Marine Electronics Forum

Simrad Autopilot Controller Advice

Old 11-10-2016, 08:14 AM
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Default Simrad Autopilot Controller Advice

Looking to pull the trigger on a new Simrad Autopilot system for my 34ft cc. I'm trying to decide if I want a stand alone controller for the system such as an AP44 on the dash or if most people just control the Autopilot through their chartplotter screens? Another option I have considered would be having an OP12 on the dash instead of AP44 and still have controls through my Evo2 12" screens.

Looking for opinions and how others like it since I have never used Autopilot before.

Last edited by jwmd2010; 11-10-2016 at 09:32 AM.
Old 11-10-2016, 09:37 AM
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The AP44 is very nice. Simrad makes it pretty easy to pull up the virtual controller on the display though. I still prefer everything have its own dedicated controller, especially when switching to standby. The new NAC-2 and NAC-3 kits come with the AP44, why not just use it?
Old 11-10-2016, 09:37 AM
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The AP44 control brings the return of the much loved knob. I for one am not a fan of operating my pilot strictly via the MFD. I like having a stand alone control head for my pilot.
Old 11-17-2016, 10:16 AM
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My current boat is only a 21 CC, and I have a Lowrance auto pilot kit installed that uses the MFD's for control. I have used probably 6 or more other boats over the last 30+ years that had pilots and I much prefer a standalone control head for the autopilot.
Old 11-19-2016, 06:13 PM
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We run an older Simrad AP11, but a more modern e125 MFD. Couple of thoughts . . .

If your MFD is the only set of controls for your autopilot, the MFD essentially becomes "too big to fail."

A lot of them, even if they can directly control the autopilot and replicate all of the unique functions that the autopilot control heads accomplish, might not be quite as user friendly when you're trying to multi-task between navigation, fish finding, and operating the boat.

So although my autopilot is recently remedied, and destined to hold out for a few more years, I'll definitely be a fan of a separate system that can be controlled if your flat screen throws a fit. I think it's one of those few cases where you want that system to be self sufficient, when necessary.


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