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Raymarine Autopilots

by Claire Hammon 11 Jun 2015 15:45 BST 11 June 2015
Raymarine Evolution Autopilot © Raymarine

SAVE UP TO £400 on a Raymarine Autopilot System with the Summer Cash Back offer
Valid until 30th June 2015. CLICK HERE.

An autopilot is a valuable addition to any boat, often contested to be one of the most technically sophisticated instruments you can have on board. Whether your sailing is racing, cruising or other, investing in a reliable pilot never ceases to aid skipper and crew by offering that extra assistance when shorthanded, needing to do some work on or below deck, or to simply keep you on a straight course. The peace of mind an autopilot can bring means many sailors would not leave the marina without it. Most autopilots now have the ability to network, enabling the boat to sail to a consistent wind angle from an instrument or along a desired route from the chartplotter.

How Autopilots work? Autopilots essentially have four core parts to them. A Display Unit, to display the current mode, course and setup. The Compass, providing the system with heading information. A computer control, collating all inputs to then provide output commands to the drive. Then the drive unit, used to alter or maintain the position of the steering. All parts work in unison, continuously cross referencing the required heading with the true heading of the boat and keeping them inline.

Pilot choices

The joy of autopilots are that they come in a variety of sizes and feature sets, ensuring that any boat can find the perfect fit with a pilot. Check what steering mechanism your boat has and the weight (including crew, fuel, water etc) of the vessel. These two factors will then lead you toward your type of pilot as well as the size and positioning of the drive unit, which could be, wheel based, tiller, or on the rudder stock and whether it is mechanical, wire, solenoid or hydraulic based . It is essential to never underspecify an autopilot, you want it to be working within its comfort zone all the time no matter what the conditions are or loads on the boat, we all go out in the good weather but do not necessarily come back in it.

Development

At Raymarine, ever since the introduction of our first tiller autopilot in 1975, the development teams have been busy, which recently resulted in the introduction of our new Evolution autopilot. It has been recognized by the industry at the 2014 NMEA Conference & Expo, cited as delivering breakthrough autopilot intelligence, most notably the 9-axis sensor technology which is truly novel. The new fast heading sensor, the EV-1, is a solid state compass working of 9-axis points, computing heading, pitch, roll and yaw, providing accurate, fast information to the computer about the boats current characteristics. This advanced pilot technology is now being widely used by open ocean professionals and us weekend warriors alike. Simple to operate, easy to install and link to other instrument its aim is to make boating easier and more hassle free for all.

SAVE UP TO £400 on a Raymarine Autopilot System with the Summer Cash Back offer
Valid until 30th June 2015. CLICK HERE.

Details and T&C's at www.raymarine.co.uk/summer15cashback

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