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Old 07-13-2021, 11:44 AM   #1
TJM
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Autopilot for a trawler

Our old Cetrek Model 770 finally died and we are looking for a replacement.
Don't want to break the bank, just need a device to hold a heading with manual adjustment along the way for set / drift. I do not want it to talk to our older Garmin GPS's either. They will be upgraded in a few years.
We are a 41' President and travel at 8kts.

Any suggestions ?
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Old 07-13-2021, 12:26 PM   #2
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We have a Simrad AP28 on Blue Sky that works very well, but it has lots of bells and whistles which it sounds like you don't need. (Neither do I frankly).
But I've heard great things about ComNav, and looking at their site it sounds like their 1001 might fit your bill.

https://comnav.com/autopilot/
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Old 07-13-2021, 12:26 PM   #3
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Is it a chain drive? If so don’t get rid of the AP electric motor. A good marine electronics person will add a nice new unit of your choice to the existing motor. Those old motors are rock solid and easily rebuildable.
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Old 07-13-2021, 12:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad View Post
We have a Simrad AP28 on Blue Sky that works very well, but it has lots of bells and whistles which it sounds like you don't need. (Neither do I frankly).
But I've heard great things about ComNav, and looking at their site it sounds like their 1001 might fit your bill.

https://comnav.com/autopilot/
ComNav is especially helpful although a long way away.
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Old 07-13-2021, 12:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad View Post
We have a Simrad AP28 on Blue Sky that works very well, but it has lots of bells and whistles which it sounds like you don't need. (Neither do I frankly).
But I've heard great things about ComNav, and looking at their site it sounds like their 1001 might fit your bill.

https://comnav.com/autopilot/
I have the same unit and it works great!
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Old 07-13-2021, 12:44 PM   #6
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The SITEX -sp70 autopilot is what we have installed and won't break the bank. The control head has a 30ft line so you can control the autopilot from varies locations. Thanks to BOOMERANG on this forum the installation went well without any problems.
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Old 07-13-2021, 01:56 PM   #7
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The SITEX -sp70 autopilot is what we have installed and won't break the bank. The control head has a 30ft line so you can control the autopilot from varies locations. Thanks to BOOMERANG on this forum the installation went well without any problems.
That is also what I installed in my old 1983 Albin. It worked well with my Garmin circa 2006 chart plotter. Simple and reliable.
Rather than the really long cord, I opted for a second plug for the lower help in case I wanted to run from below (only did that once to try it).
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Old 07-13-2021, 02:06 PM   #8
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ComNav 1001 is what came with the boat, installed new 1993. I sent it in to the factory last year for a refurb. They replaced the computer card and updated the control head. I bought a new rudder angle indicator and installed it myself. In my estimation, ComNav is the top dog in autopilots.
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Old 07-13-2021, 02:26 PM   #9
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That is also what I installed in my old 1983 Albin. It worked well with my Garmin circa 2006 chart plotter. Simple and reliable.
Rather than the really long cord, I opted for a second plug for the lower help in case I wanted to run from below (only did that once to try it).
We also added a second plug for lower helm but still have to use the same control head with the long cord cause thats what the SP-70 came with. "An autopilot makes a slow boat far more enjoyable " a quote from trawler forum member BOOMERANG...so true!
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Old 07-13-2021, 02:37 PM   #10
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Charlie0, We have Hydraulic drive.
Jay, your Sitex SP-70 works with your 2006 Garmin ? Hmm, We have the Garmin 2010 and 2006 in the flybridge.............
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Old 07-16-2021, 03:17 AM   #11
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I as well have the ComNav 1001. Tracks 100%. Likely original from 1988. I didn't know you send them in for a refurb. Will look into that. I believe they're out of Burnaby BC.
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Old 07-16-2021, 06:37 AM   #12
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Charlie0, We have Hydraulic drive.
Jay, your Sitex SP-70 works with your 2006 Garmin ? Hmm, We have the Garmin 2010 and 2006 in the flybridge.............
Yes. I believe it was only one wire that needed to be connected from the GPS to make it all work.
The Garmin was a 192C
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Old 07-16-2021, 06:45 AM   #13
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We also added a second plug for lower helm but still have to use the same control head with the long cord cause thats what the SP-70 came with. "An autopilot makes a slow boat far more enjoyable " a quote from trawler forum member BOOMERANG...so true!
That also could have been my quote..LOL
I used to hang the control head thru the flybridge enclosure window so we could sit on the bow on the way to Block Island or in Gardner's Bay and have a cocktail. On a nice day of course.

This was my "normal" driving position while letting "Abe" run the boat.
We named the autopilot Abe for obvious reasons.
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Old 07-16-2021, 09:10 AM   #14
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I have an older auto pilot with my Raymarine E80. The thing about having everything from the same manufacturer is that there are no device conflicts. I also have a wireless autopilot controller. I very rarely take the helm but only monitor the passage. Once I set the waypoint I just watch.
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Old 07-19-2021, 01:50 PM   #15
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I also had a Cetrek which gave great service for decades. After much checking I bought a Raymarine system. The NGTalk is a set of plug and play cables that remove the need to solder wires to plugs. Very simple.

BUT, I have one big reservation with the system. Cruising in the Pacific NW means dodging logs regularly, and the Raymarine has no 'dodge' capability. You can perform circles, zigzags, clover leafs and more, but no dodge. Maybe in CT this isn't an issue.

I kept my original hydraulic pump, piston and rudder follower, and just integrated them to the Raymarine.

I also bought the wireless controller so I can sit on the foredeck and steer. After a few weeks it started being erratic, and no amount of back and forth with the Raymarine folks helped. Then a year later I changed the batteries, which effectively cold booted the system, and the whole system restored itself and now works properly. Go figure. Too bad the engineer at Raymarine didn't suggest that. (To their credit, they gave good after sales service - it was just that nothing they suggested fixed the problems.)
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Old 07-19-2021, 02:34 PM   #16
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Autopilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJM View Post
Our old Cetrek Model 770 finally died and we are looking for a replacement.
Don't want to break the bank, just need a device to hold a heading with manual adjustment along the way for set / drift. I do not want it to talk to our older Garmin GPS's either. They will be upgraded in a few years.
We are a 41' President and travel at 8kts.

Any suggestions ?



I would find the most reliable installer in my area and go with what they recommend.
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Old 07-19-2021, 05:21 PM   #17
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Here's a different tack.

A couple of years ago, one place in the world was able to renovate my old Cetrek autopilot and provide me with an additional remote mount, as they had bought out the entire inventory of parts from the original manufacturer when they went out of business.

It's worth asking these folks about repairing or rebuilding your unit. It could serve as just the interim cure you're seeking. They were prompt and efficient and the rebuilt unit is still working perfectly.

The Service Centre, Maritime House, 5A Ryan Business Park, Sanford Lane, Wareham, Dorset BH20 4DY. (England). 44 (0) 1929 554558

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Old 07-19-2021, 05:33 PM   #18
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Admiral’s desires drove me to a new high buck Garmin, but was really thinking about this simple solution, although with a 41’, you may need the bigger pump.

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Old 07-20-2021, 10:46 AM   #19
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certec console part

on our certec system the control box is demaged, if you change to another system, question, can i by your old control box ?

Best regards,
Patrick
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Old 07-20-2021, 10:49 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamdouglass View Post
I have an older auto pilot with my Raymarine E80. The thing about having everything from the same manufacturer is that there are no device conflicts. I also have a wireless autopilot controller. I very rarely take the helm but only monitor the passage. Once I set the waypoint I just watch.
Which mode do you have? Thanks
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