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Old 18-02-2017, 18:28   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Merritt Island, FL
Boat: Pearson 424 Cutter
Posts: 4
Autopilot - Upgrade SPX-30 to EV-400?

Good evening all.
I'm in the middle of upgrading our Pearson 424's electronic suite to bring it into the 21st century. I've got everything else noodled out but I'm on the fence about our autopilot.
Currently, she has a Raymarine SPX-30 core driving an OLD Autohelm 5000 linear mechanical actuator. Right now it works but I'm leary of the drive. So, while shopping for a drive (probably an Octopus hydraulic), I started looking at the new autopilots, specifically the EV-400.

The question for those knowledgeable about Raymarine systems is this:
In your opinion, is it worth the money to upgrade from the SPX-30 to the EV-400? Is the new EV-1 sensor THAT good? There's a $400 rebate on the system right now, which makes it a little less catastrophic to the checkbook.

Decisions, decisions...
Thanks for any sage advice!

Evan
Revery
Pearson 424 cutter
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Old 18-02-2017, 19:20   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cayuga Lake NY - or on the boat somewhere south of there
Boat: Caliber 40
Posts: 1,163
Re: Autopilot - Upgrade SPX-30 to EV-400?

I had an spx 30 on my old boat and have an ev 400 now. Maybe I am missing something but I really cant tell enough of a difference to prefer one over the other. I sailed the first boat from Chesapeake Bay to the Eastern Caribbean and back and also to Bermuda and back as well as all over the east coast. I have sailed the new boat from the east coast to the Caribbean where Iam now. I would say y I have plenty of experience with both. However, I am open to being educated about this. Maybe there is something I ought to be able to see that I am not.
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Old 18-02-2017, 19:31   #3
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2011
Location: PDX
Boat: Gulfstar 50
Posts: 1,648
Re: Autopilot - Upgrade SPX-30 to EV-400?

I'm in the same "boat" in that I have an spx-30. I've asked myself what I want in an autopilot. It does not need to stay on track down to millimeters for me. It just needs to point the boat that way day after day. Just needs to keep on working. The spx-30 does that.

My AP drives an octpus that needs to be rebuilt bit can also drive the spx-5 wheel actuator in a pinch.

Performance wise I'm not sure how much there is to gain. For example going to a max prop from a fixed 3 blade gives 1/2 to 1 kt more speed. This works out to 12 to 24 more NM pr day and when you look at a 20 day passage to Hawaii it can reduce the passage time by 2 or more days.

What does a new AP give for passage making?
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