Interfacing Autopilot With GPS - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 02-19-2008
teshannon's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 2,713
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
teshannon has a spectacular aura about teshannon has a spectacular aura about teshannon has a spectacular aura about
Interfacing Autopilot With GPS

I've read pros and cons about interfacing my autopilot with my GPS but was wondering what everyone here thinks of the idea. Thanks.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 02-19-2008
PBzeer's Avatar
Wandering Aimlessly
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cruising
Posts: 19,799
Thanks: 0
Thanked 78 Times in 75 Posts
Rep Power: 14
PBzeer has a spectacular aura about PBzeer has a spectacular aura about PBzeer has a spectacular aura about
While I have the capability to do so, it's not something I have done, nor see a need to do. Once I have reached and maintained a heading, I then set the AP.
__________________
John
Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Website & Blog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 02-19-2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 1,807
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 9
btrayfors will become famous soon enough btrayfors will become famous soon enough
IMHO, for many people this is a BAD idea. It can make for sloppy navigation and watchkeeping, easily setting you onto a reef or the beach if you don't pay attention.

Like pbzeer, I have the capability to interface my autopilot with the chartplotter/GPS, but have not done it because I believe it's both unnecessary and potentially a problem.

Bill
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 02-19-2008
sailortjk1's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Porter, IN
Posts: 4,647
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 10
sailortjk1 has a spectacular aura about sailortjk1 has a spectacular aura about
I use it all the time with my Chartplotter/GPS and I use it safely. I think it has an advantage that btrayfors disputes.

When on a cruise, I set the GOTO to the Curser which I place at my next mark, the GOTO curser than marks my bearing to that mark with a solid black line, I than follow that line back to the vessel making sure that it does not cross any objects I don't want to hit such as breakwalls, shoals, rocks, pier heads, etc.. If I need to I adjust.

And it is very accurate, we have set a GOTO and had the pilot steer to that mark for long periods. The pilot will in fact bring us right to that mark.

I like using it with the plotter/gps. Don't know if this is different from just a GPS unit, but with a chartplotter I find it very valuable.
__________________
Courtney is My Hero

If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 02-19-2008
eherlihy's Avatar
Learning the HARD way...
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Boston Area
Posts: 3,374
Thanks: 94
Thanked 51 Times in 50 Posts
Rep Power: 8
eherlihy will become famous soon enough
Add one more to the list of "don't do it."

I had an AP on the last boat that I chartered, and liked that it could hold a heading for a couple of hours, enabling me to better trim sails, converse with the admiral, and hit the head. I would NOT, however, have interfaced it with the GPS. That would be asking for trouble. (enabling / encouraging poor watch keeping, and sloppy navigation)

Ed
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 02-19-2008
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Edmonds, WA
Posts: 26
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
SailorByFate is on a distinguished road
I agree with sailortjk1 that a GPS controlled autopilot can make you more safe. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have strong currents that are difficult to predict with any precision. So a course maintained by an autopilot compass alone can get you in trouble. I set my waypoints carefully to stay out of shallows so I like my track to follow my planned course as closely as possible. The GPS is an independent source of navigation info and serves to double-check my own navigation.

Having said that, I'll add a few points:

It is illegal and unsafe to not have a constant watch while underway. If you think any electronic aid changes this, you are a danger to yourself and others.

My GPS will not initiate a turn on its own. It beeps and I have to hit a button to confirm it. So no big surprises if I am distracted.

I have taken two classes in navigating with paper charts. I keep the paper charts at hand and regularly confirm through visual observations that the boat is where it ought to be. I wouldn't have it any other way.

If the GPS loses communication (this has happened to me) my autopilot maintains the last known heading. I'm glad it works this way.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 02-19-2008
labatt's Avatar
I'd rather be sailing
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: The state of s/v/ Pelican
Posts: 1,901
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 9
labatt will become famous soon enough
All I can say is - be careful.

__________________
s/v "Pelican" Passport 40 #076- Finished Cruising - for the moment -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
"Don't dream your life, live your dream" - Bob Bitchin'
"I'll see it when I believe it" - Me
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 02-19-2008
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Edmonds, WA
Posts: 26
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
SailorByFate is on a distinguished road
Well said, labatt.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 02-19-2008
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 44
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
capt.stu is on a distinguished road
time and place for everything

I use my chartplotter with my autopilot when in open water and low traffic situations. It works great. I can relax and enjoy the views. No need for it in tight situations.
Stu
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 02-19-2008
billyruffn's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,272
Thanks: 5
Thanked 25 Times in 17 Posts
Rep Power: 10
billyruffn will become famous soon enough
Sandwiching human cognition between electronic wizardry makes very good sense.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
GPS Gets More Accuracy Jim Sexton Seamanship Articles 0 05-21-2000 08:00 PM
GPS Gets More Accuracy Jim Sexton Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 05-21-2000 08:00 PM
GPS Gets More Accuracy Jim Sexton Cruising Articles 0 05-21-2000 08:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:46 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.