Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Thanked 79 Times in 74 Posts
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Re: Looking for inexpensive autohelm replacement
IMHO you really only have two choices for an 'inexpensive' autopilot: Raymarine makes the 'evolution' line which includes the EV 100 wheel pilot. As you listed above, CPT has the belt driven Autopilot.
Last year I was looking for a pilot for my boat and I decided on the Raymarine unit. I wanted a pilot that would integrate with my existing electronics so I could steer to a course heading, wind angle or to a waypoint. The EV 100 does all that and was pretty easy to install and integrate. The price of the complete unit is around $1300 when on sale (and it's on sale all the time).
My boat, at 36' and 10K lbs, is right at the upper limit of the EV 100 specs. The pilot works great in light conditions. As the weather gets worse, the pilot starts to struggle to maintain the heading. If I reduce sail area and otherwise keep the helm balances, the pilot does better.
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY
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