Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-10-2017, 02:32 AM   #21
Guru
 
catalinajack's Avatar
 
City: Edgewater, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Catalina Jack
Vessel Model: Defever 44
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 912
Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
The Simrad AP70 seems to get good reviews, but it's a pretty high end pilot and $$. The AP24/28 was a long time workhorse, but is now end of life and replaced by their NAC line. The NAC line is unproven, so I personally wouldn't want to use one until many had shaken it out. Other than the AP70, the Simrad pilots interface with other equipment via N2K only, so if you have 0183 on your boat it's probably not the best choice.

Furuno makes an excellent pilot in the NavPilot 700 series. It's my current favorite. It has very flexible interfacing to other nav systems, so no vendor lock in.

Garmin makes a pilot, but I think it has some number of proprietary interfaces between components - more so than other pilots. So I'd check that carefully before attempting to use it with a non Garmin system.

I haven't used a Raymarine pilot in years, but the one I had was good. I think ray is N2K only as well, but not 100% sure. Maybe someone else knows?

Comnav makes pilots that many people swear by. I haven't had the greatest support experience with Comnav, so they wouldn't be my first choice, but like I said, many people are very happy with them. Comnav is 0183 interfacing only.

I think those are the major players.

The major components of an AP are:

- AP Computer. This box is the brains of the system

- Control panels. Most systems support multiple control panels so you can place them at multiple helps (pilot house plus flybridge). If your AP and Pilot are current model and the same brand, you can usually use the chart plotter as an additional control panel. But these MFD control panels are often not full function, so a dedicated panel is still needed.

- Rudder sensor. I think all inboard APs prefer to have a rudder indicator. Some support "virtual feedback", but performance will be much better with a rudder indicator.

- Heading sensor. This is a critical part of any AP, so don't try to cut corners and cheap out on the heading sensor.

- Steering pump. This assumes you have hydraulic steering. You need a steering pump, and it needs to be sized to match the displacement of the steering rams in the boat. That's so it can move the rudder fast enough to effectively steer the boat. The pump gets teed into the existing steering hydraulic lines; left, right, and the return/makeup line. When the AP is active, it steers by controlling the pump. You helm wheels don't move, and it doesn't matter how many helms or rudders you have.

If you have cable or chain steering, there are other drive mechanisms available, but I'm not familiar with them.

All APs can operate independent of your chart plotter, but they can also be interconnected. If interconnected, there is an AP operating mode where it will follow the waypoints that your plotter dishes out as you follow a route.

I think those are the major points, but I probably missed something.
The Simrad NAC-3 has NMEA 0183 capability. The -1 and -2 models do not.
__________________
Advertisement

catalinajack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2017, 05:23 AM   #22
Senior Member
 
Conall63's Avatar
 
City: Ft Myers, Florida
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Homegrown
Vessel Model: Roberts TY 43
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 209
I just finished installing a Garmin auto pilot on my boat. Our hydraulic steering system is driven by an engine mounted pump so I didn't have to buy a dedicated pump for the auto pilot. A solenoid valve is installed into the hydraulic system that is controlled by the AP.

All my gear is Garmin, so the auto pilot interfaces with the plotter and along with holding a heading, will follow courses, tracks, and a few other things I have no idea of. I only have a couple hours experience on it, but so far so good. I've been very happy with the Garmin equipment and Garmin support.

I posted more detail on my blog. Conall's Boat Build.

Conall
__________________

Conall63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2017, 06:22 AM   #23
Guru
 
Codger2's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: US
Vessel Name: "Sandpiper"
Vessel Model: 2006 42' Ocean Alexander Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch View Post
I just replaced my very old Autohelm with a new Ray Marine Ev200. I did not replace the pump/ram, just the electronics. . ..............................To say I'm happy with this autopilot would be an understatement.
I've had almost exactly the same experience with the Raymarine EV200. in the past 25 years I've had numerous other brands of A/Ps but this EV200 takes the cake! It's absolutely terrific & is really intuitive.
__________________
Codger 1941.. Constant pursuit of the ultimate SoCal Cruising boat.
Codger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2017, 06:34 AM   #24
Senior Member
 
ddalme's Avatar
 
City: LAFAYETTE,LA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Relenti
Vessel Model: Atlantic 30, 1983
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 447
ComNav gets my vote-good product, good support, interfaces if you want. Has optional remote and jog switches. Been around for years.
ddalme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2017, 09:49 AM   #25
Guru
 
koliver's Avatar
 
City: Saltspring Island
Country: BC, canada
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,120
Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
A boat with Hyd steering must use a complex unit that includes a hyd pump.

