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Autopilot setups...

Old 08-01-2010, 11:28 AM
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Default Autopilot setups...

Do you need electronic steering and throttle controls in order to have an autopilot system?
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:31 AM
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hell no!!!!!
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Storm Chaser View Post
Do you need electronic steering and throttle controls in order to have an autopilot system?
Nope. Most small boat autopilot systems just control steering (many are hydraulic and the pump goes "in-line" in the hydraulic system - although there are some that mechanically steer). You still adjust the throttle manually and the AP controls steering...
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:10 PM
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Anybody that has an autopilot system please feel free to chime in;

when do you use your system the most frequently, trolling, heading out to different fishing spots, heading back to the ramp etc...

Thanks
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:16 PM
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all the time - with Garmin/TR-1 shadow drive it gets engaged with initial start up of the engines and off when we finally shut down
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Storm Chaser View Post
Anybody that has an autopilot system please feel free to chime in;

when do you use your system the most frequently, trolling, heading out to different fishing spots, heading back to the ramp etc...

Thanks
I use mine (raymarine s1000) almost exclusively for trolling... I like having control when running, so I don't typically use it for much else.. For trolling, it's perfect.. Makes the trip a lot more enjoyable to be able to relax a little and not worry about constant steering, crossing lines, etc. etc.
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:17 PM
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I have the same one as Ed and it's awesome. I haven't used mine to troll but have used the patterns features to study structure and the track feature to make an hour-long 25 mile ride about as sweet as it can get.

Regarding convenience and efficiency, an autopilot is to a boat as cruise control is to a car.
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Pro251wa View Post
I have the same one as Ed and it's awesome. I haven't used mine to troll but have used the patterns features to study structure and the track feature to make an hour-long 25 mile ride about as sweet as it can get.

Regarding convenience and efficiency, an autopilot is to a boat as cruise control is to a car.
Ok, now you got me curious...tell me more about the patterns feature to study structure. Sound interesting!
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Storm Chaser View Post
Ok, now you got me curious...tell me more about the patterns feature to study structure. Sound interesting!
Here's a link to the downloadable Users Manual for the RayMarine S1000. You won't find the unit on their website unless you use the search box. Just type S1000 and you can go to the page with videos. It's pretty cool.

http://www.raymarine.com/GetFile.asp...0&categoryId=3

The patterns are circle, zig-zag, and cloverleaf...all in small, medium, and large options. As Ed said, they're great for trolling. I haven't had mine long enough to troll. I used it a couple of times to go to a number that I had put in my chartplotter.

When I arrived at the number, I selected circle first and it used that number as the center of a circle and the center of a cloverleaf. This was an artificial reef and no one was one it. So around and around I went studying the structure below with my new HDS sonar. The cloverleaf is even more thorough as it cuts back across the center point 4 times each cycle.
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:55 PM
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I use mine mostly in the no wake/ slow zones, running on long fishing trips and running to and from the bahamas. I installed it so I dont have to fight with the steering wheel anymore so I figure I might as well use it every chance I get
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:13 PM
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So now for the controversy... Who makes the best all around autopilot for an offshore fishing 25' cc?
Meaning whether it be slow speeds, trolling patterns, no wake zones, staying within a channel ( possibly off a hard drive map within your main unit) long distance runs at cruising speeds, holding a specific bearing or running between waypoints, but most importantly reliability to insure your actually going the course you set if your not at the helm.
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:19 PM
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As far as small boat fishing goes, Raymarine S1000 but im no expert here. And your comment about staying within a channel off a hard drive map or whatever is not going to happen. Autopilot will only go to waypoints and will follow a track but only if you accept a waypoint heading at every turn. I thinks theres a few threads about the "best" autopilot already.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by JJR View Post
As far as small boat fishing goes, Raymarine S1000 but im no expert here. And your comment about staying within a channel off a hard drive map or whatever is not going to happen. Autopilot will only go to waypoints and will follow a track but only if you accept a waypoint heading at every turn. I thinks theres a few threads about the "best" autopilot already.
X2

The threads are very recent also. Here's one to get you started:

http://www.thehulltruth.com/marine-e...lot-money.html

Last edited by Pro251wa; 08-02-2010 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:15 AM
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Ive installed them all. I have to say, that the newer Raymarine X-10 Systems are fantastic. They do not need a rudder reference unit and have performed flawlessly on many boats I have installed them on. I have yet to have anyone dissappointed with them.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by CME View Post
Ive installed them all. I have to say, that the newer Raymarine X-10 Systems are fantastic. They do not need a rudder reference unit and have performed flawlessly on many boats I have installed them on. I have yet to have anyone dissappointed with them.
Pro, good thread to read.

