View Full Version : Autopilot question
03-26-2005, 12:14 PM
I'm thinking about an A/P for my boat. (36 Egg Harbor) Is one brand better or more reliable than another? Are they really worth there weight in gold? What should I look for in the unit and what are worthless gadgets that won't get used. I'm not very technical.
Thanks for your input
03-30-2005, 10:01 AM
I have a Simrad AP11 (current model is AP16) and it's been bulletproof. Tracks perfectly at 35 K or 8K slogging through a nasty head sea. I would stay away from Raymarine, though. My opinion.
05-29-2012, 04:39 PM
They are worth their weight in gold - I would never own a boat without one. I have the Simrad AP26 - and have had no issues. I'd go with a new unit because you just don't know with electronics and having a warranty is something.
You must remember that haing and AP doesn't mean you don't need to "drive" the boat - always having a watch is critical - not having to maintain a course when trolling or running is priceless.
Got Fish Too
Judge 34 Express
05-29-2012, 06:35 PM
You will wonder how you got along without it. It takes most of the work out of trolling. I just pick a point on my chartplotter, set it as a waypoint and have the AP steer the boat straight to it. If I mark bait or get a knockdown my Raymarine has a Cloverleaf pattern that I can engage around that point.
Simrad makes a good AP and I have no complaints about my Raymarine. Make sure you get one with a Rate Gyro. My first AP just used a Fluxgate Compass, the extra accuracy added by the Rate Gyro makes a world of difference.
05-29-2012, 06:59 PM
I would also add that a rudder indicator is a nice option to have, I know the simrad has it, not sure of the others.
05-29-2012, 09:03 PM
My Raymarine has the position indicator too, not sure if the rudder feedback is needed for it to work. The boat already had the feedback installed when I got it so I hooked it up to the AP even though its not required on the newer pilots. Love having it when I am docking.
05-29-2012, 09:23 PM
If you fish offshore, the AP is the one piece of marine electronic you will fix the quickest if it breaks. Nothing is more important. I have the Simrad and love it. I've had others and they work too, but the Simrad is the easiest to operate.
05-30-2012, 06:19 AM
Simrad for me, but have a couple of buds with ray marine and they are happy too. Of course they also hae ray marine plotters.
When I bought my boat, I stopped on my way home and ordered my auto pilot. Well worth the money.
05-30-2012, 08:50 AM
AP24 and NNS7 displays are the best feature I have changed on my Carolina.
Just completed all new Simrad systems, auto pilot displays on any one of my 3 displays and fully functional on NSS touch screen and the NSE. With the new 4G radar and Simrad auto pilot, I could virtually operate the boat from salon and never need to look beyond the dash board displays.
AP worth its weight in platinum. I installed a simrad as soon as I purchased my boat. Cant live without it. Running at night you can let the AP steer while you are heads up checking the radar and looking for obstacles. In theory it will save you fuel too as it can steer alot more efficiently than a human, no inadvertant course changes.