I think you should put Raymarine
on your list as well. I two Raymarine that have done 3 Atlantic crossings + 20000Nm coastal sailing. They are still going strong and will take of for a fourth Atlantic crossing
I have been using Raymarine Computers
together with drive units from L&S and Hypro.
Normally it is the drive unit that fails. Many manufacturers uses hydraulic drives from https://www.hypro.co.uk
. Simrad, B&G, Furuno
, Raymarine buy some of their hydraulic drives from Hypro.
The only major hardware
problem I have had was this summer when the L&S drive gave up on a 3 day crossing. That is the drive that NKE uses. I replaced that with a drive from Hypro. The L&S drive is degraded to backup.
I have also had B&G, Simrad and Furuno
pilots on earlier boats. I have had no hardware
problems with them. But I very much prefer the Raymarine as it always have been performing better in big seas.
I would like to test a B&G or Simrad autopilot
as I’m sure they have improved their software
from earlier generations.
For world cruising you should either install a backup autopilot or carry spares. Autopilots do not fail often. But if they do on a long passage
it is a major problem.
Also do not forget that autopilots uses electricity. You want to have backup for your charging
A Wind steering
unit solves that problem.