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Auto Pilot for a 1997 Thompson


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I am currently in the market to put an autopilot on my boat and have a couple of questions.  I have rack and pinion / power assist steering on a Merccruiser 5.7L with an Alpha one outdrive.  I have been researching for some time now and come to the conclusion that due to cost and ease of implementation the way for me to go is to install a rotary helm(Octopus type-S mechanical helm) along with a compatible autopilot system.  I am leaning towards the SiTex SP110RF-3 or the Simrad AP24.  


1)Does anyone have any experience with either one of these autopilots or the octopus system? 

2)When driving in manual mode(autopilot disengaged) does the Octopus or the auto pilot put extra steering pressure on the wheel?

3) Am I completely out to lunch with my selections?


Thank you for any suggestions or information!




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I have a raymarine sport pilot on my striper, love it,  same set up rotary helm and cable steer,   been on this boat three yrs now ,  this is my second unit.(mounted on second boat) and would buy another.

good luck. Rick

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I have the exact same motor and I went with the Raymarine EV-200 with the wheel pilot.  Best thing I've ever bought for the boat.  


What do you have for a chartplotter/fishfinder?  That can also play a role if your autopilot has the ability to use data from it.  

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The ev-200 came as a package with the wheel sport pilot. 


Raymarine EV-200 Sport Pilot Autopilot - T70159


The Sport Pilot is discontinued though but you still might be able to find a complete package somewhere.  I think you other option would be to go with an EV-100 and then go with an octopus drive if you have the space behind the helm.

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