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Old 03-07-2012, 10:21   #1
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Installing an autopilot on a Catalina 34

New boat owner. First boat.

Any advice on if the Raymarine xp5 autopilot (wheel) is truly easy to install as advertised?

I am mechanically savy but know emough to realize easy is too broad a statement tontake at face value. Thanks in advance for any advise.

Larry
Virginia
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:33   #2
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Re: Installing an autopilot on a Catalina 34

Look at the instructions on-line. They run about 75 pages if I remeber them correctly.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:53   #3
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Re: Installing an autopilot on a Catalina 34

Hardest part is figuring where to mount the compass. Rest of installation is running wires to where they need to go. Installed boat an x5 and 4000 plus wheel pilot without a problem.

Doing the computer setup at sea seems a bit daunting at first glance but not that big a thing. Just copy the pages from the manual having to do with the sea trial and follow them. You do need a fairly large patch of calm water to swing the boat and an accurate magnetic compass helps to set the A/P electronic compass.
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Old 24-07-2012, 09:01   #4
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Installing Raymarine X 5 autopilot

This is not a difficult job - depending upon how good your access is but Raymarine marks everything very well. The only problem I had is that when I did seatrials and did the AutoLearn mode it always failed. This is because I had the wires in backwards to the motor so when it thought is was steering to port the boat went starboard. After a 3 minute job of switching the wires over the unit has worked perfectly ever since.

I was removing and replacing my old ST4000 unit, so I simply just removed all the old parts and replaced with the new ones and then redid all the wiring. This job took about 4.5 man hours with no seatrials/calibration included. I expect if one had to do it all from scratch it would take about 6 - 8 hrs.

The four items to mount and wire together are:
1. flux compass
2. controller (electronic)
3 controller head (display)
4 motor (wires to controller)


The only thing that i haven't done is wire the unit to the Garmin GPS 440's that I have....if anyone has done this NMEA interface before let me know.
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Old 24-07-2012, 09:49   #5
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Re: Installing an autopilot on a Catalina 34

Thanks for the info. Most likely I will be require to upgrade the power wire to the helm to carryvthe higher amps required by the auto pilot motor. Take care.
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Old 24-07-2012, 12:59   #6
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Re: Installing an autopilot on a Catalina 34

Raymarine supplies the wire for the wheel drive power. It was the same gauge wire for both the 4000 plus and the X5. I believe they have gotten the wiring instructions backward for the wheel power. On both A/P's, the motor ended up wired backwards. They have a step in the installation instructions on how to check that the motor is wired right. Following the instructions, I caught it and just switched the wires at the control box
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Old 28-09-2012, 21:30   #7
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Re: Installing an autopilot on a Catalina 34

I am looking at buying and installing a Raymarine SPX-5 wheel autopilot with P70 controller and eventually connecting it with the Garmin GPS 441s to link waypoint navigation with steering. Has anyone been successful in connecting the Garmin GPS with the SPX-5

Bill
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Old 28-09-2012, 22:51   #8
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Re: Installing an autopilot on a Catalina 34

Took me ~2 days, busting my ass, not counting an additional 2 days to mate the wheel collar to my six spoke wooden wheel. I'd put it on par with installing a new head (complete with plumbing), or something like that. Not new-engine hard, but definitely not swapping-out-to-led-bulbs easy.

But, it works very well.
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Old 30-09-2012, 20:29   #9
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Thanks to all for the advice. I too have a Garmin 441 and will eventually network the autopilot to the Garmin. Looks like my install autopilot project will be done early Spring just prior to launch.
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Old 01-10-2012, 18:33   #10
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Re: Installing an autopilot on a Catalina 34

I installed it in about 6 hours, the hardest part is running the wires, as stated before. My auto pilot also need to have the motor wires reversed but also no big deal. I instlalled it on a 30ft Lancer and found that it worked great while motoring and in less than 15kt wind, and less than 3-4 ft waves while under sail, but more than that and it could not keep up. But most of the time it was a blessing to have and even in more sever conditions where it couldn't keep up, it would do well enough so I could go down below to get a beer.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:56   #11
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Re: Installing an autopilot on a Catalina 34

Took me 4-6 hours to install. Make sure flux gate compass is no where near any chunks of metal. Wire and power requiremets are not any mnore than a VH or any other equipment. Sea trial was easy actually. I also had to reverse motor wire.

As far as interlinked with Garmin. you will have to have the common language module.
Unit works well but is not as robust as under deck units,
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