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Autopilot Drive Units

An 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. 

See all Drive Units

How to select the right Drive Unit

Below deck, the steering mechanism and size of your boat decide what sort of autopilot computer and drive system you’ll need –the hardware that actually moves your rudder and keeps track of its position.

There are two main types of drive unit.

Hydraulic

A reversible hydraulic steering pump is used to add autopilot capabilities to outboard or sterndrive (inboard/outboard) vessels with existing hydraulic steering systems.
Larger boats need larger pumps; your choice of pump will decide whether you need a standard NAC-2 or high-current NAC-3 autopilot computer.

TIP: to identify the kind of hydraulic steering mechanism your boat has, locate the hydraulic RAM on your engine and check the label
for the cylinder capacity (cubic inches or cc)

Mechanical

Helm drives and linear rams are used to add autopilot
capabilities to vessels with mechanical (non-hydraulic)
steering systems.
• Electronic helm drive units suit smaller cable steered
runabouts.
• Linear rams operate rudders on power-driven boats, or
steering quadrants on sailing vessels.
Helm drives and smaller rams work with a standard NAC-2
autopilot computer; more powerful rams for larger vessels
are driven by a high-current NAC-3 autopilot computer.

Drive & Computer Selection & Compatibility



Steering System

Typical Vessel

Steering Configuration

Required Drive Unit

Required Computer & RFU Drive

Hydraulic & Hydraulic Power Assisted (with RAM or Cylinder)

 

35ft & Under

 

Single Outboard

PUMP-1 RPU80

Outboard Pilot/ DrivePilot Hydraulic Pack NAC-2 & VRF

Twin Outboards

(Single hydraulic cylinder < 15

cubic in or 250cc)

RPU80

NAC-2 & VRF

Inboards (Steering cylinder < 15 cubic in or 250cc)

RPU80

NAC-2 & RF25

Over 35ft

 

Twin/Tripe/Quad Outboards (Dual Cylinder/Cylinder Capacities 10-33 cubic in or 160-550cc )

RPU160

NAC-3 & VRF

Inboards (Dual Cylinder/Cylinder Capacities 10-33 cubic in or 160- 550cc)

RPU160

NAC-3 & RF25

Inboards (Dual Cylinder/Cylinder Capacities 17-58 cubic in or 290- 960cc)

RPU300

(12 or 24V)

NAC-3 & RF25

Electronic Steering Systems (Steer by Wire)

 

Any

 

Seastar Optimus 360

Not Required

 

SG05 Autopilot Computer for Optimus/ CANbus Steering

000-10906-001

Yamaha Helm Master™

YAMAHA H/MASTER AP KIT

000-11286-001

Volvo IPS/EVC

SG05 Autopilot Pack for Volvo EVC

000-10402-001

Helm Drive Cable Steered

32ft and Under

Single Outboard

Helm-1

Cable Steer Pack

NAC-2

Solenoid Steering

Any

Any

Not Required

NAC-2 or NAC-3 & RF25

Mechanical Steering

Sailing

Cable & Quadrant

For the best in Sailboat Autosteering applications,

visit B&G

Mechanical Steering

Popular Simrad Drive Units

The RPU300 is a reversible hydraulic steering pump for boats up to 70ft. It works in conjunction with the NAC-3 or AC42 autopilot computer as part of an autopilot system.
$1,374.00
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