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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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Old 10-15-2011
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Yard for Autopilot Install

I'm thinking I'll bite the bullet this year and replace my failing wheel pilot.

Looking for suggestions for a good place to do the install and recommendations on what to install as well.

The Raymarine X5 is out. I've just read too much negative press on it and my boat is right on the edge of the recommended displacement even if they got good press. I'm guessing it would have to be a below deck model if I go Raymarine.

Simrad seems to have some interesting products also.

I'm not really looking to interface to anything I would just like a pilot to help mainly when motoring but as an extra crew when short handed sailing as well. Its a shame the X5 doesn't seem to be nearly as robust as the units that came before it. You would think there would be a huge market for a simple to install wheel pilot that would handle mid sized boats.
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Old 10-15-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor View Post
I'm thinking I'll bite the bullet this year and replace my failing wheel pilot.

Looking for suggestions for a good place to do the install and recommendations on what to install as well.

The Raymarine X5 is out. I've just read too much negative press on it and my boat is right on the edge of the recommended displacement even if they got good press. I'm guessing it would have to be a below deck model if I go Raymarine.

Simrad seems to have some interesting products also.

I'm not really looking to interface to anything I would just like a pilot to help mainly when motoring but as an extra crew when short handed sailing as well. Its a shame the X5 doesn't seem to be nearly as robust as the units that came before it. You would think there would be a huge market for a simple to install wheel pilot that would handle mid sized boats.
While not inexpensive, the Simrad AP24 coupled with the HLD 2000L is an unbeatable combination and would be perfect for your boat. We have the earlier version of that system and it has worked faultlessly for 10+ years in bad weather/heavy seas as well as good. While we use it motoring, it's real advantage is under sail as it allows one person to stand a watch, handle sail trim et al without difficulty.

If you are close enough A&B Marine at Bert Jabins Yard in Back Creek, Annapolis, did some work for us when we were in the area and proved very reliable.

FWIW...
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Old 10-16-2011
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I would also recommend AB marine as I have used them previously also.difficulty is that Jabins charges you every minute you stay there. I agree about using the below deck pilot. In retrospect I would do the same

I installed a X-5 Raymarine on Haleakula when they first came out and other than a minor reversal of two wires have never had a problem with it once. She has been used pretty extensively on trips to New England without a hitch. Advantage is it hooks in without C-80 chart plotter.

Dave
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Old 10-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
I would also recommend AB marine as I have used them previously also.difficulty is that Jabins charges you every minute you stay there. I agree about using the below deck pilot. In retrospect I would do the same

I installed a X-5 Raymarine on Haleakula when they first came out and other than a minor reversal of two wires have never had a problem with it once. She has been used pretty extensively on trips to New England without a hitch. Advantage is it hooks in without C-80 chart plotter.

Dave
Dave,

What is the displacement of your boat? I'd guess its pretty close to the same as mine. Another friend of mine put an X5 on his C34 and says he's happy with it but he has already replaced the drive once under warranty which is shaping my opinon away from the X5. Mitigating that though is the expense of a below deck model.

If your X5 is working for you, what makes you say you'd have sprung for the below decks model?
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Old 10-17-2011
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Oour displacement is about 15000. I just think the below deck models are more robust in nature. We went from an old autopilot which was the 4000 m odel to the X5 which we got at a bargain price at a Defender Christmas sale for about $600. It was easy for me to install myself. I too rtmare stories about the X% after my install and keep waiting to have issues...but knock wood,,,it has been perfect so far.

I would ratherhave the piece of mind not worrying is what I am saying I guess. I woulkd get a below deck on for your boat.

Dave
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Old 10-18-2011
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I had Zahniser's install a Simrad AP 24 on Skalliwag. Great installation and no issues so far.
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Old 10-18-2011
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I was going to recommend Oxford Boat Yard, which is a Raymarine dealer, but there has been some recent management changes..enough said..
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
we got at a bargain price at a Defender Christmas sale for about $600. It was easy for me to install myself.
Dave
Yeah but for that price I'd be willing to risk it also. Even at current prices its only about 1/3 the price of a below deck unit.

Its too bad Raymarine seems to have cheaped out on the drive unit. Like you I currenly have a 4000 and would be happy with a wheel pilot if I thought it would work as good or better than my current set up.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor View Post
Yeah but for that price I'd be willing to risk it also. Even at current prices its only about 1/3 the price of a below deck unit.

Its too bad Raymarine seems to have cheaped out on the drive unit. Like you I currenly have a 4000 and would be happy with a wheel pilot if I thought it would work as good or better than my current set up.
You might care to check this out: For Sale: Autopilot - Cruisers & Sailing Forums It might be just what you really need.

FWIW...
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Old 10-19-2011
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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
You might care to check this out: For Sale: Autopilot - Cruisers & Sailing Forums It might be just what you really need.

FWIW...
Thanks. I really wish they still made that unit as I understand it was perfect for a boat like mine and my use.

Unfortunately, I was too late on this one. Already sold!
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