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UlfilasBoldes 03-22-2007 02:57 PM

Raymarine S1 autopilot
I am exploring the posibility of buying this autopilot.
I would appreciate opinions about the performance of the S1.

sailaway21 03-22-2007 03:00 PM

Just bought the tiller version and, as soon as the rain stops, I'm going out to the driveway to install it. I will update as progress is made. Best price I found was right here on's store.

PBzeer 03-22-2007 04:14 PM

Like sailaway, the best price I found was here on sailnet. I just recently finished the installation of my S1 wheelpilot. Only been out with it once, and that was to swing the compass on it, and finish the calibrations. Well, was much to good a sailing day, and we ended up just sailing instead. Even without being fully tweaked, it maintained course well and performed properly. If you'll be using it alot in open waters, you might want to go with the G model (built in gyro).

Except for the rudder sensor, it was a snap to install.

sailaway21 03-22-2007 04:31 PM

btw, the gyro sensor comes stock on the tiller version.

John/Illinois 03-22-2007 04:33 PM

Installed it last summer (one of the first wheel pilot systems). Works very well in all but heavy weather - above 18K, and straight down wind. I have not fully sorted and feel sure that will improve performance. Install was straight forward except for the rudder positioning arm. This required custom fabrication on my part. This is boat specific and might be easy on some. Not so on my Catalina 27. I would buy again. Some tech savy is necessary. John/Ky Lake

sailingdog 03-22-2007 05:56 PM


Originally Posted by UlfilasBoldes
I am exploring the posibility of buying this autopilot.
I would appreciate opinions about the performance of the S1.

It would help if you said what boat you had and whether it was tiller or wheel steering. If it has wheel steering, how many turns is it to go from lock-to-lock?

The S1 is only rated for up to a specific displacement range. Also, some wheel steering systems take too many turns lock-to-lock for it to be effective.

sailaway21 03-30-2007 11:28 PM

My installation was pretty straight forward, in spite of the installation guide's inability to decide which measurement system to use. Those with a passion for exactness may waste some time in pursuit of 2.5mm drill bits or get hung up on the fact that 18 mm is not quite 3/4 of an inch or whatever it was.

As usual, the installation manual, as written, would lead one to believe that no power cables should be anywhere near the display-even the power cables for the display itself. Is Don Casey the only one left on the planet that can explain something simple, in a simple fashion? And this drawing business, with either a check or an X next to it, in hopes of universal translation, is getting stretched pretty thin. On a $900 unit, one would think that the written instructions could be a little more expansive than they are. The operational controls and calibration of the unit itself seem pretty straight forward to this point.

Interestingly, the unit is manufactured in Hungary.

I will update on performance when the boat is wet.

Lecy 04-03-2007 01:23 PM

That is the autopilot of choice right now with the service department at the boat yard I work at.

Idiens 04-03-2007 01:39 PM

Just buy two of everything if your long distance cruising. I have three generations of autopilots, the oldest from 30 years ago (but its electronics vanished). I have an original ST3000 (which is looking like it wants to die but won't) and a last model ST3000 (the chandler was very glad to get rid of it). What's an S1?

sailaway21 04-04-2007 06:23 PM

The S1 autopilot by Raymarine is the replacement for the ST4000 wheel and tiller pilots. It is a 'below decks' pilot as to the computer and flux-gate compass. The tiller pilot comes with a steering rate gyro integral to the computer. The wheel pilot has the rate gyro available as an add-on. Raymarine appears to be moving in a modular direction, with greater compatability of their components.

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