Which autopilot? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 28 Old 09-06-2016 Thread Starter
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Which autopilot?

I have a Raymarine autopilot with a wheel mounted motor. I want to change it to a ram type below decks setup. I feel that the wheel mounted motor is a bit small for the job and I will be running an autopilot frequently when sailing solo. I have 430 watts of solar and a large house bank. Besides a wind vane what is everybody else running? A Cal 40 is very similar.

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post #2 of 28 Old 09-06-2016
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Re: Which autopilot?

I just installed a Raymarine EV-100 Wheel Pilot, and am happy with it. But then, my 35' boat weighs in at 12K lbs. I had been looking at a Jefra Drive unit (the one that Garmin resells), but in the end, the ease of installation, and the ability to handle MY boat won me over. I was also interested in the CPT autopilot, but the 1970's HeathKit appearance, and lack of integration with anything else scared me off.


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post #3 of 28 Old 09-06-2016
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You don't state displacement, nature of use nor what else is in the system.
I have the long arm Raymarine, boat weighs 30k, use is mostly coastal with periodic passages, rest of the system RM circa 2013. System is good but not great.
I would better served with B&G and NKE. Downside is more money honey.
Believe in the 30-45k lbs. range NKE is the most reliable unit with good integration for sailboats. Believe B&G is more sailboat friendly then RM.
Have been told both B&G and NKE maybe weaker in service access in US than RM.
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post #4 of 28 Old 09-06-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Which autopilot?

Looking up Jefra drive with no joy. How does it perform for you and how is it mounted?
Thanks.

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Re: Which autopilot?

Sorry. Jefa Jefa Steering Systems


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post #6 of 28 Old 09-06-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Which autopilot?

Thanks Outbound. Boat is 22K. Spade rudder so required force is relatively light. Mostly used for reefing, and when I need a short break of an hour or so. Nothing else in the system other than RM guts and controller. Not integrated at all. Just point it "that way". Obviously sail trim first.

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Last edited by jerryrlitton; 09-06-2016 at 01:02 PM.
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Re: Which autopilot?

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Thanks, Will check it out now.

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post #8 of 28 Old 09-06-2016
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I have a 35' boat weighing 24000 lbs, full keel, hydraulic steering. I run a Comnav 1101. The unit is bomb proof. It requires little to no maintenance and always performs.

Today I went through a section of river knowns as fiddlers elbow. Strong currents cause eddie's, boils and whirlpools and the channel is a few hundred feet across with sheer granite on either side.

Most of it was done in autopilot, twice I had to switch to manual steering for about 30 seconds as the boat was twisted by a whirlpool and an eddy.

It performs well when sailing on all points of sail but, and big but, my solar/batteries will not keep up over the long term.
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post #9 of 28 Old 09-07-2016
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I'm thinking it would be very difficult to find that any solar panels would keep up with any autopilot. They just draw too much electricity. If you are looking for something that does, look instead for a self starter like a wind vane.

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post #10 of 28 Old 09-07-2016
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I'm thinking it would be very difficult to find that any solar panels would keep up with any autopilot. They just draw too much electricity. If you are looking for something that does, look instead for a self starter like a wind vane.

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