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Auto pilot...


Boltman

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Ok I'm looking into this.... I want an Autopilot, but does anyone have an Autopilot for their boat? And How do you like it, Mainiac says it would save My Marriage, (though not in trouble) I think it would free up my Wife so she could read a book, maybe Love me up a little more while we're fishing... Ahh Hell Let me know what you all think...Please.

I have to Have a Raymarine one as well, to control the Power steering cable, it's all driven by cable...Imagine that..

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I have fished on alot of boats that have them and a few and dont. I really like em and wouldnt fish with out them. There just plain handy its a extra guy on the boat. I know that you dont usually fish with alot of people but when your trying to net a fish in 3 footers and are running back from the helm to the stern because its always moving your gonna really like it. The auto is really i mean your always not on the wheel, most of the time me and grandpa are setting lines or doing other stuff so we use it ALOT.

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I would never want a boat without an autopilot and actually passed up on a few boats when i was "shopping" because they did not have one. Half a season on my old boat and a few occasions on the new boat with it not working properly almost drove me nuts!

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When I bought my current boat I looked at it and others for well over a year because I wanted a AP and none of the boats I liked had it. I went back and took a second or third look at the boat and was told the new X5 Sportpilot was now shipping and they would install it on the boat if I bought it so I packaged in the AP and GPS fishfinder with the purchase. And could not wait to get my new to me boat on the water and fish. That was in Feb of 08 I was scheduled to get the boat April 10th. In March I was told there was a issue with the AP and delivery would be delayed till early April I told them to call me when the boat was ready and spent the next 40 days or so back and forth with Raymarine and talked to several people there who apparently could care less if I ever got my AP. Finally agreed to take delivery minus the AP in late April. I gave up in Late August and got the money back for the AP. There will never be any Raymarine equipment on any of my boats till they pay me to use it. If Garmin ends up buying them I might reconsider.

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I have a Raymarine autopilot and love it, but not as much as my wife does. She hated driving and now enjoys her time on the boat even more. I find it is easier for me. When I have newbies on board I can spend more time helping and explaining things to them. And if I want to adjust a rod I just walk back and do it. They are great.

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Cool Nick my issue is with the X5 and the area rep for Raymarine. The X5 was announced nearly 4 years ago and has been released and recalled several times. What sucks for me is I bought a boat based on a product Raymarine could not deliver yes I know there are a few of them that made it out to the market and guys that have them are happy with them. I really need to convert my boat to Hyd steering or get a different boat that has hyd steering.

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Other than having to send my X5 in for replacement 3 times, I'm very happy with it. Sent it back once for a recall & twice for a gear issue. It never stopped working though. My only complaint besides that is that it's kind of noisy. I'd upgrade to hydraulic steering and AP if I could.

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Ok here is a question for you guys , how small of a boat will an AP work on , how does it interface with the gps? Is it cost prohibitive on a 17ft boat? My wife also does not want to drive the boat, she would rather bead or read or fish.

Edited by jimcr
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you can use an autopilot on any boat, just need to have the right system. Units such as TR-1 (which is owned by Garmin now) is designed for smaller kicker motors.

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=11573&ra=true

Otherwise most manufacturers make systems for larger outboards. If you have the two motors tied together, it should still work while the kicker is running if the big motor is not.

Usually they interface with a GPS using the NEMA input/output. I have never actually used mine in conjunction with my GPS, just set a coarse and go.

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Well to tell the truth I have alterior motives... You see my Wife always drives for me, and normally she's in the sun, even with the top up she's in the sun, like when it's coming up or going down and as long as she's driving she cannot get out of it, and this fall they discovered pre-cancerous spots on her face, the side that faces PORT side..where the sun comes in harshly..... so THis is one of my remedies....now she can get out of the sun if she needs to and she can enjoy the boat much more, I bought her a fishing hat that has a large brim, and she looks great in it, but she doesn't think so.. So I'm looking into a pilot to drive for her.. and Auto Pilot....damn I hiope it will work and she doesn't think I'm trying to Replace her... but we all know Women.... somehow it will get turned around.... won't it?

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Robert if you get a AP get the Garmin GHP10. If your boat is Cable steered you will have to convert it to hydraulic steering. It will interface with all your other gear just fine and is hands down the best AP you will find. Without switching to Hydraulic steering the only thing that will steer your boat is the Si-Tex system with the Octipus helm unit which is the same setup Simrad used in the AP12 and AP14. This requires 10in of clearance behind the helm for the drive unit.

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Ok there's not 10" of clearance behind the helm for the drive unit, so that one's out of the question Jim, I'm having Barrett boat works look into it right now, there's a Raymarine unit that works off of the steering pump swithc that activates the steering....I'm just in the prelimnary stages of looking right now and I don't plan on switching to Hydraulic steering..

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I have had the Garmin GHP 10 in my boat for 1½ years now

and it works GREAT I am very satisfied with it

had Raymarine and simrad AP (hydraulic steering) in some of my prior boats

but Garmin is the best I have use.

But is hydraulic steering AP I talk about, have never use a cable AP

That the question really was about....

