Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked 189 Times in 185 Posts
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"kind of like taking the A/C out of your car to save gas "
A very appropriate comparison, since removing the AC and rolling down the windows in most modern cars (since the 70's) will actually DECREASE the gas mileage due to increased wind resistance.
And decrease the value of the car, or in this case, the boat. Wheel steering is an expensive option or upgrade. Yes there is more to go wrong but a tiller is also much more constant work and tiring in the long term.
And any autopilot that is above deck is considered unreliable, compared to one that is installed below deck, out of the constant exposure.
By all means, if you want "less stuff" pull the wheel steering, but then don't go putting in an autopilot because that's more stuff again.