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Author Topic:   Raymarine Autopilot for VERADO
glen e posted 03-03-2006 11:37 PM ET (US)   Profile for glen e   Send Email to glen e  
Raymarine Autopilot: Imminent release.

As you may or may not know, there are about four [boaters in the Verado club] that were selected to test the Verado autopilot without rudder feedback. It is listed in the new West catalog and is starting to appear in their literature and some of the boating magazines. It is a simple auto pilot (AP). It interfaces with all GPS/chartplotters via NEMA and/or Sea Talk. It works well after a few calibrations at setup. It has gone through a number of software revisions; I have been testing it since last July. The Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) is $3,100. Do not believe what you see on pricing in the publications, it is wrong.

Release should be in a few weeks. The kit comes all in one box and is a 6002 display, S1G computer, fluxgate, pump and hoses. It should be an easy install. Be very careful here, some dealers will assume you know nothing about the unit and charge you 12 hours install as if it had the rear rudder sensor which requires a good bit of installation. It should be about a five hour install assuming the tech charges you for his time on a sea trial. You can do the setup yourself, it is easy and outlined in the commissioning manual.

How does the Raymarine stack up to other systems, like the TR-1?

--Does not have as many features as the TR-1 like backing up and trolling patterns
--Raymarine Pump is quieter
--Raymarine display is a bit nicer - shows more info like Distance and time to waypoint
--Both have optional wireless remotes available. Raymarine has two, the bigger one is not worth it, I have tried both.
--The TR-1 seems to be able to dodge better (emergency shut off) due to a valve in the system. You can turn the wheel on the Raymarine to get out of the way of a crab pot, but it is a bit sluggish

Please direct any questions you may have to me.

fourdfish posted 03-03-2006 11:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for fourdfish  Send Email to fourdfish     
The dealer wanted $450 to install my Raymarine Sport Pilot +. I know it is not as fancy nor cost as much ($850) as the one Glen is testing, but it works great and it only took me about 2hrs to install. I have my GPS feeding into it and it follows routes great.
Captan_Dick posted 03-04-2006 04:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Captan_Dick  Send Email to Captan_Dick     
Glenn - This sounds like a very nice unit and some real-world data from actual on the water time will be great to read once you have it, thanks.
glen e posted 03-04-2006 08:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
Regarding the Raymarine autopilot, I have had it installed on my boat since last July. It has been a labor of love for the Raymarine technician who installed it and me. It has gone thru at least nine software revisions, and we now finally have liftoff. It trackes very stragiht to a waypoint and no turns are quick and abrupt.

It is an S1G unit which only requires you to let the boat steer iself for about five minutes when commisioning so it gets to "learn" your boat. After that is just works. We found that the "autolearn" leaves one setting to be adjusted which I'm sure will be taken care of when released.

The unit uses no rudder feedback which will be the way all systems will be in the future. The system needs to know where the engines are at any moment and used to do this with a rudder feedback component that attaches to your engones steering to register the movement with the computer. It was a finicky unit in the past. The computer now senses the engine position when turning so it's now not needed. This is Raymarine's second unit to use no Rudder feedback, the other being the small boat S1000.

Disadvantages: It does not currently have the fishing patterns like the S1000 and is still expensive. I wish it was priced a bit lower as there is not much to it in terms of hardware. I can only assume their asking $3,100 is becuause of small ecomnomies of scale and they assume "expensive outboards-->expensive AP". Also, the competition (Simrad and TR-1) are much more expensive.

Overall, a nice unit that works well. I have had two standard 6001+ systems prior to this on other boats, and, once you get them dialed in, they work flawlessly. This one is the same.

One caveat: make sure the fluxgate compass which tells the computer the boat heading is mounted near no metal. I have mine mounted way up front in a fish box. If it is mounted near speakers or a tolx box, the sytem will not work correctly...

Best place I know to get one is BY Owner Electronics (BOE) or Tightline Rods. Jim and John will give you the best prices out there.

hauptjm posted 03-07-2006 05:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Press Release Source: Raymarine, Inc.

