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Old 20-06-2024, 09:20   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2024
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
Boat: 1984 Catalina 38
Posts: 1
Catalina 38 Autopilot Recommendations

Hi All, I am new to this forum and looking for advice from the seasoned professionals here. Hopefully I am posting this in the correct forum.

Last summer we purchased a 1984 Catalina 38 and sail her on the Santa Monica Bay here in sunny southern, CA. We are upgrading her to do the Baja HaHa this year and one of our upgrades is to the existing AP, which is a old Simrad WP32 wheel driven AP. (This thing surprisingly still functions!)

We purchased a second hand B&G Vulcan chartplotter and now want to purchase hardware to interface with the chartplotter. I'm leaning to staying with B&G components, just for compatibility sake.

We want to go to below deck driven AP, and I think the best option for us may be the Simrad DD15 Linear drive cpuped wiht the Simrad NAC-3 core package.

The wind, speed, and depth instruments are Raymarine ST60+ and probably won't be changed before the HaHa this year for budget reasons.

Please feel free to let loose and provide me with any and all intelligent comments regarding an AP setup on our boat to help us get to our ultimate goal of LA to Cabo in November.
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Old 24-06-2024, 09:33   #2
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Location: Hood River Ore
Boat: Oyster 435
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Re: Catalina 38 Autopilot Recommendations

Our current boat has B&G instruments with a B&G T2 linear drive and the compatible course computer. Everything communicates through a NEMA 2000 network backbone and the system is pretty robust.
On our last boat (Catalina 36) we updated to Raymarine linear drive interfaced with the older Raymarine instruments. In the end it worked flawlessly but it have some challenges.

To start, as much as I like the B&G instruments donít count on much factory support. There is a good B&G instruments Facebook site that has been helpful and I suggest you ask the same question there. Hopefully the Simrad part of B&G is better.
Itís important for complete functionality that the autopilot interface with the boats current wind and boat speed transducers. Raymarine makes a gizmo to convert the analog signal to digital that will communicate with NEMA 2000. Early on Raymarine did not use standard NEMA 2000 connectors. B&G (and most likely Simrad) uses standard NEMA 2000 network cable and fittings, so this will be another gizmo to purchase. A Raymarine SeaTalk to NEMA 2000 plug. Hopefully your current above deck autopilot has already taken care of the issues above. If not, there is some extra work.

The Readers Digest version of this is that you should not expect it to be plug & play.

Good luck with the installation and see you on the Ha Ha.

SV Aurora
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Old 24-06-2024, 13:31   #3
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Location: Cailifornia
Boat: 1999 Hunter 410
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Re: Catalina 38 Autopilot Recommendations

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ight=Windpilot

I wouldn't pass this up, shows here in forum this morning.
I'm in mdr by you, sailed Hawaii and back 2023. See you in Mexico later this. Year, boat name happens to be windpilot and I also have that exact unit.
I have the vulcan 9/radar and raymarine instruments linked. Not my raymarine chain drive under binnical autopilot.
Mechanical autopilot is the way to go on any long crossing, save your electrical from the tough stuff.
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Old 24-06-2024, 14:30   #4
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Re: Catalina 38 Autopilot Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayH01 View Post
Hi All, I am new to this forum and looking for advice from the seasoned professionals here. Hopefully I am posting this in the correct forum.

Last summer we purchased a 1984 Catalina 38 and sail her on the Santa Monica Bay here in sunny southern, CA. We are upgrading her to do the Baja HaHa this year and one of our upgrades is to the existing AP, which is a old Simrad WP32 wheel driven AP. (This thing surprisingly still functions!)

We purchased a second hand B&G Vulcan chartplotter and now want to purchase hardware to interface with the chartplotter. I'm leaning to staying with B&G components, just for compatibility sake.

We want to go to below deck driven AP, and I think the best option for us may be the Simrad DD15 Linear drive cpuped wiht the Simrad NAC-3 core package.

The wind, speed, and depth instruments are Raymarine ST60+ and probably won't be changed before the HaHa this year for budget reasons.

Please feel free to let loose and provide me with any and all intelligent comments regarding an AP setup on our boat to help us get to our ultimate goal of LA to Cabo in November.
I would expect that you would be happier with the Simrad hld2000l drive, but mounting is the biggest consideration in selecting drives.

You will need a rate heading compass.
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