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Autopilots (again)-gctid340973

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    Autopilots (again)-gctid340973

    I'm in the market for an autopilot for our 4388. I've been reading up as best as I'm able, and its making my head hurt. I've looked into some simrad units, raymarine and one or two others.

    My needs are relatively simple. It really doesn't need to integrate with other stuff and all I care about is that it has either two stations or a remote I can cart around. As always, price is a consideration, but not the only one.

    Any particular do's and don'ts from the folks that have them? FWIW, I'll probably end up doing the install myself as I'm getting used to snaking around in itty bitty places and this boat has relatively good access.

    thanks in advance

    toni

    #2
    I have a Simrad, and it works beautifully. It was onboard when we purchased the boat, so I can't offer much info in the way of install info. I will say that it makes like much less stressful going from Seattle to the San Juans, or south to Olympia.

    If I was going to be installing new electronics, I'd opt for a NMEA 2k unit and build the new electronics suite around it. Although you may not want the interface, you'll love it if you get it.

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      #3
      Hello we have a garmin unit and as they are fairly new, we may have taken a risk. So far I like the unit very much. Tuning it in was a breeze, install was simple, we did it ourselves. No feedback follower required from the rudder, just an inline flow sensor. Fairly inexpensive wireless remote works very well. We were surprised to learn that you can plot in waypoints on the gps, or even a single final destination, and it will steer to the final destination. Even if it has to change course 20 times........... This seems an option that humans are perhaps not evolved enough to safely enjoy...... I can imagine some might set in a course, and get to work on dinner etc. Worse you could set the destination for prince rupert,.... and go on a 3 day drinking binge. For what it is worth we have a raymarine pilot on our 19 foot center consul welded aluminum boat. Rubber parts of the control stock disintegrated in the UV, and the controls therefor failed. lasted about 4-5 years Could not replace the stock, only the entire unit. made me crazy. Good luck.

      steve

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        #4
        We have a Simrad in our 4087 and love it. We had a Robertson (bought by simrad) in our previous 38 and it functioned well also. Ditto on the interface. We love ours. We have it hooked into a Furuno Navnet and also a Coastal Explorer laptop and it performs flawlessly.

        Hope this helps!

        Tom
        Tom Brooke
        MV Overexposure - 1999 4087
        MMSI - 367585640

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          #5
          The Garmin units are not a new product. Garmin bought the company and the technology. I have had one for 3 seasons and it has performed flawlessly. They have the only unit that will allow you to take evasive action using your steering wheel without disengaging the autopilot. They also will follow a route and make the turns without any interaction when you get to a weigh point. It is not uncommon for me to plot my course in the morning turn on my autopilot and never touch it ot the wheel until we reach our destination

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            #6
            Hello all. I forgot to mention the point brought up above, and that feature is a big plus. If you see something in the water....you just steer around it. the pilot will go back on course. On the other hand if you want to set a new course because a new boat has entered your field of view, you can just turn the wheel to the new course, and it will take the new heading. This allows anyone (perhaps less experienced) left on the bridge to steer around junk, or silly boaters, without having to know too much about the auto helm.

            cheers steve

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              #7
              Tom and Pete, which model simrad are you using. I realize that models are somewhat dependent on size and we should be relatively close, size and weight. Steve, how about your Garmin? Which model.

              thanks again for taking the time.

              toni

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                #8
                Hello I think the pump is the only thing that needed to be "sized" and that had to do with the size of boat and the cylinder size. I just used the biggest pump they had, and that may not have been the best solution. I wanted a pump that did not work too hard, and the cost was not much different. That being said it is also a bit ignorant from a selection point of view. For instance there was the risk that a "too big" pump might send too much oil on each command to alter course. Did not end up being an issue. The selection was pretty simple on the web site, and they have one heck of a good help line too.

                One disappointment I forgot about is that the display is bright, and does not fade down to dark automatically the way the big screen does as it gets dark out. (photo eye) Garmin is not being asked to flip burgers and supply good electronics. Its just the electronics they haver to worry about........As such I would have thought that there would be the option to have the auto pitots [email protected]#$%#$%$%&^ face light,.... go down with the gps/radar etc. as it gets dark out. If they were a burger joint too,.... I could see missing this.

                cheers steve

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                  #9
                  One word of caution from my bad experience. Make sure the tubing you get is the correct stuff!

