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Old 05-02-2015, 08:36 PM   #1
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Question Autopilot

Thanks for all the help I've been getting on this site, a real help for a newbie like me. Okay, for my next question - what recommendations do you have for a new autopilot for a 34 foot Marine Trader that weights 17000. Not sure what to look at.
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Old 05-02-2015, 08:43 PM   #2
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Lots of good choices. What are you using for navigation (plotter)?

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Old 05-02-2015, 09:06 PM   #3
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I have a Simrad NSS which I'm trying to get used to. Always had Raymarine stuff
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Old 05-02-2015, 09:08 PM   #4
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OC, we're in Punta Gorda hoping to move the boat to the Chesapeake within the next two-three weeks.
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Old 05-02-2015, 09:17 PM   #5
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What kind of steering do you have? I've got a 74 chb marine trader with a chain drive like a big bicycle. Gonna get an auto pilot if I ever find the money, and they make one for a drive like this still...
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Old 05-02-2015, 09:20 PM   #6
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We have a Simrad NSE12 with a Simrad AP28 that seems to work well; I really only use it as a point and shoot (it has some pretty fancy tricks up its sleeve that I don't use) so can't comment on the finer points of its operation.

One thing that I really like about it, and a previous Furuno AP had the same feature, is a rotary knob for dialing in course changes. Each click is a one degree change which makes it intuitive and doesn't require being looked at.
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Old 05-02-2015, 09:35 PM   #7
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The boat has hydraulic steering.Would like something that could be used at the upper and lower helms.
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Old 05-02-2015, 09:46 PM   #8
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Autopilot

I'd look at the Furuno 711c. Nice color display and is N2k compatible.
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Old 05-02-2015, 10:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonesailing13 View Post
OC, we're in Punta Gorda hoping to move the boat to the Chesapeake within the next two-three weeks.
Great trip! Take your time and enjoy it.

I have simrads on both of my boats that are 10+ years old. Have had good luck with both. Simrad isn't real good on their legacy equipment. Can't speak to the quality and features of their newer pilots. Liked what I saw at the show from Comnav. Remotes and docking station control options were important for me, and there's looked pretty nice. My autopilot is the last original electronics on the boat. Maybe next year's investment.

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Old 05-03-2015, 06:28 AM   #10
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Any of the major autopilot manufacturers will work, but since you have a modern Simrad chart plotter, stick with Simrad for the autopilot. That will let you easily interface with the chart plotter so that you can navigate to a waypoint or course automatically.

You will need several components that are sometimes sold as a package like this one: AP2403 VRF Autopilot Package - Simrad Marine Electronics

You will need a display head, a course computer, a hydraulic pump, a fluxgate compass and a rudder indicator. Make sure that you get a gyro feature which will make holding course in a following sea much better. It isn't clear that the Simrad package above has that.

The hydraulic pump is plumbed into your existing hydraulic steering system. It will work from either helm. Since most flybridge trawlers are steered from above mostly, mount the display head at the upper helm and use a remote handheld for the lower helm.

This is not a simple plug in installation. I would find a local marine electronics shop who can put together a good system for you and install it.

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Old 05-03-2015, 08:09 AM   #11
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on the Simrad AP24. We installed ours in 2009 and it has worked flawlessly. We have 2 control heads. We had an existing ap so the install was pretty easy since it was basically a replacement. Remember to give the placement of the fluxgate sensor some thought since it needs to be away from anything that is magnetic.
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