Autopilot Guide

Renowned for their reliability, our Pilots have won more awards than our competition combined. Choose from a selection of displays, controllers, computers and drives to safely steer your boat.

 

Simrad autopilot systems give you reliable and accurate control over your heading, without years of experience at the helm – saving you time and fuel by making efficient turns, and keeping you closer to your planned course.

Predetermined turn patterns and features such as automatic depth-contour following assist with fishing or diving: taking the helm so you have more time to spend on the offshore activities you love.

When combined with a chartplotter, Simrad autopilots not only manage your current heading, but provide full course-control.

 

Learn About

Controllers
Autopilot Computers
Drive Units
Rudder Feedback
Heading Sensors
Remotes
Download the Autopilot Buying Guide

Controllers

Dedicated Autopilot Controllers

Suitable for vessels with limited mounting space, or as an alternative to a second touchscreen MFD in dual-helm installations, these controllers provide heading control and access to autopilot features such as NoDrift steering and preset turn patterns.

Chartplotter / Multifunction Display (MFD) integration

With a Simrad autopilot, the choice of display and controller is up to you. As well as dedicated autopilot controllers, our autopilots can be controlled completely from the touchscreen or keypad of our NSS and NSO-series chartplotter / Multi-Function Displays (MFD).

Our Muli-Function Display integration makes dual-helm setups easy – manage your autopilot from the helm via your main chartplotter or a dedicated autopilot controller, and from the flying bridge by a secondary chartplotter or simple autopilot remote.

NSO evo2 Systems and Monitors | NSS evo2 Touchscreen Sport Navigation | NSE Multifunction Display

Autopilot Computers

 

Whether you command your autopilot via multifunction display, dedicated autopilot controller or remote control, there’s an autopilot computer sitting below deck that takes your input, looks at your current heading and works out how to move the rudder or outboard.

Typically, boats under 40ft (13m) will need a Simrad AC12, and boats over 40ft will need the Simrad AC42, which is suited to driving heavier hydraulic steering systems.

Drive Units

In an autopilot system, the drive unit is what actually moves your rudder or outboard, under control of the autopilot computer. Like the computer, the drive unit you’ll need depends on the size of your boat and the sort of steering system it has.

On smaller runabouts with a cable-steering system, an electronic helmdrive unit replaces the existing mechanical gearbox and connects to the existing steering cables
On sterndrive (inboard/outboard) boats, a mechanical servo drive replaces the steering cable from the helm
Outboard or in board vessels with power assisted hydraulic steering need a hydraulic reversing pump – we have pumps to suit vessels up to 35ft (10m), 50ft (15m) and 70ft (21m)
For sailing boats, a linear hydraulic drive is required to operate the steering quadrant – we have drive units available for smaller single-rudder vessels, and larger vessels in single or dual-rudder configuration


If you have an existing electronic steering system you may not need a separate drive unit.

Simrad Drive Units

Heading Sensors

To set and hold a course, your autopilot needs to know your current heading. This is supplied by a position sensor – an electronic compass – below deck.

The Simrad FC40 Fluxgate Compass is compatible with our full range of recreational autopilot solutions. For the best autopilot performance, we recommend the Simrad RC42 Rate Compass which includes a solid-state rate sensor, which directly measures rate of turn. This provides greater precision than a compass alone.

Simrad Heading Sensors

Rudder Feedback

For reliable and accurate autosteering, your autopilot must also keep track of your rudder position. A rudder feedback unit does just that – it physically connects to your rudder, continually measures its position and reports it to your autopilot computer. Boats with commercial electronic steering (e.g. SeaStar Solutions Optimus EPS) will not require a rudder feedback unit, as this feedback is integrated into the existing system.

Simrad Rudder Feedback Units

Remotes

Our autopilot remotes can be combined with a multifunction display at the helm to add traditional hands-on steering control, or mounted elsewhere aboard your vessel to provide autopilot heading control from a flybridge or other convenient location.

Simrad Autopilot Remotes

Outboard Pilot Hydraulic-Steer Pack

Autopilot pack with Point-1AP Compass + GPS sensor for Simrad GO XSE, NSS evo2 and NSO evo2 displays, providing affordable automatic steering...

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DrivePilot™ Hydraulic-Steer Pack

Autopilot pack with RC42 heading sensor for NSS and NSO evo2 displays, providing affordable, robust automatic steering for hydraulic-steer steer...

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AP44 Autopilot Controller

Feature-packed autopilot controller with 4.1-inch full-colour display, intuitive operation and rotary-dial course adjustment.

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NAC-3 Autopilot Computer

Autopilot computer for high-current drive units, suitable for vessels above 10 metres/35 feet in length.

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Continuum Steering Technology

Simrad Continuum steering technology delivers responsive and reliable steering performance across all Simrad autopilot solutions.

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NAC-2 Autopilot Computer

Autopilot computer for low-current drive units, suitable for vessels up to 10 metres/35 feet in length.

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AP44 VRF Pack Medium Capacity

Complete autopilot system pack for boats up to 10 metres/35 feet, including dedicated AP44 Autopilot Controller.

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AP44 VRF Pack High Capacity

Complete autopilot system pack for boats up to 15 metres/50 feet, including dedicated AP44 Autopilot Controller.

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NAC-2 Core Pack

Autopilot core components for rudder-steered boats up to 10 metres/35 feet – just add drive & controller.

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NAC-3 Core Pack

Autopilot core components for rudder-steered boats above 10 metres/35 feet – just add drive & controller.

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NAC-2 VRF Core Pack

Autopilot core components for outboard and I/O boats up to 10 metres/35 feet – just add drive & controller.

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NAC-3 VRF Core Pack

Autopilot core components for outboard and I/O boats above 10 metres/35 feet – just add drive & controller.

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Simrad AP48 Autopilot Controller

Commercial-grade autopilot controller with 4.1-inch full-colour display, rotary control dial, and dedicated dodge keys

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AP70 Autopilot

The ultimate, state-of-the-art autopilot controller for vessels over 50ft.

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AC70 Autopilot Computer

Autopilot computer for use with AP70 controller.

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SG05 Autopilot – Optimus Steering Integration

The Simrad SG05 Autopilot with Optimus Steering integration allows boaters with Optimus EPS power steering or Optimus 360 joystick docking...

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AP2403 VRF Autopilot Package

The AP2403 VRF Autopilot Package is a complete auto-steering solution, designed for boats with outboard engines up to 45ft in length.

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