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Old 27-10-2010, 11:07   #1
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Autopilot

An autopilot for a J-40.....any suggestions? Displacement is 18000. I have taken a look at some wheel driven autopilots - none of which are rated for an 18000 boat. I would prefer an autopilot below decks. Any suggestions to where I should redirect my search? thanks, bb
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Old 27-10-2010, 11:19   #2
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I'm no expert, but the general rule of thumb seems to be to go for the next size bigger (and more expensive, unforunately) than recommended. Most manufacturers will give a displacement range for the unit.
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Old 27-10-2010, 11:21   #3
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Thanks, wondering about specific manufacturers - - how they are rated? And input on below deck autopilots. bb
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Old 27-10-2010, 11:37   #4
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W-H Autopilots. P3 model. Rugged. Reliable. Not outrageously expensive. Excellent technical support.

WH Autopilots

Talk to Will Ham.

(Not affiliated with them, just a very happy customer).

Bill
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Old 27-10-2010, 11:43   #5
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I'l second that. Good stuff, we are very happy with ours also.

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W-H Autopilots. P3 model. Rugged. Reliable. Not outrageously expensive. Excellent technical support.

WH Autopilots

Talk to Will Ham.

(Not affiliated with them, just a very happy customer).

Bill
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Old 27-10-2010, 11:44   #6
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Excellent! I have emailed Will. Thanks, bb
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Old 27-10-2010, 12:19   #7
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I have researched this and settled on a comnav 1420. I am installing this system as we speak. My boat had a navico autopilot with hydraulic ram which is being removed.
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Old 27-10-2010, 12:50   #8
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Thanks again, all of you, for info. bb
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Old 27-10-2010, 14:03   #9
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After lots of research, asking owners and reading, cussing and discussing I recently put a Raymarine SPX30 with the Type II long throw electric drive on the rudder. Everything went below decks including the ST70 controller which I placed at the NAV Station and I added a remote control to use on deck. There are multiple reasons I went with this system.
1. I've had excellent experience with other Raymarine Products I've owned.
2. The ability to put the whole thing below decks and use the remote control. I have got to add that being able to steer the boat from anywhere on deck is absolutely incredible and really makes a difference.
3. I can reduce cabling for other insturments such as the wind direction and speed, the chartplotter, camera to monitor the engine room ALL can be run on the same network.
4. The disadvantage was the initial price but the networking ability more than makes up for that.
5. All networking functions can be monitored from the chartplotter at the helm AND the chartplotter also controls the autopilot.
6. The ST70 autopilot controller at the NAV Station also give reading for the wind speed and direction transducers without adding additional displays.
7. The NMEA ability on the SPX 30 give me the ability to add an additional computer to the NAV Station where I can run OPENcpn and Raymarines software for route planning and all the added benefits of being able to run a computer with the rest of the system.
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Old 27-10-2010, 16:47   #10
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Again, great input. Lots to think about. thanks, bb
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Old 27-10-2010, 16:59   #11
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My experience is the SPX range is good especially the heavy output version. The electric linear drives seem good too. Did two transatlantic with them no probs.

Dave
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Old 27-10-2010, 17:22   #12
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I recently installed the WH Auutopilot. I did it all myself. The hydraulics need to be installed very carefully so that there are no low spots otherwise the system is very hard to bleed. One concern that I have now that I have purchased and tested the AP with a Baja Bash is that Will Hamm is getting up in years and is there a plan for success. Once they are installed there are minimum problems with them but in ten or 2o years will there be a WH business?
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Old 27-10-2010, 18:48   #13
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A Raymarine 'G' with adequate underdeck electrical drive.

A J-40 will also sail by the windvane.

b.
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Old 27-10-2010, 19:10   #14
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I recently installed the WH Auutopilot. I did it all myself. The hydraulics need to be installed very carefully so that there are no low spots otherwise the system is very hard to bleed. One concern that I have now that I have purchased and tested the AP with a Baja Bash is that Will Hamm is getting up in years and is there a plan for success. Once they are installed there are minimum problems with them but in ten or 2o years will there be a WH business?
Charlie, After 14 years on our previous boat, our WH is still going strong with the new owner. I think that if your autopilot fails in 20 years, it won't matter if Wil is still around or the company is. Even at 10 years there is no way to know if Raymarine or Simrad or anyone else will be either. Saying that, the WH is a unit that can be repaired or replacement parts found from any experienced electronics shop and parts such as the fluxgate or gyro compass can be replaced by other makers than the original. So don't worry about it too much. If you need repairs and that is a big if, the unit can be repaired by someone other than WH. Enjoy your autopilot, it is a great unit. Chuck
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Old 28-10-2010, 08:27   #15
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Chuck not a big concern but just thought it should be voiced. I don't know how old Will Hamm is but it would be nice if there were someone else in line for succession.
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