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Author Topic:   Considering a couple autopilots
Jessielove posted 05-26-2013 12:14 PM ET (US)   Profile for Jessielove   Send Email to Jessielove  
I'm considering choosing among a couple autopilots for my Whaler 27 Whaler Drive.

I currently have a Garmin marine network consisting of 4212 and 4208 display units, radar, and gsd 24 sonar. There is also a nmea 2000 network. I initially considered the Garmin GHP 20 with smartdrive pump, but my local NMEA installer is recommending the new Raytheon Evolution autopilot that is about to come out on the market over the Garmin. While he's a certified nmea installer, he's also a Raymarine dealer and openly seems to favor Raymarine of Garmin products as a matter of course. So I'm hoping to get some less biased and more objective opinions on the two product lines.

I like the idea of being able to download the latest Garmin software patch to a SD card and being able to slide the SD card into either of my chartplotters and have the entire network automatically updated. If I was to choose the Garmin autopilot, it is my understanding that the autopilot would also be automatically updated in this manner.

I also like how a friends Garmin GHP 10 can be manually steered while fishing by simply turning the wheel, you don't have to disengage the autopilot - the GHP 20 I'm considering would operate in a similar way.

I'm not sure how updating a Raytheon Autopilot software attached to a nmea 2000 network would be accomplished. Would I be able to do this through the Garmin chartplotter's ports, or would I have to use a laptop and connector cable to locate and update the autopilot over the nmea 2000 network?

Do Raymarine autopilots allow you to just turn the wheel to take control of steering like the Garmin products or is there an additional step like pressing a button on a control unit?

I realize the Evolution is not on the market yet so no Evolution specific experiences are possible yet, but if you have any advice or Raytheon/Garmin autopilot experience that may help me to decide, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

Thanks in advance.

Jessielove posted 05-26-2013 12:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jessielove  Send Email to Jessielove     
Woops, I meant to include links to both products I'm considering in the above posts, so I will link them here:

Garmin GHP 20: ghp-20-marine-autopilot-system-with-smartpump/prod118877.html

Raymarine Evolution:

jimh posted 05-27-2013 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The literature for the RAYMARINE autopilot mentions that the sensor used, called the EV Core Sensor, monitors motion in nine axis. Trying to come up with all the axis possible, I could only come up with:


What are the other three axis?

Jessielove posted 06-04-2013 07:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jessielove  Send Email to Jessielove     

From what I can determine, I think you're referring to the text that reads:

"The EV Sensor Core

At the centre [sic] of every Evolution system is the intelligent EV sensor core, a 9-axis sensor that monitors vessel motion in all three dimensions. The innovative EV sensor core combines advanced solid-state sensors with the Evolution autopilot processor into a single easy-to-install housing."

I was able to find this info on the specifications sheet:

"3-axis digital accelerometer
3-axis digital compass
3-axis gyro digital angular rate sensor"

jimh posted 06-04-2013 07:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
That would make the other three axis:


kwik_wurk posted 06-06-2013 12:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for kwik_wurk  Send Email to kwik_wurk     
I have 95% the same setup as you on one of my boats.

I was put off by the Garmin packaged price. (Having just updated 4212 and HD radar.) But love having everything together. -- Last summer, I was able to assemble a much cheaper package of mixed/match components all NEMA 2000.

I am not sure what is included with the Raytheon package or if it needs to be put together.

However I suspect the level of integration (turn-by-turn) with the remaining Garmin components would be much better than an another brand. And ease of use is a big deal with the networked system.

And yes, updating remote devices on the newtork or NEMA 2000 is really great feature.

jimh posted 07-30-2013 10:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Any news about an auto-pilot installation?
silentpardner posted 07-31-2013 02:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for silentpardner  Send Email to silentpardner     
If you have a Garmin network already, my dealer says it is better to stay with Garmin products than try to mix in other brands. They tell me that Garmin does not play well with others.

I am removing a complete set of mixed up old electronics from my Whaler 27 FC WD right now and going back with a complete set of all Garmin NEMA 2000 components. The current system being removed consists of 2 obsolete Lowrance chartplotter/sounder MFD's, Raymarine dome radar with a separate display on the helm, and a Simrad autopilot set. None of these components talk to each other.

