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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 01-08-2004
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Below Deck Autopilots

I am looking to replace the AH4000 on my Ericson 38-200, since its not working and I''d rather put the boat units toward something more modern than fixing something that is likely to have anothe component go bad soon anyway. And since I''m not satisfied with the tracking of my ST4000+ in my old boat, I am considering a below-deck, rate gyroed pilot, which should hopefully steer better with more rapid course adjustments.

So between the three major brands -- B&G, Simrad, and Raymarine -- what are their differences, reputations, dependability etc.? What do you guys like and why?
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Old 01-08-2004
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Below Deck Autopilots

My friend says: "Actuator installed on it''s pedastal on the platform. The unit is a AutoNav autopilot system capable of steering up to a 65'' vessel. It hooks into my Nexus server and electronics as a completely integrated system. The drive system is the same as the one used by B&G for about half the price. Nexus and AutoNav are now part of ComNav. Great stuff!"

You can see his installation at:
http://www.sailboatowners.com/upload/display.tpl?folder=73166949225&fno=17

I am partial to Simrad only because of the service I have gotten from my WP30. My boat is over 18000# and this wheel steerer has not failed in any conditions in five years. Like you, if I had the boat bucks, I would go belowdecks.
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Old 01-08-2004
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Below Deck Autopilots

I too have a Nexus pilot on my IP-32 MOrning Star and I love it. I shot some photos of my install including the support bracket, tiller arm, rudder indicator transducer and some other items, just visit my website and you will see the photos and descriptions on the main page.
http://ipsailor.com

Fair winds, calm seas,
Captain Bruce Gregory
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Old 01-09-2004
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Below Deck Autopilots

Comnav also offers to reuse your existing below decks rudder control system in many cases. with their new Nexus control head and interface to the Nexus server.

Has anyone done that?

I''m interested because we have a very beefy rotary chain drive (Benmar M-series) with the existing autopilot. The drive works very well as is, but we''d really like the interface to the nav/wind/gps data.
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Old 01-09-2004
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Below Deck Autopilots

Sounds like you want a 3000 system from Alpha marine (http://www.alphamarinesystems.com/). Our CS 36 came with one which has worked well for us, and successfully took the PO to Latin America and back.
Very nice equipment.

good luck.
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Old 01-10-2004
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Below Deck Autopilots

I have an Alpha 4404 and I have been very pleased with the unit. It is not fancy but it works pretty well.
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Old 01-11-2004
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Below Deck Autopilots

I have owned both a Raymarine (6000) and Simrad (AP22) underdeck pilot and both have given me excellent service on two diffferent boats. The Simrad has a hydraulic assisted ram and is well suited to heavy duty use but for a boat your size, the Raymarine screw type ram should do just fine. I''d pick the cheaper of the two!
Hope this helps...
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Old 01-12-2004
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Below Deck Autopilots

Actually my question is specifically aimed at mixing an existing under deck drive system with a new control head from a different mfg.

I suspect that the depth/breadth of their technical support would be a key success factor.

Apparently not all the control heads will read wind data from a different mfgs nav instruments. Any observations?
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Old 01-13-2004
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Below Deck Autopilots

When you "mix & match" components fromn different manufacturers, you open yourself up to "finger pointing". Any problem that you have with the "system" will be the "other guy''s" fault.
This is not entirely unreasonable.
When you assemble a "System" from components, YOU are the one responsible for the final finished assembly.
Sometimes it''s no problem (if you know what you''re doing), and sometimes it is (a problem)
Regards,
Gord
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