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Name: Geoff and Bunkey Cunliffe
Date: 31 Mar 2004
Remote Name: 184.108.40.206
Remote User: a37ioa
After having spent the past few years "Down South", the one thing we both agree is that if we do go south again in THE EVERDEN, we have to get a new autopilot. The one we have now is a Navico 5000 (now Simrad), which is a belt driven wheel pilot. Maybe the basic unit is man enough, but with any wind gusts or sizable waves the belt just slips and the boat slews around. I've gone through several belts during the last two years, and by the time its 15kts and 4-6ft seas we're hand steering. Another feature of the Navico which I don't like is it doesn't have a fixed control algorithm but "learns" (Kalman Filter) the appropriate response from the prevailing conditions. Let me tell you; it doesn't work in varying wind conditions; its much too slow a learner. We've found ourselves hove-to several times thanks to its remedial control theory. As Alberg owners, what autopilots do you have, how do they perform, and would you recommend them? We're looking forward to your responses. Thanks.