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Old 27-08-2013, 16:02   #1
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Has Anyone Actually Reviewed the Triton Pilot

and done a comparative review against other top pilots geared towards performance sailing like NKE's gyropilot and the H3000 HCP pilots from B&G?

If so I'd sure like to know how they did in terms of course holding in complex sea states, power consumption, etc.

Seems no one has really done any real head to head comparisons of the modern pilots in some time.
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Old 27-08-2013, 16:13   #2
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Re: Has anyone actually reviewed the Triton pilot

I have seen more NKE on ultralight, responsive boats.

I have seen more B&G on big yachts.

I believe that many AP are very, very good when it comes to their brain boxes. Where some fail more than others will be their drives departments.

Please note that both NKE and B&G fail to have good support in some more remote places. (I think B&G gets some support via Simrad?)

So, the way I see things, I would not buy NKE nor B&G, unless their stuff is absolutely the best solution for the given boat (NKE can be seen as such in some racing applications).

PLS let me know if you find any reliable comparison to be read online. I will be interested too.

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Old 27-08-2013, 16:23   #3
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Re: Has anyone actually reviewed the Triton pilot

I've used NKE on a number of boats from a Farr to a couple of Kerr's, numerous grand prix monohulls, etc. Their pilots are well regarded and have won numerous round the world races.

Like B&G you see them on the Vandee boats, etc. A number of solo distance racers use them and hold them in VERY high regard.

The service issue is legit, but I'm not in that situation. I've got service for them in all my major cruising areas.

Having used Raymarine, B&G & NKE all in various conditions I have to say that the two latter choices with good heading data are far better units, but there are differences between the B&G tiers that differentiate them from the NKE (i.e I expect the Triton to perform below the NKE and the H3000 which are very close given equal input).

What I'm asking is, 'has anyone actually done a genuine comparison of the products in real world tests?'

The Triton looks interesting from a price standpoint, but I want to know what I'm giving up in performance if I decide against the new Gyropilot from NKE.

B&G's new website is nearly useless if you're looking for any real information. Typical marketing driven website...
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Old 27-08-2013, 19:23   #4
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Reviewed the Triton Pilot

The Triton pilot is exactly the Simrad AC42 computer and RC42 rate compass with the B&G Triton display and keypad used as the control head instead of the Simrad AP24/28.

I would put it below the top NKE and B&G lines, but way above everything else in the field.

B&G and Simrad are owned by Navico, which provides support for everything.

I don't really know anyone who has good support in remote places. Almost everything from everyone gets shipped back somewhere populous. Kind of the definition of remote.

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Old 27-08-2013, 20:20   #5
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Reviewed the Triton Pilot

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Originally Posted by JoeFish View Post
and done a comparative review against other top pilots geared towards performance sailing like NKE's gyropilot and the H3000 HCP pilots from B&G?

If so I'd sure like to know how they did in terms of course holding in complex sea states, power consumption, etc.

Seems no one has really done any real head to head comparisons of the modern pilots in some time.

How would they do that, compare them in complex sea states -- on matching boats, at the same time, in the same place? How long would they have to wait for that? I don't see it as very feasible.

But it's an excellent question. I saw an autopilot that couldn't hold a course in steady, 3' waves. Of course I don't know how old it was, how well maintained, whether it was installed right, whether it was maintained well -- and actually, given who owned it, all those things come into question.

But I did see the boat suddenly veer about 90º to port completely unpredicably -- 3' seas, moderate wind, the waves quite regular and predictable not at all a confused sea.
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Old 27-08-2013, 21:09   #6
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Reviewed the Triton Pilot

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But I did see the boat suddenly veer about 90º to port completely unpredicably -- 3' seas, moderate wind, the waves quite regular and predictable not at all a confused sea.
We simulate much more complex systems all the time, just put them on the same type of rudder in a lab and feed them all the same input data, then see how they react.

Not a "real world" test in regards to durability unless you add heat, sait mist, etc. but still a pretty darn good test.
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Old 27-08-2013, 21:42   #7
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Reviewed the Triton Pilot

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How would they do that, compare them in complex sea states -- on matching boats, at the same time, in the same place? How long would they have to wait for that? I don't see it as very feasible.
Complex systems on one design boats are tested all the time, when I campaigned Stars I tested sails, spars, keel profile changes, etc. all head to head with another boat. This kind of test is no different. Find a one design fleet.. they are all over the place. Chicago's 36.7 fleet comes to mind.
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Old 27-08-2013, 23:12   #8
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Reviewed the Triton Pilot

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The Triton pilot is exactly the Simrad AC42 computer and RC42 rate compass with the B&G Triton display and keypad used as the control head instead of the Simrad AP24/28.

