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Old 28-01-2018, 16:42   #1
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Autopilot upgrade

OK, I've given up trying to salvage my old ST4000+ autopilot controller. I now have an N2K network on my boat with a Vesper XB8000 and a Zeus 2 MFD at the helm. My motorized drive unit is new and works well. I am now thinking of getting a new AP computer, heading sensor/compass and rudder feedback sensor that will all be N2K compatible and use the Zeus 2 MFD as my AP control head.

The Simrad NAC2 core pack, $1,500, includes everything I need and appears to be sized appropriately for my boat. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M5FD181...l_huc_continue

Any thoughts on these units? Is there something else I should be looking at?

As usual, thanks for your advice.
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Old 03-04-2018, 17:43   #2
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Re: Autopilot upgrade

Still got your st4000+head unit?
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:11   #3
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Re: Autopilot upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Woodward View Post
OK, I've given up trying to salvage my old ST4000+ autopilot controller. I now have an N2K network on my boat with a Vesper XB8000 and a Zeus 2 MFD at the helm. My motorized drive unit is new and works well. I am now thinking of getting a new AP computer, heading sensor/compass and rudder feedback sensor that will all be N2K compatible and use the Zeus 2 MFD as my AP control head.

The Simrad NAC2 core pack, $1,500, includes everything I need and appears to be sized appropriately for my boat. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M5FD181...l_huc_continue

Any thoughts on these units? Is there something else I should be looking at?

As usual, thanks for your advice.
Jerry,

The core pack includes the course computer, rudder feed-back/angle sensor and the precision compass only. The most important piece is the drive. The Simrad--now sold under the B&G label--hydraulic drives are very good/sturdy but you need to ensure you have a good sturdy place to mount the device that is easily accessed. A good mount is a key aspect of success with these devices. Note that the drive will add another $1700 to your costs. Further both the NAC2 and Drives are available through Defender.com at very competitive prices and, should you have a problem, we have found Defender to be very good about resolving issues with the products they sell.

FWIW we have been using a Simrad (now B&G) autopilot on our 42' boat for 16+ years and have been very happy with the equipment.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:39   #4
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Re: Autopilot upgrade

The NAC 2 is limited to suppying 12A supply to the drive unit. This is very likely enough, but you need to check the specifications of your drive unit, they vary considerably and some will need the NAC 3.

The NAC2 and 3 have a good reputation.
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:16   #5
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Re: Autopilot upgrade

Our entire boat is simrad , the previous boat as well . I have found the products to be very good .
I have also found simrads support to be excellent . Thank you Wayne at simrad . Always answers emails same day .

Regards John
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Old 10-04-2018, 21:24   #6
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Re: Autopilot upgrade

As mentioned above you need to verify the amperage of your autopilot drive. The NAC2 is actually only rated for 8A continuous and 16A for one second.

Also, as mentioned above you should only buy items like this from marine electronics dealers. Amazon and CE Showroom will provide NO support. There are plenty of good marine electronics shops that sell this for the same price and also stand behind their products.
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Old 11-04-2018, 00:15   #7
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Re: Autopilot upgrade

Just to be clear. Navico owns Lowrance, Simrad and B&G. Lowrance is aimed at trailerable vessels, Simrad is aimed at power vessels, and B&G is for sailing.
Support is the same for all three brands.
I am a Navico certified Tech, and sales agent here in NZ.
If you want your plotter/mfd to be able to fully integrate with the AP, then stick with B&G. Same pack as simrad is available, software can be different (dependent on models) B&G always has the sailing software.
Good luck with your selection.
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Old 11-04-2018, 00:44   #8
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Re: Autopilot upgrade

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Originally Posted by KeelMe View Post
As mentioned above you need to verify the amperage of your autopilot drive. The NAC2 is actually only rated for 8A continuous and 16A for one second.
Thanks, KeelMe is correct it is 8A Is the continuous rating not 12A. I should have checked rather than relying on memory.

The NAC 3 has a 30A continous rating.
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