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Old 12-21-2000
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Autopilot for

Wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a good choice of an autopilot for our 40'' steel ketch.We have had a AquaMarine below deck autopilot with a flux gate compass in it.It has worked for us and the previos owner,but has never been accurate to set by its knob with its calibrated degrees. The previous owner also tried a wheel pilot which he later replaced with the Aquamarine.I''ve been told that a pilot using a flux gate compass simply will not work in a steel hull.I would like to find a autopilot which can interface with our GPS.
Thanks, Dave
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Old 12-22-2000
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Autopilot for

There are several autopilots on the market that interface with GPS. For example, we can put the Autohelm ST7000 autopilot on our cat into track mode and follow the commands the Magellan 6500 GPS sends out.

I''d make sure that the autpilot and the GPS use compatible formats. For example, some of the cheaper Autohelm autopilots need a sea-talk to NMEA converter.

Unless the Autopilot wigs out due to quickly fluctuating magnetic readings, everything should work as you envision. We''ve sailed without any trouble through magnetic ananomly zones with the Autohelm in GPS track mode, even as the magnetic reading on the compass drifted off and then came back.
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