Old enough to know better
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Beacon, NY
Thanked 178 Times in 174 Posts
Rep Power: 11
Re: autopilot for coronado 45 - wheel or not
On a boat that size I think you only have the choice of CPT wheel pilot or an under deck system. The CPT is not really able to be connected to a chart plotter or other automatic systems but is quite simple and from what I have read very reliable. Kind of the KISS concept, nothing more than keeping a heading, but does it well. If you want to be able to tie into a chart plotter, then you are locked into a below deck mount, and your price goes up from there.
As a side note I have read someone has successfully hacked a CPT to connect to some other controllers, but I don't think I would want to attempt it, and I am a hacker by nature. I think systems like this are best left stock. CPT's support is supposed to be good and most of the components are common parts that can be sourced locally almost anywhere in the world (the motor is a windshield wiper motor).
If you use an auto pilot that is not intended for that heavy of a boat, and I think the Raymarine X5 is rated at 16,000 pounds, you will obviously be on your own and likely void the warranty. You might be OK with very well balanced sail trim, but if you have a rapid change in wind direction you could easily overpower the system and do some damage to the components. I think Ray is the only other wheel mounted available anymore in the US at least.
Last edited by miatapaul; 10-16-2013 at 05:40 PM.