Originally Posted by RW Sailor
Well if it really is that mught be a consideration as well: It is the cheapest option for sure and via NMEA
it seems to talk to my Garmin Chartplotter
... any other input on the SPX 5 pilot?
Separate your choice of drive unit and electronics
. Virtually all the big brands will drive a variety of drive units as all they are talking to is a 12 volt motor
and possibly a 12v solenoid bypass(clutch) valve. I suggest you add Jefa to your list of possible drive solutions as they have a nice electric
drive that is a new creation, and like the alpha, fully disengages from the steering
Since your not locked into an instrument set already you can choose the boat instrument elecs. to match the AP. This is nice as you are assured your wind
following is going to work without added bits of electronics
I have four AP's aboard a boat I recently soloed to Kauai
and return. The X5, two RM tiller pilots, and a DIY Brain. With the X5 and the DIY brain I can drive both a hydraulic cylinder and the RM Linear tiller stick. The RM electronics survived without incident. The X5 tiller stick disintegrated after about 2000NM(since rebuilt). The hydraulics did the lion share of the steering
this voyage. After 7000NM of use the hydraulic motor brushes
have finally passed on, a type1 hydraulic motor.
Whatever your choice be sure to get a rate gyro system. Most include this, but not all. It makes a significant improvement.
If you want to go top drawer with stellar course following and ability to handle severe seas you need to look seriously at NKE or B&G.