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Old 12-29-2016, 08:08 AM   #15
twistedtree
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City: Gloucester, MA
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4,974
I suspect the world of marine electronics is very different from avionics, especially recreational marine equipment. Most of these older companies are likely long gone, so any form of support or spares is unlikely. And even where the company still exists, it's very common to hear that older products are no longer supported and parts are not available. I really think it would be a false economy to get anything other than a current model pilot.

Comnav has been mentioned as a lower cost solution, and I know a lot of people are happy with their products. Personally I have not had the greatest experience with them. I have found large discrepancies between their printed literature, company representative's descriptions of products, and the actual products. In purchasing a Sat compass, I couldn't figure out what I would be getting if I bought from them, so I didn't. I also had a pretty poor support experience with their Class-A AIS. I had to hound them for quite a long time to get a firmware update. I no longer consider them a viable supplier.

I had a Raymarine pilot maybe 8 years ago and it worked fine. No complaints.

I have had Simrad pilots (two of them) and the steer the boat great, but interfacing is hit or miss. If it works, it's great (my first experience). If it doesn't, well, you are pretty much SOL (my second experience).

I've never tried a Garmin pilot.

My current favorite is Furuno's NavPilot. It steers well, and interfaces very well.
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