Youíre right! The H5000 is wildly expensive. What appealed to me is that itís designed for sailboats and not primarily for power, fishing
and work boats like all the other AP brands. Maybe Iím a victim of marketing
because B&G is aiming for the racing
sailboat crowd which to me is somewhat related to what I need in cruising. Most other AP advertising shows a beautiful, high speed fishing
boat carving a sweeping arc
on flat water
in pristine weather
. No manufacturer is showing a 40í+ sailboat bashing through 6í swells in heavy rain and 25 knot
gusty winds. To be honest, Iím more interested in what the Autopilot can do when everything turns to crap and thereís no harbor of refuge. Can it steer when the wind
goes aft and a swell builds? But, no manufacturer shows this kind of capability for their model. I guess it doesn't paint
a pretty picture for the magazines.
On the H5000 - what makes this system expensive is the need for both a Pilot Computer module as well as a B&G Hydra CPU. The CPU processes all the data from the transducers - like boat speed, wind, heading. The Pilot Computer controls the drive system. Itís like buying
two Autopilots. Why B&G canít get all the electronics
into one box beats me. In any case, Iím not ready to spend that much money
and will need to look at other products. Iíll take a look at the Simrad AP-28 again and maybe the Furuno
700 is a candidate. Thanks for your feedback.
One more thing, I use Coastal Explorer on a PC with a gateway into NMEA2000 network. There is a long thread on the Coastal Explorer forum discussing a major problem when using the Raymarine
Evolution AP. Apparently, the Evo is very particular on how it wants it's data. A RM chartplotter is no problem, but Coastal Explorer on a PC is not a good option.