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Auto Pilot for 27 SC ?

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:06 pm
Hello, I'm in the market for a new auto pilot for my 2003 27SC World Cat. Does anyone have any suggestions of which one would work the best for my boat.


Re: Auto Pilot for 27 SC ?

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:28 pm
I know several people on this forum have the TR-1, supposed to be top of the line. I am pretty sure they were bought recently by Garmin, seems when I last checked the price had come down for the unit. I believe Red who posts on here has the TR-1.

Re: Auto Pilot for 27 SC ?

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:14 pm
by conehead39
Garmin TR-1 or Simrad w RPU pump 160.
Make sure you get the high capacity pump for the Garmin Also.
You will need it unless you want overheats when slow trolling in sloppy seas..

Re: Auto Pilot for 27 SC ?

Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:45 pm
by Greg Manning
Simrad AP1604 is what I have....flawless and I would buy fancy features....just very accurate and reliable.

Re: Auto Pilot for 27 SC ?

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:23 am
by Trent
I was an early adopter of Garmin's rework of the TR-1 Gladiator (yes, Garmin bought Gladiator and they still sell the old version). The new version is called the GHP-10 Marine Autopilot system and it is simply awesome. You can find info at

I installed this myself (you have to be comfortable with making lots of electrical andy hydraulic connections etc.. I'll give you a few key reasons I like it:

- Garmin replaces the old TR-1 pushbuttons with a 4 inch color display... awesome. Bright, easy to read in sunlight, easy to use
- Initial calibration is wizard driven (follow instructions on screen as it steps you through)
- Shadow drive is an outstanding feature
- Tracks straight to my waypoints following instructions from autopilot... I have never seen it more than 100 feet right or left of course even in heavy seas
- The search features are outstanding (cloverleaf, spiral, circle, etc..). I use the spiral trying to locate a wreck a few weeks ago... I set the unit to go to my waypoint and then to conduct a spiral search with 50' spacing... I throttled down to about 7 knots and the thing did EXACTLY that... the track on my GPS drew a perfect circular spiral with almost no wobble and we found the wreck after about 7 circles 350 feet from away from my coordinates.

I think one other poster mentioned that you need the high capacity 2.1L pump... absolutely the case. Note that these pumps (no matter which autopilot you choose) are LOUD. Put it in a closed locker and mount it on rubber... I used some thick rubber washers. One last caution.. for whatever reason these autopilot pumps corrode like crazy.. once you have it working soak it with a corrosion inhibitor.

Re: Auto Pilot for 27 SC ?

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:38 pm
by conehead39
Very windy Sat, 3-28-09. Brian installed a new Simrad AP pump , model RPU 160;that can be used on several APs.
The pump had 5,000 hours. It was beginning to make loud noises.
However it was just telling him something.. That was, the pump was full of crud.the consistancy of wet mud.
See it on the tip of the toothpick.
Just like a glob of plaque going to your heart.

When he remove the fittings,Hydraulic fluid in the pump was very black and thick,nothing came out!
Since we mounted the pump on the CC floor with motor horizontally, it was a low spot in the system.
Thru the years it captured all the crud in the system.

I recommend the following:
1. Flush the pump every 1,000 hours or 2 years.
2. Feel the temperature of the pump when the AP is engaged ,especially in a sloppy sea,trolling.
If it is hot or noisy ,then consider flushing the pump. Just get a Tee and cap off the lines.
You could use WD 40 with a small red plastic cylinderical extension and just spray into the pump.
Then fasten the middle return line fitting and one pressure line . Turn it on briefly and command a slight heading change.
Fluid should come out.Then switch to the other pressure line opened.

Cost was $800, but he really needs an AP,especially making long runs this summer.
He sprayed the new pump exterior with corrosion X; Boeshield would work also..

Re: Auto Pilot for 27 SC ?

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:23 am
by conehead39
This a follow up to the old fuse blowing noisy Simrad AP 16 w RPU 160 (1.6L / min) pump.It had blown the fuse.
Well,I got in totally disassembled, Pump was easy to remove and clean out.. I used a little PB blaster on all the screws.
There is a slot in the armature shaft for turning the assembled motor.
The 2 long skinny ones that holds the motor together even came out with slowly moving long screws back and fourth.
The brushes came out real easy . All you have to do is slide the plastic brush holders.I thought the covers were hinged,not so,
but a boat electronics shop close by showed me how to slide them back..... He also said you can buy just the motor for $500, made in Norway.
The entire pump/motor RPU =$800-900.

I removed the motor armature with frozen 608 bearings. This bearing is one of the most common bearing in the world.They are used in skate boards,Hoover vacuum cleaners,and the list goes on. I did not have a small puller to remove the bearings.. I took the unit to an ex-neighbor friend that works additionally on Spas and swimming pool pumps.The motor is a PMG type. And a little difficult to get those long screws to line up due to magnetism when inserting back in.
The motor caps do NOT have to be marked. It has been built for American idiots ,it has its own internal alignment slots,ie it can only go together one way.

He pulled one bearing off easily . The other came apart leaving the inner race attached to the motor shaft.. He cut it off with a small Dremel high speed cut off disc..Took about 20 minutes to put new 608 bearings on and reassemble the motor..

EDITED WITH MORE PHOTOS 4.28.2009 @ 10 pm.

Why did the bearings go:
1. They had 5000 hours of use but that was not the main reason
2. Salt water had entered the motor via the various cracks ,especially motor end caps,which house the bearings.

I painted the repaired motor several times with emphasis on the motor end caps.
Then I additionally sealed all the potential leaks.

The unit passed the pump fluid test and is very quiet.

New unit in the boat has been painted and sealed. It's motor is mounted horizontally like original.
Then I trimmed a GLAD lunch meat container and silicone glued it onto the motor, upside down. Now it has an umbrella/roof, like our boat batterys have.

We will remove the AP pump lines and clean them out pump ,because it is very low in the system.
Also the AP pump creates the highest fluid temp in the system. If you have a low capacity pump like a Simrad .8L pump expect even hotter fluid..

BTW the entire overhaul of the motor including parts was $25.

If you elect to mount it vertically as photo depicts( ours is horizontal) then glue a small plastic cap over where you can turn the motor slot.
A small motel size shampoo bottle cap would do..or some small plastic bottle cap..Note new motor has a factory plastic push in cap.
Dremel tool with conical bit cuts thru plastic smoothly..
EDITED 4.28.09 @ 10:15 pm mainly photos..