I would put it below the top NKE and B&G lines, but way above everything else in the field.
Mark,

Thanks for the informative input. I'm considering the Triton, but my gut says go with the NKE. I'll likely use a Jeffa LD100 linear drive in either case, but I'd like to make an informed decision. I hate buyer's remorse.
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Old 28-08-2013, 02:04   #9
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Reviewed the Triton Pilot

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Mark,

Thanks for the informative input. I'm considering the Triton, but my gut says go with the NKE. I'll likely use a Jeffa LD100 linear drive in either case, but I'd like to make an informed decision. I hate buyer's remorse.
The Triton pilot computer is just the ordinary consumer-type inexpensive Simrad AC42, just with a different brand stenciled on it. This pilot is an evolution of the old Robertson pilot. Cheap and good kit.

I have one on my Moody 54 and it works very well indeed. I am very pleased with it. How much of the improvement over the old Raymarine pilot it replaced is attributable to the pilot computer, I can't say, unfortunately, because I installed an expensive three-axis gyro stabilized heading sensor -- an Airmar H2183 -- at the same time. The quality of heading data plays a very big role in autopilot performance, as you must know.

Other important roles in autopilot performance are played by the rudder design and size, inherent balance of the boat's hull, and the size and power of the autopilot ram and hydraulic pump. It's a whole system and pretty hard to isolate any one element.

In my case, it all works very well indeed, tested this summer by 1000 miles of sailing in sometimes tough conditions, including a couple of English Channel crossings, transits of the Chenal du Four (at springs!), Raz de Seine, etc. I am very pleased. I have a hunch, however, that the heading sensor is playing an equal or even greater role than the pilot computer in this great performance.
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Old 28-08-2013, 05:34   #10
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Reviewed the Triton Pilot

In AP wars Nexus (Silva, but now I think owned by Garmin?) is often omitted.

Have a look at them, you may like what you see.

To get to RT comparison data one may try talking to the guys from Panbo, they are very much into hardware and testing.

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Old 28-08-2013, 10:36   #11
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Reviewed the Triton Pilot

Thanks Dockhead, yes I've seen huge improvements in pilots from improved heading input, and the H2183 is the same compass NKE uses save for a firmware update they apply. Sounds like that may make up the biggest part of the difference.

Are you using B&G's 508 wind sensor?
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Old 28-08-2013, 10:53   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFish
Thanks Dockhead, yes I've seen huge improvements in pilots from improved heading input, and the H2183 is the same compass NKE uses save for a firmware update they apply. Sounds like that may make up the biggest part of the difference.

Are you using B&G's 508 wind sensor?
I'm using the Maretron WSO-100 with excellent results. I think ultrasonic is the way to go for wind data. I think even better than the Maretron is the offering from LCJ Capteurs, unavailable in N2K when I did my refit, unfortunately.
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Old 28-08-2013, 11:27   #13
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Reviewed the Triton Pilot

Hmm.. that's a test I'd really like to see.. Ultrasonic vs to old vane sensors, in particular the reaction time difference to wind speed and direction changes. I'd also like to know how well they do in rain as we sail in horizontal rain a lot up here

US is quite attractive in terms of eliminating moving parts.
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Old 28-08-2013, 11:34   #14
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Hmm.. that's a test I'd really like to see.. Ultrasonic vs to old vane sensors, in particular the reaction time difference to wind speed and direction changes. I'd also like to know how well they do in rain as we sail in horizontal rain a lot up here

US is quite attractive in terms of eliminating moving parts.
I've now got 1000 miles of experience with u,transonic wind, and it's all good. Pilot now works much better on wind following mode. No slewing around as the ship rolls - no mechanical inertia issues. In my opinion, vane type wind measurement is now dead, obsolete.
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Old 28-08-2013, 11:40   #15
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Re: Has Anyone Actually Reviewed the Triton Pilot

How is it in heavy fog, rain?

I've read:

"The ultrasonic sensor is attractive because it has no moving parts ; the arial ultrasonic transmitters and receptors permit measurement of speed and angle of the apparent wind. This sensor is not very often found on regatta boats because the results have to be filtered to obtain acceptable precision, morover in spite of the constructors research it's not rain proof."

This is from NKE, who adopted ultrasonic speed early on with great success.
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