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Old 02-24-2016, 07:15 PM   #1
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Do you use your AP remote?

I just can't get used to the idea of being away from the helm.
Maybe chugging around the Bahamas in 12 feet of water but not on this coast.

You?
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:27 PM   #2
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all the time...even in narrow intracoastal passages, when going from lower to upper helm to lower antennas...yep 90 percent of the 2500 mile round trip....
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:30 PM   #3
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Sounds appealing, commanding from the bow.

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Old 02-24-2016, 07:30 PM   #4
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I use it all the time, but maybe for different reasons than most here. In cold and nasty weather, I am huddled up behind my dodger. That is 7 feet from my twin wheels and 8 feet from the AP control behind the starboard wheel. With the remote, I can alter course, check depth, speed, wind speed, cross track error, distance to next waypoint, etc... all without having to leave what relative shelter I have behind my dodger. I love it. Those purposes wouldn't necessarily apply with a trawler.

I also single hand a fair amount so I am up on the foredeck setting a spinnaker, setting or retrieving fenders, docking lines, etc.... It is really helpful to have the AP remote since our winds are so fickle.

There is also the silly hope that if I go overboard, and am suspended next to the hull by my tether and jack line, that I might be able to influence the direction of the boat, hence its heel, if I can use the remote on the lanyard around my neck. Vain hope, but still....

I was given the AP remote as an outgoing gift for serving as President of my State professional organization. I was fortunate that one of the board members was a fellow sailor and knew what I would like. :-)
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:34 PM   #5
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I used mine constantly, leaning back in the helm seats, feet up on the dash. In narrow passages, as a power steering wheel. Loved those things.
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:12 PM   #6
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All the time, on a sunny day the Admiral and I do exactly the same thing, sit on the bow and admire the surroundings. I also did the same on one of the Nordhavns I spend time on.. with the addition of a comfy folding chair. Once ran a 65' cat with a handheld R/C remote while running off the wind and laying on the tramp.. almost paradise!

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Old 02-24-2016, 08:16 PM   #7
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For those running remotes, which ones have you found to be reliable? Are they wired or wireless?

For about a year I used a Simrad WR20 and it only worked about 80% of the time, so I ended up dumping it. I love the idea of a remote, but it's got to be 100% reliable.
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
all the time...even in narrow intracoastal passages, when going from lower to upper helm to lower antennas...yep 90 percent of the 2500 mile round trip....
+1

I single hand most of the time and couldn't imagine running without an AP. Whether you're preparing lines for docking, setting fenders for a lock, lowering the antenna and light mast for a bridge, or just need to blow your nose, I'm much more comfortable having the boat on a fixed course at an appropriate speed than drifting out of gear in a channel.

Ted
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:22 PM   #9
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My Simrad / Robertson AP20 has a hardwired remote with display and 20'cord.

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Old 02-24-2016, 08:24 PM   #10
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I've got a wired remote on an old AutoHelm ST7000 that works very well 100% of the time. I have used it like power steering in quartering and following seas as I can anticipate what waves will do while the autopilot only responds to what they did. Pushing the buttons is far easier than working the helm. Just wish I had the joy stick on the new ones.
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:29 PM   #11
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In the picture, we are on the bow with the remote control. Most of the time I run with the auto pilot as it can steer hold a course better than I can. Plus I am not held tied to the helm and pilot house. Love the auto pilot, but do not use the remote that often.
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver
I'm much more comfortable having the boat on a fixed course at an appropriate speed than drifting out of gear in a channel.
Putting it that way, I can see the practicality. Hadn't thought of it in those terms.

The few I had talked to about it were the lounge up front with a drink crowd.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:10 PM   #13
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Had a wired Raymarine on the old boat and a wireless Raymarine on the present. Both work/worked 100% of the time.

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Old 02-24-2016, 09:18 PM   #14
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Have a remote for my Simrad AP20 but never used it. After seeing this thread however, I think this will be the year I give it a try
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
For those running remotes, which ones have you found to be reliable? Are they wired or wireless?
I have the Raymarine wireless remote and it has worked flawlessly. (saying a lot as I did the install myself)
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:37 PM   #16
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I use mine all the time in the PNW. However, if it's a little rough or just some chop, logs can be difficult to see. When that's the case, I'll still use it, but only at the helms where I can get to the throttles and/or shifters fast, when otherwise altering course wouldn't be enough to avoid such nasty (and potentially expensive) surprises.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:40 PM   #17
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On my previous boat,a Bruce Roberts PCF 36 (very similar to the PCF 40),
I had a ComNav 2001 AP with the "fully loaded" remote on a 50' wire.

I built her as a commercial salmon troller so control from the stern was
important. I used the remote LOTS. It had a follow-up lever as well as the
other controls.
Backing down between a row of boats at the dock I would stand in the cockpit with clutch and engine control on each side and the remote in
my hand. Just moved the lever to steer,the rudder position followed it.

This boat has an older system by a different manufacturer, so I don't know
how much I will use it.

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Old 02-24-2016, 09:50 PM   #18
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We pretty much run our boat with the autopilot all the time. It's easy and consistent. Since it's wired (Simrad AP21) it's really reliable.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nsail
I'll still use it, but only at the helms where I can get to the throttles and/or shifters fast.
That was the thinking behind my post. In Ted's example, on the troller, he had other controls at hand. Still wouldn't like climbing a ladder to the bridge dragging a cable or curly phone cord. Maybe a wireless would make me feel more comfortable, I don't know.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:57 PM   #20
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I have a Robertson AP20 with a wired AP21 remote. It's more an electronic wheel than an autopilot. We did over 4500 miles last year and 95% was done steering with the AP21. I use the helm wheel only when docking.

I have considered upgrading to a newer autopilot that would better interface with my Simrad chartplotter and use the newer features. The newer autopilots only have a wireless remote that do not have a steer wheel, instead have a left/right button that moves 1 degree, or 10 degree increments. I am sticking with the AP20 / 21 for now.
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