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Old 04-02-2011, 13:18   #1
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Raymarine vs Simrad

help Big decision... I can buy an out of production Raymarine ST4000 + MK12 wheel pilot brand new in tatterd box or a new Simrad WP-30CX Wheel pilot for my old 8000# H27. It appears there are still parts and service for the Raymarine. The prices are close, 550 for raymarine , 750 for simrad. Function is more important than price. I would appreicate any input from anyone familar with either of these units. I will be doing my own install.
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:43   #2
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Originally Posted by dakno View Post
help Big decision... I can buy an out of production Raymarine ST4000 + MK12 wheel pilot brand new in tatterd box or a new Simrad WP-30CX Wheel pilot for my old 8000# H27. It appears there are still parts and service for the Raymarine. The prices are close, 550 for raymarine , 750 for simrad. Function is more important than price. I would appreicate any input from anyone familar with either of these units. I will be doing my own install.
From a personal perspective, I would be saying Raymarine, simply for no other reason than I have heard too many negative reports about Simrad after sales service.
On another note, have you considered Furuno? To me their products are awesome, as well as having great after sales service. Our boat is kitted out with Furuno inc the auto pilot.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:33   #3
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We had an ST4000 on our old boat (a 1976 Cal 2-29) for many years and it proved a good unit. Unfortunately, I understand that parts are becoming hard to find and there have been many complaints here abouts on support. On the other hand we have a Simrad unit on our current boat and it has been very reliable and seems better in many conditions. Given the foregoing, I think I'd go with the Simrad.

FWIW...
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Old 06-02-2011, 20:53   #4
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Thanks for reply... on further research(shopping) it appears the Simrad WP-30CX has been out of production for some time. It also appears that the Raymarine X-5 is the only unit currently in production for small (10,000#) wheel pilots. I could find no refrence to any model from Funroe for this type app.
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Old 06-02-2011, 21:24   #5
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between autohell and simrad, i would use simrad, without any experience with it--i have simrad hdl2000 onmy formosa, and i have sailed with autohell many many many times and years-- the times i have sailed with autohell, we have had more hand steering miles than autohell steering miles. i am looking forward to critiquing the simrad.
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Old 06-02-2011, 21:39   #6
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The control head for the Raymarine 4000+ is NLA. If control head goes out, you'd have to buy the X5 computer and control head to replace it. The wheel actuator and compass are the same as the X5. $550 is a decent price for the 4000+ new.

The X5 is a much better unit electronically than the 4000+ as it has a learning ability. The brains are in a separate box that can be mounted below in a very dry place. The control head looks like the 4000+ but is basically just switches and a readout. I have a 4000+ that I swapped out because I thought the control head was bad so never used it. Turns out it was a loose wire in the wheel actuator motor that I caused using it as a wheel brake. Bought the X5 for around $1200. It's steered the boat under power for over 100 hours with two periods of constant use for 36+ hours each. The wheel pilot motor is not strong enough to steer my boat under sail above 4k of boat speed because of heavy weather helm forces. Actually doubt any cheap pilot would handle the very heavy helm of my boat. Expert it would work without a problem on your Hunter especially if the rudder is somewhat balanced.

I had an intermittant problem with my X5 when I first got it. Sometimes would show a 'no pilot' error message and not work. I didn't discover it till I'd installed the pilot more than 6 months after I bought it. It worked the morning I left for Hawaii so left it on for the whole trip to be sure it would work when I needed it. I've got a self steering vane that does most of my helming. Finally sent it back to them more than 9 months after I bought it. They fixed it and I had it back in less than 6 days from the day I mailed it from Hawaii without charge. My only expense was priority mail to get it back to them Rhode Island, IIRC.
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:41   #7
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If you are looking for a integrated system then Raymarine is the way to go, not just autopilot, but satellite weather, chartplotter, radar and fishfinder can be displayed on the same control head, in my case a E80. I can also see all the same stuff on my laptop when connected to the system, from my bunk if I wish and plan routes. The latest chips from Navionics are incredible showing so much bottom detail in 3d, I would love to know how they did it!

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Old 09-02-2011, 12:59   #8
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Raymarine is more recreational grade. Furuno tends to be more commercial fishing up to commercial shipping grade. It is more professional grade, but you pay for it. Furuno service is excellent.
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Old 09-02-2011, 13:09   #9
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I had Raymarine on my previous boat and put Simrad on my new catamaran. In my view having had both I much prefer the Simrad system, integrates beautifully, fantastic clear display, even in bright sunlight. The user interface is very intuitive and the quality of all the components feels much better. The boatbuilder had put new Raymarine on the previous five boats and always had issues with something not working. He was seriously impressed with the ease of install of the Simrad system and the support of the dealer (the dealer will obviously depend on the one in your area). My understanding is that some of the manufacturing of the Raymarine components has been changed, hence some of the quality issues. The Simrad system was more expensive, but I have felt it was worthwhile. I have the NSE12, broadband radar, broadband sounder, AIS, WR20 remote, AP28 autopilot with hydraulic ram, wind, speed, depth etc.
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Old 09-02-2011, 13:54   #10
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I just finished a 600NM offshore trip with three broken Raymarine autopilots, on a 10,000lb tiller steered boat.
Only one was broken before we started, a 4000 which had been fine but the control unit failed just before we left.
I replaced it with a 2000 which was in two pieces after two days and a night with a following swell. I replaced that with an X5 which got us there, but the ram had a clunk and rattled when I shook it by the end of the trip.
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