Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Southeastern Michigan
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I borrowed a cockpit-type Autohelm last year from a friend and I went out and bought one of my own before I begain sailing this season. I have the ST1000+ by Raymarine and think it was the best $400 I've spent in a long, long time. I don't know the weight of your boat, but this model is meant to handle boats up to 6,600 lbs.
Installation took about an hour and it works great. You become a passenger at the push of a button. I singlehand a lot, and it really is great from a safety and comfort standpoint. I used to tie off the helm and scamper to the foredeck to tend my hank-on headsails before the wind shifted. Now I can hang out on the foredeck, cook a meal, read charts, etc. I just have to trim the sails and check for traffic.
It does take up a bit of room in the cockpit, but that's really the only disadvantage. For the money, you can't beat it.