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Auto pilot on 342 Fiesta Vee

Hello, I am thinking about installing an auto pilot on my 342 Fiesta Vee. Does anyone have any recommendations on brands and models? Are there any issues or problems any one has experienced with an auto pilot unit on this size of boat?  Thanks for any responses.


Dakota Skipper

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    LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,619 mod
    About 3 Boat Units for a basic system as a DIY project.  Probably $5000 to have an installer plan and install the system.  From memory -- the Raymarine EV-200 (includes controller, sensor and course computer) was around $2000, and the Octopus actuator was around $1000.  
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    Dream_InnDream_Inn Member, Moderator Posts: 7,589 mod
    I had given the AP a thought for a while.  I saw it on a 400 at our Rinker Rendezvous (Patrick has it and talked about it here or on RBO).  He had the Octopus as well and was a nice easy setup, pretty easy to install yourself.  It'd sure be nice to have, but just didn't know if I wanted to mess with it.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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    LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,619 mod
    Checked my receipts -- $1700 for the Raymarine EV-200 plus $1050 for the Octopus drive from a reputable seller.  The parts can be found for a few dollars less, depending on one's tolerance for using fly-by-night online retailers. 

    In my case, the total cost was higher because it was part of a larger helm upgrade.  I added a Raymarine I-70 display -- same form factor as the R-70 autopilot controller, but it will display any data available on the network.

    One thing I love about the Raymarine system is the rotary knob for changing heading.  Suppose I'm cruising along at 34 mph, and I spot a constant-bearing-decreasing-range target (i.e. a boat that I will hit if neither boat changes course).  All I have to do is reach down and flick the heading knob a few degrees to starboard.  My boat will take enough of a turn to show the other captain I've altered course, and then it will stay steady on the new heading.  Predictable is safe!
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    Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 7,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The new Axius VV7 does that two. Each tap of the sensor alters the course either to poer or starboard by 2 degrees. Also love RayMarine - have their Radar and touchscreen/rotary knob  GPS E97 (wifi/bluetooth) with a navionics Platinum 3-D  card.MT
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    DakotaSkipperDakotaSkipper Member Posts: 8 ✭✭

    Thank you Everyone.

    Dakota Skipper

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    equisolequisol Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2015
    Hello;
    Thinking about installing an AP as well, using an Octopus drive and the EV-200.  Just a question.  When not in use, i.e. driving with autopilot on, is there any difference in the strength required to turn the wheel.  Someone on another forum mentioned that it was very difficult to turn the wheel after installation of the AP (I doubt it, but wanted to be sure).

    Thanks,

    2004 342 Fiesta Vee
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    LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,619 mod
    I used the Octopus drive on my 370.  Yes, there is some drag, but not enough to interfere with anything.  If it's very difficult to turn, then the cable might be out of spec.  I had trouble with the first one they shipped me.
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    equisolequisol Member Posts: 2
    LaRea;  thank you for the prompt response.  Much appreciated.
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