simrad AP is a 1:1 descendant of the Roberson AP which is/was a professional grade AP just like the WH Pilot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
classic generalisation. Simrad is part of Navico, a brand that has few if any professional connections.

IN my local harbour many of the inshore fishing boats have Ray Gear. As well as many have Furuno. Not a Simrad in sight.

My experience with simrad is the gear is no worse or better and much harder to find agents or spares or any dealer that knows alot. Ray is everywhere.
The SimRad AP *is* the Robertson AP which is a pure professional unit. Raymarine is leisure grade (spin-off from Raytheon).

Quote:
Originally Posted by redcobra View Post
I will add that my experience with RM service is exceptional. I, due to being stupid, broke a RM tiller pilot on an Alberg 30 while out on a month long cruise. RM Fedex'd overnight a replacement unit and covered the repair under warranty even though it was my fault. That's why all my new electronics and Auto Pilot on the current boat are RM.
RayMarine USA has a horrible reputation for customer service. This message board is filled with horror stories. There are rumours that service is better in some other countries...

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
When I bought my current autopilot, I asked the local electronics shop what unit they had the least problems with. The answer was simrad, hands down.

I don't have the latest simrad pilot, but I think that a look at the troubleshooting page will give you an idea of why simrad is superior to the raymarine stuff. There is a long list of failure diagnostic displays, including 'mains current too high', 'mains voltage too low', 'rudder feedback failure', 'actuator failure', 'compass failure', 'clutch circuit overload', 'high temp in junction unit', etc. Maybe someone with a raymarine AP can see if their units have the same level of protection and diagnostics.

I have a friend with a raymarine unit with hydraulic actuator. His drive motor partially failed--it turned, but slowly. The resulting high current destroyed the main circuit board and he had to get both the ($$) motor and the ($$$) board replaced. The simrad protective circuitry would have saved the circuit board and pointed you at the problem.

I had another friend with a raymarine below-decks unit with a mechanical actuator, brand new and installed by a raymarine dealer. A mis-programmed waypoint caused the autopilot to turn hard to port and destroyed the internals of the actuator.

The second AP was fixed under warranty (although the Australian dealer first tried to claim that it was the operator's fault), but if you are going out where there are no raymarine dealers, you will do a lot of handsteering.
You describe the difference between professional and leisure grade equipment perfectly here. I must add that 1) in contrast to Raymarine units, one will probably never need service for a Simrad AP and 2) Simrad has worldwide service on their AP and will deliver replacement parts in 2-3 days regardless of your location in the world and 3) all the people posting pro Simrad AP here give direct, positive feedback about the high quality of these auto-pilots which is not anecdotal at all.

All this doesn't mean that every boat needs the best AP money can buy. Inland or otherwise protected waters are much easier to cope with for an AP than a Caribbean/Atlantic tropical storm for example. Good weather on the Atlantic is just as easy for an AP as a small inland lake, but that doesn't make an AP that survives good weather on the Atlantic suitable for ocean crossings per se. It is during heavy weather that the AP will have to prove itself and WH Pilots and Simrad/Robertson have done that again and again, building their solid reputations.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 28-05-2011, 16:30   #49
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Re: Autopilot Computer Simrad vs. Raymarine

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Yes, you indeed keep the electric linear drive within it's design constraints, which is the reason you keep it in one piece. What I really meant to make clear is that it will not reliably steer you through offshore storm conditions, meaning hand steering if one takes that drive into those conditions.

My "old" AP25 does not have N2K rudder angle nor N2K compass (RobNet compass and analog rudder angle sensor). However, the AP25 display unit has a SimNet connector which allowed me to use a SimNet-to-N2K adapter cable to connect it to my N2K network. The unit outputs N2K PGN's for rudder angle and compass/heading over this link, meaning it puts the same info on the N2K network as the current versions. Very impressive for a 10 yr old piece of equipment!
I'm glad that 183 to 2k gateway technology impresses you.

I will admit the old 150 course computer would not keep the boat where I wanted in 50-55kt winds, I have not had the oppy to test the X-10 in such conditions, but the new one is much more responsive than the 150.

Bottom line, my electric Type 1 drive/rudder sensor is 8+ years old, crossed the Atlantic, done the windwards and leewards, Bahamas, lots of Florida, east coast of Mexico, well over 15k nm and still works fine.

