{Stus-List} Autopilot Errors

Gary Russell captngaryr at gmail.com
Fri Mar 19 07:54:58 EDT 2010

Hi MIke,
     I've had 3 Raymarine / Autohelm wheel pilots and had nothing but
trouble with them.  Junk!  Last year I put in a below deck Nexus unit.  It
was a pain to install, but a fantastic unit.  I'm with you, Mike.  I will
never put another piece of Raymarine junk on my boat again.

S/V Expresso

On Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 10:06 PM, Michael Cotton <mpc51335 at yahoo.com> wrote:

>  I've had an autopilot on every boat I've owned since 1976. The first one
> was a Autohelm 1000 with a compass dial. I called it R2D2 (star wars). The
> next one was second version of the Autohelm 1000 with a keypad. I called it
> R2D3.  Both units worked great.
>   The next one was a Nexus wheel pilot. I called it sh_ _head.  It would
> not steer a straight course.  A month after I bought the Nexus they came out
> with a new wheel pilot. After much discussion with Nexus they exchanged my
> unit for the newer model.   Later that season, I was cruising along about
> 1/4 mile off a beach with not another boat in sight.  Just a nice straight
> course parallel with the beach. I went below to make coffee. All of a sudden
> the autopilot made a 90 degree turn right for the beach!  Tech support said
> "someone with a garage door opener on the beach caused the course change".
> I named this one sh_ _thead 2.
>   I had a Raymarine 4000 on a Pearson 28 (Bill Shaw design). Hours on the
> cell phone from the boat with tech support.  Useless.   I should have named
> it sh_ _thead3. I will never own another Raymarine product.
> Michael Cotton
> 1990 C&C 37 Plus
> S/v Blue Pearl
>  ------------------------------
> *From:* Peter Deppisch <peter.deppisch at sympatico.ca>
> *To:* cnc-list at cnc-list.com
> *Sent:* Thu, March 18, 2010 8:06:52 PM
> *Subject:* Re: {Stus-List} Autopilot Errors
> Hi Brian,
> I had my Raymarine ST4000 do a 180 on me when we were motoring into into
> Gore Bay, Manitoulin Island, and were putting the sails away.
> Not nice.
> And then the fluxgate compass was all screwed up. As best as we can
> establish it was caused by a wire to close to the receiving unit.
> So check wiring around compass and instruments.  My VHF is mounted in the
> same place as the instruments.  Probably not a smart move.
> And I will never ever trust an autopilot again.
> Cheers,
> Peter
> S/V Tangerine
> C&C35 MK II
> Lion's Head, Ontario
> On 18/03/2010 4:43 PM, Nauset Beach wrote:
>  Last summer my Simrad autopilot did a “Crazy Ivan” on two  different days
> after about 45-60 minutes of operation; one time to starboard and one time
> to port [do not recall if it was the top or bottom of the hour.]   I turned
> it off and hand steered the balance of the trip both times.
> Has anyone experienced this with a Simrad autopilot?  Any known fix, other
> than replacing the unit?  It is a tiller-pilot “TP-30” not the newer TP-32.
> I spoke with a local authorized repair / service company and they said they
> had a couple customers that had the same problem with the Simrad wheel
> pilot, so it sounds like a Simrad electronics issue.  They also said that
> Simrad in general is terrible to deal with on any service / repairs and did
> not hold out any hope that Simrad would have a fix for this issue.  The only
> thing they thought it might be was the internal compass hanging up, but that
> does not seem likely given these various units – both TP and WP – have
> experienced sudden 90* turns.  Do not know what their other customers have
> done.
> Replacing the autopilot is not a great option: the universe seems to be
> either the Simrad TP-32 or Raymarine “Smart Pilot X-5”, and the Raymarine is
> nearly twice as much $.  These are “above deck” units – do not really need /
> want a permanently installed below deck unit.
> Dennis… Fred…   Anyone with any suggestions?
> Thanks,
> Brian
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