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Catalina 38 Avantura
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just took a quick look at autopilot prices and they aren''t as expensive as I thought. But I have a question; is an electronic compass contained in the unit (or come with it), or does that also have to be purchased and installed seperately to interface with the autopilot?
 

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Duffer...

You don''t say whether you''re looking at a below-decks (''component type'') a/p or a cockpit mounted one. In either case, an a/p needs a flux-gate compass (on older models, it could have been a different type) in order to orient the a/p. Below-decks units are sold in ''pieces'' and you must spec such a compass as part of the package; tiller type & other cockpit mounted units have the compass built into the unit (or its comes as a separate but included item, as with the CPT a/p).

Jack
 

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A self contained tiller pilot has included inside it a fluxgate compass.
Abelow decks autopilot has a separate one that is to be mounted as close to the center of the boat as possible. Some of them are modular units that let you pick the type of unit that actually pushes the quadrant, so depending upon the type of boat it is bieing installed in the drive may be upgraded. A heavy displacement crusing boat on the high seas WILL need a larger ram than is normally sold in the package. a smaller bay sailer could probably get by with the manufacturers package.
Sv
 

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Catalina 38 Avantura
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208 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Then, can I assume that the compass would also be in, or come with, a pedestal mounted, belt-drive/wheel drive a/p, like the Simrad or Raytheon ST400 units sold on Sailnet?
 

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Compare the two autopilots (Simrad & Raytheon) and it is apparent that the Simrad unit is more robustly designed and manufactured and has more sophisticated software (fuzzy logic) to compensate for waves and boat movement. IMO, Raytheon, known by the trade name Autohelm is resting on its laurels. Compare the ease of installation, power consumption and torque of these two units and I''m sure you come to the same conclusion that I did.
 
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