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Simrad now offers a cable steered option that mounts completely below decks except for the control unit. It is for the AP24 system the only thing that I don't like about it is that I can convert my boat to Hyd steering and buy the Garmin for about the same money. Seriously I would look into hyd steering you will never like a cable steered boat again after you drive one with hyd steering. Here's the big kicker for me on the Garmin unit and that is shadow drive it allows you to make course changes with the wheel while the AP is running. Picture this your fighting a fish your wife is watching you and notices a log in the water in front of your boat she runs to the helm to avoid it. Will she remember to shut off the AP because with a Garmin and Shadow drive she won't have to. Shadow drive allows you to change course with the wheel at any time hold the new course for a min and the AP will follow the new course. Try that with any other AP and you will either damage the unit or the AP will steer you right back to what you tried to miss.

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Here are some plus's to hyd steering first it is how the big boats all steer. Second it is zero feedback the drive cannot turn the wheel period, so on flat water it is a autopilot. 3rd there is no slop in the steering so when driving you don't have to rock the wheel back and forth to adjust for cable slop. Now when you add a autopilot to this once you let go of the wheel and let the AP take over the wheel never turns. On cable steered boats the wheel has to follow the AP so every course adjustment is shown by the wheel. Also if you currently have a zero feed back cable system you have to change it for a AP to work with it. The difference between the 2 is night and day and I will never own another cable steered boat again this one is my last and if the choice were down to a AP for the cable system or hyd steering I would have hyd steering and get the AP later.

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Simrad now offers a cable steered option that mounts completely below decks except for the control unit. It is for the AP24 system the only thing that I don't like about it is that I can convert my boat to Hyd steering and buy the Garmin for about the same money. Seriously I would look into hyd steering you will never like a cable steered boat again after you drive one with hyd steering. Here's the big kicker for me on the Garmin unit and that is shadow drive it allows you to make course changes with the wheel while the AP is running. Picture this your fighting a fish your wife is watching you and notices a log in the water in front of your boat she runs to the helm to avoid it. Will she remember to shut off the AP because with a Garmin and Shadow drive she won't have to. Shadow drive allows you to change course with the wheel at any time hold the new course for a min and the AP will follow the new course. Try that with any other AP and you will either damage the unit or the AP will steer you right back to what you tried to miss.

I was told Raymarine x-10 was the way to go for my boat. I haven't purchased an AP yet (can't convince the wife that I "need" one yet:no:). You can't make emergency course adjustments with Raymarine? I have full hydraulic steering. I was also told you should install quick-disconnect fittings on your hydraulic lines because you will eventually have problems with the pumps because fishermen have the sensitivity set high to maintain course at slow trolling speeds. I'm just doing some research on them right now. Need to save up some coin to get one:grin:. Boat Services in Holland wanted $2100 for the unit, and $2000 for installation!:eek: If I get one someday I'm planning on installing it myself.:thumb:

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The only unit I know of that allows you to grab the wheel at anytime and make course corrections is the Garmin. The Garmin will also maintain the new course if you hold a course for a min. Everything else requires you to disengage the AP or use a Dodge mode on it to change course with the wheel. Even with the Dodge mode if you are tracking a course from your plotter and have the wrong way point in once you complete the maneuver the AP will resume the course right back to where you tried to miss. In a emergency you have to remember to shut off the AP to resume boat control. This is what I like best about the Garmin and Shadow Drive because whether or not the AP is on my wife or anyone on board can steer the boat and they don't have to understand how to set the AP. The search and fishing patterns most of them offer would be cool but very seldom you have enough open water around you to use them. Also Garmin offers extended warranty if you have it installed by a certified tech so there is some gain in paying for the install.

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I have Barretts Boat works looking into both options for me, Raymarine or Garmin, I'm going to research both of them myself, and Barretts' sells both type, I'm going to have a certified dealer instll it, might cost a little more, but it's all worth it in the long run.

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The only unit I know of that allows you to grab the wheel at anytime and make course corrections is the Garmin. The Garmin will also maintain the new course if you hold a course for a min. Everything else requires you to disengage the AP or use a Dodge mode on it to change course with the wheel. Even with the Dodge mode if you are tracking a course from your plotter and have the wrong way point in once you complete the maneuver the AP will resume the course right back to where you tried to miss. In a emergency you have to remember to shut off the AP to resume boat control. This is what I like best about the Garmin and Shadow Drive because whether or not the AP is on my wife or anyone on board can steer the boat and they don't have to understand how to set the AP. The search and fishing patterns most of them offer would be cool but very seldom you have enough open water around you to use them. Also Garmin offers extended warranty if you have it installed by a certified tech so there is some gain in paying for the install.

Here is the response I received when I asked my local electronics dealer who sells both Garmin, and Ramarine products about Garmin AP's.

"Yes for safety reasons the Garmin is definitely easier to disengage, but I just can’t recommend it for fishing yet. We were just at a Garmin training this past week and a dealer up in Cheboygan has six customers that use it for fishing and can’t stand the pilot. I would hold off for right now. It is a great pilot for normal cruising speeds, but is just terrible at 1 or 2 knots. We will know more in the spring, they stated that they are going to have some fixes for the issues".

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