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Old 08-01-2020, 07:38 AM   #1
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Raymarine ST 6000 Autohelm

Hi,
Looking at a boat with this autopilot. Seems like it's an older one, perhaps early 2000s, reviews are mixed with some good and bad.


What is the consensus of this group on the servicability and reliability of this unit? Worth keeping? Lots of maintenance?


Also, any upgrade paths?


And, can I assume that this will follow a track, hold heading, and have the option for remote control?


Thanks!
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:31 AM   #2
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Yep it's older. It's as good as any other. If it works keep it and save your money for when it doesn't. No maintenance, if it stops working, replace. And no upgrades. New stuff won't interface without jumping thru hoops to find cables and connections, if they are even available.
My newer Axiom won't easily connect. Just the NEMA 0183 that's a couple generations old now.
Follow a track and hold a heading okay. Remote will depend on the course computer.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:57 AM   #3
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Raymarine Repairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seevee View Post
Hi,
Looking at a boat with this autopilot. Seems like it's an older one, perhaps early 2000s, reviews are mixed with some good and bad.


What is the consensus of this group on the servicability and reliability of this unit? Worth keeping? Lots of maintenance?


Also, any upgrade paths?


And, can I assume that this will follow a track, hold heading, and have the option for remote control?


Thanks!

Some Raymarine instruments CAN be repaired. Email Javier at Seawire Marine. seawiremarine@gmail.com. Javier is a Raymarine installer that does repairs on the side.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:33 AM   #4
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I have a 8002, interfaced with a 2003 course computer. Chartplotters are Garmin 8212s. Everything works well and plays nice together.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:11 AM   #5
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If it works, keep it. Old technology might keep heading within 2 feet. New technology might keep heading within 1 foot. I'm guessing it is connected via SeaTalk to a Type 100/300 course computer.
If a component fails you can replace it with any SeaTalk controller and an S3G computer. If you wanted to upgrade to SeaTalkng you could install SPX computer.
Any controller will work.
If you upgrade to latest ACU computer (EVO system) then everything goes to be replaced with Seatalkng compatible items.
Raymarine manuals for legacy products are readily available online.

(Note: this assumes you use autopilot only. If you use radar and want MARPA and chart overlay you will probably have to upgrade)
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SoWhat View Post
If it works, keep it. Old technology might keep heading within 2 feet. New technology might keep heading within 1 foot. I'm guessing it is connected via SeaTalk to a Type 100/300 course computer.
If a component fails you can replace it with any SeaTalk controller and an S3G computer. If you wanted to upgrade to SeaTalkng you could install SPX computer.
Any controller will work.
If you upgrade to latest ACU computer (EVO system) then everything goes to be replaced with Seatalkng compatible items.
Raymarine manuals for legacy products are readily available online.

(Note: this assumes you use autopilot only. If you use radar and want MARPA and chart overlay you will probably have to upgrade)

A bit confusing.... you say if I want radar, marpa and chart overlay......


Wouldn't that be a function of the chart plotter, not the AP?


Can I assume that the old 6000 could play on most any modern plotter?


Thx..
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:01 PM   #7
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The radar overlays usually use the heading sensor from the autopilot. So if it isnít interfaced then the overlays may not work.

We have a 6001 and it works great. However I didnít even attempt to interface it with the other electronics. I just put the boat on course and hit auto. Works fine.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:30 PM   #8
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The radar overlays usually use the heading sensor from the autopilot. So if it isnít interfaced then the overlays may not work.

We have a 6001 and it works great. However I didnít even attempt to interface it with the other electronics. I just put the boat on course and hit auto. Works fine.

Dave,


Understand, but why couldn't one get a compass just for the overlay?


And when you say "interface", can I assume that it still shows up on your plotter, or if not, how do you control it?


Need to control from both helms.



And does yours follow a track, which would be on the plotter?


Thx much.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:48 PM   #9
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Yes, you could hook up a heading sensor so the overlays would work. We only use our autopilot to tun headings, not routes. We push aut and the autopilot will hold that heading until you make a change to it. I could hook the autopilot to the network but just really donít care about it so I have never bothered.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seevee View Post
A bit confusing.... you say if I want radar, marpa and chart overlay......
Wouldn't that be a function of the chart plotter, not the AP?
Can I assume that the old 6000 could play on most any modern plotter?
Thx..
Technology took a jump between nmea 0183 and nmea 2000.
Modern MFD's will need heading data with a rapid refresh rate.
I believe the required rate is 10Hz. AN SPX or S2G/S3G series course computer would work. If you have your 6000 controller connected to a 100/200 computer I believe you will only get a 1 Hz rate and MARPA won;t work.
Older technology such as nmea 0183 just isn't up to speed.
So you can keep your autopilot, but your radar/mfd probably won't be connected. It isn't an issue unless you run in fog or at night.

Technology took another jump when they connected things together via ethernet. The high speeds allow sharing of charts, radar, and sonar info between mulitple displays such as the ones on the bridge and the ones at the helm station. nmea 2000 takes care of the data.

There is a robust used market for equipment a generation or two old that is no longer supported by manufacturer.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:52 PM   #11
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Mine works flawlessly at holding a course on my old Mainship 34 and I don't have it interfaced with anything. Like Commodave I use the buttons to engage/disengage and change course. It's an SG2 with 6001 controllers at each helm. Near 20,000 miles and no repairs or maintenance.

