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gmaurer 06-21-2002 08:27 AM

Raymarine Autopilot
Recently installed a 4000 MkII in my 28'' Ericson with wheel steering.
Here are some things to watch out for:
1) Raymarine Customer Sevice through their Internet Website is poor at best. Their answers are curt (when you can get one). Try talking live.
2) The 4000 is recommended for smaller boats (under 18,000 pounds as I recall). Several problems arise: The drive unit will not mount to 3/8" dia. wheel spokes (typical for smaller vessels). The fluxgate compass must be located well away from outside (metallic)influences, but recommended within a certain window of the boat (distance off of centerline and in the aft third). This is difficult at best, and I have been unable to achieve the minimum diviation recommended, irrespective of the location. 3) During the initial trial, I ran into a "No Link" message on the control head and the unit would not function. This message is not addressed in the Manual, and I received conflicting information from Raymarine. Ultimately had to return the new head for service.

duffyM 06-21-2002 12:49 PM

Raymarine Autopilot
I hear ya loud and clear!!!!!!!!!
I tried to buy a spare belt for my wp5000 fron sail net they wanted me to measure the belt for them? I gave sailnet the number( GATES power grip # 506XL050) sailnet could not cross ref. it and told me to go to a auto supply house .I e-mailed west marine they said how many do I want ,I orderd 2 shall I go on?..I''M happy .west seems to treat everyone the same weather you spend just a hundred bucks or a thousand

MaryBeth 06-21-2002 08:25 PM

Raymarine Autopilot

I am so sad to hear that people are having trouble with Raymarine (hard for me to remember not to call them Raytheon) products!! I lived on the southeast coast for years, working on boats up to Lake Erie and down to Florida, and was always treated very well, with what I considered a very quick response, whether I needed something for a 23 footer (yes!) or a 56 footer, auto pilot or electronics. I''ve slept since then and can''t recall the gentleman''s name (Roy, Ray, Joe, something like that, oh, he''d be mad at me now for forgetting) but I can remember that it only took one phone call to either get what I needed or to get help sent to me. Of course, that was on the phone, not online. Hope you have much better experiences down the road.

And, tho I work for the competition now, West Marine does indeed take excellent care of all it''s customers.

Fair Winds,

Jeff_H 06-22-2002 05:27 AM

Raymarine Autopilot
I too have had very positive experiences with my nearly 10 years old Raytheon equipment and with the new Raymarine Company on my boat. (Take heart MaryBeth, I still think of the company as Ray-Jefferson. Its a generational thing.)


Constantin 06-28-2002 12:03 PM

Raymarine Autopilot
I second the notion that the post-sale service can be poor. I had to send four Autohelm instruments to Raytheon b/c the displays would fade to nil if the backlighting was turned on. $50 per instrument later and I was back in business.

However, the person I was assigned to at the NH service center did not speak English, French, or German. Hence, I had a very hard time communicating. This was very frustrating...

But, I have not abandoned the brand either. After all, the competition doesn''t offer longer warranties and the folks at Raymarine have redesigned the Autohelm junk to last longer. Furthermore, for that kind of money I''d rather install a radar/chartplotter.

Thus, as the ST-50 gear on board wears out I am replacing it with ST-60 gear, which will hopefully be somewhat more robust (and water-proof!)

Cheers! Constantin

tsenator 06-28-2002 12:50 PM

Raymarine Autopilot
Really, I have called Raymarine''s service in Nashua, NH many times and had no problem with the people and they all spoke english.

I will admit that it isn''t the cheapest outfit in the world when it comes to getting something fixed.....I guess they are trying to stay in business

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