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Best Autopilot?


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My friend had a Simrad AP44 on his 25' Grady with twin ob's. He now has a Simrad AP44 on his 30' Cherokee. I have an older Simrad on my Tiara (inboards). Most people I know with Simrad AP's really like them.

I know Garmin also makes good electronics, including AP's, but I can't recommend a specific model.

But what you need to make sure of is that what ever make / model you choose, that it will hold a course at trolling speeds.

Another friend spent good $$ on a Raymarine AP that wouldn't hold course under 2 mph. That didnt work very well for walleye trolling.

Sent from my SM-A505U using Tapatalk

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I have a Raymarine SPX-5 helm drive unit and it is OK.... It hold course, most of the time, but I have had plenty of times when it just stops turning the wheel even when the boat is moving further and further off course. I have never used any other brand, but I would not recommend the Raymarine. 

 

Plus the helm drive unit locked up after about year of use and now the steering wheel is super stiff when steering manually. I have been considering buying a new octopus drive, or just upgrading to a Lowrance unit which also uses an octopus drive

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Jason, I’ve got the raymarine ev-100 and will hold a course jerking copper going 1mph.  No issues with it what so ever. I’ve got an aluminum and even on windy days she holds great. For what it’s worth. 

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I also have a Raymarine EV-100 self installed on a 25ft Pursuit w/250 Yamaha with Seastar hydraulic steering and have had zero issues on Lake Ontario. Can’t say it handles 4-5 footers cause I’m not out there if it builds to that.  :puke:

 

 

Edited by UNREEL
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1 hour ago, lrg355 said:

Navico is the parent company of Simrad, Lowrance and a few others.  Reasonable to assume the same technology is used within the family.

Lowrance is compatible with the NAC-1 and Simrad is compatible with: NAC-1, NAC-2 and NAC-3

NAC-1 is enough for 80% of the guys fishing inland lake.

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Simrad Drive Pilot for hydraulic steering with Precision 9 and Nac1 installs easily and is controlled with Simrad Go Series or several Lowrance units.  Pretty much the same AP as the Lowrance hydraulic steer unit but has the Precision 9 upgrade which shows up when it gets “sloppy”.  Holds dead steady at trolling speed into the wind.

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Choosing the NAC-1 with the Precision 9 is an excellent advise; few hundreds more but well worthed.

If you don't have a Lowrance compatible you can get a Elite FS or has suggested a Simrad GO that are less expensive but work very well.

I did a short video showing the NAC1 in action using the Precision9

 

Edited by wallyandre
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