I am going back with 2 Garmin 6212 MFD Chartplotters with the vision chip in one of them. I only need one of these vision chips, the other 6212 can use it also across the network. I am installing the GSD 26 CHIRP sounder with an Airmar TM 265 LH Chirp transducer, a GMR™ 404 xHD Open Array Radar, the GHP™ 10 Marine Autopilot System, the VHF 200 radio, and the XM weather module as well. All this equipment will run as a system on a Garmin NMEA 2000 network. This makes it possible to do much more than just grab the wheel and use shadow drive. It is possible to use the chart plotter to directly control the autopilot as well. With the Vision chip running on the network, you can actually put in a destination waypoint that is located inland of the jetty's on the ICW and the chartplotter will determine the best route to take to get there from offshore and actually drive the boat through all the turns necessary to keep the boat in water that is deep enough for the draft set in the settings. All you have to do is keep a watch at the helm to avoid any other boats crossing your course.

Another thing the Garmin autopilot does is offer you the option of various trolling and MOB patterns pre-programmed at the touch of a button. This includes cloverleaf and zig-zag, as well as circles and several more. You can get to a rig and hit a button that will auto pattern a circle around it, or get over a shelf, hit button and zig-zag pattern over get the idea.

The radar will overlay on the charts as well, the GPS location of the boat is always displayed on the VHF radio, the weather and sea-state, as well as surface temps, currents and directions of currents, as well as a myriad of other real-time info is also overlayed on the displays if selected from the XM Weather module in the system.

I have put a considerable amount of dollars in this network for the Whaler 27, and I have also installed a Garmin 741XS CHIRP sounder chartplotter combo on my Outrage 18. I may have been victimized by advertising, but after looking at all the different systems available, the Garmin is where my money wound up. I will keep you all posted about my system as it gets used on my boats, I expect it to perform just as advertised for many years to come.

jimh posted 07-31-2013 04:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Many thanks for the very interesting account of your electronic equipment and auto-pilot. I agree with you: if planning a complex and comprehensive system, it is often advantageous to use only one brand of devices. If you mix brands and hope for them all to inter-operate perfectly, that result may not be obtained, and, when trying to resolve problems, it is typical for one manufacturer to blame the other guy for the problems.
Plotman posted 07-31-2013 11:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
The Raymarine SmartPilot S1000 is a great unit. I have one installed on my 22 outrage, and it just works.

It is designed to work on boats with teleflex steering. You plumb in a small pump, mount the brain, and interface it to your existing autopilot.

My Experience has been very good.

Jessielove posted 09-13-2013 08:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jessielove  Send Email to Jessielove     

After spending quite a bit of time investigating the pros and cons, I have decided to stick with an all Garmin populated network and will most likely install the GHP20. One consideration I have only recently been made aware of is the engine/steering compatibility factor down the road with a repower. The newer GHP20's smart pump, with its wide range of capacities, should allow the pilot to more easily integrate into a wider range of engine and steering combinations than older style pumps that are limited to a narrower range of capacities.

Another consideration is the pump's sound level. The GHP20's pump is quieter than the pumps used with the GHP10; that is certainly a consideration for me as I troll hours on end, and often in rough water where the autopilot would tend to be much more active than on boats used mostly at cruising speeds.

I hope to have this installed for the start of next spring's fishing season. I decided to have my local NMEA installer perform the installation for me.

jimh posted 09-13-2013 10:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Thanks for the update.
silentpardner posted 09-13-2013 11:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for silentpardner  Send Email to silentpardner     
That sounds like a great system you are setting up there!

I am installing the GHP-10 system on my 27, I already had it on another boat before they released the GHP-20. I have been curious about that new package, is there anything other than the pump that is different from the GHP-10? Any new trolling patterns built in or something like that? I seem to remember they had one setup that was for a rudder system, as opposed to outboards, but I haven't researched Garmin's autopilots recently.

I am sure you will be happy with it!

You catching any fish trolling out there? :)

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