Auto pilot on a pontoon ?

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hoejef
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:18 am

Auto pilot on a pontoon ?

#1 Post by hoejef » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:02 pm

Hello new to the forum and also new to the pontoon world, but far from new to boats.
I am down here in central Fl. and recently picked up a 2018 sylvan 8522 C&f with a 90 Yamy ,I will be most of my cruising on the intracoastal and I am in the process of adding hydraulic steering with the intentions of putting AP on it and was wondering has anyone installed one on a pontoon boat and if so how was its disposition. I have had one on my other vessel and said i would never own another boat without one.
Thanks for any input
Jeff

riplipper
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:00 am
Location: St Augustine, Florida

Re: Auto pilot on a pontoon ?

#2 Post by riplipper » Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:02 am

I am not sure how autopilot would be beneficial on a toon used in the intracoastal. Awesome for off shore use and maybe/possibly usefull on a really large lake, but you need to help me understand how it would help on the intracoastal. Between goofy oncoming boaters, no wake zones, turns I am not sure of the cost vs reward.
I am the guy at the boat ramp that gives you dirty looks when you are a complete idiot and too stupid to know it.

hoejef
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:18 am

Re: Auto pilot on a pontoon ?

#3 Post by hoejef » Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:35 pm

I take trips to St Augustine to the north about 60 miles and also down to Sebastian 40 ish miles to the south and occasionally around the island (Merritt island) having a autopilot that auto routes and allows you to sit back at the helm with out having to touch the wheel. Grant it I never leave the helm and if I need to adjust course because of heavy boat traffic I will take helm as needed . Trust me there not just for going offshore. I had one on my other boat and used it more inshore then off most likely because i didnt get offshore as much as I would have liked. Offshore with a autopilot takes the fatigue factor out of the picture ten fold not having to hang onto the wheel all day is real nice. And a Raymarine ev100 or 150 is very reasonable priced and paired with a Ray a78 works flawlessly I dont think a pontoon would have a problem but like I said this is my first pontoon boat and just not sure how it would react as it seems in a pontoon it has to deal with a lot COG wind,tide currents. I get it being on a lake doesn't make a lot of sense unless it a huge lake.

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steve1313
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Re: Auto pilot on a pontoon ?

#4 Post by steve1313 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:56 am

I'm not familiar with auto pilot specifically, but it sounds like your questioning the viability of using the system on a pontoon. A pontoon isn't any different than any other boat. The hull is just shaped differently. If you could rig up a system that woould work on a standard v-hull outboard boat, you should be able to configure the same system for a pontoon with the same results. It's my understanding that nautical auto pilots use a combination of radar, GPS to determine current position, and known map data to make course corrections as needed. I don't see how a pontoon would be any different since all boats are subject to the same environmental conditions.
Steve
"Serendipity" - 2017 Sweetwater 2286 WB Tritoon w/ 150HP Yamaha
Slipped at Lake Anna, Virginia
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BobL
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:41 am
Location: Louisiana

Re: Auto pilot on a pontoon ?

#5 Post by BobL » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:25 am

First, welcome to the forum.

Question....Are you planning on using a GPS only for steering or combine it with radar? If combining with radar, can you get the dome up high enough for it to provide good coverage?

I'm with Steve in that a toon is no different than any other boat. It floats, it steers, it has propulsion, and can carry things.
SOLD - 2009 20' Bentley w/4 Stroke 90hp Mercury
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hoejef
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Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:18 am

Re: Auto pilot on a pontoon ?

#6 Post by hoejef » Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:34 pm

Yes that's kind of my thought also it shouldn't be much different from other boats. I dont plan on doing radar at this point but yes to have radar overlay is the bomb. Speaking of bombs the wife is ready to light one off under me with my boat projects. So today I installed hydraulic steering which wasn't to bad the biggest pita was getting the cable out of the helm which i eventually just cut it out of frustration. Friend is coming over in the morning to help me bleed it and then I will figure which Ray unit for AP.
Thanks for the welcome

hoejef
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:18 am

Re: Auto pilot on a pontoon ?

#7 Post by hoejef » Wed Dec 02, 2020 4:28 am

So i decided to hold off on the AP for now as after adding the hydraulic steering its made my steering much better not that the cable steering was bad. I just found when docking it was a pita to throw wheel over to get boat to react fast enough for situation. For those who have contemplated changing to hydraulic steering for whatever reason its a good upgrade. I was on the fence as far as what unit to purchase but I purchased a knock off of Baystars Morphon 150 made by Noerl and have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how well this was made and the price was $ 200.00 plus less then Baystar. For now my next focus is going to be adding a second battery .

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