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Old 13-01-2016, 11:50   #1
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CPT Autopilots

Anyone have experience with the CPT autopilot? I have a Hunter 420 CC, and it looks to be marginal for that, although the website indicates it has been installed on larger boats. I do coastal cruising, in fair weather. No blue water stuff, crossing oceans, so I don't need something bullet proof that will enable me to evade Somali pirates in a typhoon. I also don't need to interface it with anything, just looking for something to steer for a few hours at a time while I keep watch. I have a genset onboard and ample battery capacity, so battery draw isn't really an issue either.
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Old 13-01-2016, 12:14   #2
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Re: CPT Autopilots

No, it's not marginal for your 420 at all, I think it will produce something like 50 ft lbs of force, which is considerable.
I have one and love it, but as you say all it's good for is holding a heading, and while it seems to do that well, I'm sure a "real" auto-pilot would do it better.

My original plan was to have the CPT as a back up if the real auto pilot went down, as a windvane is not an option for me, but I seem to like the CPT so well I may just buy a cruisers spare from CPT and forego a real auto pilot.


It probably draws less electrical power than any other electric auto pilot, you will be amazed at how little power it uses.
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Old 13-01-2016, 12:23   #3
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Re: CPT Autopilots

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Originally Posted by Windblown View Post
Anyone have experience with the CPT autopilot? I have a Hunter 420 CC, and it looks to be marginal for that, although the website indicates it has been installed on larger boats. I do coastal cruising, in fair weather. No blue water stuff, crossing oceans, so I don't need something bullet proof that will enable me to evade Somali pirates in a typhoon. I also don't need to interface it with anything, just looking for something to steer for a few hours at a time while I keep watch. I have a genset onboard and ample battery capacity, so battery draw isn't really an issue either.
This sounds like a great use case for the CPT.

I use it on a 41 ft 22,000 pound yawl. Works great on all points of sail, all sea states I've seen (which aint much, I'm a wimp.) Installation took a couple hours.

Its not in my way at all despite a bit of a tight helm position with the mizzen on my back and the pedestal practically in my lap. It's easy to flip on and off, doesn't introduce any noticeable resistance to the helm when disengaged, and it's *completely* silent. I've had APs before which made noises that were more annoying than hand-steering.

Only "drawback" I see is that it's fundamentally *not* a redundant steering system, unlike a below-deck pilot driving the rudderpost directly. If a steering cable goes or something else breaks with the pedestal, my only option is the emergency tiller. Thats fine, I'm not doing any big crossings.
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Old 13-01-2016, 12:49   #4
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Re: CPT Autopilots

Thanks guys, looks like I have my spring boat project.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:08   #5
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Re: CPT Autopilots

It's really only a couple of hours install, call them and discuss, they may have all the data for your boat, otherwise you will do some simple measuring. I bought the waterproof plug for mine with the idea of if I ever had to remove it for maintenance etc. I think it came with an extra belt and set of clutch pins.

I have a dockmate with a Passage 42 that uses a Raymarine wheel pilot, it is obviously too much boat for that, but he makes it work, I guess if your real careful with sail trim you can.

I'm surprised more haven't chimed in about the CPT, they are pretty popular with the KISS crowd.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:17   #6
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Re: CPT Autopilots

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post

I'm surprised more haven't chimed in about the CPT, they are pretty popular with the KISS crowd.
Probably 'cuz your input covered it all.

In addition, a search on this forum on CPT will also show other threads which get into any more details he needs.

The measurement requirements are on their website. www.cptautopilot.com

Great equipment.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:26   #7
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Re: CPT Autopilots

My 1969 Columbia 36 came with one, best I can figure is out was bought in the early 1980's. Just gave up last year to water intrusion. I dare you to get that kind of life out of anything made by Raymarine. I went through three Autohelm/Raymarine wheel pilots in the 14 years I owned my last boat. (Can you tell I'm not a fan?) The thing was strong as an ox and worked great. Kind of ugly and won't interface, but I don't care about that.
It's in the budget to get the upgraded replacement works that will bolt on to my old mounts. At $1500 that would buy about half of a Raymarine unit.
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