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Old 01-08-2016, 08:56 PM   #21
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I have both Comnav and Garmin Autopilots on the same boat. I added the Garmin both for redundancy and because the Comnav would just not perform to my expectations (I had a Simrad on another boat and I trusted that one to steer me into Gig Harbor - with my hand near the controls!).



The Comnav is now strictly a backup unit (and rudder angle indicator). There is simply no comparison in their performance. The Garmin mostly keeps the crosstrack error less than ten or twenty feet, even with big cross currents. Unlike the Comnav it requires no adjusting and tunes itself to the conditions.



I believe that any of the major manufacturers (Simrad, Raymarine, and Furuno) have autopilots with similar smarts. In my opinion, the Comnav is just primitive by comparison.

You are the only person I have ever heard this from. Not that my observation of your post adds anything to the conversation, but it is true. ComNav/Sim-Tek has a stellar rep in the commercial fishing market (according to them, I admit), but my experience was top notch and I am considering replacing my Raymarine with one next year.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:34 PM   #22
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I wouldnt. Raymafine is fine as well as the others.

I have never head that Sitex Com Nav was anything but one of the gang and the marine electronics firm I worked for had a large commercial base of clients. If anything, Robertson Simrad was king for decades. Other Than The neanderthals that swore by Wood freeman.

Plus my experience with a lot of commercial guys is similar to rec boaters...what they are used to ranks high...whether really good or not.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:05 PM   #23
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I have an old wheel pilot that works great on my twin diesel trawler. It's definitely old school and very simple. It came with the boat when I bought it and has never failed me.

This pic misses the motor in the bottom right, but you get the idea.



It's just a 12V power hookup to the motor and control pad. The motor is mounted on a cam which can tighten the belt to engage the motor. It holds heading and changes headings in 1 and 10 degree increments. It's more commonly used on blowboats, but I like it anyway. Wish I had a wired remote for it to enjoy lazy cruises on the bow.

I found this looking for a remote, but it's an entire system (with 2 remotes!) and it's in Australia. If you decide to buy it, I'd love to buy the small remote from you!

Navico Wheel Boat Auto Pilot WP5000 Plus Accessories | eBay
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Old 01-09-2016, 01:13 AM   #24
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Crikey Al, if I wasn't trying to sell my boat, I'd be tempted to go for that myself. It would do for my boat, which like yours I think, has simple chain/rod steering.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:38 AM   #25
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"The neanderthals that swore by Wood freeman."

BECAUSE in many cases it could be repaired on board , with no need to box it up and send it to somewhere.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:43 AM   #26
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"The neanderthals that swore by Wood freeman."

BECAUSE in many cases it could be repaired on board , with no need to box it up and send it to somewhere.
For as often as we were called on service calls for them...that I guess was a good thing.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:35 AM   #27
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Crikey Al, if I wasn't trying to sell my boat, I'd be tempted to go for that myself. It would do for my boat, which like yours I think, has simple chain/rod steering.
Mine is hydraulic steering by Wagner. When I read the book on the WP5000 installation, it claimed it shouldn't be used on hydraulic steering systems. I have no idea how long this has been installed, but with the gain set at max, it works fine in normal conditions. It can't keep up in following seas, so I hand steer a much straighter course, but that's probably a function of my square transom and small rudders.
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