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View Poll Results: TELL US ABOUT YOUR AUTOPILOT, CHECK MORE THAN ONE ANSWER IF APPLICABLE
I OWN A B&G AUTOPILOT 14 8.14%
My B&G pilot has been very reliable 10 5.81%
My B&G pilot has been unreliable 2 1.16%
My B&G performs well even in a rough sea state 5 2.91%
I OWN A RAYMARINE AUTOPILOT 83 48.26%
My Raymarine pilot has been very reliable 66 38.37%
My Ramarine pilot has been unreliable 14 8.14%
My Raymarine performs well even in a rough sea state 36 20.93%
I OWN A SIMRAD AUTOPILOT 28 16.28%
My Simrad Pilot has been reliable 24 13.95%
My Simrad Pilot has been unreliable 3 1.74%
My Simrad performs well even in a rough sea state 19 11.05%
I OWN A WH AUTOPILOT 6 3.49%
My WH autopilot is very reliable 5 2.91%
My WH autopilot has been unreliable 1 0.58%
My WH pilot performs well even in a rough sea state 4 2.33%
I OWN A FURUNO AUTOPILOT 3 1.74%
My Furuno Pilot has been reliable 4 2.33%
My Furuno Pilot has been unreliable 0 0%
My Furuno Pilot performs well even in a rough sea state 4 2.33%
MY PILOT HAS A GYRO COMPASS AS WELL AS A FLUXGATE 11 6.40%
MY PILOT USES HYDRAULICS 33 19.19%
MY PILOT IS MECHANICAL 27 15.70%
MY BRAND OF PILOT IS NOT LISTED ABOVE AND I WILL DESCRIBE IT IN A POST BELOW 23 13.37%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 172. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-05-2008, 16:07   #46
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Raymarine 6000 with gyro just won't control boat well in difficult conditions - quartering sea and broad reach to down wind. By the way - data of chart should have percentage of unreliable as percentage of total number of that particular autopilot not of all autopilots, i.e. divide by number unreliable by total number of those pilot type owners, not of all pilot owners.
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Old 10-05-2008, 16:50   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alessandra View Post
Raymarine 6000 with gyro just won't control boat well in difficult conditions - quartering sea and broad reach to down wind. By the way - data of chart should have percentage of unreliable as percentage of total number of that particular autopilot not of all autopilots, i.e. divide by number unreliable by total number of those pilot type owners, not of all pilot owners.
That is not possible with the Cruisers forums software. The polling ability has limitations on how you can structure a poll.

Keegan
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Old 20-05-2008, 00:23   #48
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I own a 47 ft. Dutch built vessel. It is a steel Colin Archer. The steering is Whitlock Mumba system. I purchased the vessel with Whitlock Autopilot. The Fluxgate compass died so I replaced the system with SIMRAD. I did a lot of research before I purchased the SIMRAD. SIMRAD used to be Roberts. I worked on a lot of BIG boats and they all had Roberts Autopilots. The Whitlock Autopilot used a DC Motor direct coupled to the Mumba system which is rack and pinion drive. The SIMRAD coupled to the DC Motor without any modifications. It has worked flawless for three years. Both in San Francisco Bay and traveling north to Juneau Alaska in off shore waters. We had an ALPHA onboard first when we moved the boat out of San Carlos, Mexico to San Francisco. It was dumb as the man said but it drew far less current than the SIMRAD does. I like my SIMRAD and that is what counts. Thanks JL
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Old 20-05-2008, 00:24   #49
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I Own a SIMRAD Autopilot

I own a 47 ft. Dutch built vessel. It is a steel Colin Archer. The steering is Whitlock Mumba system. I purchased the vessel with Whitlock Autopilot. The Fluxgate compass died so I replaced the system with SIMRAD. I did a lot of research before I purchased the SIMRAD. SIMRAD used to be Roberts. I worked on a lot of BIG boats and they all had Roberts Autopilots. The Whitlock Autopilot used a DC Motor direct coupled to the Mumba system which is rack and pinion drive. The SIMRAD coupled to the DC Motor without any modifications. It has worked flawless for three years. Both in San Francisco Bay and traveling north to Juneau Alaska in off shore waters. We had an ALPHA onboard first when we moved the boat out of San Carlos, Mexico to San Francisco. It was dumb as the man said but it drew far less current than the SIMRAD does. I like my SIMRAD and that is what counts. Thanks JL
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Old 20-05-2008, 00:52   #50
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Sometimes it is the boat that won't steer properly. On my first boat, a pipe dream designed by Francis Kinney, the hull balance and directional stability downwind was so abysmal that any autopilot would have been fighting a mighty battle to keep her on course.
Moving the rudder six feet further aft in New Zealand was a huge improvement, but the hull balance was still bad.
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Old 15-03-2017, 00:25   #51
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Re: AUTOPILOT SURVEY

Guys, thought this might be worth bringing back for another round or two of input. And if you've got an AP that's not on the list, or you want to comment on your windvane, by all means, do so!
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Old 15-03-2017, 01:33   #52
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Re: AUTOPILOT SURVEY

Navico Pilots.
Good - Triton 1
Better - Triton 2
Best H5000 - as used in the Vendee Globe etc

Also I dont reckon that the survey is fair. The brand is not entirely the issue, its the sizing, the install and the setup, as well as the system chosen that matters. Ive seen good pilots steer badly, due to poor install or setup. They MUST be setup properly and be selected to suit the boat well. I do this for a living...
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Old 15-03-2017, 01:58   #53
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Re: AUTOPILOT SURVEY

I have the monitor mounted, and it's been great. I'm waiting for my Pelagic autopilot system as I write this. I'll be at first attaching it to the monitor, but I also plan on using the tiller pilot setup with it.