Cme, does the x-10 shut off at really slow speeds like the s1000. I read on the aforementioned thread about virtual anchoring; where your boat may be in gear say at 2 knots but you may have the oncoming current at say 2 knots...so technically speaking your course over ground would be Zero...the s1000 would disengage since it gauges speed via the COG. If not, which one allows this?
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:06 AM
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Default I'll never own a boat without autopilot.

Originally Posted by Storm Chaser View Post
Pro, good thread to read.

Cme, does the x-10 shut off at really slow speeds like the s1000. I read on the aforementioned thread about virtual anchoring; where your boat may be in gear say at 2 knots but you may have the oncoming current at say 2 knots...so technically speaking your course over ground would be Zero...the s1000 would disengage since it gauges speed via the COG. If not, which one allows this?
Stormchaser,

I use my TR-1 Gladiator for everything from idling down the ICW, to making 70mile offshore runs. I won't say that I refuse to fish on boats without AP's, but man, having an extra man available to fight fish, help clear lines and gaff fish is priceless - especially when that extra man is me! The Captain (no, I'm not a professional captain, but I play one on my own boat)! Honestly, without an AP, you can't possibly fish as captain. With it, you can. It's that simple.

Just went fishing on my buddy's Everglades 270CC with twin 250 Suzukis and its AP is an S1000. It is a great AP for $1000. It does all the clover leafs, concentric circles, zig zags, whatever you want.

My TR-1 has the auto-anchor feature for holding your position in reverse, but I have never successfully gotten it to work in a way that actually allowed me to fish for a long time over a spot. I have heard through the grapevine that Bouncer Smith does use this feature down in S FL though.

The AP is an invaluable tool in rough seas too. It keeps your boat beelining instead of zigzagging back and forth (so it saves gas) even in the biggest of seas and you can just hold on instead of trying to fight the waves. It's great b/c you don't waste all your energy fighting the wheel so you have some juice left to battle fish.

I will never own a boat without autopilot. To me, it's like going offshore with handlines instead of rods and reels. Sure, you can do it, maybe you'll catch fish with it - but there's a much better way...

Last edited by dhy4b; 08-02-2010 at 12:59 PM. Reason: clarifying that I am not a professional captain
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:15 AM
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Dhy4b,
thanks, I am no doubt convinced now that I NEED one. The TR-1 sounds like a good system, I look into it more.

This may seem like a stupid question and maybe it is but are there AP units that control the throttle as well? If so, it would probably have to be electronic throttle is my guess...
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:22 AM
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TR-1 has/had one that controlled small kicker motor throttles, but there is nothing that I know of that controls throttle for larger outboards. Since the throttle sticks in place anyways, it's kind of moot.

Also, FYI, if I had to do it over again, I would probably go with the S1000. The TR-1 is a great system with no rudder feedback, but it was around $4500. The S1000 is $1000 with the control unit being wireless (a plus when you want to sit at the bow and steer, or if you're up in your tower) and you get pretty much all the functionality of the TR-1 except for the reverse anchor feature - which I don't seem to be able to use effectively anyhow.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by dhy4b View Post
TR-1 has/had one that controlled small kicker motor throttles, but there is nothing that I know of that controls throttle for larger outboards. Since the throttle sticks in place anyways, it's kind of moot.

Also, FYI, if I had to do it over again, I would probably go with the S1000. The TR-1 is a great system with no rudder feedback, but it was around $4500. The S1000 is $1000 with the control unit being wireless (a plus when you want to sit at the bow and steer, or if you're up in your tower) and you get pretty much all the functionality of the TR-1 except for the reverse anchor feature - which I don't seem to be able to use effectively anyhow.
Now I'm compelled to visit your website!

As I've mentioned I haven't had the opportunity to use my S1000 much, so reading a report from a professional Capt, not only lauding the benefits of an AP but also praising the one I own, is great stuff.

Your point about the straight line to a target is right on the money and a benefit I've experienced. It's a joy to look aft and see a pin-straight wake signature for as far as I can see. There's no way I can hold a course as steady as the autopilot can mile after mile.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Pro251wa View Post
Now I'm compelled to visit your website!
Pro251,

Not a professional captain here, but I am the captain of my boat ...I have put some reasonable time on the water under my belt. I speak from personal experience on the S1000 though.
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