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Old 19-04-2011, 21:28   #16
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Thanks for your PM. I'd contact you, but you didn't leave any contact details. An e-mail adress would be handy.
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Yes that is correct, we also own a Salar40 and have recently purchased a 50ft power boat.

Nick
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Old 19-04-2011, 22:54   #17
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

I have a Coursemaster, hydraulic steering, 45 foot cat, had some trouble setting it initially. Since then set and forget - very happy. 2 years ago had Raymarine on 38 foot cat - was not happy with it. No experience with Furuno
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Old 19-04-2011, 23:07   #18
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

I love my Furuno autopilot. Drive unit is Simrad, but couldn't get Simrad autopilot in time, so Furuno came through instead. It "learns" as I use it......amazingly has NEVER gone off course......and is incredibly efficient. Somehow can anticipate how the boat will move.....I often think it should make a course correction....and it doesn't......and in another moment the boat goes back on course by itself. Mine is a heavy displacement, full keel, CT41 ketch, maybe that helps......go Furuno.
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Old 20-04-2011, 09:15   #19
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

Owned a CM85i for 5 years now, Initially it never worked properly for long and had to be sent back for repair several times, they eventually replaced the control unit and it seems to work OK now although as I have installed another system I only have the coursemaster as a back up. The Navman that replaced it cost 1/2 as much and works twice as good.
As well as the problems i had with it I dont think it is user friendly, when it has a problem it just blanks out whereas other pilots give an indication of what the problem is and can show amp draw etc.
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Old 21-04-2011, 08:39   #20
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

It sounds like the conclusion is that definitely the Furuno AP is the way to go, no comparison.

I want to add that the Furuno units look identical to the Simrad/Robertson units which are the best one can get imho. I am kinda convinced they are the same hardware.

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Old 21-04-2011, 10:37   #21
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

I use a Coursemaster and it has good days and bad days, but it's my understanding they all do. I'm waiting for a GPS controlled system that's not dependent on a compass.
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Old 21-04-2011, 11:35   #22
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

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I use a Coursemaster and it has good days and bad days, but it's my understanding they all do. I'm waiting for a GPS controlled system that's not dependent on a compass.
I have the WH autopilot and though I only have about 1000 miles on it after a self install it does not have good days and bad days. It works fine going upwind but have not tested it going downwind in a seaway.
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Old 21-04-2011, 16:40   #23
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

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I have the WH autopilot and though I only have about 1000 miles on it after a self install it does not have good days and bad days. It works fine going upwind but have not tested it going downwind in a seaway.
I have both a WH autopilot and a Simrad/Robertson autopilot and can confirm these units don't have "bad days". Only bad, cheap, low quality equipment can perform in such a bad way that the user gets this "bad days" impression.

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Old 21-04-2011, 17:14   #24
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

I have a Raytheon autopilot with hydraulic drive that ahs worked faultlessly up until last season when the fittings on the ram started to leak...but thats not a Raymarine problem... the hydraulic components on most autopilots are the same make.

I think proper sizing and good installation are the secrets to success.

If coursemaster really had all these problems consistently, that we hear here, surely they would either 1. fix them or 2. be out of business by now ?

I have never seen a Furuno autopilot.
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Old 21-04-2011, 17:54   #25
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

Ive been using the navpilot for 6 yrs. They do in fact steer by gps in the nav and smart auto modes. Its impressive when hitting strong cross currents in the intracoastal when the boat compensates for the current and will crab across the current all the while keeping course. I give their customer service an A+ grade The one issue I had they sent a technician to Key West no charge for the extra drive time, paid for a slip for the day and extended our warranty for a year. They also sent us caps and t shirts. Kudos to Furuno for caring about their reputation and customers.
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Old 22-04-2011, 15:16   #26
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

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I have a Coursemaster, hydraulic steering, 45 foot cat, had some trouble setting it initially. Since then set and forget - very happy. 2 years ago had Raymarine on 38 foot cat - was not happy with it. No experience with Furuno
Well there's hope for my system yet! I have to say I'm so dissapointed in mine I've been looking at buying something else, leaving the CM as a backup. (In all honesty I couldn't sell it as is with a clear conscience)

I've been in contact with Cobarblue, and he mentioned getting someone to have a look at the system in Mooloolabah. I hadn't intended going to Mooloolabah, as anchoring is illegal, and we prefer to avoid marinas, but if they can actually get this thing to work maybe it would be worth it.
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Old 22-04-2011, 16:22   #27
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

I've been looking at Furuno systems. They seem to be aimed at fishermen/trawler operators.

Do any of their models have the facility to steer to a wind angle?
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:02   #28
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

44'cruisingcat,

have you got any further feedback about your problems with the Coursemaster? Have you solved the issues?

I am wanting to upgrade my old Coursemaster, because I have also problems with the off-course alarm. The autopilot will let the boat go off course and instead of counter-steering it just complains and does nothing. But reading about your problems, I have got even more doubts about buying a Coursemaster.

I heard from several persons, that the Coursemaster is very sensitive to a correct installation and will not give any hints about what is wrong. In one case, the compass was not installed in the right position. In another case the rudder sensor was not completely centered and the Coursemaster would not initialize at all.



Simon
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Old 29-05-2011, 19:27   #29
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

Coursemaster have sent me a new CM840 "junction box" (it's actually the "brain" of the unit), and are sending a new rudder reference unit.

Waiting to see what kind of improvement this will bring.
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Old 29-05-2011, 20:24   #30
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Re: Coursemaster vs Furuno Autopilot ?

Good luck with setting up your Coursemaster, Simon is correct in saying the rudder reference unit has to be perfectly centered or the unit just does not initiate, also make sure you have no metallic or magnetic material close to the compass, they seem to be very sensitive.
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