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Auto pilot 22 islander

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I have manual steering on her!! I know hydrolic steering I have a lot more options . I have a smartpolit on it and it is worthless!! On flat calm days its all over the place. Should I get hydrolic steering on her or what should I do ?? steering on her??

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Sportpilots have a good reputation for breaking down. When mine took a dump, it went from going straight to a severe s pattern. It worked good when it worked but I know a lot of people who had them and all eventually died. That is why Raymarine discontinued them.

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Okay, since it is the SportPilot

  • Do you have a rudder reference transducer connected? It is not required since you don't have hydraulic steering, but I have found on the 3 boats I installed SportPilots on that even on mechanical steering systems it makes a big difference. Especially when trolling. You can find them quite often on eBay. It plugs into the rear of the SP helm unit.
  • Have you verified that the location of the Fluxgate compass is magnetically neutral? Could you have installed something new or put a piece of metal near it recently that might be affecting its readings? Even a screw driver is enough to do it. Using a regular magnetic compass you can put it near the Fluxgate and see if it is giving bad readings. If it is, then determine if there is a metal source nearby that is causing the problem and can be moved. You might need to move the Fluxgate.
  • The Fluxgate needs to be mounted mid ship (both left/right & front/back) and near water level within the boat. It also should be mounted so the rounded dome is facing the bow of the boat. I have seen them mounted with the dome pointing up and to the left or right -- causes lots of problems.
  • I would also do a linearisation of the AP. You will need somewhat calm seas and an area big enough to do 2 minute circles with the boat. This will program the AP in relation to how your boat operates and the magnetic properties of the Fluxgate. I had to do this at least every couple years when I had the SP+.

Here is a link to a scanned copy of the manual for the SportPilot: https://flir.app.box.com/s/nwf2s5ha9xrltggghogu/1/720705051/3273039721/1

Instruction on doing the calibration/linearisation procedure starts on page 19 of the PDF.

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I have the Raymarine unit and love it, going on 3 years with no issues and I fish 3 times a week. My advice is to have a professional install it and buy the extended warranty. With the warranty through west marine if there ever is a problem someone comes to my boat to fix it.

My unit was $1600, and $500 to install

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