R21 EC Autopilot

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R21 EC Autopilot

Postby Mdiaz on Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:09 pm

We have recently purchased a 2007 21EC and would like to add an autopilot. What is the standard setup for this?

Thank you,

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Re: R21 EC Autopilot

Postby baz on Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:00 pm

This is a tough thing to find for the R-21EC today. The original auto pilot installed by RT was a RayMarine unit. When I bought my R-21EC the factory was no longer installing the auto pilot. I was lucky as I found a brand new one (box unopened and 2 yrs old) on eBay for around $1600. I had RT install it when my R-21EC was bing built.

See some posts here.... and perform a forum search to find more stuff..
Last edited by baz on Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: R21 EC Autopilot

Postby lproulx on Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:26 am

I bought a used 2014 with a Ray Marine autopilot. Don't know if it was a factory installation. It is a complex setup, with many bits and pieces. I'm ordinarily a very much do it yourself person, but in this case I would at the very least go to a specialty marine electronics store and get a list of what they would recommend installing.

The autopilot is a great thing to have. After a while the constant small manual steering adjustments with the wheel get to be a drag - like a car with too little caster alignment. Mine has a hand held remote control so you can control the auto pilot remotely - cool feature.

A couple of comments on my specific Ray Marine setup: I would sort of expect an autopilot to have some sort of electric clutch to disconnect the manual wheel during auto steering. The Ray Marine setup has a fixed friction coupling between the manual wheel and the autopilot motor. With the auto pilot off you have to overcome the friction to steer the boat manually. The drag is pretty strong and annoying - like steering a boat with the wheel lock on all the time. Also, the steering motor is installed on the end of the original wheel shaft, with a new wheel shaft sticking out of the face of the wheel motor. This takes about three or four inches of space, and moves the wheel that much closer to the helmsperson's gut. God knows there's not a lot of room in the 21's helm seat and this makes the wheel pretty intrusive.

All that said, the autopilot really is a great thing to have, and greatly increases my enjoyment of the boat.

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Re: R21 EC Autopilot

Postby Catch22 on Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:32 pm

Has anyone used the Octopus R(remote unit) or the Type S (wheel steer) drive units on their 21 EC ? If so, which components did you interface with them? Everyone that has the AP on their 21 says they would not be without it again....but complete commercial packages for them are scarce.
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Re: R21 EC Autopilot

Postby Shangie on Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:41 pm

Goodness, we keep reading about the merits of auto pilot. Are we going to enjoy the boat without it? Not wanting to plunk down a large chunk of cash on one without it and be unhappy!
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