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Old 08-20-2012, 02:12 PM   #26
Scraping Paint
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Originally Posted by Fotoman View Post
Is a remote control a nice thing to have or just an expensive gadget that gets lost or broken?
We removed the autopilot from our boat within days of acquiring the boat in 1998 and have not replaced it so I can't offer any pros or cons on autopilot brands.

But I have had a fair amount of experience with a remote control. This was back in the 70s in Hawaii so obviously the technology has changed dramatically since then. But in terms of using a remote, it was very, very handy. Now we were fishing, usually with just two people aboard, so it was great to be able to control the boat (28' Uniflite sportfisherman) from the cockpit where we were dealing with the fish, some of them pretty big.

Back then, of course, the remotes were hard-wired. So we had this long, thin cable to deal with when we wanted to control the boat from somewhere other than the helm. Today I assume autopilot remotes can be wireless, to that would be even better.

But even with the cable, a remote would be a benefit in my opinion, even on a cruising boat as well as on a fishing boat. You might not need it very often but I can imagine scenarios when you might want to be able to steer the boat from somewhere other than one of the helm stations.

If you added power and transmission controls to the remote as well, then you'd really have something. But I imagine doing that would cost some major dollars.

But if we were adding an autopilot to our GB today, we would include a remote control, either hard-wire or wireless.
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