When I installed a new MFD and radar I bought a cheap Garmin Steadycast heading sensor. Plug and play in N2K and a much better unit than the old fluxgate box the AP uses. I've had those units on a few boats, and they've never been great in my experience. If there is a weak link in the system I'd say it's the compass. Mine wanders when I'm near a big ship, barge or steel bridge, and I've given up on keeping it even approximately matched to accurate compasses. But it holds a straight line just fine away from those local influences, and I drive the boat pretty much all the time by making pushbutton course corrections.

If you only have a control head at one helm station it should be easy to add a second. Lots available used.

One more anecdote: when the PO installed the system he opted for the non-gyroscope model. I think it was called the S2. After a season he sent the unit to Raymarine and had them install the gyro unit, turning it into an SG2. He reported a dramatic improvement in the ability of the AP to handle following seas. Makes sense given the crude compass input.

I have the EV200 system on my sailboat with a linear drive. Performance is really impressive and it plays well with the N2K network. For about $2k you can replace the AP electronics and get everything you're looking for, and better performance in rough conditions. But I haven't felt any urge to upgrade on the power boat. YMMV.
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:28 AM   #12
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One note (if you go to upgrade) is that Raymarine allows you to use a previous autopilot hydraulic pump, as long as the "type" (size) is suitable. So then you can buy a "core pack" for the newer (Evo) pilot, which saves some money.

Also, I *think maybe* you could hook up an Evo sensor to a NMEA 2000 network for heading data without the rest of the newer autopilot system. A post to the Raymarine forum would net a definitive answer (or someone else here).

I'm glad you asked the question because although I have an Evo pilot on my current boat, many trawlers I have seen on YW have the Raymarine 6xxx pilot installed, and I don't know much about it.
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:22 AM   #13
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Frosty and Jeff,


Good info, and lots of it, with different configurations.


My goal is to have an AP that holds heading well, and will track a course. AND the plotter will have autorouting. For any trip over an hour or so, I'll use autoroute. It works excellent and rarely have to touch it, other than meeting other boats.



That's what I currently have with my Simrad stuff on my current boat. I can stand anywhere on the boat and operate the AP, easy.


After having that, doubt I'd take less. Now $2000 upgrade would not be bad, if I could get all of the above.


Starting over with a new install can get pricey.
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:52 AM   #14
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We have the ST6000 on the bridge and ST7000 at lower helm. We have been using it for 30,000 miles over the last 10 years. I dont know how old it is but it works great. The only issue we had was the failure of the LCD screen. There are replacement screens there was a guy on ebay that will replace or swap you units. We upgraded our Raymarine equipment 5 years ago to e126 and e127. The old autopilot works seamlessly with the new chartplotter. The SeaTalk system is the backbone.
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:35 AM   #15
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The Evolution EV-200 kit comes with EV-1 sensor core, ACU-200 course computer, and P70R control head. Typical cost would run around 2K. They connect via nmea 2000. Wiring and installation costs would be extra. You can use existing pump and ram.

New Axiom displays would run at 1K each.Older technology a series are still available for 750. They connect using nmea 2000 and also ethernet if you want to share sonar and charts between displays.

Costs depend upon what displays you currently have and what model course computer is installed. It might be possible to keep them.
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:06 PM   #16
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FYI
EBay just listed an ACU-200 and EV-1 with a starting bid of $500, buy now of $700. You would just need the P70R controller. They generally sell on EBay for $300-350. Always a risk in used electronics but it is a way to save substantially.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Raymarine-A...N&LH_Auction=1
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Old 08-02-2020, 02:19 PM   #17
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The Evolution EV-200 kit comes with EV-1 sensor core, ACU-200 course computer, and P70R control head. Typical cost would run around 2K. They connect via nmea 2000. Wiring and installation costs would be extra. You can use existing pump and ram.
BTW, from my research, the EV-150 is functionally the same as the EV-200 -- as long as you don't need or want 24 volt (EV-200 allows 24-volt).

I bought my EV-150 corepack (already had pump - corepack is everything but the pump*) around a year ago; it was around $1300.

Frosty

* IOW it includes ACU-150 brain box, P70RS control, EV-1 sensor, and a few NMEA cables and connectors. You supply the pump if buying a corepack.
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Old 08-02-2020, 03:37 PM   #18
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One very nice thing about having A/P on a boat you are buying is that everything is in place. If the unit breaks down or doesn't have the features you want you are still way ahead. the hydraulic lines have been cut with ends on them for a new pump. you have power run to the head unit. It will cut the installation cost of a new unit in half.

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Old 08-02-2020, 05:47 PM   #19
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BTW, from my research, the EV-150 is functionally the same as the EV-200 -- as long as you don't need or want 24 volt (EV-200 allows 24-volt).
I bought my EV-150 corepack (already had pump - corepack is everything but the pump*) around a year ago; it was around $1300.
Frosty
* IOW it includes ACU-150 brain box, P70RS control, EV-1 sensor, and a few NMEA cables and connectors. You supply the pump if buying a corepack.
The major difference is the ACU-150 does not have a clutch connection. If you have cable steering, and want to add hydraulic steering in addition to the cable, you will need the clutch connection. If you want to take over the steering using cable system for awhile, you have to energize a bypass valve so the hyd fluid will flow in a circle instead of against the ram.

The ACU-200 offers the clutch, and it also allows a little more amperage so you can work it a little harder.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:37 PM   #20
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SoWhat,

Thanks for adding that detail which could be important. Thinking back the ACU 200 may also have more heat sink (?). I should probably not have compared them without more knowledge (was going off a Raymarine forum post that clearly left a few things out).

When I purchased, I was coming from the other direction, where the EV-100 was just slightly too small but the EV-200 was major overkill and much more expensive; so I was very happy when the EV-150 was added to the line-up as a "middle bear."
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