Autopilots do a great job of holding a steady course in light to moderate conditions with minimal helm movements. They don’t get tired like their human counterparts and have an infinite attention span. They will open up opportunities to use your boat that you would otherwise miss due to lack of crew, lack of interest or lack of time. And because they steer so accurately, they will save fuel and get you to your destination faster, especially when interfaced with a GPS.
Modern autopilots have various methods of maintaining a more accurate course than their predecessors: auto-trim, auto sea-state, and integration with GPS. The latest developments include SmartSteer software algorithms from Raymarine, which use a rate gyro to more accurately detect off-course deviations, and an algorithm that learns your boat’s handling characteristics to improve steering over time.
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Without a doubt, autopilots are a necessary item on board, especially if you are sailing off over the horizon. Installing a below-deck autopilot can be a daunting experience, both in terms of choosing one and deciding where and how to install it on your boat.
Contact Sydney Marine Electrical for your Autopilot needs. We can supply, install and repair Autopilot systems including Raymarine, Simrad and Course Master just to name a few.