Obviously, my testament about my experiences didn't agree with your mission to bash RM, sorry.
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Old 28-05-2011, 19:23   #50
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Re: Autopilot Computer Simrad vs. Raymarine

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
I'm glad that 183 to 2k gateway technology impresses you.
[...]
Obviously, my testament about my experiences didn't agree with your mission to bash RM, sorry.
Hi DotDun,

RobNet (Robertson network) isn't NMEA-0183; I must admit that I'm not really sure what it is but I suspect it to be close to N2K too. Also, Simnet is N2K already, meaning that my old Simrad pilot had N2K so many years ago. The adapter cable is just because of a different plug. There is no conversion from NMEA-0183 involved.

I'm not bashing RM because I like to... it is just my experience with the brand and my experience with other brands to compare it to. Believe me, I wish RM would have been great because I have recently spent $12k to replace RM and B&G equipment aboard Jedi which I could have saved otherwise.

I'm not really into Simrad so much. The AP is the only piece of Simrad gear I have, the rest is all different brands, and I buy gear from different brands to get the best of each. There is no single brand that has the best of every piece of electronics gear for a sailboat.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 28-05-2011, 21:27   #51
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Re: Autopilot Computer Simrad vs. Raymarine

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Hi DotDun,

RobNet (Robertson network) isn't NMEA-0183; I must admit that I'm not really sure what it is but I suspect it to be close to N2K too. Also, Simnet is N2K already, meaning that my old Simrad pilot had N2K so many years ago. The adapter cable is just because of a different plug. There is no conversion from NMEA-0183 involved.

I'm not bashing RM because I like to... it is just my experience with the brand and my experience with other brands to compare it to. Believe me, I wish RM would have been great because I have recently spent $12k to replace RM and B&G equipment aboard Jedi which I could have saved otherwise.

I'm not really into Simrad so much. The AP is the only piece of Simrad gear I have, the rest is all different brands, and I buy gear from different brands to get the best of each. There is no single brand that has the best of every piece of electronics gear for a sailboat.

ciao!
Nick.
Great! Cite your experiences with Raymarine AP and Simrad AP, express your opinion. That is what the OP asked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
If your (electric?) linear drive has never broken down then you never put it up to a job like we give our AP's on a regular basis (= storm conditions with big waves 10-25').
But attacking my post is not warranted. You don't know my experiences. I expressed no opinion about the difference between RM and SR, I simply cited my experience.

While we are on the topic -

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
but if you are going out where there are no raymarine dealers, you will do a lot of handsteering.
What a load of crap! I'll bet that Raymarine has 50 APs in service for every 1 Simrad. This statement is nothing but FUD and a fine example of people pushing their own agenda. It certainly doesn't belong on CF.

I understand ones passion with their boat and how they equipped it. Please share why you made the decisions you made. But don't be derogatory against those that made a choice different than yours.
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Old 29-05-2011, 09:50   #52
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Re: Autopilot Computer Simrad vs. Raymarine

as far as power usage, my simrad is surprisingly efficient--i LOVE it--- woudnt trade for anything, at this point--- i have electricity issues,a nd the simrad did not make any dent in my battery condition... love it!!!! is electricity assisted hydraulics... works perfect -- so far--- is ony about 10 yrs old at this point--i do always pray to the gods of autopilot so it remains in good functioning condition. i check it periodically also....LOL-and i USE it every time i sail, as sailing means ocean work on a lee shore, and distance.
\ if ray is less pricey than is simrad, there WILL be mor ein use... however, in THIS particular instance, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. simrad is NOT cheap--i saw 25000 as a price after installation... dont know what model-- but i am fortunate to have this included as part of the purchase of my formosa-- had it not been in this boat, i would have been severely handicapped-- ray isnt as goood. sorry, folks.
\i donot need to cuss out my pilot---is a simrad unit... and is dearly loved and treasured. so far, the support for it has been wonderful!
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Old 29-05-2011, 10:03   #53
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Re: Autopilot Computer Simrad vs. Raymarine

Quote:
The SimRad AP *is* the Robertson AP which is a pure professional unit. Raymarine is leisure grade (spin-off from Raytheon).
This is nonsense, The current line up in Simrad has nothing in common with the old Robertson autopilots.

Raymarine was originally founded as Nautech, which produced the AutoHelm pilots. It then was acquired by Raytheon who also integrated Apelco into it. An MBO in 2001 produced Raymarine.

