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Old 20-01-2012, 10:59   #1
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Geonav Autopilot Reviews ?

Does anyone have a geonav autopilot? The price from Defender is amazing and the course computer specs match or beat the larger units from simrad and raymarine!!
Is this too good to be true?
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Old 20-01-2012, 13:24   #2
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Re: Geonav Autopilot reviews?

I've been wondering the same thing. I've tried to Google some feedback with no luck. I'm in the market for an AP but haven't heard zip about Geonav.
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Old 20-01-2012, 15:27   #3
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Re: Geonav Autopilot reviews?

All I've been able to determine about them is that Defender has had no complaints or returns.......No news is good news....right?
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Old 20-01-2012, 15:30   #4
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Re: Geonav Autopilot reviews?

Quote:
No news is good news....right?
Maybe...
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Old 20-01-2012, 18:58   #5
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Re: Geonav Autopilot Reviews ?

GeoNav is a new player in marine electronics in the U.S. They developed and distributed marine products in Europe for 25 years. In 2007 they were bought out by SC Johnson (Ziploc bags, Widex, Fantastic, etc.) and the company is dedicated to making their products major competition for Raymarine, Furuno and the rest. As part of the Johnson Outdoor Group it joins the management and marketing and manufacturing teams that have a lot of experience in the marine industry. They are now part of Johnson Outdoor Group with Humminbird, Canon and Minn Kota. The GeoNav/Humminbird factory is in Alabama. The lack of feedback or reviews reflects the newness in the products here but doesn't necessarily reflect the companies commitment to the quality of their products. I don't have any affiliation but have been following their progress in the marine markets here. Chuck
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Old 20-01-2012, 19:08   #6
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Re: Geonav Autopilot Reviews ?

So, Salty, the clarion call to duty is clear: buy one and tell us all if it is any good!

Simple, eh?

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 21-01-2012, 02:16   #7
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Re: Geonav Autopilot Reviews ?

For what I knows of Geonav is they where part of Navionics and the software maker for Raymarine. I did like there chart plotter because you wkere able to plug a conventional monitor. But that maybe an other Geonav.
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Old 21-01-2012, 07:52   #8
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Looks like I'll be the test
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Old 21-01-2012, 23:24   #9
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Re: Geonav Autopilot Reviews ?

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Looks like I'll be the test
Good one let us knows how it goes. Many brand recommend the demo as a trainer. Ray's one is very nice?
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Old 10-03-2012, 21:23   #10
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Ok, the gsc110 ap has been ordered. It will be driving a raymarine type 1 rotary drive through an edson rack and pinion steerer.
I'll post my initial impressions once i receive the unit as well as function following a gulf of mexico shakedown crossing
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Old 10-04-2012, 14:56   #11
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Re: Geonav Autopilot Reviews ?

As of yesterday the Geonav Autopilot core pack (if that's what you want to call it) showed up. Initial thoughts are that the course computer is well put together, in an industrial sort of way. The compass and rudder angle indicator are an almost laughable bulky size, but are solid and have a nice "hand". The control head is the one that has me a little concerned, Having spent time with Simrad and Raymarine autopilots, the head feels lightweight, and the plastic gives the impression of being brittle. The rotary knob has a good feel to it yet a little lightweight. It may be that the plastic is stronger than the heavier stuff, maybe something that isn't noticed on simrad units with rubber coated course wheels, time will tell. I have not powered the unit yet, but will do so in the living room over the next couple of days, then I'll be able to tell if the control head in particular is a goodie or not.
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Old 18-04-2012, 09:10   #12
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Re: Geonav Autopilot Reviews ?

After bench testing the unit I'm pretty happy with it. Personal preference but I would have preferred a display with larger auto/standby buttons, and less of the colorful graphics that in my mind are useless. Otherwise the once you get a feel for it the control unit is nice to use. The wheel allows you to power steer the boat.....that will come in handy sitting under the dodger in the ICW mid winter with cold wind and rain.
The course computer is able to vary the voltage supplied to the drive unit to run it at different speeds, not infinitely variable, but stepped. More could be done here but why? A plug in rate gyro (that I had left our when taking the pics) is standard and really made a difference in the jumpy reaction of the compass. The rudder reference is smooth and has no "blind" spots in it, if there is a deadband it's too small for me to detect.
Control head mounting could be a lot better, as designed you need to cut a square, that is square with everything surrounding it, and be careful to leave a hair less than an 1/8 of an inch to mount/seal the unit. Raymarine has the edge here, a hole saw makes a nice clean hole to mount in. The cabling from the back of the head is nice though.
Next report will be after a northbound Gulf of Mexico crossing in about three weeks time. Although I hope to not use the unit a whole lot as the north bound course is for the windvane.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:35   #13
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Re: Geonav Autopilot Reviews ?

Having now installed and crossed the gulf of Mexico with this unit (well half the gulf, the other half was the windvane) I have some good things and bad things to report. As far as the operation and steering aspects of the unit, it's great!! The course is kept with a minimal of steering input, and low power consumption, most of the power is used by the clutch of the drive motor. There were never any hiccups at all!!
Now the bad, or just annoying. Mounting the compass was a PITA!! it's built on the same base as the rudder angle indicator, a great way to keep production costs down, but not so easy to mount in most boats. A bulkhead mount would have made life much eaiser as most boats I know have an abundance of vertical hidden surfaces, very few have horizontal surfaces that aren't already covered by stuff. But my really big complaint about this unit is the control head, We got used to the little buttons, but the display is difficult to see in direct sunlight and the backlighting is obnoxious on dark nights. I see no reason for a color display on this piece of equipment, nor do I see a need for all the "fluff" built into it. But the real biggie on the negative list for me is the blue "halo" around the course knob. Not visible in the picture above, but the gray area around the knob lights up blue when the back light is dimmed for night work. It's the worst color I can think of to put here and it's bright, so bright I covered the control with a towel at night. If you want a comparison go to a car stereo store, pick out the most obnoxiously bright car stereo and look at it in the pitch black. I will be contacting geonav about this, if they are unable to resolve this issue I'll just take the simple steps of masking off the area and painting over the blue halo.
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Old 08-05-2012, 19:55   #14
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Re: Geonav Autopilot Reviews ?

Thanks for the update. It still looks like a great value for a reliable autopilot.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:26   #15
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Re: Geonav Autopilot Reviews ?

Geonav has offered to disable the, in their words, "glow ring" around the course knob. I'll see if I can't talk them into replacing the blue LED with a red one.......that'll change the whole feel of this unit after dark!!
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