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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone installed this yet. How do you like its performance? Easy installation?
What do you like about it? What do you not like about it?

Thanks,

Dave
 

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Telstar 28
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Nope, guess not, so you're a guinea pig. :) let us know how it goes.
 

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Chef,

This is pretty funny. I was going to post an identical thread today asking the same question!:)

Does anyone know if Raymarine has even delivered the product yet? They announced it last February, if I recall correctly.

Eagerly awaiting first-hand reports....
 

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Barkeep - Sailor's Pub
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Here's the response I got from Sailnet's Mallory back in September I think... just some product info. Very helpful.

I'll definitely buy it here when the finances recover from the holidays. The November Availability date was pushed back.. don't know how far though.

>>>>>FORWARDED TEXT>>>>>>>

Hi Craig

Thanks for the inquiry. I think the following info will help with your decision. I have noted the major differences in red. If it were me I would wait for the X5 to be released for the sole fact that a rudder sensor is no longer needed on the X5 pilot. Everything else is fairly comparable; both drives are powerful enough for you, displays are the same, and fluxgate compass. Again, the course computer is the same except for the addition of the rate gyro compass and the AST software which I expand on below.

ST4000 - Discontinued. The part you see on our site is the replacement drive unit only.

S1 - This replaces the ST4000. ($1094)
- Enough power to handle your tonnage (18,700 lbs max)
- Uses same drive as ST4000.
- Uses rudder feedback sensor to determine rudder position and therefore compensate (beneficial for sailing downwind).
- No rate gyo sensor. Available as an upgrade though.
- NMEA 0183 - GPS can talk to Pilot. Course to steer etc.
- ST6002 control Head. This is your std control head and will do everything you need. ST8002 has a larger display and some other features but I cant see any benefits to upgrading for a wheel pilot.

X5 - Replaces the S1. (available 11/19/08) (same price as S1)
- Enough power to handle your tonnage. (16.500 lbs max)
- Basically same drive unit as S1.
- Course computer now has rate gyro standard.
- Rudder feedback sensor eliminated. Course computer now has software (AST) to do what the rudder sensor used to do. This is huge since installing the rudder sensor is a huge pain.
- NMEA 2000 connection as well as NMEA 0183. This doesnt really add any particular benefit to you.

Please let me know what questions you have after comparing this data.

Thanks

Mallory

____________________________________________

Mallory Schoolfield
Marine.com, Sailnet.com, Speedwake.com
Sales
[email protected]
Phone. 1.800.597.1781
International. 843.724.5638
Fax. 928.962.1049
 

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The S1 didn't have a very long life on the market, did it? It wasn't that long ago that it replaced the ST4000. I just installed the S1 last summer. It's interesting that the S1 WheelPilot is not listed as a current product nor as a retired product on Raymarine's Product Support page.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Looks like I opened Pandoras Box,,How was the S1? I saw some of the struggles people had putting the rudder sesnor on. Almost seemed like if it took the time to do that you might has well have gotten a linier drive autopilot ( for 2000 more of course). The beauty of the wheel drive is that it was easy supposedly to install and was 1/3 the rpice and was appropriate for a boat my size and the conditions I will face using it.

Dave
 

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I don't know...

Jeeze I've installed about a half a dozen or so rudder position sensors and other than a little creativity never found them to be as big a pain as everyone else?

Here's one install done with Starboard and 1" stainless tubing and fittings:


 

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They are available even in Canada. I almost bought the X-5 demo from the Toronto Boat show. The are available. CDN$1100 for the show demo (repacked and full warranty) or CDN$1250 for a new unit next week.
 

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I waited all summer for the X-5, Raymarine kept delaying the release so I gave up and got the S1. I've never used an autopilot before, but the S1 seems pretty solid to me. It really increases the enjoyment I get out of sailing especially since I'm solo a lot of the time ... got it linked to my GPS which is really nice. Seems plenty powerful for my 30ft boat. Issues I've had so far -- a couple times the autopilot has suddenly stopped tracking a course without warning, and the autopilot's compass doesn't match my boat's compass despite calibration (could be a mounting location problem).

Installing the rudder sensor didn't bother me that much, from what I understand having a rudder sensor is a good thing ... should increase the accuracy of the autopilot (it's still available for the X-5 as an upgrade, and IIRC the better Raymarine autopilots will still include the rudder sensor). The toughest part for me was removing the wheel, it was really stuck on, had to buy a gear puller. Here is my mount for the rudder position sensor, just took a little bit of planning (Halekai AKA Maine Sail's posts helped me out for inspiration):
 

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The S1 is a lot more reliable than the belt-driven ST3000 it replaced. Since I mostly single-hand with company, it comes in real handy to have it to take the helm while I trim sails or other duty. It integrates with my Raymarine GPS/plotter, which also lets me set the most direct course over a long haul. The installation of the RPS wasn't a big deal. There was a support for the steering system nearby to which the stationery component was mounted. We're pleased.
 

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S1 upgrade - FYI

I bought an S1 last summer, but I have not installed it yet, as it requires the rudder sensor. I asked Raymarine about upgrading it and they said if I sent back the main controller and $400 they would upgrade the S1 to the X-5, without the need for the rudder sensor.

I got the S1 on sale and I think the rudder sensor is probably a good idea, things work better with feedback. So I did not follow up on their offer. My biggest problem is that the boat is in NC and I am still working in NJ. So, someday soon I will get to it.
 

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x-5 Autopilot

I just helped a friend install the x-5 on his Benetau 35s5. Installation was a breeze, really no different than the S-1 except the omission of the rudder sensor.
The real test of any wheel pilot is it's ability to hold course in a following sea. We took his boat out in 20-25 knot winds and 4-5 foot following seas. the x-5 held the boat every bit as well as my older s-1 system with linear drive and rudder sensor. I was really impressed with the "learn" function of the course computer. The first few yaws were a little excess, but the computer kicked in the on each succesive yaw, and the steering was more precise as we went.

I am seriously considering buying the upgrade to my s-1 course computer to include the yaw sensors. They really work.

The X-5 wheelpilot is definetly an improvement over the S-1 and the installation is easier and cost as low.
 

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NMEA 2000 works well

I was unhappy that NMEA 2000 is never mentioned in any technical document either shipped with or currently available on the web site. The marketing brochure says it supports it, but you never see another mention of it.
Raymarine support told me to just cut off an NMEA 2000 cable and hard wire it to the SeatalkNG connections. Apparently SeatalkNG is a superset of the NMEA protocol with proprietary connectors.
My Lowrance display, GPS and DSC radio all magically began communicating over the NMEA 2000 network with zero configuration.

Installation was simple and it work great. Raymarine just needs to accept that proprietary networks are a thing of the past and embrace it.
 
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