Boats with mechanical steering can select the far less expensive option of a unit that drives the wheel. This can usually be owner installed.

The hyd units might require pro help to install.

The only mystery to installation of a unit requiring a hydraulic pump is how to avoid losing your hydraulic fluid as you connect to the hydraulic pump. I had the advantage of removing an old pump, so the connections were there. All I needed to do was disconnect the old and connect the new, the loss of fluid was minimal, so I could add the lost volume at the top steering pump, spin the top wheel a few times to work out the air, and it has been good ever since. Cutting into the hydraulic steering lines for a fresh install would be a much more major PITA so you would likely want professional help.
__________________
Keith
koliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2017, 01:22 PM   #26
Guru
 
Seevee's Avatar
 
City: st pete
Country: usa
Vessel Model: 400 Mainship
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 2,174
Wow,

Some good posts on APs. A few more questions....

If you were installing a new one today in a 35 to 45ft boat, what would you choose?

And, do I understand, if you boat has hydraulic steering, you need a hydraulic AP, correct?
__________________
Seevee
Seevee is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2017, 02:58 PM   #27
Guru
 
Ski in NC's Avatar
 
City: Wilmington, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5,307
If boat has hydraulic steering already, a hydraulic AP is the way to go.
Ski in NC is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2017, 03:11 PM   #28
Guru
 
Ken E.'s Avatar
 
City: Bellingham WA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Hatt Trick
Vessel Model: 45' Hatteras Convertible
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 922
Another vote for Comnav. Works very well integrated with my Furuno navnet vx2. I have hydraulic steering. Many Comnavs in PNW and Alaska, both in commercial and pleasure craft.
Ken E. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2017, 03:30 PM   #29
Ted
Guru
 
Ted's Avatar
 
City: Campbell River
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Okisollo
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 635
I had the Comnav 2001 running on mechanical steering and the on
hydraulic steering when I changed over. The pilot was terrific.
It was the power system to the steering that changed between
mechanical and hydraulic drive, not the pilot.
The boat was 38 1/2 ft. The 2001 was probably "overkill" but was
great for a troller.
The 1001 has a couple less adjustments on it but should be more
than adequate for the boating we're doing here, at a lower price.
I've not had anything to do with the other models.
Remember, the quality of the compass is going to make a big
difference to the action of the pilot.

Ted
Ted is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2017, 04:55 PM   #30
Guru
 
Ken E.'s Avatar
 
City: Bellingham WA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Hatt Trick
Vessel Model: 45' Hatteras Convertible
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 922
Ted, is your boat ex- Canadian Fisheries or Forest Service?
Ken E. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2017, 06:56 PM   #31
Ted
Guru
 
Ted's Avatar
 
City: Campbell River
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Okisollo
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 635
Hi Ken,
Neither, she was built in 1944 for the Canadian army for coastal combat and
patrol. Decommissioned in 1946, became a towboat towing logs until 1959
when the owner of the second tow company put into the shipyard for 2 years
to convert to pleasure use with Ed Monk designing the conversion.

Ted
Ted is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2017, 07:06 PM   #32
Guru
 
Ken E.'s Avatar
 
City: Bellingham WA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Hatt Trick
Vessel Model: 45' Hatteras Convertible
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 922
Very cool boat. Hope to cross paths with you sometime in BC to see it in person.
Ken E. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2017, 07:25 PM   #33
Ted
Guru
 
Ted's Avatar
 
City: Campbell River
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Okisollo
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 635
You'll be welcome

Ted
__________________

Ted is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012
×