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Littlechay 11-05-2015 17:14

Looking for a new autopilot
I'm looking for opinions and suggestions for budget autopilot for my boat; a steel Trireme 35, a sloop, with tiller steering, and weighs in at about 10 tonnes.

I currently have an old Simrad TP30 tiller pilot that has done sterling service over the years. I have an Aries windvane that takes over for most of the offshore work but inshore and motoring the TP30 gets used.

I'm looking to replace but don't really know what is available at the budget end of the spectrum for a boat of this size. I am familiar with the Raymarine products and have several thousand ocean miles with their new Evo head and associated brains, but on bigger boats 55' and 75', and tens of thousands with the older versions.

One thiing I don't like with the new Raymarine units is the dumming down of the settings with just three settings to choose from for the entire thing.. I don't remember exactly but Race, performance and cruise modes or something like that. I like to be able to tweak for sea state, rudder gain, response, etc.. In its defence the Evo head does an awesome job and learns and adapts to the conditions superbly.

I'm thinking of something like this kit from Raymarine (about 3300 USD) but the next one down with the ACU100 and the smaller tiller drive (about 1500USD) would probably work for me too.

My question is what do people on here recommenced within a similar, or smaller, budget?

I wan't to keep the power consumption low, no continuously running motors for hydraulics or anything like that. I have a pretty full instrument package on a N2K network but have NMEA0183 available too.

I know I can also use my tiller pilot to operate the windvane head and get the power of the servo steering that way but the price of new and spare tiller pilot has me looking down the route of proper job.


funjohnson 11-05-2015 17:25

Re: Looking for a new autopilot
Where are you going to mount the linear drive? It needs to be below deck as it isn't waterproof like the tiller drives.


Littlechay 11-05-2015 17:40

Re: Looking for a new autopilot

Originally Posted by funjohnson (Post 1822675)
Where are you going to mount the linear drive? It needs to be below deck as it isn't waterproof like the tiller drives.


I'll build a box to keep the water off it. That's a downside to one of these.


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