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  #1  
Old 11-05-2012
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Autopilot replacement recommendations

I would like to replace my old autopilot this winter. Anyone have good recommendation on a model, package and manuf? I have a simnet network with all Simrad instruments and chartplotter but Simrad autopilots are very expensive.
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Old 11-05-2012
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Re: Autopilot replacement recommendations

I have a Raymarine x-5 wheelpilot on my boat and really like it, but it would be too small for your boat. I am by no means an expert on any of this, but I looked at a lot of different systems before I went with the wheel pilot, but if I recall correctly the Simrad SD10 below decks drive and and AC12 computer would probably work well with your boat and you could probably get a package for just over $2k.....not too bad for a system that should be plug and play with your existing network.
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Old 11-05-2012
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Re: Autopilot replacement recommendations

I don't know how big or heavy your boat is,how much and what kind of sailing you do. I can tell you this. My 40' at about#20000 came with a raymarine that was driven off the wheel. It worked fine under light conditions but would let go when under a medium to heavy helm. It was an older unit and started acting up, so I replaced it with a Raymarine st70 with a x10 course computer and type 1 linear drive. Rated at #24000 it works great.
I personally feel the autohelm is the most used and appreciated piece of equipment on my boat. I am not an old salt or hardcore sailor. We are liveaboards.
It cost me about $2800. I installed myself and cannot imagine my life without it.
The manufactures will recommend the size you need for your boat type and weight, but go bigger! Size matters,lol,
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Old 11-05-2012
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Re: Autopilot replacement recommendations

the X5 wheelpilot should be sufficient. its rated for up to 17,000 pounds or so. I'm just finishing an install with a NMEA 2000 network. Just needs a Seatalk to NMEA cable
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Old 11-05-2012
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Re: Autopilot replacement recommendations

Simple heavy duty wheel pilot.

CPT Autopilot Inc.
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Old 11-05-2012
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Re: Autopilot replacement recommendations

I also have the Raymarine X-5 wheel pilot with the P70 head unit(installed in May), and it works well in many conditions. Our boat is only about 11500 lbs. However this little unit is better than the Smirad WP was. Many useful settings to counter sea state, sail by wind angle or integrate it into your chart plotter. One happy user here.
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Old 11-05-2012
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Re: Autopilot replacement recommendations

This is very interesting. I'm in the market for a while autopilot myself and I'm waffling between the CPT and the X-5. I'm concerned that the X-5 has so many plastic pieces in the drive train. What has your experience been with wear and tear?
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Old 11-06-2012
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Re: Autopilot replacement recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by dacap06 View Post
This is very interesting. I'm in the market for a while autopilot myself and I'm waffling between the CPT and the X-5. I'm concerned that the X-5 has so many plastic pieces in the drive train. What has your experience been with wear and tear?

The only trouble I have had with mine has been some minor glitches in the communication between the Raymarine autopilot control head and the Garmin chartplotter....I have to recalibrate the compass every few months. As for the actual construction of the wheelpilot and its function I have had no problems or concerns.
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Re: Autopilot replacement recommendations

I would want to connect the autopilot to the Simnet network and hopefully use the NMEA side of my Simrad NSS chartplotter. The Raymarine X5 is rated for 16,500 displacement and my sailboat has a 15,000 displacement but it's 84' so I am sure it's slightly heavier now. The cost of a Simrad SD10 drive, AC12 computer, Compass and AP24 head is around $3,400, more expensive then Raymarine. I don't care if it is above or below the deck system, as long as it works in most conditions. I don't think that the X5 will connect to my network (A upgrade of all new Simrad instruments and new NSS chartplotter with a backbone Simnet network... a well spent investment!)
I was hoping that there was a similar system out there that could read my instruments and chartplotter on the NMEA side of the system. Not sure if this will work.
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Re: Autopilot replacement recommendations

If your network is NMEA 2000 the X5 should work, but you might have to make a cable to connect to the Simrad connectors. A major drawback of these proprietary networks!
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