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Discussion Starter #1
An aquaintence has updated the autopilot on his boat and has offered me his older Navico/Simrad Wheel Pilot 5000 autopilot. In looking over the owner's manual, it is stated that the control/compass unit for the autopilot needs to be mounted at least 39 inches from the boat's magnetic compass. On my boat and most of the others in our marina, this doesn't seem feasible if you want to position the control unit where you can see the boat's compass heading when you activate the unit (the control unit compass does not have a heading readout on the control unit).

To those of you who are using the WP5000, how far is your control unit mounted from the boat's compass. Looking at the control unit and thinking about it's design and intended use, 39 inches seems too far....is this number a typo in the instructions?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Calling Navico WP5000 Autopilot Users:

If any of you have used the WP5000, I would very much appreciate your guidance on installing this unit. What is troublesome is that the control unit with its internal compass is supposed to be mounted 39 inches or more from the boat's compass to avoid interference with the boat compass. This doesn't seem practical given the size of the cockpit, and I suspect others have installed the unit closer than 39 inches. But I would like to know for sure before I drill a bunch of holes and cobble up my boat only to find that the unit really won't work. My current thought is to mount the drive unit and the control unit both near the base of the steering pedestal, but this would put those two units close together and the distance from the boat compass would still be on the order of 24"....maybe a few more, but less than 30". Do you think it would work?
 

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auto pilot

I am wondering if you know enough about this autopilot to direct me to find another. I have one, and would like a back up.
 

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I am wondering if you know enough about this autopilot to direct me to find another. I have one, and would like a back up.
Sorry...I don't know much about it. I tried to check out the system before drilling holes, and I never got the unit to work. I returned it to the original owner and he gave it to someone else.
 

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auto pilot

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly; we have had one for 6 years and has worked very well until recently with an intermittent problem. We are currently cruising in Mexico and thought it would be a good idea to back it up.
 

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There's another thread on a similar topic....

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/56431-navico-powerpilot-8000-problems.html#post567738

As mentioned in that thread the lack of any available backup may not make an old Navico product a good idea though it must be said that ours lasted nearly 20 years before going haywire.

One of our problems concerned the wheel attachment itself. Sorting that out was a nightmare and I'm not completely convinced that its still not out of whack and may well be a big part of our problem.

As a general thought on the product I also find that disconnecting the unit is a right pain in the butt. If you simply release the tensioning arm the belt still slides around the wheel causing it to wear.

One other point.....belts for the wheel to control unit are extremely hard to find. The manufacturer that we used to get replacements from no longer makes that size and to date I've not found another.

td
 

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I have a WP5000 on my Catalina 30. The unit was installed by the previous owner, and as you discovered, with a mid-size boat it is difficult to mount the unit 39 inches from the ship's compass. I noted that 39 inch requirement when I was familiarizing myself with the boat and its gear.

On my boat it is mounted about 30 inches from the ship's compass and does not seem to have an issue. It appears to work great. I would suggest test mounting it with double-sided tape and see how it performs, before you drill holes, and then move it as necessary.

Also, mounting the control unit near the base of the pedestal is probably not a good location. Obviously you have to mount the drive unit there so it can drive the ship's wheel. The control unit should be mounted within easy reach so you can make course adjustments, etc. (which you will probably be doing frequently to avoid lobster pots, buoys, etc.) Here in the NE that is common, but even if you don't have those nav issues, you'll want the unit close at hand to make adjustments for trim, and course, and wind changes.

Good luck
 

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My control head is 30 inches from my compass and has worked fine since I installed it seven years ago. However, I am looking for a replacement unit for parts, it doesn't have to work. I need the splined cam which fell overboard last summer. Appreciate any leads on an old unit.
 

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CaptJCook,

Great to hear from you. If you have a spare Simrad WP5000 you are willing to part with I would be very greatful. Let me know how you would like to handle the transaction & name your price.

MMatthias
 

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I am willing to let you have the splined cam, not the lever as mine would break if I let it go...I doubt that two of us could lose that part...i offered it for ten bucks...to cover postage and the pita for going to the post office.
 

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CaptJCook,

That's fine, I only need the splined cam. I would like to make this as easy for you as possible. I will send a small shipping box with a pre-paid UPS return shipping label in the box along with a money order or cashiers check (your preference) in the box. I just need your shipping address and who to make the check out to.

Thanks, MMatthias
 

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CaptJCook,

Great to hear from you. If you have a spare Simrad WP5000 you are willing to part with I would be very greatful. Let me know how you would like to handle the transaction & name your price.

MMatthias

@MMatthias -- if you only need this unit for the missing knob piece I would like to buy the circuit board from you. Mine died on my trip south and it was a bit of a pain having to hand steer.
 

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I am in Fort Lauderdale. Not real interested in posting personal info. I gave you my "junk" email as a way around making 15 posts for a private message. If you need a complete used unit there was one on cruisers forum classified for $400 yesterday. I bought my current unit in 2000 for Boat Show price of $500, has low hours. I have been refitting. A friend of mine gave me a nib/nos unit for a spare, something I would not sell as I had a failure with my previous autopilot. I would be happy to help you out and let you have the splined cam for postage and gas, I figure that part will never fail.
 

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CaptJCook

Understand that you would prefer to communicate via email (msmatthiasatcharternet). If it works for me to send you a shipping box with the check just send me your shipping info., otherwise let me know how you would like to handle the transaction.
 
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