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Old 18-10-2021, 13:38   #1
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NKE Autopilots Why Considered The Best?

Ive read many posts on this and other forums lauding NKE autopilots as the gold standard and I am curious why they are regarded this way? I have one on my boat and I find it to be just ok, no better or worse than the B&G and Raymarine units Ive used on other boats. I dont find the interface beyond the basic functions to be particularly intuitive. There doesnt seem to be much of an English-speaking user community for NKE products for peer to peer support. Dealer support is minimal post-installation unless you are looking to buy upgraded accessories. And maybe Im not using them right or my expectations are unrealistic, but I find most autopilots hunt a lot more under sail than I would like. My expensive NKE is not excepted from this. I'm not at all trying to bash NKE or anyone else, I am just wondering what am I missing?
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Old 18-10-2021, 14:06   #2
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Re: NKE Autopilots Why Considered The Best?

Jerome at Sailutions is the MAN for any questions or issues regarding NKE. Great guy and extremely knowledgeable.
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Old 18-10-2021, 22:05   #3
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Re: NKE Autopilots Why Considered The Best?

Disregarding the intuitiveness of the user interfaces I guess the differences in performance between NKE and the others are only seen in severe conditions, especially when sailing downwind in rough seas. French racing boats like IMOCA's often use NKE autopilots, but I have understood that B&G has gradually gained market share also here. So if you use the autopilot only for general cruising I don't think the differences in performance are that significant. But all autopilots need obviously to be well calibrated and adjusted for the boat in question.
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Old 19-10-2021, 07:23   #4
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Re: NKE Autopilots Why Considered The Best?

Racers spend a fair bit of time tuning the autopilot while underway to match the conditions they're sailing in. Gain, counter gain, acceleration... need to be adjusted based on sea state, wind, wind angle, sail plan. For racers the pilot is a moving target to be constantly adjusted. Cruisers typically won't go through the trouble to optimize this every time conditions change. We are ok with living with less then stellar autopilot performance.
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Old 31-10-2021, 11:31   #5
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Re: NKE Autopilots Why Considered The Best?

I installed NKE instruments and autopilot on my Open 50. I chose NKE over B&G for its demonstrated reliability over years and NKE's basic architecture has remained stable.

After 20,000 miles including the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn the autopilot with the L&S drive never failed me. Not once.

I assume that B&G with their newer H5000 system they are catching up with reliability, but I don't know as I don't have experience with their new system. I do know the older B&G H2000 system couldn't steer the boat properly.

On my next boat I would choose NKE again. Reliability is everything for me.
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