Raymarine SmartPilot X-5 Autopilots Reviews
Click to see larger image

Raymarine SmartPilot X-5 Autopilots

3 ratings (3 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: OK
5 stars
4 stars
1
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
2
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

Advise Caution

Jun 15, 2012
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Disappointing

  • Interface and Controls:
  • Durability and Reliability:

Pros:Nifty idea!

Cons:A lot of issues

The Bottom Line:

I purchased this item in January of 2012, and cannot recommend this unit at this time.


I purchased this unit in January of 2012.  I have had this unit installed on my 27' sloop for approximately 6 months, and the following has been my experience, up until now.

RayMarine's advertising suggests that this is an easy install. In some few cases, I imagine that this may be true. Keep in mind that each installation is custom, depending on your particular boat, and some installations have the potential to be quite complex and frustrating (see YouTube for some examples).

After you go through the trouble (and expense!) of a proper installation, you still need to work out the unit's current draw requirements over time. RayMarine has been extremely careful NOT to release 'typical' current draw scenarios, or even a simple maximum load / maximum continuous current draw number that could be used to give some sort of baseline idea of what to expect. This is understandable, they want to sell units and not scare away potential customers! I found, after long testing in moderate sea conditions that you can expect this unit to draw in the 3 amp-hour range. I've also seen approximately this number, from other users. This means that in a simple 10 hour voyage-period you could potentially expect a 30 amp-hour battery debit. Using this unit for 24 hours in moderate conditions could set you back as much as 75 amp-hours, depending on your vessel's performance.

On my unit, I've had an endless problem with an annoying, unstable compass heading reading. Tech support has been somewhat helpful, but has not been successful in resolving the problem, so far.

Another problem I have noticed is that the unit has trouble staying to a GPS route/track. I've got a Garmin chartplotter that communicates via NMEA to the autopilot (AP). While the AP will generally hold a somewhat decent parallel course, there is usually a substantial cross track error, making this feature untrustworthy in tighter quarters.

The autotack feature is pretty nifty, when it works. In the newer versions of the firmware, they no longer give you the option to select reciprocal tack angles, so sometimes the tack will be unsuccessful, particularly ugly when you're single-handing in moderate to heavier conditions, when you were expecting this feature to function properly.

The 'wind vane' function is a nice idea, but don't expect it to be as reliable as a real wind vane. I have a Raymarine apparent wind indicator set-up that communicates directly with the AP via SeaTalk. I have noticed that steering the boat in 'wind van' mode can be dicey, at times, depending on conditions. I have often switched back to 'auto' mode after experiencing unstable performance in 'wind vane' mode, and I am careful about my expectations for this feature.

Raymarine customer service is pretty good, but don't be surprised when they don't provide you with certain, otherwise obvious, answers. For example, don't ask them how you can purchase the one working part most prone to failure, as a stand alone. The tiller drive is not a stand alone item in their marketing minds, and they want you to purchase the core pack as a safeguard against tiller drive failure. Also, NEVER expect that they will help you out with current draw figures for the unit, other than draw during idle.

Knowing what I know today, about this unit, I don't think I would have made this equipment choice. There are plenty of other self-steer options out there, and the prudent skipper should take the time to explore these.


Recommend this product? No


Amount Paid (US$): 1100
Primary Location of Use: Offshore/blue water
Primary Type of Use: Cruising
Length of Boat: 25-40 feet


Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

Raymarine Smartpilot T12179 Volvo Ips Autopilot Auto Smart Pilot & Control Head

Raymarine Smartpilot T12179 Volvo Ips Autopilot Auto Smart Pilot & Control Head

Untitled Document Raymarine IPS Smartpilot Kit This item for sale is a brand new Raymarine SmartPilot IPS Corepack for integration with Volvo Penta IP...
eBay

$2999.99

FREE Shipping
Raymarine Ev-200 Sport Pilot Navigation Equipment Autopilots Boat Marine Fish

Raymarine Ev-200 Sport Pilot Navigation Equipment Autopilots Boat Marine Fish

RAYMARINE EV-200 SPORT PILOT EV-200 Sport Evolution Autopilot Features:A complete autopilot-in-a-box Evolution Ai for superior performance No calibrat...
eBay

$2099.99

FREE Shipping
RAYMARINE FLUXGATE COMPASS - SENSOR FOR AUTOPILOTS

RAYMARINE FLUXGATE COMPASS - SENSOR FOR AUTOPILOTS

Raymarine Fluxgate Compass Sensor For Autopilots
Sears Marketplace
Raymarine E55055 Video Cable

Raymarine E55055 Video Cable

Raymarine E55055 Video Cable E-Series Video Out Cable (10m)VGA Video Output cable for connecting E-Series to PC monitors, Plasma Television displays e...
eBay

$175.00

+$15.00 shipping
Raymarine Fluxgate Compass Sensor For Autopilots - M81190

Raymarine Fluxgate Compass Sensor For Autopilots - M81190

Raymarine Fluxgate Compass Sensor For Autopilots - M81190 UPC: Mfg Part#: W-RAYM81190 Vendor: Raymarine
Sears Marketplace
Raymarine Ray55 VHF Radio Grey

Raymarine Ray55 VHF Radio Grey

Ray55 DSC VHF RadioA compact powerhouse, the Ray55 VHF radio offers unmatched performance and style. Like our new Ray218 the Ray55 can be used with th...
ePal

$233.45

FREE Shipping
Raymarine E-Series Video Out Cable - 10M

Raymarine E-Series Video Out Cable - 10M

RAYMARINE E55055 VIDEO OUT CBL 10M
Sears Marketplace
Raymarine RayStar 130 GPS Antenna

Raymarine RayStar 130 GPS Antenna

Raystar 130 GPS SensorThe Raystar 130 GPS sensor brings a whole new level of precision to your Raymarine navigation network. Equipped with an ultra-p...
ePal

$261.82

FREE Shipping