So no comments just yet, but I do have some high hopes for it. I seriously looked at WH's autopilot as an option, just couldn't get a comfortable feeling about the tiller and the WH equipment.

The remote control and the lack thereof was a deciding factor for me. I singlehand and can use the help at times.
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Old 15-03-2017, 03:26   #54
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Re: AUTOPILOT SURVEY

I can't see owning a serious (primary) AP that doesn't have a remote, so that you can sit (semi) comfortably under the dodger in pissy weather & steer. As there are some sea states, & or wind conditions where having a human hand on things is all but essential. Even if but by remote control. Though I'd probably trust an NKE setup, were it integrated with a full suite of performance instruments.
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Old 15-03-2017, 04:29   #55
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Re: AUTOPILOT SURVEY

Yep, that's a great point. The ap, even a good one, won't do well without good data. Use a quality heading sensor, and wind gear for wind angle steering. Read the manual, until you understand it, and follow the instructions. If you have it professionally installed, read the manual!
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Old 15-03-2017, 05:38   #56
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Re: AUTOPILOT SURVEY

Australian made Coursemaster CM600. Made some time between 1993 and 1999. Used for around 20,000 miles on a 34,000 pound boat with 3/4 keel and barn door rudder. Chain drive motor.

Still going strong though I had to pull the main logic board and resolder/bypass some parts of the circuit due to voltage drop on the motor control sub circuit.

Spent a fruitful hour or so with the paper (!) instruction manual and tweaked response rates, rudder factor and a few other settings to make it more "relaxed" in its course maintenance. Power consumption varies, but I'd say in average conditions it uses maybe 5 to 10 amp hours per hour. More downwind. Factory supplied fluxgate compass, reasonably accurate but more sensitive to angle of heel than I'd like.

When the controller finally dies I will replace it with a circuit of my own design that uses a picaxe chip and a Phillips CM3000 compass on an ic2 bus. Hope that the chain drive motor does not fail as it is the best (most expensive) component of the system.

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Old 15-03-2017, 06:40   #57
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Re: AUTOPILOT SURVEY

First AP was a Wood Freeman Model 11. It was state of the art as some point in time, but that point has long passed.

Next boat came with another WF 11. I replaced the brain box (tech term) with a Comnav 1001 just like all the other commercial trollers used. Worked great in all respects including nav mode as long as it had sufficient voltage.

Current boat has WH P3A driving Hynautic steering. It also works well, but I'm considering replacing the WH with NKE connected to the WH power pack. The WH does not steer to wind angles; the NKE does.

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Old 15-03-2017, 08:16   #58
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Re: AUTOPILOT SURVEY

Boat 1 - 44' Alan Pape, custom cc cutter, 40,000lb, long cut away keel, barn door rudder
CPT wheel pilot
Aries windvane fitted to an above deck tiller
Raymarine 2000 adapted to fit Aries and drive that

Boat 2 - 33' Brewer 33, steer cutter, 16,000lb, long fin keel, a keg mounted rudder
Aux rudder wind vane, Home built, to a pattern
Raymarine 2000 adapted to the aux rudder with a little tiller

All systems work, all systems are pretty simple, point and shoot.
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Old 15-03-2017, 13:33   #59
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Re: AUTOPILOT SURVEY

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
I can't see owning a serious (primary) AP that doesn't have a remote, so that you can sit (semi) comfortably under the dodger in pissy weather & steer. As there are some sea states, & or wind conditions where having a human hand on things is all but essential. Even if but by remote control. Though I'd probably trust an NKE setup, were it integrated with a full suite of performance instruments.

FWIW Irun the Aries control lines into the cabin so that I can steer from the settee. But mostly I do it as you say, from under the dodger.
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Old 15-03-2017, 14:09   #60
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Re: AUTOPILOT SURVEY

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
I can't see owning a serious (primary) AP that doesn't have a remote, so that you can sit (semi) comfortably under the dodger in pissy weather & steer. As there are some sea states, & or wind conditions where having a human hand on things is all but essential. Even if but by remote control. Though I'd probably trust an NKE setup, were it integrated with a full suite of performance instruments.
Can't say I agree on this one. I have a Furuno AP with an L&S hydraulic drive as my primary AP. No remote, with the control at the helm. We sit under the dodger while on watch. If we want to adjust the AP we reach around the helm and put a few clicks on the turn dial.
If the conditions were such that you can't trust the AP to drive then I'll be at the wheel - not using a remote or the AP at all.
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