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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-26-2007
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Simrad autopilot?

Our new old boat is coming along in its rehabilitation. We would like an autopilot. I see that Simrad used to make a wheel autopilot but stopped. You can still but the model WP32.

This appeals to me as it says it is easy to install. (We are staying in the Cheaspeake Bay and not doing off-shore sailing)

My concern is buying a product that has beed discontinued.

Anybody have a Simrad and how do they like it?

Any idea why they discontinued the product?

Any info much appreciated, SaltyPat
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Old 08-26-2007
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I have one their pilots and it has been great - seems bulletproof and always works, even in heavy winds and waves (15000 lb displacement). I would not hesitate to buy one. I wonder if you would get a good price on a closeout. Did not know they had stopped making them.
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Old 08-26-2007
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SaltyPat-

Is the autopilot you're looking at new or used. If new, it should still be supported and covered by warranty. Provided the unit is designed for your boat's displacement, you should be fine.

Many companies have stopped making wheel autopilots in favor of more robust and reliable below-deck units, that connect to the quadrant instead of the wheel. Being protected means that the units generally have fewer environment-related warranty problems.
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Old 08-27-2007
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I installed the Simrad wheel pilot WP-30 three years ago and loved it until it started going wacky on me recently. I emailed Simrad last week but haven't heard back. I'm hoping they still support the unit (out of warranty) as I prefer its appearance, simplicity, and ease of installation over the Raymarine.

I did a search on the WP-32 but couldn't find anyone who still stocked it.

Irish
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Old 08-31-2007
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WP30/32 belts

Quote:
Originally Posted by quinlanmw View Post
I installed the Simrad wheel pilot WP-30 three years ago and loved it until it started going wacky on me recently.
Irish
The unit starts to act radically when the belt goes bad. Have you changed it out within the last 3 years?

My greatest concern is finding a source for a replacement belt. It's a Dayco and they have a search function on their web site, but my WP30 is currently in storage with the boat so I don't have its number. Does anyone know of a source of belts other than Simrad?
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Old 10-12-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rljend View Post
The unit starts to act radically when the belt goes bad. Have you changed it out within the last 3 years?

My greatest concern is finding a source for a replacement belt. It's a Dayco and they have a search function on their web site, but my WP30 is currently in storage with the boat so I don't have its number. Does anyone know of a source of belts other than Simrad?
Yes. I just ordered one from a fellow who sells on eBay, and also on the Classifieds section of the BoatUS site. He sells the replacement belt for $28.50 and $7 shipping on the BoatUS site (slightly less than going through eBay). I'll report back when I get it and install it. I called Simrad and they were out of the belts temporarily and the fellow there actually recommended the eBay guy as a good source of the belts.

His name is Steven White and you can find him on the BoatUS site by clicking on Classifieds, and then Illinois in the state list.

Charleston Yachting also may have some of the belts but they haven't returned my phone call yet. That's owned by Randy Draftz, formerly of Sailnet back during the Boyle days. Randy bought the Sailnet inventory at auction back when, or so I hear.
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Old 10-13-2007
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To add to the question of simrad autopilot choice, I am considering the WP32 also, but the documentation says it can be hooked up to a Simrad wind instrument, so you can sail at a given degree to the wind, etc. I have no wind, or speed instruments yet, and am considering the different brands of tri data units (Raymarine st-40, st-60, and simrad). Since I will be buying all of this equipment new this winter, how much does it matter to have the same brand autopilot, as wind/speed instruments?
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Old 10-13-2007
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Speaking as one who installs and services these things sort of professionally (I'm retired, but like to get my hands dirty), I would tell you that technically, they all talk to one another. As a practical matter though, I've found it easier build on a single brand...it's much easier to get tech support for instance, if you 're placing just one call.

howard keiper
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