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Old 11-09-2018, 11:05 PM   #1
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Auto pilot

I have a 1985 Grand Banks 42 foot trailer. The old auto pilot has finally given up and I am starting the search for a new auto pilot. I am at a loss to determine the best value the most reliable and the best choice on the market. I want a hydraulic unitwith the ability to have a remote. Most importantly I want reliability. Who has recently gone through this evaluation and can give me a head start.

Jim
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:12 PM   #2
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Been through this evaluation and arrived at Comnav.
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:01 AM   #3
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Six years ago I ordered a Simrad AP online. The store phoned me and asked if I really did want one. I asked why, and they said they were getting a lot of returns. So I changed the order to a Furuno NavPilot. Its been really good, I self-installed and it wasn't too difficult. Of course Simrad may well have got their issues sorted out so could now be OK.

I have also heard very good reports on the Comnav.
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Old 11-10-2018, 02:50 AM   #4
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I am on my third boat, all with Coursemaster A/P, customer service in Australia is the best I have had, the remote is easy and effective to use. Not certain if they are in the US but highly reccomended by me.
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:09 AM   #5
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There are some good discussions on the Grand Banks forum regarding auto pilots. You might want to spend some time there. Not sayin we don’t want you here

International Association of Grand Banks Owners - Search
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:58 AM   #6
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I have had Raymarine, Simrad, and Furuno. Furuno is my first choice now, and I'm putting one in a second boat.


Don't let people convince you that the pilot needs to be the same brand as your chart plotter. It really doesn't. The only feature you get from same-brand is the ability to active and deactivate the pilot from the chart plotter screen rather than the AP control panel. It's a very small part of the decision criteria. In all meaningful ways, the pilots interface to everything else using industry standard means.
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:10 AM   #7
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You say your existing pilot has given up & you want to go with a new hydraulic model. Do your currently have hydraulic steering in your GB? The cheapest route by far is to purchase a pilot that would use your existing pilot drive. Most of the new pilots do an excellent job of steering nowadays since their compass technology has evolved greatly from the pilots of the past. I would look closely at Simrad (they have a commercial & recreational models) & I'm very confident the AP44 or AP48 models with a NAC3 computer would do a great job of steering your boat. The rest of the major manufactures are good performers too but garmin has a propitiatory pump that qouldn't allow you to use your current drive.
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:16 AM   #8
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Last month after looking at about every brand I installed the Raymarine Evolution Auto pilot on my prairie , the system was an excellent value , it worked perfectly out of the box and functions just as well without the rudder angle feedback hooked up. the seatalk allowed me to let it talk to my gamin over the n2000 cable so i have speed an depth on both lower and upper control stations. I also went ahead and purchased the wireless control and it works great also . with current technology almost all are good i would think but for value it was best bang for buck I found.
Additionally the heading sensor seems to be electronic instead of a ball in fluid like the old styles so i am thinking the thing should hold up longer. as those were generally a weak link my total cost for unit, 2 control stations and wireless was about 2500, I reused the existing pump and rudder sensor (that is still disconnected btw).
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