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Old 21-08-2006, 17:58   #1
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CPT Autopilot?

Does anyone out there have a manual / schematic / info for a CPT ("the Tractor of Belt Pilots") autopilot?

Scanmar (the windvane people in San Francisco), in their greedy marketing wisdom, bought the design & production rights... and promptly removed it from the market.

Needless to say - their customer support has vanished, too.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.



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Old 21-08-2006, 22:06   #2

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To be fair, your term "promptly" is a bit of a misnomer. They actively sold the unit for several years. I certainly remember many years of seeing the display of the CPT drive unit running under water at the Scanmar booth at boat shows on both coasts.

I wish they had continued the unit. I use the drive unit as the "brawn" of my autopilot, connected to a Navman Autopilot as the "brain".

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Old 22-08-2006, 08:11   #3
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Scanmar is trying to sell the CPT line of autopilots.

They offered it to me for $15K, that included all the tools and parts, to make 20 CPTs.

I declined so did a few of my buddies.

I had 2 CPTs over the years and the best that can be said about it is: Old technology.
My CPTs never worked right for extended periods and I could never trust 'em closer than 1 mile to other boats, sometimes the stupid thing would do a sharp uncommanded 90 turn to whatever diection.
It happened in the Gulf stream once with a 25 knot wind from behind and large following seas...All of a sudden we were broadside to the seas and unable to disconnect the CPT. (Clutch had jammed) It was interesting for a few minuttes..

After that trip I sent the CPT back and demanded a new one. That was also the 4th time it had been sent back.

The owner of Scanmar was very nice: Built me a brand new unit and shipped it over, all for free, and long out of warranty.
I used it for a couple of years but was never happy with the performance: It would hold course for a while, then do something stupid again.
Finally ditched it and spent less than $800.00 on a new wheel pilot with a flux gate compass, a remote control head and NMEA connections for GPS input.

My new autopilot, the Simrad WP 32 is far better and much cheaper: No comparison, the CPT was probably up to date 25 years ago, but now it is outdated.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:35   #4
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CPT autopilot

I am intrigued by your comment on using the CPT as the mover and the Navman as the "brain". I have a CPT box attached to the wheel post which doesn't seem to work. I have unsuccessfully looked for a manual, and pictures posted on the CPT inc site seem to show a side box with a knob thats missing from mine that might be the sensor box.

So, I am interested in finding out how did you hooked up yours, what specific model of Navman did you use, how the signals connect to the CPT, etc.

Or alternatively if anyone could provide me info on an appropriate wheel autopilot for a 48 ft ket of ~ 24 ton dispalcement I would appreciate it. (all the autopilots I've seen on the web are too wimpy, they seem to have a limit of 40 ft or 18,500 lbs).

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