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need help with sport pilot plus!!


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Hopefully someone can shed some light on our problem.. We have a raymarine sport pilot plus on a 22' penn yan. Worked great until this past weekend. It makes a loud alarm sound and will not do anything else. Raymarine is NO help at all and neither are the places they have on their website who are repair centers..

We would like to know if it is worth fixing or what is even wrong with it..


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Here's the story,

Last Saturday we were out testing the AP for the 1st time after installing. The Compass is installed facing forward and to the roll center as best possible, as Raymarine calls for in there installation instructions, so calibration wasn't needed...so says the instructions.

We held a course for a minute or so and turned the AP to the 2nd gain setting and the unit beeped once and took over steering. We set the DR's and enjoyed an hour troll up the lake. That was the most enjoyable troll we have ever had without catching fish... (we weren't trying very hard as we didn't expect to be out more then 1/2 hour)

Swung the boat around to reset the AP for the return leg, and the headwind was at least 20+mph and we were now in 2 footers, the boat is a 98 225 Penn Yan so we have a fair amount above the waterline for 2.5mph headway. The AP had trouble holding course at times and slowly got worse, then my son turned it off and steered manually. I asked why he was steering and it was due to off course beeping. We then noticed both lights were lit and the AP would not work, no beeping at this point. Pulled the fuse to see if that would help, when I pluged the fuse back in the AP now has a constant tone (beep) not beep, beep, beep, etc... just steady beep. The noise that makes you what to throw the black box overboard. Waited 1/2 hour and tried again to see if it was an overheating issue, same thing...

Back in the shop, I pulled the connections and check the pins all tight and where they should be, all wiring is as it was when we put out. Took the AP motor unit apart to see what was up, nothing noted and no burnt electronics smell, etc... Reassembled and tested again, same beeeeeeeep.....

Called Raymarine, got absolutly no where with them as everyone at the technical end had the same anwser, we don't support that unit anymore.

I wish the Simrad would fit, I only have 8" under the dash panel and I understand you need a good 10" to mount it.

Anywho....Anyone have insight to what maybe going on or have a Sportpilot plus parts they would be willing to sell to see if I can salvage my AP

This may need to be moved to another board, don't know why she put it here.

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That pretty much sounds like the situation with mine. I don't know the age of mine but it's on a 223 and came with the boat. It worked good the first day out. The second weekend, it would just about spin the boat on a dime. Beeping was similar if not the same as you described but I noticed that I could hear it "running" but not move the wheel. The wheel was not at the end of the steering though. We messed with the plugs and recalibrated according to the instructions but nothing changed. I noticed that my wheel may be wobbly, is this normal? It probably wobbles 3/4 inch or so at the outside of the wheel.

Another quick steering question: I've never driven a Merc I/O until this boat, only outboards. It seems that I'm constantly steering to hold a steady course, flat water, no wind at slow speeds in the harbor/channel or trolling. Could there be excess play in the steering or is this normal?

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Sounds like the clutch or the drive belt is worn in your unit since it still wanting to steer. Funny, between your unit and mine we could build one working unit. My wheel has some play in it as well and the unit is new, so I would say it's normal.

Our 225 has power steering and wanders before it gets on plane, have been told by many that it's normal.


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I cant tell you why it was beeping.

But I do know that the allen screws that hold the brass

steering wheel stud to the clutch unit are metric. So

if you want to tighten things up a little you need a

metric allen set....

I dont know if all the units were metric ,but mine was.

To get into this a little more I had the same problem with the motor running but not

turning the wheel. It turned out to be the gear slipping on the end of the motor

shaft. I think if you archive on this site you can find the pictures or they may have

gotten lost when the last site went down... I put a small setscrew in the motorgear

It was originally held on with a metal clip. worked a year or so then the belt went bad.

I no longer own a sport pilot plus.

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As far as the of course "beeping" check your gain set handle on the sport pilot, mine was periodically acting up that way until I diassembled the set handle and it's been working great for the past two seasons. My guess is that the outer portion of the handle was pushed inward while turning to set the gain and a connection got messed up.

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  • 1 year later...

I had the same type of problem a few times with my sport pilot plus unit. As it turns out the problem was easier to fix than you may think.

First of all, Make sure that all metal & steel parts such as tools, spoons, knives are not within 36" of the sensor in the middle of the boat. Also, do not use cell phone within 36" of the unit. All these items will cause the compass to go off coarse. These items within 36" of the compass will cause major steering problems and cause all kinds of beeping sounds.

It is the same concept as holding your cell phone or storing your cell phone on the boat dash near the standard boat compass, it will throw your compass out of wack.

The magnetic field in the center compass sensor is very sensitive to these types of items. Sometimes we don't even realize the items are close to the center compass.

Anyway, for those of you guys who are having this type of trouble with your auto-pilot, give it a try, I'm sure you unit will function properly once you get the 36" clearance.

Hope this helps, I know it did for me.



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