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New SmartPilot X Series (SPX) Autopilots from Raymarine Raise the Bar for Reliability and Accuracy
Feb 14, 2008 (08:02 AM EST)


MERRIMACK, N.H. and MIAMI, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Miami International Boat Show -- Raymarine, Inc., a world leader in marine electronics, today announced its new SmartPilot X Series (SPX) Autopilot Line, which features unprecedented levels of autopilot accuracy and reliability. Building upon Raymarine's award-winning SmartPilot technology, the SPX line includes a comprehensive range of advanced course computers that can be used for all types of recreational boats.

"We designed the SmartPilot X Series to work intuitively with any recreational vessel, no matter the boat's size or handling characteristics, or what types of sea or weather conditions it may encounter," said Dave Bimschleger, president of Raymarine, Inc. "Since the introduction of the Autohelm pilots more than thirty years ago, Raymarine has led the way in autopilot technology, and the SPX series is one more significant step in this technology's evolution."

Each SPX autopilot system is comprised of the control head, the only part seen above deck; the course computer, which constantly checks and adjusts the boat/pilot performance to match the conditions; and the drive unit, which is mounted below deck and linked directly to the boat's steering system.

Depending on which type of autopilot is selected, Raymarine offers a number of control head options, including the new ST70 Autopilot Control. Featuring a 3.5" sunlight-viewable color display, the ST70 was designed for the SmartPilot X-Series and takes full advantage of its capabilities and performance. Easy to configure and use, the ST70 features intuitive icons and menus and offers digital display, compass rose or 3D steering screens. When combined, the SPX course computers and the ST70 give fishermen an edge with pre-programmed automatic fishing patterns. Now boaters can automatically steer an orbit around a favorite hot spot or use the Cloverleaf mode to make repeated passes over one specific location. Additionally, Zig Zag mode automatically creates random course changes to make bait more realistic and tempting. Available in a surface or flush mount, the ST70 offers a sleek design, making it a perfect match for any boat's design. Boaters can also easily add additional control heads or optional wireless autopilot controls via Raymarine's SeaTalk network.

Each SmartPilot X-Series course computer is equipped with a built in rate gyro sensor, which enables SmartPilot Advanced Steering Technology (AST(TM)) software to intelligently monitor vessel yaw and anticipate course changes. SmartPilot AST software then produces razor sharp course keeping without overshoot or instability. The SmartPilot X Series course computers offer additional capabilities that make it Raymarine's smartest autopilot to date:

-- AST technology and SPX course computers enable SmartPilot to AutoLearn a vessel's steering characteristics, simplifying calibration and allowing the autopilot to constantly adapt to changing sea conditions. -- Raymarine SmartSteer(TM) technology ensures smooth and accurate helm control at all speeds, including zero speed trolling. -- Smart Rudder Sense(TM) technology enables precision steering without the use of a rudder feedback sensor; ideal for outboard engines and installations that cannot fit a rudder sensor. -- All SPX course computers are compatible with Raymarine's super fast SeaTalkng data network for seamless integration with ST70 instruments and NMEA2000 networks. -- When used with the ST70, SPX autopilots feature a new one button Dodge mode. -- Improved integration with Raymarine's award-winning line of multifunction displays allows boaters to engage the autopilot directly from the chartplotter interface. -- The SPX course computers offer improved hardware with enhanced short circuit protection, reverse polarity protection and new removable connectors.

The final component of the autopilot is the proper drive unit for the specific size and type of vessel. Raymarine offers an array of autopilot drive units, including easy-to-install cockpit mounted drives, to accommodate various steering system types and vessel displacements.

The SmartPilot X Series Autopilots come in a range of sizes and configurations to fit every type of boat -- from fishing boats to world class racing yachts, as well as sub-30-foot lightweight sports boats and tiller-steered craft:

-- The SmartPilot X-5 Tiller and the high-performance SmartPilot X-5 Tiller GP feature a remotely mounted course computer, fluxgate compass and Raymarine ST6002 control head. The GP Tiller drive is used by the world's top single handed race skippers. -- The SmartPilot X-5 Wheel Pilot is the successor to the popular ST4000 and S1 Wheel drive systems and features an advanced wheel mounted cockpit autopilot system for sailing vessels. -- The SmartPilot X-5 Sport mounts to an existing fixed or tilt steering helm and is the perfect "crew member" for power and sport boats. With the X-5, no cutting of hydraulic lines or complicated rudder sensors are required. -- For below-deck autopilots, Raymarine offers a number of SmartPilot corepacks which contains the SmartPilot course computer and compass. Corepacks are available in three levels of performance (X-10, X-30 or X-SOL), dependent upon the type of drive unit a vessel requires. The X-30 and X-SOL models also include a rudder reference sensor, and the X-SOL is designed specifically for constant running pump solenoid output. -- For today's steer-by-wire propulsion systems, Raymarine also offers the X-CAN course computer which features a simple singe wire CAN bus interface to advanced propulsion systems such as the innovative Volvo IPS drive system.

About Raymarine

Raymarine, a world leader in marine electronics, develops and manufactures the most comprehensive range of electronic equipment for the recreational boating and light commercial marine markets. Designed for high performance and ease of use, the award-winning products are available through a global network of dealers and distributors. The Raymarine product lines include radar, navigation aids, instruments, fishfinders, communications, software and systems. Raymarine plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information about Raymarine in the USA call 1-603-881-5200 or visit www.raymarine.com .

Media Contact Liz Boal Greenough Communications 617.275.6522 lboal@greenoughcom.com

CONTACT: Liz Boal of Greenough Communications, +1-617-275-6522, lboal@greenoughcom.com, for Raymarine

Web site: http://www.raymarine.com/