We have had two autopilots on our Hylas44, but at a couple of times, both have let us down. We were not surprised with our original Robertson as it is very old (1985), but the Furuno has had it's moment too. That left us hand steering through a storm and 72 hrs out from New Zealand. There was just my wife and I. So, we decided after the last "play up" by the Furuno, (going from NZ to Fiji), we would purchase an independent, standalone, autopilot. This is what we installed, a CPT autopilot, in which information can be found here along with pictures of other types of installations.
We installed following the instruction booklet. We did this dockside and not while at sea. It was straight forward, but you needed a few tools to install; Screw driver, hacksaw verses dremmel, socket set, spanners.
The unit worked very well around Fiji's calm water's. We did not install the belt tensioner as this was said to be optional. However, in going from Fiji to Vanuatu, the belt would slip and we determined that the tensioner would be needed to prevent this. This happened because we were in bigger seas and the unit had to work a lot harder. Upon reaching Vanuatu, I installed the belt tensioner.
The cost was about $1800 plus some extras and freight. You can get more detail from their web site (linked above) and emailing Jeff. It's a small company, and the service was excellent.
Of note, the specs say the unit uses 0.3 amps, and compared to the Furuno autopilot, which is rated at 3-15 amps, we found this a considerable saving of power usage which we noticed on our battery monitors.
As an aside, we feel the Furuno issue is more to do with the Hydraulic Linear Drive than the Furuno itself. We will investigate this next year. The boat is now in storage till next years cruising season. All projects have been put off till March of next year. (2012)
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