Todd in NY

Which Auto Pilot To Get?

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Those NFB helms are awesome. But I didn't have AP on the boat that had the NFB helm.

 

Matt, what AP system does your Chris Craft have?

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16 hours ago, TileMan Dan said:

If you guys have a cable steered boat there really isnt alot of options anymore. Simrad has a unit along with that lowrance unit u guys mentioned.

Sitex also makes a very nice unit for cable steered boats. I can get the model no. for you if you can't find it. I'm pretty sure it's available at the GPS store and Hodges marine. Whatever you decide don't get a unit made for hydraulic steering and retrofit it on a cable steered boat. I've known some guys who have done this looking for a cheaper way out. It'll burn out the unit within a year. It costs a little more for a cable steered unit, but well worth the the extra bucks.

Edited by MikeyP

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Tyee - have you found your HDS-gen 2? I am looking for the same setup you are talking about. Lawrence cable steer kit ($1300) plus electronics. Curious about the firm/software update required? I would like to use Hummingbird for my FF and HDS-2 for AP control.

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I have a tr1 gold for my kicker motor, the chris craft has dual cable steer for my 200 etec, kinda sucks steering wise but the tr1-gold is the cats meow


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Superhawk, no I have not. I looked for an older HDS 5, but when I couldn't find one I ended up buying a new HDS 9 gen 3 so I could get things done before winter hits. I've read they work fine with the outboardpilot. I plan on having 2 units on board eventually plus radar.

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I picked up a used HDS 8M gen 2 for $300 on eBay.. sweet deal if you really only looking to use it for the autopilot/GPS function


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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How does the tr1 gold work Liittle Crappie, I was just thinking maybe that would be better, if you want to update to another boat, to a newer unit the several grand is staying with the boat, if it's not compatible with your new ride??

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Tyee, so the HDS gets installed with no ducer? Just utilized for AP? Why the 9 if just AP?

Edited by superhawk18

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Tr1 gold works with your kicker motor. The throttle actuators and mounts are motor specific but they make em for most kicker motors 1999 and up I believe. From a DIY standpoint they’re pretty easy to install as well. I’ve done 2. Tr1s more like 2k but are just awesome


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Superhawk, I bought a 9 so I can mount it in my hardtop compartment and use it for GPS, Radar, and AP. I plan on mounting a second unit in the back of the boat to use for my depthfinder, but if I connect the 2 with etherney and NMEA 2000 cables I can use both units for all functions. The ducer will only need to connect to the rear unit to get my front unit to display sonar with the ethernet connection between the two units. 

 

My boat came with Lowrance fuel flow meters, so I already have a NMEA cable run to the back of the boat. All I need to run from the back to front is an ethernet cable, which is nice. 

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I forgot to add that another reason I went with the 9 is that it has 2 ethernet ports so after connecting my 2 displays together I still have an extra port for connecting other devices like radar without the need for an ethernet switch. 

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On 11/8/2017 at 4:55 PM, snakedriver said:

Hi guys. I am a certified raymarine installer in Erie pa. I use the Raymarine evolution 200 with the octopus type s on every cable steer boat I do, outboard or sterndrive. Have installed over 50 thru the years. Works like a champ, and is the only way to do it. I'm a little bias toward raymarine if you can't tell. The only other thing that I always put on is the rudder reference. That tells the course computer were your drive is pointing all the time. It works 10 times better with it than without it. The evolution 200 comes with the rudder reference for sterndrives and inboards, but does not work for outboards. There is one from octopus that mounts to the back of the drive unit. Works fine.  The other thing is if your steering cable is stiff or more than 10 years old, replace it at the same time. It will work better and extend the life of the drive unit. If your interested I can give you part numbers and best place to buy. TJ

 

I have a cable steer outboard, rotary helm, Evinrude 150. Does the Octopus AP unit you are talking about have it's own drive unit? I'm not impressed with the ridiculous high cost of the Lowrance HDS units. Give me a list of parts I would need to set up my boat with a Raymarine EV200, the Octopus Type S and the rudder reference. What else is there? Thanks!

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Well Snake told me my main had to be running for the octopus unit not to burn up, so this is not the way I want to operate!! Also most newer boats under 30ft still have the cable steer

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That's good to know, Pap. I wouldn't be using my main with the AP. Maybe I'll just settle for a new NFB helm and steering cable and forget the AP. Then I can get a NIB Gen 1 Helix 10 with GPS, SI and DI for $850. I'm glad I have a few months to think about my options. I never fish by myself anyway.

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2 hours ago, Todd in NY said:

That's good to know, Pap. I wouldn't be using my main with the AP. Maybe I'll just settle for a new NFB helm and steering cable and forget the AP. Then I can get a NIB Gen 1 Helix 10 with GPS, SI and DI for $850. I'm glad I have a few months to think about my options. I never fish by myself anyway.

