Autopilot for 330 Express

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#1
I need to replace enough parts on the Simrad autopilot on my 330 express that I am considering replacing the entire autopilot with a different brand. The boat is not kept in a lift so I have to tilt my motors at the dock. This has resulted in my current autopilot always needing adjustment. Has anyone found an autopilot that allows for tilting the motors and that they think works well?
 

ocnslr

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#2
I went from a Simrad AP-12H to a Simrad AP-16VF.

The virtual feedback in available in several of the new models and eliminates the feedback unit at the engines.

I think one of the new Simrads would be fine, and you may be able to keep your current A/P pump, so no need to open/modify the hydraulics system.

Call Simrad tech support, then call Jim at BOEMarine for purchasing.

Brian
 
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#5
Try a TR-1

Try a TR-1 before you buy...See if you can find a boat with one to give you a demo....you won't have any questions after that. My berth is one mile from the end of the jetties and usually very busy. I drive the boat (2006 300 Marlin) all the way to the berth in a no wake zone and have even backed it in (on a bet) using only the TR-1 (yes, it works at very low speeds and in reverse...It also has Shadow-drive, you can take the wheel at any time and over-ride it. This is one product that is worth the money!
 

CBOWA

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#6
Having read this thread and looked at the TR-1 online, I just wonder how big a boat would it handle? The original docs on it stated pretty clearly that it was for a smaller boat, but a 33 Express is pretty good sized boat. My assumption is that there is a "torque" rating that is determined by the sturdiness of the mounted hardware and the power of the pump. Is this an accurate assumption? I am looking for a GW Express - 305, 330, 360/370 (pros and cons to each, so keeping an open mind and looking for a deal) - so it looks like the TR-1 and the AP-24 (the AP-16 is discontinued) would fit up to a 330, but the AP-24 would handle the 360/370. Any guesses on if the TR-1 would handle the larger boats? Trying to figure out the best electronics packages, and looking at Garmin throughout as my first choice, but several other good ones are out there so I am reserving final judgement. The opinions of the experienced boaters on this forum will very likely make all the difference! Thanks in advance. Cheers...CB
 

SkunkBoat

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#7
The TR-1 states "for small outboard powered boats to 20 hp"

I am new to autopilot. I haven't installed mine yet but...
My research on the question lead me to Garmin Reactor 40 with Smart Pump. It is for large twin engine outboard powered boats.
Garmin describes it as their most responsive autopilot.
 
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#8
Having read this thread and looked at the TR-1 online, I just wonder how big a boat would it handle? The original docs on it stated pretty clearly that it was for a smaller boat, but a 33 Express is pretty good sized boat. My assumption is that there is a "torque" rating that is determined by the sturdiness of the mounted hardware and the power of the pump. Is this an accurate assumption? I am looking for a GW Express - 305, 330, 360/370 (pros and cons to each, so keeping an open mind and looking for a deal) - so it looks like the TR-1 and the AP-24 (the AP-16 is discontinued) would fit up to a 330, but the AP-24 would handle the 360/370. Any guesses on if the TR-1 would handle the larger boats? Trying to figure out the best electronics packages, and looking at Garmin throughout as my first choice, but several other good ones are out there so I am reserving final judgement. The opinions of the experienced boaters on this forum will very likely make all the difference! Thanks in advance. Cheers...CB
 
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#9
I have a 2008 360 express with trip merc verdo 350 with Simrad ap024 auto pilot, furuno navnet MFD and radar..I am in the process of changing out all my electronics. I was advised to go with the same vendor for all of my stuff..I talked to my sales person and he recommend that i go with the Garmin system..
hope that helps
 

wspitler

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#10
On my 330 express I had a similar problem. The weak point of the older APs is the requirement for a rudder feedback unit (RFU). I had an older (2007) Raymarine autopilot with all Garmin electronics and wanted to get the RFU out of the system. To delete the RFU you'll need an autopilot computer (course computer) that contains a solid state yaw rate gyro. Assuming your pump and plumbing is adequate and works OK, all you'll need is a newer course computer that is compatible with your current control head and flux gate compass. As to needing to stay with all the same brand, I felt that the NEMA 2000 and 0183 languages are standard and that's the interface with your plotter. Mine worked fine it just wasn't reliable due to the RFU. I didn't like the extra stuff attached to the steering cylinders either. I simply added an updated course computer, removed the RFU and used the old control head and flux gate. It works great and is a lot more stable and responsive. Regardless, think of the plumbing part of the system as simply a 12 VDC hydraulic pump that (ports fluid) turns either left or right at the rate directed by the course computer. The pumps are rated based on the size and number of steering cylinders. There are some complexities in plumbing of the newer versions related to manual overrides, but I did without that. If you want fancy pattern capability or trolling patterns then that gets more expensive. I'm real, real happy with heading hold and course tracking. It does better than I could. I bought an SPX-30 course computer on line and am happy with the performance.