Both these companies have extremely good credentials when it come to autopilots. In my experience Ray produces a very good pilot for the money. Simrad is far rarer equioment, certainly in Europe. Its much more expensive and its hard to see what you get for the costs.

I have sailed with both, I have found them similar, I would give the edge to Rayamarine especially with the new X-30 corepack. I found it slightly better downwind.

of course if you want a state of the art hyper reliable, autopilot, buy an NKE HR.

Dave
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Old 29-05-2011, 10:05   #54
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Re: Autopilot Computer Simrad vs. Raymarine

I live a 5min walk , from the Robertson,Simrad Factory and still i got a new boat with Raymarine settup.
But i know the Simrad autopilot is very good, so i Will not Think twise,if the Raymarine is not doing the jobb i Will sell it and put in a A28 and the ac42
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Old 29-05-2011, 10:22   #55
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Re: Autopilot Computer Simrad vs. Raymarine

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I live a 5min walk , from the Robertson,Simrad Factory
Lynwood, Washington, USA? The home of Robertson, or did they move the whole works to Norway after Simrad bought Robertson?
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Old 29-05-2011, 10:28   #56
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Re: Autopilot Computer Simrad vs. Raymarine

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Lynwood, Washington, USA? The home of Robertson, or did they move the whole works to Norway after Simrad bought Robertson?
What I think Thorleif Robertson,would be turning in his grave at that remark.

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Old 29-05-2011, 11:00   #57
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Re: Autopilot Computer Simrad vs. Raymarine

As for facts, in the ARC 2010 gear test

there were 142 boats with Raymarine equipment, 74% of the fleet, and "4" with simrad.
B&G ( 10 boats) came out top with 14.14,
"Robertson" (4boats) at 13.84,
Ray ST7000 (26 boats ) at 13.7
Ray st 6000 ( 92 boats ) at 12.66
Simrad AP20/21/22 ( 4 boats) at 12
Rays S3-SPX30 ( 7 boats) at 11.58

YBW felt that as there was no clear definition of "robertson" and it seemed to point to old models they discount the result as statisically invalid.

You simply , in Rays case, dont get that type of (a) market penetration and (b) general user support if you are not producing good equipment.

full link http://windpilot.com/wordpress/wp-co...urvey-pt-1.pdf

it goes back to my point both are reasonably good pieces of kit.

PS: two of the 4 simrad users reported failures during the crossing!

DAve
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Old 29-05-2011, 12:20   #58
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Re: Autopilot Computer Simrad vs. Raymarine

I have a raymarine x30 computer and used to have an st7000 control head. When the control head quit working (second one in 2 months) in St. Maarten the Raymarine tech there said

" The new (st7000) control heads have a problem and Raymarine knows it. They go bad and you can get it replaced for free. The x30 computer almost never goes bad (verbatim quote). But if you want to be sure the control head will keep working, get an old style (st6000) since it will work fine with the new computers and wait to get a new st7000 with the bugs worked out - the ones they are making now are OK"

This is from the raymarine tech in Simpson Lagoon who installs, repairs and replaces RM equipment all day, every day. My own experience is that the course computer (x30) has been perfect, never a hiccup. The st7000 control head quit working twice. The st6000 control head I have now worked just fine from St. Maarten back to the Chesapeake last week.
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Old 29-05-2011, 12:23   #59
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Re: Autopilot Computer Simrad vs. Raymarine

Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Elsewhere View Post
Lynwood, Washington, USA? The home of Robertson, or did they move the whole works to Norway after Simrad bought Robertson?
Well he did put up the factory in Egersund Norway. and his grave is here.
he even mede a Micro oven in the 50 but it was way to early, the makred was not ready for it.
and the brains behind the autopilot is still here in Egersund. and our lokal sailingclub helps with tips and ides of what to be made better.
-----
Robertson was sold, and the name is today Navico. how owns it all Nortstar, Lowrance, B&G +++-Simrad.
But i think the days og makeing the autopilot in Egersund is getting close to an stop, as Norway is a high cost country.

Simrad is one of the best on autopilots,+NKE+B&G
----
The best thing is when getting an autopilot dont by it to small, by a big one then it works a lot better. it does not have to work so hard. it will last a lot longer. "a strong man last longer then a weak one."
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Old 29-05-2011, 13:07   #60
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What autopilot is most common for vendee boats I wonder? Same question for any other singlehanded around the world race. I'm guessing pushing a boat a 20+ kts in the southern ocean would be a good test eh?
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