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Thinking ahead to Xmas - what tiller-pilot should Santa get me?


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Spencer Saraband, tiller steering.  Very light on the helm for its 3.75t, 10m size.

Probably looking at a simple, one-piece, stand-alone unit - we are not crossing oceans here.  Predominantly two of us on board.

Simplicity and longevity/reliablity are the two key parameters.  I'm going to assume any unit on the market is accurate, and not a power hog.

Raymarine? Simrad? Someone else?  

Advice and added considerations please.

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Well, for that boat an local use ( NOT offshore) I'd go for a Simrad. TP22 or TP32 (the 32 is faster and more powerful). I've replaced a fair few raymarine units with these for customers, they mostly love them.

However, they are not (despite what the advertising stuff says) suitable for offshore - plastic connections to tiller, plastic gears etc. They will last for years for gulf cruising at the weekend though. IMO still more robust, better tiller connection and better software than the raymarine. 

The best addition you can make to these is to add an external compass - the precision 9 for a simrad unit. This makes steering MUCH more accurate, like a different unit. This is because the small fluxgate compass inside the units (either brand) is pretty small and unstable. The precision 9 is a solid state compass (not fluxgate) with roll, pitch and yaw compensation. It provides hugely more stable heading and turn info to the AP. But they are another $1k odd. Can be added later.

The TP 22 and TP32 both have Simnet (NMEA2000) connections for the compass, GPS, Wind interface etc. There is NMEA0183 as well if you really must....

 

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10 hours ago, Island Time said:

The Pelargic is not the same as the std tillerpilots - its twice the price to begin with. Its a proper offshore pilot, although personally I don't like a drive unit on the ram. I like to hide it below deck out of the weather....

Actually, up against the others it prices in ok - $900USD converts to around $1350NZD plus freight plus GST so not excessively more at less than $2k all up for their "standard" unit.  Still expensive, but in reality its only 5 tanks of petrol in the car more than the others isn't it.  Or 20 bottles of wine.

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