Overview

So you have decided you want a helping hand on the wheel but don’t know exactly what to buy. It’s not always easy to select the right equipment but we hope that these few lines will spread some light and help you to choose.

Look at the picture at the right, it shows a complete autopilot kit consisting of the following things:

  • One or more display units (in this case two)
  • One junction box
  • One electronic compass
  • One rudder feed-back unit
  • One drive unit (in this case reversing pump)

This is a typical autopilot kit for a small recreational boat or small work boat. Our autopilots come however in many different shapes to suite individual needs. The following should be noted:

  • AP47 and AP47R have no junction box. Everything is included in the display. The same applies to the AP4 and AP9.
  • AP47 has virtual rudder feed-back and is especially suitable for boats with outboards and stern drive.
  • If extra display or hand remote is needed AP55 should be used, or possibly AP4 or AP9.
  • Even though the AP47/AP47R were designed with recrational boats in mind nothing prevents them for being used in small commercial boats.
  • Even though the AP4 and AP9 are designed with commercial boats in mind nothing prevents them from being used in recreational boats. We have sold AP9 to 12 meter sailing yachts for ocean use.

The following table is meant to give a short overview of the functionality of our autopilots:

AP47 AP47R AP55 AP4 AP9
Designed for boats up to 8 meters 15 meters 25 meters 25 meters 50 meters
Electronic compass with gyro yes yes yes yes yes
Virtual rudder feed-back yes yes* no no no
Power steering no no yes yes yes
GPS steering yes yes yes yes yes
Wind steering yes** yes no no no
Extra display no no yes yes yes
Hand remote no no yes yes yes
Electrical steering no no yes yes yes
Suited for reversing pump (max 15 A) yes yes yes yes yes
Suited for solenoid valves yes yes yes yes yes
Splash proof yes yes yes*** no no
NMEA interface in (NMEA0183)**** yes yes yes yes yes
NMEA interface out (for radar etc.) yes yes yes yes yes
Voltage 12 V 12 V 12-24 V 12-24 V 12-24 V

* This function is possible but AP47R comes factory set for rudder feed-back. Can be changed
by simple command for use without rudder feed-back unit.

** The function exists in AP47 but rudder feed-back unit is recommended for sailing boats.

*** Display unit is splash proof. However junction box must be kept in dry area.

**** Two interfaces, one for heading data and one for GPS data.