Join Date: Feb 2010
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I installed a Raymarine Wheelpilot on my previous boat, a C&C 33. Only wish I'd done it sooner.
Do you have any wind instrument presently? I had a Standard Horizon wind and speed/depth, which had NMEA-0183 outputs. The Raymarine AP was perfectly happy to follow wind angle from the NMEA input. I did not use it often, but there were times it was quite useful, following wind shifts on middling long passages.
My current boat is all Raymarine ST60, so the 400G AP follows wind from the ST60 Wind instrument on Seatalk. For the first couple of years, I still used the AP NMEA input to follow waypoint/route info from a Garmin chartplotter.
If you don't have any wind instrument, or one without Seatalk or NMEA, then your $1000 figure sounds about right. In which case, I'd say it depends on where and how you sail... would tracking +/- 20 degree windshifts without touching the sails be worth it, and do you generally have the manoeuvering room? (and before any one else says it, you still need to keep an eye out for what's in the way (duh), though the AP will give a WindShift alarm if it has to deviate too far from the original course.
Nothing I've read in Raymarine or other documentation gives any indication that the AP uses wind info in non-wind mode. Vessel speed, yes, but not wind. The AP can do an "autotack" based on a pre-set tack angle in auto mode, while in wind mode it will go to the same apparent wind angle on the new tack.
1998 Jeanneau SO45.2
Last edited by redline; 04-01-2010 at 09:50 AM.