Raymarine Unveils the SmartPilot for Mercury Verado Engines
Thursday February 16, 8:30 am ET
New System Pack is Engineered for Compatibility with Verado Outboard Engines

MERRIMACK, N.H. and MIAMI, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Miami International Boat Show -- Raymarine, Inc., the world leader in marine electronics, today announced that its world renowned SmartPilot is now available for boats featuring Mercury Verado outboard engines. The newly unveiled SmartPilot provides all of the key features available on other SmartPilot systems, including optional wireless controls, NMEA or SeaTalk input for GPS waypoint navigation, intelligent software for optimal steering control and fast compass heading output for support of MARPA and radar/chartplotter overlay on Raymarine multifunction displays. The autopilot is suitable for installations on single and twin Verado engine applications.

Engineered for reliable compatibility, the latest autopilot in the Raymarine product family includes Advanced Steering Technology (AST) to keep a razor-sharp course and enable smooth, controlled turns. The AST also intelligently monitors the pitch and roll of the boat and anticipates course changes, giving captains a new level of steering performance.

"Raymarine's latest addition to our autopilot line lets boat owners with Mercury Verado engines take advantage of the most advanced technology for controlling a boat's course that is available today," said Terry Carlson, president of Raymarine, Inc.

Employing the latest technologies for this new steering method that signals the next level of performance for autopilots, the autopilot for Verado outboard engines is no longer reliant on the installation of a rudder reference, allowing boats unparalleled reliability and durability. The SmartPilot System Pack includes an ST6001 Control Head, SmartPilot S1G Course computer for Verado, Type 1 Hydraulic Pump Kit, Fluxgate Compass and Document Kit. No rudder reference is required. Optional wireless autopilot controls are also available.

About Raymarine, Inc.

Raymarine, a world leader in marine electronics, develops and manufactures the most comprehensive range of electronic equipment for the recreational boating market. Designed for high performance and ease of use, the award- winning products are available through a global network of dealers and distributors. The Raymarine product lines include multifunction displays, radar, navigation aids, instruments, HD Digital fishfinders, communications, software and systems. For more information about Raymarine, please call 1-800- 539-5539 or visit

Media Contact
Liz Boal
Greenough Communications

Source: Raymarine, Inc.

I think these type of developments will dictate that everyone develops their version of digital throttle and shift (DTS).

jimh posted 03-07-2006 07:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Moved and combined separate discussions of this Raymarine Auto Pilot to this single discussion here in SMALL BOAT ELECTRICAL--jimh.]

I don't think this auto pilot connects in any way to the throttles or shift of the engine, and thus I think it is not affected at all by the Mercury DTS feature.

My understanding is the autopilot connects to the hydraulic steering system near the helm pump, which in a Verado is a somewhat conventional low pressure hydraulic helm pump. I don't see anything unusual about the hydraulics system at the helm, although perhaps there are particular fittings for the hoses or other system details which need to be adapted.

As for the electrical interconnection between the autopilot and the GPS system, this is presumably accomplished with a NMEA interface or perhaps the Raymarine protocol if the GPS is also a Raymarine device.

glen e posted 03-07-2006 09:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
correct - nothing to do with DTS - just intercepts the helm pump which is standard helm style hydraulics...
handn posted 03-09-2006 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for handn  Send Email to handn     
Doing away with the rudder feedback unit will be a great improvement. My autopilot was disabled when my boat cleaner stepped on the feedback unit. It is vulnerable in an outboard powered boat as it is right there in the motorwell.
Calibration should be much easier without a feedback unit. The first time I had to recalibrate it took my an hour of so with the manual to figure it out.
The price is high compared to a Sportpilot but not when compaired to a quality unit like the Simrad AP 16 on my boat.

glen e posted 03-10-2006 12:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
actually price should be pretty good - MSRP will be close to $3100 and that should bring the discounted price down close to 2600.00 or so...

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