Here's the response I got from Sailnet's Mallory back in September I think... just some product info. Very helpful.
I'll definitely buy it here when the finances recover from the holidays. The November Availability date was pushed back.. don't know how far though.
Thanks for the inquiry. I think the following info will help with your decision. I have noted the major differences in red. If it were me I would wait for the X5 to be released for the sole fact that a rudder sensor is no longer needed on the X5 pilot. Everything else is fairly comparable; both drives are powerful enough for you, displays are the same, and fluxgate compass. Again, the course computer is the same except for the addition of the rate gyro compass and the AST software which I expand on below.
ST4000 - Discontinued. The part you see on our site is the replacement drive unit only.
S1 - This replaces the ST4000. ($1094)
- Enough power to handle your tonnage (18,700 lbs max)
- Uses same drive as ST4000.
- Uses rudder feedback sensor to determine rudder position and therefore compensate (beneficial for sailing downwind).
- No rate gyo sensor. Available as an upgrade though.
- NMEA 0183 - GPS can talk to Pilot. Course to steer etc.
- ST6002 control Head. This is your std control head and will do everything you need. ST8002 has a larger display and some other features but I cant see any benefits to upgrading for a wheel pilot.
X5 - Replaces the S1. (available 11/19/08) (same price as S1)
- Enough power to handle your tonnage. (16.500 lbs max)
- Basically same drive unit as S1.
- Course computer now has rate gyro standard.
- Rudder feedback sensor eliminated. Course computer now has software (AST) to do what the rudder sensor used to do. This is huge since installing the rudder sensor is a huge pain.
- NMEA 2000 connection as well as NMEA 0183. This doesnt really add any particular benefit to you.
Please let me know what questions you have after comparing this data.
Marine.com, Sailnet.com, Speedwake.com