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My autopilot is a standalone system (TR1 Gold for kicker). It could navigate by itself, I think, but mine is connected to a GPS to enable waypoints and have the ability to return to specific spot when using MOB or back tracking.

 

A fishfinder is not part of the autopilot equation, but the chartplotter portion would be applicable, assuming  GPS is part of its system.

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You need an autopilot system.

 

My system uses a gyro compass, hydraulic pump to steering piston , steering actuator (motor specific), throttle control assembly (motor specific), and a control module (computer system to control all). And this is connected to the GPS.

 

Autopilot is not something you could piece together yourself; is that what you are trying to do? You'll have to research the different brands of autopilot and purchase a package that fits your needs. Expect to pay thousands, I doubt there are other options.

 

Some fishermen use different means to tie off the steering wheel to maintain a direct line (bungee cords, etc.). Throttle control is another issue. Autopilot compensates for wind and wave impacts on a course to steer you in the desired direction or to a desired waypoint. In high winds or cross currents or waves from different angles, the autopilot compensates for these things and keeps you on course. At times the motor RPMs have to be increased to make it possible to allow it to accomplish this.

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a company by the name of KING manufactured a unit that installed on the steering shaft under the steering wheel, i had one on a pen yann that i owned back in the 80s. basically it just kept the boat moving in a straight line long enough for you to set some lines or get a fish in the boat. it certainly wasn't ment to be used as a auto-pilot or to navigate with, but was really handy at times. I am going to reasearch this and see if this is still made,

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a company by the name of KING manufactured a unit that installed on the steering shaft under the steering wheel, i had one on a pen yann that i owned back in the 80s. basically it just kept the boat moving in a straight line long enough for you to set some lines or get a fish in the boat. it certainly wasn't ment to be used as a auto-pilot or to navigate with, but was really handy at times. I am going to reasearch this and see if this is still made,

Dick I have a king on my trophy and love it. Works great with 2 guys while we set up and again netting fish. I troll with it alot. Shut my I/O down and it steers my kicker.

Sent from my DROID X2 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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If I already have GPS and cable steering what else will I need? (

 

 

If you decide on an auto pilot make sure you get one that is compatible for mechanical steering systems. It will cost more than one made for hydraulically steered boats. I know some guys who buy the hydraulically steered units for their mechanical steering boats because they are several hundred bucks cheaper. They can be rigged to work, but you will burn it out in about a year or so and IMO it's better to do it right the first time. I would recommend the Sitex SP110 for mechanical steering. It will cost you a little more than 1800 bucks. I believe Raymarine also makes a unit for mechanically steered boats for about 2000 bucks. Raymarine's hydraulically steered units are almost 1/2 the price of their mechanically steered units. An autopilot is an expensive addition to any boat, but it's something I can't do without because I mainly fish with only 1 other person. Once you have one you won't do without one again.

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  • 1 month later...

I have a Garmin GPS and a Ray Marine auto pilot.  Mine seems to work excellent no matter what the speed or how rough the conditions.  Although at trolling speed with heavy rollers you get the mulitple beeps on ocassion but  it usually corrects itself in short order.  Frankly on the big lakes I don't know how you would get along without one to be truthful.  The only thing left to get for the boat is radar.  Next spring for that maybe.  thanks

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I've owned several AP and I suggest keep questions on this website there is a wealth of info from these guys. Don't cut yourself short on your investment get a quality unit that's been around and service/advice is readily available from the factory. Is it necessary to have your kicker tied through your main motor if not the Garmin TR is am excellent unit which controls only your kicker. Raymarine x5 has a unit that has the motor on the helm and controls both motors if they are tied together, but there has been issues with longevity on the motor. I cut myself short several years ago with a Simrad AP12 because of the price, the unit is now no longer on the market and parts are not available so research the units and ask many questions according to your needs.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a raymarine spx5 installed last summer and loved it (other than noise) until the 1st week of June this year.  The motor burnt out in less than 1 year but was covered under warranty and the new motor got me through the rest of this year.  Hopefully this one will last.

 

I had Wilson boatyard do the install and he did a great job.  However, left more than one message when the motor went out and still have not gotten a return call, that's been since the 1st week of June.  In my experience, I can't say I would recommend the boatyard if you're looking for customer service after the install.

 

Called Raymarine and they sent me a new motor which I installed myself.  Not too bad if you're mechanically inclined.

 

I found hodges marine to have the best price by far on any autopilot and most electronics if you decide to do it yourself.

 

 

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I suggest staying away from a mechanical unit if you have hydraulic steering, it takes away the advantage of hydraulics. I've had Simrad, Raymarine, and Garmin AP.

 

Put auto pilot in the search box there's plenty of advice. I currently have a Garmin GHP 10 but I've heard good reviews on the Simrad 2403. Regardless which one you pick print out the install directions to see if it' something you want too install yourself. They are pricey but it needs to be installed correctly it's well worth it. Don't hesitate to PM me if you need more.

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