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smitski2001 03-08-2012 06:20 PM

Auto-Pilot choices besides RayMarine
 
Hey All!
I bought a '97 C320 that has the ST4000+ Autopilot a few years ago and last fall the controller lost it's brains... It thinks it's locked. I've worked with RayMarine support and they can only recommend replacing everything with a new X-5 (RAYMARINE SmartPilot X-5 Sailboat Wheel Pilot at West Marine )... Maybe $1200 if I'm lucky... Due to this and some other RayMarine support issues I've experienced, I really have no loyalty to them. Don't get me started... :hothead
All the other instruments are RayMarine on the SeaTalk bus, But I could jump the NMEA out of the C70 display to a new autopilot if there was another manufacture.
I was wondering what choices I have before I go the "Replace Everything" route...
Any suggestions would be helpful.

Maine Sail 03-08-2012 07:16 PM

Re: Auto-Pilot choices besides RayMarine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by smitski2001 (Post 842205)
Hey All!
I bought a '97 C320 that has the ST4000+ Autopilot a few years ago and last fall the controller lost it's brains... It thinks it's locked. I've worked with RayMarine support and they can only recommend replacing everything with a new X-5 (RAYMARINE SmartPilot X-5 Sailboat Wheel Pilot at West Marine )... Maybe $1200 if I'm lucky... Due to this and some other RayMarine support issues I've experienced, I really have no loyalty to them. Don't get me started... :hothead
All the other instruments are RayMarine on the SeaTalk bus, But I could jump the NMEA out of the C70 display to a new autopilot if there was another manufacture.
I was wondering what choices I have before I go the "Replace Everything" route...
Any suggestions would be helpful.

Wheel pilot or below deck? If below deck there are options. If it is a wheel pilot then it's Raymarine...

TQA 03-08-2012 09:37 PM

Re: Auto-Pilot choices besides RayMarine
 
CPT is an alternative wheel pilot CPT Autopilot Inc.

Has a good rep amongst cruisers. See soggypaws

Maine Sail 03-08-2012 09:53 PM

Re: Auto-Pilot choices besides RayMarine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TQA (Post 842329)
CPT is an alternative wheel pilot CPT Autopilot Inc.

Has a good rep amongst cruisers. See soggypaws

Forgot about CPT. They are well built & robust but I have a customer with one and I'd spend the money for below deck before going that route. Awkward is the best way to describe my experiences with it...

If the OP's AP was installed in 1997 then it is almost 15 years old. Not bad for a WP and for what they cost....

I personally don't find that the big names are any more reliable than one another. Robertson used to be very reliable but I don't find it to be the same level of reliability under Simrad....They are all pretty good and occasionally you get a dud with all of them.

Personally I have no problem with Raymarine except for their flat rate repair rates for out of warranty product. They just turned around a customers wind vane, that had a fight with an Osprey, in about 5 days door to door.

bljones 03-08-2012 09:54 PM

Re: Auto-Pilot choices besides RayMarine
 
Beat me to it. Dead simple and tough, but kind of a clunky system.

smitski2001 03-12-2012 06:13 PM

Re: Auto-Pilot choices besides RayMarine
 
Thanx all for your responses...
I got a line on a guy (kodiakjack99 on Ebay) who provided some old hardware to others on the Blog... I'm waiting to hear if he can provide me a Control Head display, is it used and what the price is. I'm not sure if this is a smart idea, but I've taken a chance before ant it's paid off... Might be worth it for a few hundred max, but any more and I'll need to replace the ST4000... I don't know how I could mount the CPT, since the Catalina C320 has the Engine Module under the wheel on the binnacle... Would anyone know if the RayMarine X-5 could use the existing cabling from the ST4000 or would I need to pull new wires?


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