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Old 06-17-2021, 07:19 PM   #1
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Help- Replacing Robertson AP300X

Hey All,
My trusty Robertson AP300X autopilot is no longer working. After many months of trying to diagnose/fix, I've decided its time to replace. The 24V Pump is fine, The Rudder Feedback is new. What I need is a new system that will work with the current 24V pump. The boat is a 1991 model with older electronics. Not planning a complete electronics refit. Just want to replace the autopilot.
My question: Has anyone else been in this situation and what did you purchase to replace your current system? Boat is 66' long and displacement is 60 tons.
I've been looking at Simrad, Garmin, Raymarine, Furuno. Kind of lost with what might work as a replacement.
Your suggestions are much appreciated.
Thank you,
Taras
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Old 06-17-2021, 09:22 PM   #2
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Look at the Comnav 2001 or the 1001 (a few less trim adjustments)
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Old 06-18-2021, 12:25 AM   #3
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Have you checked to see if your fluxgate compass is good . . . I have a SIMRAD AP 22 that was “bad” and I found a new to me fluxgate compass purchased it (eBay -$150) plugged it in and wallah works like a champ . . . Also purchased an assence NMEA 0183 -> 2000 converter and now the old talks to the new . . . ie be sure what you have doesn’t work, everyone want to sell you a new system . . . Good luck either way you go!
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Old 06-18-2021, 08:49 AM   #4
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Had an an AP300x fail as well. Was able to reuse the existing pump and rudder position indicator with new Simrad (B&G) system. Found that a new chart plotter to control the autopilot was not much expensive than a new autopilot control head. Downside to the replacement was all new wiring since new system is NMEA 2000.
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Old 06-19-2021, 07:20 AM   #5
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We to replaced an old Robertson autopilot with a Simrad. We kept the pump and rudder indicator and just changed the control heads and computer. It was plug and play. The Simrad system worked great with NEMA2000 which was a huge upgrade from the Robertson.

On a side note I sold the Robertson components on eBay and they paid for almost 1/2 the cost of the Simrad system.
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Old 06-20-2021, 07:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
We to replaced an old Robertson autopilot with a Simrad. We kept the pump and rudder indicator and just changed the control heads and computer. It was plug and play. The Simrad system worked great with NEMA2000 which was a huge upgrade from the Robertson.

On a side note I sold the Robertson components on eBay and they paid for almost 1/2 the cost of the Simrad system.
Sounds like a good way to go. May I ask which Simrad model number you went to? Which old Robertson system did you have?
thank you!
Taras
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Old 06-20-2021, 08:30 PM   #7
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I just did the same thing on my 2000 Grand Banks 42C. I had AP 20 and AP 22 displays and went to AP 44 units. The new stuff is all NEMA 2000, so had to get new compass and new computer, but used the hardware at the rudders so fairly easy upgrade. Not cheap, but well worth it. Much better integration with my other electronics and now everything is NK2000. Plus new AP 44 heads are color and old ones were LCD and getting really hard to read in the sun. Way nice upgrade!

AND I sold the AP 20, AP 22, compass and computer box on Ebay and made at least a third of my money back.
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Old 06-21-2021, 01:12 AM   #8
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I think any of the major players would work with your existing pump and rudder indicator. The rudder indicator may come in a package as well.

Check the amperage draw on the pump and go shopping with that information. I'm most familiar with Raymarine, and they have 3 or 4 different control units that are differentiated by pump current and whether they have a clutch output, which you don't need. All the bigger ones can run 24v.

I have a Raymarine EV system on my sailboat and while it performs brilliantly I really dislike the control head. I've got it mounted outside next to Garmin instruments that I installed at the same time and the Garmin heads are far nicer - better back lighting, less glare, better daytime visibility, more positive button action. In hindsight I wish I'd payed more attention to the usability of the head and peripherals like wireless remote, where it also falls short.

I too have a AP300x on my trawler. It works, but I think it'd work better with a rate compass. If you have one I'll be happy to make an offer when you get your new package.
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Old 06-21-2021, 06:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taras View Post
Sounds like a good way to go. May I ask which Simrad model number you went to? Which old Robertson system did you have?
thank you!
Taras
We had the AP300x with a fixed control head in the pilot house and then ordered remote on the flybridge. We replaced it with Simrad’s AP24. The pump was sized properly and would work with either unit as was the rudder indicator.

Edit: The AP300x was working fine. We decided to replace since we would be out of the country for awhile. I did change the brushes on the pump just as a precaution though.
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Old 06-26-2021, 06:51 PM   #10
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
We had the AP300x with a fixed control head in the pilot house and then ordered remote on the flybridge. We replaced it with Simrad’s AP24. The pump was sized properly and would work with either unit as was the rudder indicator.

Edit: The AP300x was working fine. We decided to replace since we would be out of the country for awhile. I did change the brushes on the pump just as a precaution though.
Thank you for letting me know! It looks like the "AP24" is an older unit. The newer unit I see online is the "AP44". I'll drop Simrad folks a line to see what the spec's and requirements are for the AP44 as that looks like one that I'll need to upgrade it.
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Old 06-27-2021, 10:00 AM   #11
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You may want to check and see what interfaces with other electronics you may have. I have a Furuno 300 that interfaces with my Furuno plotter.
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Old 06-27-2021, 11:15 AM   #12
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(with tongue in cheek)
On my old 89 N46, it had very old electronic, including the autopilot.
One could adjust the rudder response mine to slow response because I had slow trawler.
I am not sure if the rudder response can be set on the newer electronics.
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