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Author Topic:   autopilot on a 170 MT
4Runner posted 06-01-2003 05:13 PM ET (US)   Profile for 4Runner   Send Email to 4Runner  
Has anyone installed an autopilot on their 170 MT?

I can't always get a fishing partner (they make silly excuses like having to go to work!) so I go out alone. However, I like to troll so it gets busy trying to keep the boat pointed in the right direction while setting or clearing lines while dealing with wind/wave. And yes, I use the kill switch lanyard and wear my pfd.

I would like to know what brand/model you use or would recommend. The motor is merc 90 4s. I don't have hydraulic steering.

Thanks in advance!

OutrageMan posted 06-01-2003 10:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
I am not sure of the model number, but Raytheon makes a unit that would seem to fit the bill.


where2 posted 06-07-2003 02:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Guy I work with has a 20' Proline with an autopilot he installed himself. As described, he sometimes cannot find someone with a day off. It also comes in handy when his GF is along, as she missed the class on following a Compass reading. Much like the cruise control on an automobile, once you turn the unit on and engage it, you can pay attention to other things.

The important thing is to LOOK occasionally to be sure you're not about to run into someone/something... It may steer straight as an arrow, but it can't see.

Raymarine Sportpilot Plus for Mechanical Steering Outboards.

4Runner posted 06-07-2003 01:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for 4Runner  Send Email to 4Runner     
Thanks for the feedback guys.

I also searched the hull truth forum and they seem to lean toward the Simrad AP12 or AP14 for smaller boats.

Any whaler owners with experience with these units?

Dr Don posted 06-08-2003 08:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr Don  Send Email to Dr Don     
I had the sportpilot plus on my 22' outrage without hydraulic steering. It worked well and kept a good heading in reasonably calm conditions. I could not mount the compass in the console because my batteries were in there. You also have to cut a decent sized hole under the unit and steering wheel to pass the cables through, I was not wild about that on my new boat. Any display I had seen in a store did not show that a hole was needed. Maybe that has changed. I now have a simrad AP12 on my 24' Outrage with hydraulic steering. I really like this unit. The control unit is very small. It keeps a very good heading most of the time. They make one for mechanical steering but I can not give any feedback on it. Let me know if you have any questions. I would not be without one.
kingfish posted 06-08-2003 08:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I installed a Raytheon (RayMarine) SportPilot Plus on our other boat (25' Parker Sport Cabin), and Like it a lot; now that I have it communicating with the Garmin GPSMap 235 I like it even more. It will easily go to a waypoint, either pre-set or simply marked on the map page with the cursor.

I have the same GPS on my Outrage 22, and I am strongly tempted to hook up a SportPilot Plus there too. Both boats have hydraulic steering. And for the record, it is necessary with the SportPilot to cut an opening through the console for the wires from the backside of the helm unit, but there is a neat grommet assembly that leaves a very professional installation.

It is an outstandingly simple operation and a great help to use one of these units when you are trolling alone.


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