 

Todd that was directed to me as I have an I/O maybe with a complete cable steer that might be ok for you. My boat steers hard as hell without the main running bud to the steer assist in the back of the boat, that's why a octopus driver would burn out quickly..

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6 hours ago, pap said:

 

Todd that was directed to me as I have an I/O maybe with a complete cable steer that might be ok for you. My boat steers hard as hell without the main running bud to the steer assist in the back of the boat, that's why a octopus driver would burn out quickly..

 

That makes more sense because your power assist isn't working with the main motor not running. The NFB steering system is not recommended for autopilot, so it has to one or the other. I think the NFB steering system for my boat is less than $175, which includes the new helm, steering cable and all parts. It's nowhere near as good as an autopilot, but for 1/3 or 1/4 the cost it sure is tempting to scrap the whole AP idea.

Edited by Todd in NY

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2 hours ago, Todd in NY said:

 

That makes more sense because your power assist isn't working with the main motor not running. The NFB steering system is not recommended for autopilot, so it has to one or the other. I think the NFB steering system for my boat is less than $175, which includes the new helm, steering cable and all parts. It's nowhere near as good as an autopilot, but for 1/3 or 1/4 the cost it sure is tempting to scrap the whole AP idea.

 

Yea, I'm on the same page with ya 30+ years without it, why start now. The other one I was talking about is the tr1 gold that runs just the kicker, that unit is highly praised, but from what I got from Snake it's not hooked to the gps. And is operated by a key fob on a lanyard. But he did say it will hold your boat in 6fters. That not even a thought in my mind. But he did say if  you do a troll with someone steering you can duplicate that troll with the gps unit. You can also steer the unit from this key fob. TJ also mentioned that you need to calibrate the rudder with the headings, that's no dig deal he said, 20 minutes your done. I've got other things I want to do this winter, like I want to pull up my floor and inspect. The stringers and transom. Make sure all these goodies are worthy of the boat. My floor I thought had a soft spot, so I pulled the carpet back and the fiberglass came loose from the plywood. That's where those back to back seats were, but they were removed before I bought the boat. So I'm going to read up on the tr1Gold, that has the throttle control, the tr1 does not have the throttle control. O the system with the octopus drive was designed to take you to a way point like faraway then stop at that area, and return to the original waypoint (HOME), I could use it to troll also and he said the computer reads your boats actions and corrects it with in a heart beat!! and I could hook it to a on board gps but would need my main to idle all day for the unit to work, I don't want that either. I'm going to focus on making my boat the way I want it first, before I shell $2500.00 on a luxury item, a tarp strap hooked to the wheel worked for 20 years so?? That's my thought on that at this point!!, Mike aka pap.

 

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On 11/11/2017 at 6:08 PM, wallyandre said:

There is some good deals right now on the Gen-3 and HDS-Carbon

 

$649 for a Gen-3 7"

https://www.lowrance.com/news/save-up-to-$500/

 

Does the Lowrance outboard pilot work if the main motor is off? I would be running all electronics on my #2 dual purpose battery, with an older 2 stroke kicker that has no charging system. If an autopilot system needs the main motor on in order to work, it won't work for my setup.

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It probably doesn’t, my raymarine didn’t and I used an ez steer on the proline, but I’d certainly look at the draw rate of the lowrance using a kicker that doesn’t charge


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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  • My kicker took a dump last year, it was a 82 evinrude 2 stroke and it was to much to fix, so I purposely looked for a used kicker, when I came across the buy of a lifetime. I looked on Craigslist which I'm a little leary about but I found a 2007 merc 15hp long shaft, which isn't popular in our neck of the woods. I called the number it had which was a NJ. Number and I got a hold of the father, the son was the owner. He told me it was only ever used 3 times. They needed a long shaft to fit the transom of his boat, which they used on the Delaware River. They quickly learned a prop unit isn't good for the river and his son bought a 60/40 jet. Which they found to be the ticket. He then tells me his son makes more money than he knows what to do with, and this motor was to go to someone that really could use one. Well the father took a liking to me instantly and called his son and told him I was there and really liked the motor, he told his dad if you think this is the guy that could use it then give him a price which was $850.00 I offered $700.00 in cash he said load it up, I know it's going to a good home. It has electric start and a good charge system. I couldn't have been more pleased or happy it was like it was meant to be??!!! The man even had it serviced and the break in oil changed and a new pump installed. They even put a new prop on and gave me the original which with a file you could of taken the few dingers out easily, or used it in my book. LOL. So in that end of the boat my ship really did come in.:yes:  :yes:

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3 hours ago, Little Crappie said:

It probably doesn’t, my raymarine didn’t and I used an ez steer on the proline, but I’d certainly look at the draw rate of the lowrance using a kicker that doesn’t charge


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

 

The draw rate was another concern with any AP on the market.

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