                  I accidently got a piece of poly tubing mixed in when I bought the nylon tubing (none of the stuff had any markings on it). I ended up using one piece of poly as the last piece right by the pump. When the fluid heated up the poly bulged and burst. I had to come back to port on engine steerage only and with the rudders on a slight angle! No fun job going through a canal and docking.

                  In this case the supplier made a mistake and mixed tubing types but it is easy to do!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I've been researching the same thing. The autopilot in our 4788 is in need of replacement.

                    This is something that I would normally do myself but I will not have the time, as we're leaving on a 1500 mile journey the next time I get onto the boat. Because of this I have a marine electronics outfit in Anacortes doing the work.

                    I have a all Furuno nav package, and was inclined to use the Furuno autopilot. When I mentioned this to tom over at Topcat, he indicated to me that there have been some learning issues with the Furuno autopilots. He recommended the Simrad AP21 I believe. In his opinion it is a better unit, and it's cheaper as well.

                    When I was studying this I assumed that going with the same brand as my nav system would provide better interoperability. That turned out not to be the case. Since the plotter-autopilot comminication is one way, via 0183. Any autopilot works with any plotter as well as the next. The strength (or weakness) of an autoillot is its ability to learn the steering properties of your particular vessel so that it can apply the correct anount of power to the pump to create the proper rate of turn.

                    KEVIN SANDERS
                    4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
                    www.transferswitch4less.com

                    where are we right now?

                    https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

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                      #11
                      I've to replace almost every component on my Raymarine Autohelm unit. The Simrad out performs the Raymarine in my mind.

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                        #12
                        ksanders wrote:
                        I've been researching the same thing. The autopilot in our 4788 is in need of replacement.

                        I have a all Furuno nav package, and was inclined to use the Furuno autopilot. When I mentioned this to tom over at Topcat, he indicated to me that there have been some learning issues with the Furuno autopilots. He recommended the Simrad AP21 I believe. In his opinion it is a better unit, and it's cheaper as well.
                        Hi Kevin, would you mind expanding on the "learning issues" that you referred to. I went the full Furuno setup, when it was pointed out to me, that the majority of professional craft, had Furuno. I use the dodge keys when required, and have mixed feelings about being able to overturn the autopilot using the wheel. I did have an upgrade to the Net 2 software installed a year ago, perhaps I should have another upgrade done.

                        Cheers

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Peter W wrote:
                          Hi Kevin, would you mind expanding on the "learning issues" that you referred to. I went the full Furuno setup, when it was pointed out to me, that the majority of professional craft, had Furuno. I use the dodge keys when required, and have mixed feelings about being able to overturn the autopilot using the wheel. I did have an upgrade to the Net 2 software installed a year ago, perhaps I should have another upgrade done.

                          Cheers
                          Understand that I do not have direct knowledge of this. It was told to me by a marine electronics installer who is a furuno dealer, and a simrad dealer. There could be bias there, but I did not detect that.

                          He told me that the Furuno autopilot has had a problem with their software that learns the boats steering properites, IE how much russer produces x rate of turn at y speed. He indicated that the Simrad software is better at this.

                          KEVIN SANDERS
                          4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
                          www.transferswitch4less.com

                          where are we right now?

                          https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I put navman on my 3288 because at the time it seemed everyone was buying everyone else out! Simrad was changing hands and no one seem to know if they were going to exist in a few years. I had repaired friends' Raymarine stuff so was not fussy about Raymarine and Furuno was too pricy for what it is if you have to purchase at the consumer level.

                            Furuno is one of those companies that will put a price in for a total electronics package on commercial boats. This pricing is considerable cheaper than what you or I would pay on a per-unit basis. That is why you often see a complete Furuno system on bigger boats.

                            I have several different companies' equipment on my boat and had no trouble interfacing the 0183 systems. One exception was Standard Horizon which would not read if the gps was not just dedicated to it. I'm not fussy about SH anyway.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I've done three double handed races to Hawaii, that is about 7,500 miles, and we depended almost 100% on our autopilot, much of the time with a spinnaker up and in very windy conditions which will really push an autopilot and our Raymarine pilot never let us down. The learning capability works great I highly recommend their pilots from real world experience
                              www.boatyardgm.com
                              www.pacificyachtimports.net
                              2002 Carver Voyager 57
                              "Making Waves"
                              3988 250 Hinos
                              "The Dark Side"
                              Alameda, California

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