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trolling auto pilot

Old 11-08-2016, 03:20 PM
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Default trolling auto pilot

hello,
First post, new to the site...Even though I have been reading comments for about 2 months.
I live on Lake Erie, in Pa., and have been an avid bass fisherman for the last 30 years. I own a 1999 Champion 202 which I have pampered and enjoyed since I bought it in 1999. 2 years ago I purchased a 2001 very well taken care of 20 Proline WA with a Merc Optimax 150 which I also very much enjoy. I bought this boat primarily to haul to the Fl. keys every year with my wife for the month of March to fish the reefs. I have a Lowrance HDS-12 gen 3 and a HDS-12 gen 2 that I move back and forth between the two boats. I very much enjoy fishing, and life is good!
Here's my dilemma.....I need to out fit the Proline with an auto pilot. The major usage will be used for trolling Erie for walleye. I have tried to research the Lowrance auto pilot, but reviews aren't spectacular.
I am newly retired, and even though money isn't overly tight, I need to be smart.
so.....Which auto pilot would you recommend?
Thanks everyone,
stully56
Old 11-08-2016, 03:25 PM
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Simrad AP24 is a very good autopilot for trolling, it works well below 2 knots as well.

I have AP24 on both my boats, trolling is the main application. Simrad has just introduced AP44 so I would assume it should be possible to get a good price on A24.
Old 11-08-2016, 06:54 PM
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I second the Simrad AP24. I especially like the depth contour tracking. Mine has worked flawlessly for several years.
Old 11-08-2016, 08:10 PM
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I have the ap24 on my commercial boat. It does a few thousand miles every year not a single problem. (Knock on wood) mainly run 6 kts or less.
Old 11-09-2016, 01:15 AM
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Thanks....looks like I start researching the Simrad models. hope to have it installed by next march.
Old 11-09-2016, 04:19 AM
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I have Garmin a/p on my Parker a a/p is not perfect at 1.0=2.5 mph but it will hold a fairly straight course,1.0-2.5mph is your speed for walleye.I have a 225hp main and a 9.9hp kicker I use bags in 3' + waves and main engine that seems to work best a/p is great when traveling a long distant. I would check them(a/p) all out I know South Shore Marine has a good installer I installed my own because I can.
Old 11-09-2016, 09:29 AM
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I just ordered the Lowrance autopilot for hydraulic steering for my 25' center console. After much research, it seems to get good reviews from most and basically being a Simrad module, there is plenty of experience in building autopilots. I think most of the negative comments are related to its performance at speed, since there is no rudder position module, it has to rely on actual heading information from its gps puck to tell it if its going the right way. At trolling speeds, thats only a few feet. At 50 mph, might not be quick enough to keep a straight line and allow it to wander a little. I'll let you know when it comes in.
Old 11-09-2016, 10:06 AM
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If you want to slow troll the ultimate setup is a kicker with a garmin tr-1 gold.
Old 11-09-2016, 10:33 AM
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Anxious to hear about the lowrance...as it would be about half the cost with my already owning the HDS units. I also will install whatever I purchase...Thanks again

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