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Old 13-05-2007, 16:57   #1
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Raymarine Autopilot Instal In Catalina?

Hi guys, can anyone give me an idea how hard it would be to install a Raymarine ST6002 Sailpilot into a new Catalina 350? I'm mechanically inclined and fairly sure I can do it myself, but I don't have a lot of boat experience. How difficult is the install? Thanks!

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Old 13-05-2007, 17:12   #2
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The install is pretty straightforward. But every boat is different. Biggest issue is running the wires and how accessible the space will be to do that. You will need to run wires from the helm to the course computer, from the fluxgate compass to the course computer and from the drive motor to the course computer. The drive motor needs to be installed to the steering system and the location of all of these parts are important. Download the install manual from the Raymarine site and that will determine if it is doable for you. Unless someone on the board is very familiar with your skills I doubt any of us can really answer your question.

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Old 13-05-2007, 17:31   #3
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Proper installation of your autopilot is probably the most important aspect of satisfactory operation. Unless you are familiar with marine electrical wiring, have fiberglass skills and know what is required for proper installation of the drive unit you are better off getting a qualified professional to do the job.

1. the drive unit must be installed on a very strong level platform that is properly reinforced.
2. drive unit and tiller arm (or quadrant) must be matched.
3. rudder stops adjusted so that they stop rudder motion before the drive unit reaches it's limit.
4. is the drive unit electro-mechanical or hydraulic? There are different issues for each type.
5. what Chuck said
and the list goes on and on...
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Old 13-05-2007, 18:07   #4
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Thanks for the quick responses... I didn't even think to check Raymarine's site for install manuals. I'm pretty sure I'll go ahead and do it myself. I just got done installing my TV antenna after refusing my broker's "offer" to install it for $400..! I think I'll also turn down the opportunity to make them $2500 richer for the autopilot install. I'm used to working on cars, motorcycles, and even helicopters - I think I can manage this.

After all it's a new boat and the autopilot is the factory recommended model, for which Catalina sells an install kit.
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Old 14-05-2007, 11:25   #5
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You'll also have to install the quadrant sensor (helm position) unit and run the wires. This will also have to be carefully mounted and positioned. I had to build a platform for it when I upgraded (as you'll have to build a platform for the drive unit - and they aren't the same location).

Good Luck.
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Old 14-05-2007, 14:31   #6
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I made a stainless bracket and mounted the position sensor right on top of the rudder post with the ball joint secured to a bulkhead; calibrated it and it works fine. This also allows a slightly larger arc for it to swing without reaching it's limits as opposed to a side installation.

Good luck
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Old 17-05-2007, 08:43   #7
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It is quite do-able, if you are mechanically inclined. Not to mention that by doing it yourself, you will have a better feel for how it works and how to fix it if it breaks.

GO for it. Go look at another 350 to see how Catalina puts them in. Your dealer should be able to give some input too. If you run into any snags, contact your Tehnical Editor in Mainsheet for advice.

All the best.

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Old 17-05-2007, 11:34   #8
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A couple of recommendations.

Mount your corepack in as dry a location as physically close as possible to the drive motors.

Go up an AWG step in the power wiring from the supply to corepack and from the corepack to the drive.

Make sure you put the chokes on the control lines.

Do you have hydraulic or mechanical steering. I believe the the Catalinas are mechanical. Make sure the alignment from the drive motor to the steering quadrant is level.

It is not an easy install, usually because of the access to all the tight spots and finding appropriate mounting positions. But, It is not rocket science either.

Do look on They have excellant support and will be more than happy to answer questions either by phone or via their Web support.

Good luck


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