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Old 12-05-2014, 19:37   #1
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Autopilots, and NMEA connections

Many of you will already know this, and there is nothing new here, but this might help some get better results from their autopilots.

Autopilots, and why you should link your gps/plotter/laptop to your autopilot
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Old 13-05-2014, 08:46   #2
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Re: Autopilots, and NMEA connections

Matt, the Windnav mode is only on Simrad/B&G pilots - I don't think there is any similar mode on any other brands. Also, you did not mention the "no drift" mode, which uses the compass, but compensates for set and drift without needing a waypoint to follow. Again, this is a Simrad/B&G-only feature.

Be prepared for feedback - there are a lot of people deeply convinced that if your autopilot sees data from any other source it will immediately cause you to fall asleep, do bad things to your loved ones and steer you straight into land, reefs and buoys. All three at once if it can. A networked autopilot is often described as the single largest cause of boating accidents.

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Old 13-05-2014, 11:09   #3
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Re: Autopilots, and NMEA connections

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Matt, the Windnav mode is only on Simrad/B&G pilots - I don't think there is any similar mode on any other brands. Also, you did not mention the "no drift" mode, which uses the compass, but compensates for set and drift without needing a waypoint to follow. Again, this is a Simrad/B&G-only feature.

Be prepared for feedback - there are a lot of people deeply convinced that if your autopilot sees data from any other source it will immediately cause you to fall asleep, do bad things to your loved ones and steer you straight into land, reefs and buoys. All three at once if it can. A networked autopilot is often described as the single largest cause of boating accidents.

Mark

Raymarines APs do wind angle sailing and have done so for many years

dave
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Old 13-05-2014, 13:11   #4
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Re: Autopilots, and NMEA connections

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Raymarines APs do wind angle sailing and have done so for many years

dave
Yep.

Even their earliest tiller model did that.

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Old 13-05-2014, 14:14   #5
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Re: Autopilots, and NMEA connections

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Raymarines APs do wind angle sailing and have done so for many years

dave
No, not wind angle - WindNav, a combination of waypoint navigation and wind steering. Read his writeup.

In this mode, the AP steers to an upwind navigation waypoint using VMG and wind angle, in which it is constantly computing the laylines that your boat can make. It alerts you when you should tack, tacks onto the next layline and begins recalculating VMG, best wind angle and the next tacking point.

Much, much more than just sailing to a set wind angle (which it also does very well). AFAIK, Simrad/B&G are the only AP's with this function - a really slick way to sail to an upwind waypoint (particularly at night).

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Old 13-05-2014, 15:21   #6
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Re: Autopilots, and NMEA connections

Yep Mark, your 100% right! No Drift mode is pretty cool as well, but I was trying to keep the article pretty short and basic!

No Drift mode is a bit like Nav mode, in that it allows for set and drift, but it makes the boat follow a bearing made good, not a course to a destination. It means, for example, that you can point the bow at a destination, set no drift mode, and where you pointed is where you will get to. BUT no arrival alarm etc, it's just a bearing effectively over the ground you are following....

Wind mode from different brand and models, to sail you to a set wind angle, as you guys said, has been around for ages. It's usefulness varies - for example, on the Simrad AP26 it was pretty elementary. On the AP 24/28, it's pretty good. Like most things, most manufacturers have improved their systems over time.

And again, like Mark said, KEEP A LOOKOUT AT ALL TIMES!

I'd defy any helmsman to steer as good a course on a long passage across a current (know as a ferry glide) as a good modern autopilot can with the right inputs! I know some of you will think you can, but the autopilot does not need rest, has 100% concentration etc etc. Just my opinion, of course. :-)
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