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Old 05-02-2006, 14:43   #1
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Location: Deltaville, VA (on Chesapeake Bay)
Boat: Full Moon (Island Trader 37)
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pirate CPT Auto Pilot

I purchased a heavy displacement boat last fall. All of the literature that came with the boat said that she displaces 26,000 lbs. She currently has a CPT a/p that I really don't trust. I have only tried to use it once & followed the former owner's instructions with what I feel are somewhat umcomfortable results. Doesn't hold the course very long or accurately.
I had a Navico Tiller pilot on my former boat & really loved the freedom it gave me away from the helm.
I have looked at several new models of auto pilots but they all seem to top out at 20,000 lbs dispacement.
Any suggestions out there?
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Old 08-03-2006, 12:11   #2
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Try These folks.
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Old 09-03-2006, 06:08   #3
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Location: Currently based near Jacksonville FL; WHOOSH's homeport is St. Pete, FL USA
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Jerry, there is a full thread on just this topic which was on this Board within the last month; look thru the recent threads in the relevant topic categories.

Bottom line: the CPT is now an orphan product and has never proven itself to perform as the current line of products. Moreover, no helm-mounted a/p is going to meet most of your steering needs; your boat is simply too big for the little muffin motor on these units.

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Old 09-03-2006, 09:46   #4
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Yeah I agree.

I fought with a CPT for 5 years on my present boat.
After having sent it back to the factory 4 times the first 3 years, I demanded to get a brand new one at no cost, since the original one was probably a lemmon.

The manufactor was nice about it and sent me a new one, even when the old one was out of warranty.

The new CPT worked better, but was pretty useless under sail, even with the boat trimmed out to almost neutral, althought much better than the previous one.

Used the CPT to motor across the Bahama Banks and the Gulfs stream many times, but after a couple of hours, it would go way off course.

Some guys have added a heat sink, as they think the drive unit warms up even with moderate use, and especially in the summer..

Other guys have suggested to slap it, as some old fashioned relays on the inside gets stuck, and needs a jolt to get "un-stuck"

I found the CPT to be strong as a horse, but plain stupid:
It does not have flux-gate compass and the old fashioned mag compass lacks the sensitivy to make small corrections to keep the boat on course: I would be happy to get + - 20 degrees, but our wake looked like there was drunk driving going on.

It would be dangerous to let the CPT drive the boat for a few minuttes while I looked down to read a book or hit the head if there was any traffic within a few miles: The CPT would command completely unexpected turns, sometimes 90 degrees and never correct back on course.

I spent hundreds of hours trouble shooting the darn thing:
Looked for any kind of magnetic interfernce (found none), kept screwing with the dead-band and rudder gain control, tried 50 combinations to find one that would solve the problems. (Found none)

It would work better on East-West courses than North-South one trip, a month later it would be opposite.

Had numerous conversations with the manufactor and technicians, but all to no avail.

The darned thing almost drove me to the nut house, and I would get raving mad just thinking about it.

I yanked it out a few months ago and after some basic research bought a WP32...It is made by Simrad with upgraded electronics and is really the old Navico model with a new name and new parents.

I was sceptical about this thing, but bought it anyway, the cost was under $800.00 including a remote controll.

Installation was easy, much easier than the ST 4000 Autohelm.
(And quite a bit cheaper)

The wife and I went for a test sail outside Ft. Lauderdale and crossed our fingers when we engaged it the first time.

Long story short: The clouds parted, the sun was shining, the bird singing because the WP 32 worked perfect just out of the box.
No fiddling, no this, no that....Just engage the clutch and hit the AUTO button.
It steers straight as can be.

We have since been on longer sailing trips with the WP 32 and we are impressed still. It is smart and strong and our best friend.

For less than $800.00 I call it a bargain.

It may be too light and too flimsy to cross oceans with, but for my use it should work great: Local island hopping in the Florida Keys and the Bahamas.

Should I wish go any further I just may buy a spare one.

My boat is a CSY 33, factory displacement 15,200 lbs, but in reality over 20K with everything and the kitchen sink.

The WP 32 is rated for 18,500 lbs, and boats up to 39'.
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