Drive Units for Marine Autopilots

Drive unit for marine autopilots

A marine autopilot drive unit translates instructions from your autopilot system into movements of your rudder or outboard. The drive unit you’ll need depends on the type of steering system you have and the size of your boat. There are two main types of drive unit:

  • Hydraulic steering pumps add autopilot capabilities to outboard or sterndrive (inboard/outboard) vessels with existing hydraulic steering systems.
  • Mechanical drive units add autopilot capabilities to cable-steer runabouts and larger rudder-steered vessels with inboard engines.

 

Steering System  Size/Capacity/Compatibility Recommended AP Drive Required Computer
Outboard/Stern Drive with Hydraulic Steering Hydraulic cylinder < 15 cubic in or 250cc RPU80 NAC-2
  Hydraulic cylinder(s) 10-33 cubic in or 160-550cc  RPU160 NAC-3
  Hydraulic cylinder(s) 17-58 cubic in or 290-960cc RPU300 NAC-3
Outboard/Stern Drive with Mechanical Steering Compatible with Morse 290,304411 and TeleflexSSC52 cables. Helm-1 NAC-2
Inboard with Hydraulic Steering Hydraulic cylinder < 15 cubic in or 250cc RPU80 NAC-2
  Hydraulic cylinder(s) 10-33 cubic in or 160-550cc  RPU160 NAC-3
  Hydraulic cylinder(s) 17-58 cubic in or 290-960cc RPU300 NAC-3
Inboard with Mechanical Steering Boats up to 9000kg T0 NAC-2
  Boats up to 12000kg T1 NAC-3
  Boats up to 20000kg T2 NAC-3
  Boats up to 36000kg T3 NAC-3
  Boats up to 55000kg T4 NAC-3
Sailing Boat with Quadrant or Tiller 25ft to 37ft  SD10 NAC-2
  Up to 45ft DD15 NAC-3
  Boats up to 9000kg T0 NAC-2
  Boats up to 12000kg T1 NAC-3
  Boats up to 20000kg T2 NAC-3
  Boats up to 36000kg T3 NAC-3
  Boats up to 55000kg T4 NAC-3

RPU80 Drive Unit

Reversible hydraulic steering pump for boats up to 35ft.

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RPU160 Drive Unit

Reversible hydraulic steering pump for boats up to 50ft.

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RPU300 Drive Unit

Reversible hydraulic steering pump for boats up to 70ft.

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DD15 Drive Unit

Efficient, robust and compact direct drive autopilot unit for sailboats between 30-40ft.

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SD10 Drive Unit

Mechanical drive unit with integrated rudder feedback for accurate auto-steering on 25-37ft sailboats.

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SG05 Simnet-Volvo Gateway

Interface for Simrad Autopilots and Volvo Penta Electronic Vessel Control systems.

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