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Transaxial 12-29-2016 02:09 PM

3 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Ted (Post 508223)
What model is the Wagner pilot?


I am not near the boat but from the pics it looks like MK IV. Does that sound right? It seems to work just fine. without all the modern perks!

Ken E. 12-29-2016 05:27 PM


Comnav has been mentioned as a lower cost solution, and I know a lot of people are happy with their products. Personally I have not had the greatest experience with them. I have found large discrepancies between their printed literature, company representative's descriptions of products, and the actual products. In purchasing a Sat compass, I couldn't figure out what I would be getting if I bought from them, so I didn't. I also had a pretty poor support experience with their Class-A AIS. I had to hound them for quite a long time to get a firmware update. I no longer consider them a viable supplier.

The Comnav Ps2 pilot i installed was actually more money than the competition, but friends and commercial fishermen I know who have it like it a lot, hence my decision. Everything started right up and most of the factory settings were fine. I didn't deal with Comnav tech support at all on that installation and still havent. An excellent product IMO.

However, I agree with your assessment Comnav tech support based on one of their Class B AIS units I put in. I had great difficulty entering the MMSI number and other setup variables to the point I returned the unit as defective. Same problem with the replacement. Comnav seemed uninterested and detached in resolving the issue. The problem was eventually solved with an old installation CD that a dealer had, but no thanks to Comnav. Their answers to other installation questions such as the use of a VHF antenna splitter were equally disappointing - they no experience using them. What??? Anyway, my $.02 on Comnav is that it's good gear but crappy support.

Nightsky 12-29-2016 05:45 PM

Yes, that is the MARK IV.

Nightsky 12-29-2016 05:48 PM


Originally Posted by Transaxial (Post 508383)
I am not near the boat but from the pics it looks like MK IV. Does that sound right? It seems to work just fine. without all the modern perks!

Yes that is the MK IV. An oldie but a goodie.

Ted 12-29-2016 06:32 PM


Originally Posted by Nightsky (Post 508471)
Yes that is the MK IV. An oldie but a goodie.

Yes; Wagner Mark IV
I have seen a lot on commercial fishboats.
The boat I have has one (the first one I've had)
The marine electronics shop here (I've known since 1978) says he can work on them,but there is no way to connect them to plotters,pilots,etc.,they've tried.


Old deckhand 12-29-2016 06:35 PM

Another vote for ComNav, solid pilot, sold everywhere and great service in the PNW.

koliver 12-29-2016 07:09 PM


Originally Posted by AlaskaProf (Post 507811)

So: I see the Garmins and Raytheons at 4amu with countless features, but what else is out there suitable for a 45,000# boat? ...and especially you folks in the PNW: who knows a good radio shop which might have an inventory of upgrade-remnants? there even such a market?

A few years ago a friend of mine bought an inventory of parts from some outfit in Seattle, including a whole slew of Wagner AP parts. He may have, or know who has, what you need. PM me for the contact information if you are interested.

Transaxial 01-07-2017 03:23 PM


Originally Posted by koliver (Post 508262)
I had a Wagner S50 autopilot in Retreat when I bought, in 1994. After a few upgrades to my gps and laptop I looked into getting the AP interfaced to the laptop, running CAPN software, or just to the Garmin GPS that could feed it a route. I was able to track down the old Wagner techs, at that time at a different Co, but still doing maint on the S50, and was quoted about the price of the Raymarine unit that I bought a few years later, just for an interface.
The Wagner stuff was invented a long time ago. No thought of driving it from a laptop, as the computer development was not far enough along at the time, or from a GPS, as that thought hadn't yet occurred.

The Wagner was a very good AP, the same as the AP I had on a previous sailboat, and very popular in the Commercial fishing fleet of the day. When I replaced it, a friend still using his, kept me in Guiness for a couple of years after I dropped off the old unit for him to keep as spares.

Thanks Keith, I thought that might be the case with old "mechanical" tech vs digital.

Lepke 01-13-2017 05:41 PM

If you want reliability and no fancy electronics that fail, find a Wood-Freeman.

CPseudonym 01-13-2017 06:28 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 60382

Alaskan Sea-Duction 01-13-2017 06:42 PM


Originally Posted by CPseudonym (Post 513203)

Now that is simplicity at its best. Is that a model QD bungee cord????:thumb:

REAL MOUNTIE 01-13-2017 06:46 PM

Sad that WOOD FREEMAN closed it's operation on APRIL 30th 2014 after 80 years!

They were reliable!!!

CPseudonym 01-13-2017 06:48 PM


Originally Posted by Alaskan Sea-Duction (Post 513210)
Now that is simplicity at its best. Is that a model QD bungee cord????:thumb:

Not sure, check the McGregor 26 spec sheet ;)

kapnd 01-14-2017 12:34 PM

My old boats system consisted of a pump and a three position toggle switch, momentary contact, spring loaded return to center type.
The switch was located in a recess on the cockpit coaming, as well as a set of engine/transmission controls, as its primary use was to maneuver while fishing.
It was handy as a single handed docking aid, and though it had no "brain" to hold a course, was fine to hold a general direction in open water for a few minutes, depending on conditions.

Codger2 01-14-2017 02:44 PM


Originally Posted by Lepke (Post 513194)
If you want reliability and no fancy electronics that fail, find a Wood-Freeman.


bikeandboat 02-04-2017 10:21 PM

Would like to converse more about the CPT. We have a 34' Albin, single engine. Much of our cruising is on rivers and do not need an AP. However, occasionally we cross large bays and even the Gulf of Mexico. We think maybe the CPT would serve our purposes, but would like to hear from some CPT owners.

Seevee 02-05-2017 02:56 AM

After reading all the responses, I could argue strongly to get an AP that waserviceable and reliable. A company with good tech support and parts is a must, and a company that will be here. If one can't get service on the unit, it's virtually worthless.

I could also argue to call the company tech support and ask them about service on the AP being considered. (Heck, I do that for any electronics, and other components in a boat... and the reason I went with Garmin instead of Simrad).

FWIW, avionics (airplane stuff) is a different animal. And because of requirements and certification issues used autopilots in aircraft are almost worthless, except for parts.

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