Old 12-22-2004, 08:44 PM
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Default RE: Simrad AP12 --- Anyone Have One? Opinions

I'm in the same boat as Offshore. We troll at 7 knots or thereabours and it holds at that speed with our boat. I have been in conditions where it would not hold a course but they were as nasty as you can immagine and my speed was dead slow (the slowest my boat will troll is about 4 knots).

I think the AP-12 is hard to beat, an in fact impossible to beat, for the price. At just over a grand the only thing it asks you to do manually is approve of turns in a route if navigating from one rather than directly to a single waypoint.

As far as I know the only thing that people have trouble with on them is the rudder feedback unit. Mine is still going strong after its 4th year. After putting on the new engine last spring I tried it out without recalibrating it first. It actually worked pretty well but did that annoying slight fish-tailing trying to hold a course. I ran it through its initiation procedure again and it solved the problem.

I think you're smart to do your own instillation too. Its not hard to install one, the process will occur to you easily. Let me give you a little thing you might want to do. If you have a small 12-volt battery (motor cycle, riding lawn mower) handy bring it aboard while you install the system. Once you have everything hooked up just use that small battery to run the hydraulic pump while you bleed it. Make sure you have fluid in the system because you really do not want to run that pump dry, but it takes a couple of seconds to fill it and then you need to reverse its operaton a couple of times back and forth to purge air from the system. So all you have to do is touch the wires to the battery one way until the engine is pushed full lock, and then reverse the wires and let the pump drive the steering until the engine has swung full the other way. Do that a couple of times and it purges all of the air back to the steering head's reservior (sp?). So you need to keep an eye on the fluid level while you do it.