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Best autopilot for salmon trolling speeds

Old 01-07-2021, 11:21 AM
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Default Best autopilot for salmon trolling speeds

I am looking to install autopilot on my blackfin and have been reading that some auto pilots struggle staying on course when going 2.0 to 3.5 mph was wondering if there were any salmon guys in this forum that could give me some real world experience.

One issue I'm running into is my boat is a cable steering inboard and there are not many autopilot options. A few are raymarine ev100 wheel helm and octopus intellasteer. If anyone has experience with those I would love to hear about it!
Old 01-07-2021, 12:34 PM
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SI-Tek s drive installed one in my friends 27' Searay used for walleye trolling works great.
Old 01-07-2021, 01:36 PM
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The best option would be to swap to hydraulic steering and go with a Garmin Reactor. But to stay with cable your only option would be the Octopus drive which can pair to many different conrtollers.
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Old 01-08-2021, 03:44 PM
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So it looks like the si tex is just a octopus helm with si ttex compas and display? Could I do garmin display and compass with octopus type s and hook it up to my Garmin mdf? Also do I need a rudder feedback?
Old 01-08-2021, 08:51 PM
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Yes you can match an octopus drive to the Garmin Reactor retrofit system. When installing a typicalGarmin system on an inboard boat you would want their rudder feedback. However, the Octopus has their own rudder feedback built in. I would have to dig a bit and see if Garmin would interface. But the Garmin feedback would be best.
Old 01-13-2021, 03:31 AM
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I have a 28 Baha with twin screws. It originally had mechanical steering. We installed a wheel turning Raytheon autopilot that did no work well because of the torque required to steer the boat. We then had hydraulic steering installed and a Raytheon Evolution unit which worked well. It is great because you don't have to spend a lot of time running in circles to calibrate the compass There was still a problem if it was very windy.. .We solved this by having larger rudders fabricated and installed. Many other captains in our area have had to install larger rudders as well to get optimal performance from there autopilots. Most modern boats are not designed to steer well at low speeds.

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