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World-Leading Marine Steering Technology Designer & Manufacturer

Autopos Marine Inc. DBA Autonav® designs and manufactures manual hydraulic and electrohydraulic steering systems and their electronic controls for vessels from 18 feet (5M) to over 1000 feet (300M) in length.
Rudder Roll Stabilization is available as a result of the latest ship dynamics algorithms being integrated with our steering systems.
Electro-hydraulic steering systems incorporate more than seventy years of  Wagner family experience in marine steering systems.


Paul Wagner carries on his father's innovative work. He supervises all design work with precision and attention to detail to ensure superior performance. Having started at an early age with simple machining tasks in his father’s workshop, he learned the basics of manufacturing and installation of steering systems. Later he attended the University of British Columbia for Mechanical Engineering and underwent practical engineering as a Praktikant with Manessman GMBH in Germany. As a part of the University Naval Training Association, he acquired experience at sea with various aspects of marine machinery.


Under the guidance of his father, Paul learned the key aspects of reliable steering system design and production. With electronic knowledge from his hobby of Amateur Radio, his mechanical engineering was expanded to include electronic designs and claims to have been the first to design a marine electronic autopilot using transistors, when conventional designs used vacuum tubes. This greatly improved the reliability and improved performance due to the greater capability of transistors. Over the following years, he implemented many new steering designs, which improved over traditional marine engineering technology. The use of newer techniques of both electronic and mechanical types was continually implemented in designs when their value could be confirmed in a demanding marine environment. In addition to autopilots, more sophisticated systems such as Dynamic Positioning and Rudder Roll Stabilization were added to the range of products, all of which were based on successful prior knowledge.

In his free time, Paul enjoys sailing, hiking and communicating with friends around the world using his radio equipment. For the past 4 decades, he has participated in sailing races and won titles such as; Navigator on the winning boat of Victoria to Maui Race, Winner of Royal Naval Sailing Association Single Handed Race (multiple of 40 years), First in Division of Swiftsure Race, First in Division of Southern Straits of Georgia Race and many more.


William Wagner emigrated to Canada in 1935 as a factory service engineer for the Deutz Diesel Engine Company of Germany. Such a position required extensive training in hand-building components and manufacturing processes in general. He married and settled in Vancouver Canada and began working for a local builder of diesel engines. While installing and servicing these engines, he noted the problems of controlling the engines for forward and reverse control. At the time, there were no hydraulic transmissions and heavy and clumsy mechanical shafting and gear boxes were required to actuate the reversing control. These were difficult to install and maintain. He believed that a small hydraulic cylinder at the engine gear box could be controlled by small hydraulic lines going up to the wheelhouse and driven by a hydraulic pump. This may sound simple and obvious but in those days, hydraulics was almost unheard of and little electrical power was available on smaller vessels. He was known for unconventional and novel approaches to traditional problems and so hand-built a precision hand-driven pump which could be rotated by a small wheel to run the engine gearbox from astern, to neutral and then ahead with a few quick wheel rotations. After some time, he considered that if this arrangement was connected to a rudder, he would have a manual hydraulic steering system. Having done this, he achieved the world’s first manual hydraulic steering system for small vessels. This radical approach was not immediately successful in marketing because it was too new and unproven in the minds of small craft operators. As a few forward-thinking fishermen installed Wagner’s first systems and found this relatively friction-free system to be far superior to chains, sprockets and shafting, sales took off and the Wagner Steering became well-known worldwide.

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