I am considering the installation of the first autopilot in my boat. I want the new Garmin Product GHP12.
It has great company reviews from Garmin; however, I have not seen any independent reviews on the performance or installation...Any news or experience with this product out there?
I just installed the GHP 12 after upgrading all my instruments(failed wind and water speed) to Garmin on my '97 Caliber 40LRC. I used my existing Simrad/Robertson HLD2000L drive which works perfectly with the GHP 12. For those wanting to use this drive, it uses European wiring standards of Brown(+) and Blue(N). The clutch solenoid voltage is 12v.
The system worked flawlessly while motoring for an hour and then sailing for 2 in 15kts. I even trimmed the boat with a lot of weather helm and the pilot held it perfectly in some mixed chop. Something my previous Robertson AP had trouble doing. The Robertson compass was suspect but a replacement was nearly as much as a new Garmin unit. We also tested sailing by wind angle but did not do any tacks or gybes yet. I will test those in lighter conditions.
I have yet to connect my 3206 via NMEA 0183 and test it's ability to steer to a waypoint.
BTW, I used a Raymarine rudder position feedback sensor with Garmin's cable adapter. Garmin tech support indicated that while the GHC10 would show rudder position, the data would not be available to my GMI10 MFDs. They were wrong. I can easily display an analog rudder position graphic on the GMI10.
The installation was very straightforward although the alarm/power-on pigtail from the CCU should come off the opposite end of the cable to make routing easier. Once powered up the GHC10 walked me through the initial setup which includes selecting the non-Garmin drive unit. The sea initialization was also very easy to do.
Warning, there are many typos and incorrect wiring info in the Garmin Docs which are very limited to begin with. If you use a field installable NMEA2000 connector, wire it according to the back of the connector, not what the documentation says.
The only feature this AP does not have that I used to use often on my Ray S1 and Robertson AP300 is the dodge feature which makes it easy to temporarily alter course to steer around something and then resume your original course. On the Garmin you either have to step turn around it our go to standby and remember what your original course was.
The NMEA 2000 bus is a joy to work with. Very easy to add new sensors or MFDs. I have nearly eliminated the NMEA0183 wiring in my boat by utilizing Garmins marine network and NMEA 2000. The only NMEA 0183 connections I still have are for AIS and to connect the chartplotters to the AP and VHF to a GPS antennae. No more need for a multiplexor either.
Feel free to PM me for more info.