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Thread: 6-2010 Raymarine Or Simrad Autopilot ? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-22-2010 03:40 AM
Careka Well thanks, i did get some
and since my house is 5 min walk away from where Simrad autopilots are made, i think i will go for SIMRAD all the way.
Sail safe, and have fun doing so.

06-21-2010 02:05 PM
Best Electronics package for your boat.

Hi Careka,
There is no one system that is the best.

I have a combination of Garmin MFD/Radar/NMEA2000sensors tied via NMEA0183 to a Raymarine pilot and instruments. And am pretty satisfied with it for my shorted handed coastal cruising on a 31 foot sailboat here in the Northeast US.

To generalize you need to factor in:

Personal preferences: Do you have good experience with a particular brand. What about the User Interface (U/I) is it simple enough yet have enough features to satisfy your Nav style and requirements. Do you have friends or technician who use a particular brand and would be around to guide and support you.

Type of boat and type of cruising: Big and slow or long distance favor more complex equipment with more adjustments and cross checks. Smaller and/or fast or short range navigation favor quick and simple solutions without a lot of options....and everything in between.

Local knowledge and brand mix: If one brand is very strong in your area or where you will be cruising, there is usually a good reason.

Finally budget: A higher investment usually assures greater reliability and better support if something does go wrong. Their are exceptions to this but when looking at packages in particular it is a good rule of thumb. Interestingly this metric does not always equate to ease of operation.

I understand you may have been hoping for a more specific answer, but there just isn't one.
06-18-2010 02:27 PM
Careka Hay Talbot,
what will be your set up. i am getting a new boat,
tell me, i need it all. and i want the best.
06-11-2010 02:55 PM
talbot Yes, simply replace the 125 with the GPS200.

Ted answered your question on the H2183. It's very well rated and actually the same unit Garmin private label and sell for more money. Anything Airmar (Maretron too) makes is usually very good. This unit has NMEA2000 & 0183 so pretty flexible in terms of what it can hook into. Having a compass added to your GPS will allow you to use radar overlay and I think also keep the boat pointing in the right direction on the plotter when it can't derived direction from the GPS COG feed. Most overlay software require 10hz output from the compass, which this has.

Kind of see that you are thinking NMEA2000 on all your interfacing. That is a good investment. Once the backbone is in place you just keep adding components and it all sorts it self theory.

06-11-2010 02:51 PM
svHyLyte We have an older Simrad/Robertson AP-11 with the hydraulic drive on our boat. (The current version would be the AP-24). Our unit has proven to be extremely reliable and function under even extreme conditions of wind and seas. Several of our friends have Raymarine units and have remarked on the difficulties they've had and frustrations with Raymarine Customer service, or the absence of. I would suggest the Simrad.

06-11-2010 01:00 PM
arisatx I believe the H2183 would replace the Simrad RC42.
06-11-2010 12:11 PM
Simrad AP

Thank you Talbot. I had a real nice telephone conversation with Simrad tech support this morning -- turns out, I grew up in Nashua, NH where the Simrad USA listed supoort/dealer is based -- small, small world. The Simrad AP can interface via NMEA0183 directly to Raymarine E120W series chartplotter, using an AT10 interface cable -- however, since both are also NMEA2000 compliant, would have to use a SimNet to Micro C cable for Simrad AP to talk to Raymarine E120W via NMEA2000..... not a big deal in the overall scheme of things.

If I go with the Maretron GPS200 unit, would that simply go in place of the Raystar 125 GPS unit ?

The Airmar H2183 seems like a wonderful upgrade -- I'm just not clear as to how it integrates with the Raymarine E120W....and does it take the place of anything ?
06-10-2010 07:28 PM
arisatx LMPSCPAC:

As Talbot mentions, Simrad AP's have a reputation for reliability and robustness. I am going N2K for the boat, hence my preference for the RF25.
The Maretron GPS is 5Hz and is updated for the latest magnetic variation per the Panbo entry here.
Also some good dialogue on H2183 by Dan Corcoran on Panbo here.
I don't anticipate problems interfacing with my Furuno NN3D MFD8, but as they say "in theory". We are currently on Lake Michigan but have not decided where to commission our V42.
06-10-2010 03:23 PM
talbot I can chime in on a few of your general questions:
  • The Simrad pilots are known to be more reliable and robust.
  • Raymarine are going through an ownership switch so parts and service may be spotty until they get acclimated in there new digs.
  • Raymarine have very strong dealer loyalty, particularly with dealers who work on sailboats. Plus they are simple to spec and install. Hence the disproportionate number of dealer endorsements over Simrad.
  • A mechanical drive is a little more efficient, and has less resistance when disengaged and being backdriven by the wheel. It also has lots of moving parts. Where as a hydraulic linear drive takes a little more power, is more reliable, and last; much better suited to a high torque installation (I think you Valiant qualifies in this department) that will really wear down a mechanical drive.
  • Raymarine steering algorithms are excellent and makes them very efficient (less corrections). But I think they also use cheaper sensors (gps/compass) to save cost. I would not consider the Simrad to be too far off of that as long as the drive lock to lock time is considered in terms of which drive to put on and on how long a tiller arm. Your installer would understand the requirements best. But a quick call and chat with a factory autopilot expert never hurts when making the final's good free advice.
  • The Maretron GPS, as well as many other brands are good. Remember a better GPS requires less dampening and is therefore more responsive to course and speed adjustments. They are all pretty accurate. Maretron does not speak Seatalk.
  • It's hard to find parts on the Simrad site. Since there merger with Navico many part numbers have been changed and duplicate parts discontinued. Again call them directly and if you don't mind waiting you will come out of it with good info.
  • Connection to your Raymarine plotter can be via SeaTalk, NMEA2000, or NMEA0183. The interface works fine with any one of these and just depends on the pilot chosen.
Hope this is helpful.
06-10-2010 01:34 PM

Thanks for the feedback fellow V42 owner/sailor. Interesting that you are using an RF25 RFU...I can't find that RFU anywhere on Simrad's website.... I am wondering why our "installer" didn't mention the Airmar H2183 Heading Sensor as part of our system.... the Maretron GPS 200 is a 32 channel GPS, versus the Raystar 125 being a 12 channel GPS...... I would have to surmise that the Maretron is considerably more accurate...... does the Maretron connect via NMEA 1083 or SeaTalk, or just NMEA 2000 ? Finally, I see that the HLD drives are all hydraulic drives.... not sure why our installer is leaning towards the Raymarine Type 2 electric Linear Drive .....

Do you anticipate any issues interfacing with your chartplotter?

Where do you sail out of ?
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