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  #21  
Old 08-25-2006
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Once deciding upon the builder and model, we inspected four boats for sale along the east coast before settling on the one we have. One of the big deal breakers was the integrated ST6000+ Autopilot. However, since our dual helm steering is hydraulic, the AP mechanism is concealed in the aft rudder post compartnent - therefore, no "ugly" equipment is attached to the wheels.

I'm not certain if this option is relevant to your situation, but if so, worthy of investigation.
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  #22  
Old 08-25-2006
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upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by CptZ
Captnnero, I think you have hit it on the head here. We enjoy sailing, and at this time we are not ready to cut lines and leave for good. So we weekend and daysail a lot. The addition of an autopilot just makes life easier. That being said, Judy is afarid that by adding one it will make the boat look cluttered. That I can agree with!

Why have I decided on this unit? Well after 4 calls and 2 e-mails unanswered by Raymarine I gave up! I would rather have a unit that when it breaks, and all mechanical things will break, has customer support behind it.
Being a yacht broker I tend to be looking at "upgrades" and repairs from the re-sale point of view. You have to be careful on how far you tug the vessel from the new configuration. Adding an autopilot is one of those safe re-sale upgrades if it is done in a professional manner.

I had a good experience with Raymarine support a few years ago when I was programming a new one that I installed. The fellow gave me some magic numbers in the setup and then everything worked fine. Otherwise I've have't had to deal with them in a hardware repair sense. I think the support office was in New England.
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  #23  
Old 08-25-2006
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"Well after 4 calls and 2 e-mails unanswered by Raymarine I gave up!"
I confess, I haven't called them this summer. But in the past they have answered the phone on the first call and always transferred me to a knowledgeable & friendly technician, who has been able to provide answers on the spot. I hope your experience doesn't mean they've outsourced overseas...
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Old 08-26-2006
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Judy, this link provides a different view of the installation:
http://www.marine-electronics-unlimi...heelpilot.html
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Old 08-26-2006
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I had to deal with them this past spring and didn't have a problem with contacting them. Their support center is located in Connecticut IIRC. At least the phone number went to CT, and the people spoke unaccented English, so I don't believe their support has been outsourced overseas yet.
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  #26  
Old 08-27-2006
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An Autopilot buys me time to hit the head and my wife time to tend to the newborn. Come one now, these things are only $700 so even arguing about the resale is a joke after spending over $40k on a boat.
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Old 08-27-2006
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Option #1: Go to the head, leave the wife on the helm, and the newborn on the cockpit floor. Newborns actually can survive unattended for as long as it takes to use the head.

Option #2: Send the wife below with the newborn, and use the bottle, or rail, from the helm.

Option #3 (the cheap autopilot) and #4 (the expensive one) are both way more complicated. Stick the $700 in an educational savings account for the baby now, let him/her explain to their shrink "Well, I was briefly neglected eighteen years ago while my parent was steering the boat" and the shrink will probably say "That was a good thing, it taught you that crying doesn't bring immediate gratification!".

I know, it's a baby. YOUR baby. They're surprisingly robust. Like puppies,they just need time to get used to the world.
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  #28  
Old 08-28-2006
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Support for Raymarine is in NH (according to their web site). I am going to give them a call today as after playing with www.froogle.com I was able to get the price difference next to nothing.

I just have questions about the install that I need answered by a tech. So I will give them one more chance.

I have received some good advice her and would like to thank everyone for it.
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