We have an AC12 connected to a Simrad DD15 drive unit on our approximately 19,000 pound boat. So far after about 1200 miles and a lot of autopilot use both motoring and sailing it has exceeded my expectations. In fact, a close friend with a Catalina
42 replaced his 10 year old B&G autopilot with an AC42 and AP24 control head
because he was so impressed with our setup. I believe he needed the 42 to drive the existing B&G ram drive. The Simrad equipment interfaced cleanly with his existing ram drive as well as his existing Garmin chartplotter
and he has been completely pleased with his purchase
As far as performance, the autopilot is robust and offers a lot of functionality with both standard navigation
(bearing, waypoint, routes, etc.) as well as wind navigation
that makes sailing a lot easier when shorthanded. Another plus, if you have a Simrad NSE series chartplotter
, you gain complete control of the autopilot without the need for a separate control head
. The automated calibration routine was very effective and I have not felt the need to tweak any of the settings it generated. Turns under power as well as tacks and gybes are smooth and controlled with no oversteer or hunting to get onto the new heading.
I hope this helps and am happy to answer any specific questions you may have.