An autopilot is a great tool to have, but only if it's installed correctly. Here are six pointers:
1. Your boat will need hydraulic steering -- something we recommend anyway with high-horsepower outboards. The autopilot steers with a reversible hydraulic pump that connects to grease fittings at either the helm or the motor mount.
2. Installation is a bit tricky but completely doable in the driveway by anyone comfortable with installing a stereo.
3. The umbilical to the autopilot has color-coded wires for power, input from the GPS and other functions. Study the diagram and the components closely at your kitchen table or workbench and then tape-label each of the wires before you begin installation.
4. Consult with your outboard dealer to determine the exact degree of travel from center to full port or full starboard turn of your outboard -- you'll need that information for the final step of installation.
5. We wired our autopilot to receive power from the GPS. Our next installation will give the pilot its own power supply so it can be used independently of the GPS if we desire.
6. Visit navman.com to download the most current version of the installation and operation manuals in PDF format.