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Replacing Neco Autopilot

Advice please
Posted: 8 May 2015 - By: Tim & Arabella Brentnall

On our Rival 38 C we have a Neco Autopilot with drive DU80 and Control Head 8401. The latter has just given up the ghost, as I beleive they were always prone to do..We do not know whether to simply replace the control head and keep the drive--bearing in mind that this is 37 years old and may not live very much longer- or replace the whole lot. We are looking at the Raymarine Type 1 and Type 2 systems.

 

We have been advised that it is better to use the more expensive Type 2 rather than the cheaper Type 1 course computer if we opt to keep the old Neco Drive, but that although this can and does work there is no guarantee of long term success..

Alternatively it would be only slightly more expensive to replace the whole lot including the old drive with a new Raymarine Type 1 control.

The first option would cost us in excess of £2750 plus vat if using the suggested Raymarine EVolution Autopilot with ACU drive controller and p70 pilot control. The second option but with the Raymarine type 1 only about £300 more. Obviously these are figures reflecting our intent to get a Marine Electronics company to do it for us!

What have other members got to suggest please about the performance/power output and longevity of doing it with Raymarine,and is it true that we would be ill-advised to use the less expensive Type 1 control with the existing Neco drive owing to the risk of overheating?

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