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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Member reviews: Raymarine's X series Autopilots
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Thread: Member reviews: Raymarine's X series Autopilots Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-02-2011 08:44 AM
Will2905 Never buy Raymarine products - go for one of the other brands. I've had so much trouble trying to get my systems fixed it's taken over a year now, and still counting. Their customer service team never does anything on time, they promise to send engineers, and they never come, and there's no logical reason why it would take so long to get things fixed.

Really disappointing - must be down to their going into administration and never quite recovering - honestly urge you to stay well clear.
11-14-2009 11:45 PM
scottyt for all those suckers who bought an s1 or an x5 i would be willing to dispose of it for you. i would even pay shipping to me.

if any one has one they removed in working condition or even with just a broken wheel drive let me know. i dont have an auto pilot and even the admiral pilot does not work too well. single handing is fine but no auto pilot or even a wheel lock its gets harder.
11-14-2009 11:25 PM
negrini I think wheel pilots had very limited use, on sheltered waters or easy winds, for instance. Global changes on weather patterns, waves, winds and currents, etc ... put even the old belief on hydraulic drives robustness on check, with a growing demand for repair. Wheel drives have an even narrower use nowadays, so consider a below deck drive instead a X-5 wheel ....
11-14-2009 08:59 PM
tackdriver
Quote:
Originally Posted by artbyjody View Post
since I am looking into 38 footers (and placed an offer on one), I am considering going all Raymarine since all the hardware I purchased for the C-27 will be going onboard. .... I am wondering if anyone has installed and used the X-5 Wheel Autopilot as of yet?
This is an old post, but I can't find many people (suckers) like me who installed the crap that is the x-5.

I need to expand a little on that. The software is great. Everything they say about the system not needing a rudder sensor is true. The board has an accelerometer chip on it which it uses to sense the reaction to the application of steering. It really works well. The good news ends there.

The wheel steering unit is rubbish. The motor housings break more often than not, and the gearbox will not handle your 38 footer, as it doesn't handle mine. I've been through two of them so far. This unit would be OK for a power boat or a small yacht, but the weather helm and swell-steering that you get on a bigger boat breaks the steering system.

Don't bother with the angst of a broken autopilot. Don't bother with the x-5.
cheers
JMB
03-28-2008 01:50 AM
artbyjody I tend to think - the more everything works together the better the system is. But comparing issues with some brands and lack of follow on support is the most crucial... who wants to be stuck in the S Pacific suddenly to hear "Nope we no longer support your gear:


The protocol is easier to understand than ASCII - but most brands somehow try to make the cabling to be a if you want it you need "x - engineer" to interface it..

This is the issue I see with Raymarine... the shelve more actual working products to force brand loyalty to go with the next big thing...
03-28-2008 01:28 AM
Valiente I'm not condemning the interfacing of GPS with autopilot, but I can see it leading to sloppy habits and an overreliance on one technology that I've seen with my own eyes being "skittish". Consider that a fluxgate compass might provide a "yawing" reading, telling the pilot to steer in broad S tracks, but if the GPS hiccups and adds half a degree to latitude right at the point you are feeding info to the pilot, your boat could take a hard turn to left or right with all sails up.

I have seen GPSes do this if they lose their satellite lock or if there's some sort of solar flare or "test outage". By contrast, a fluxgate might swing 20 degrees, but hardly ever 90.

Now, one answer might be this device:

ComNav Vector G2 GPS Satellite Compass w/NMEA - 11210001 - Compasses - Electronics - NavStore - Your Pro Marine Source - Detail

but for that price I could buy a tiller and a lifetime supply of shock cord.

Of course, the belt and suspenders route is to use a wind vane when sailing, and to save the autopilot for motoring or motor sailing.
03-27-2008 07:19 PM
brak
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
That's what NMEA-0183 (and latterly, NMEA-2000) is supposed to cover: these devices can talk to each other.

Although why an autopilot needs to "talk" to more than a fluxgate compass is beyond me, as I believe linking a pilot to a chartplotter and a bunch of GPS waypoints is risky business indeed (see my post in the "Obsolete Sextant" thread.
Actually, there is a good reason to do that aside from waypoints. My Raymarine S1G will use both heading and speed information from GPS to control the boat. Headings from GPS take precedence over those from the compass, when available - which may or may not be good I suppose, but certainly was always good in my case (fluxgate can fluctuate quite a bit in rought conditions and it's readings need a lot of dampening, GPS is a lot more stable).
Speed is very important, because when autopilot knows what speed the boat has, it can react differently to various conditions based on that (though on sailboats speed range is fairly narrow).

In addition, connecting autopilot to GPS makes it easier to set GPS's own fluxgate compass - just stay on a course, and press "sync" button. There are a few more good uses where autopilot - GPS linkage comes in handy.

Incidentally, I am quite pleased with S1G autopilot so far, which I can't say about the Garmin chartplotter, that died for no reason less than 6 months from purchase (and only after a few weeks of use).
03-27-2008 03:28 AM
Classic30
Quote:
Originally Posted by artbyjody View Post
That's the funniest thing I have read in awhile! Thanks!
You're quite welcome.
03-27-2008 02:04 AM
artbyjody
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
Jody, there's no technical reason why it can't be done: A little bolt-on electronics module to read the index setting when you press a button, some smarts to look up the tables for the date/time at your location and do the calcs and then bluetooth the position back to your laptop...

There is a small problem though - no-one would buy it!
That's the funniest thing I have read in awhile! Thanks!
03-27-2008 01:43 AM
Classic30
Quote:
Originally Posted by artbyjody View Post
Well sadly one can never interface a sextant into a autopilot either (although wouldn't that be nifty the first ever interface able NMEA 2000 Sextant....)
Jody, there's no technical reason why it can't be done: A little bolt-on electronics module to read the index setting when you press a button, some smarts to look up the tables for the date/time at your location and do the calcs and then bluetooth the position back to your laptop...

There is a small problem though - no-one would buy it!
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