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AUTONAV CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS
AUTONAV MARINE SYSTEMS INC.
To Whom It may Concern:
The Canadian Navy has been using Wagner Rotary Vane Steering Systems on our Halifax Class Frigates since the commissioning of HMCS Halifax in 1992.
During their years of service, the rotary vanes had performed with exceptionally well with no premature failures or problems. The rotary vane of HMCS Halifax was removed at the 15-year mark of service inspected and reinstalled. The only service needed was the replacement of external seals after the disassembly. All of the internal bearing surfaces were in perfect condition and no replacement was necessary.
The Wagner rotary vanes are fitted on four frigates and Rolls Royce rotary vanes are fitted on the remaining ships. In a direct comparison between the two systems, the Wagner rotary vane units are half the size and require no rudderpost upper bearing or carrier bushing. The Rolls Royce units do and therefore require a larger space for installation. The Wagner hydraulic power units required no external cooling while the Rolls Royce units do. The cooling system is the largest maintenance item on the system. The Canadian Navy has been very pleased with the performance of the Wagner rotary vane units.
The Canadian Navy Design Authority would be pleased to address any further questions you may have with respect to the operation and maintenance of the Wagner rotary vane units installed on our ships. The point of contact is Mr. Victor Murphy at 819-997-9317."
Life Cycle Manager Steering and Hydraulic systems
"I have been in the fishing industry for forty years. I have gill-netted and trolled for salmon, long-lined for halibut, and gillnetted for roe herring. In those forty years, I have used four autopilot units, and have found the Autonav Autopilot to be the very best! I like the Autonav A-1500 unit because:
• of its accuracy in steering a course
• of its ease of operation
• it has no parts to wear out
• it is a compact unit
I would recommend this autopilot to any vessel operator."
F/V Northern Viking
"Within a week of installing the pilot this past summer, we left Vancouver for a 4 week cruise to the Northern tip of Vancouver Island / Seymour Inlet area. The pilot operated flawlessly through the heavy tides and currents. With the large rudder we have on the tug, it is difficult to trim the steering so that we are consistently able to steer a straight course. The Autopilot accomplished this task with ease. Another feature I found remarkable was the ability of the Autopilot to "learn" the handling characteristics of the tug. Over a very short period of time, there was virtually no "over correcting" with course changes."
David H. Doig
M/V 50ft. Tug Gulf Tide
"I want you to know how much I appreciate your autopilot in our DeFever 44 Offshore Cruiser. I really love this thing. With my previous autopilot, when we made a passage from San Diego to Tampa, we were constantly fiddling with the sea state and the counter rudder controls. So far, the new Autonav A1500 autopilot has not required any changes in winds from 0 to 30 knots. Installing the components were straightforward. Calibration and sea trials went smoothly. The autopilot virtually installed itself. We had the wires switched prior to autocalibration but that does not matter - the autopilot compensates. I wish I had done this sooner."
Lawrence A. Seckington
Defever 44 Offshore Cruiser
"Under power at all speeds from 1 to 11 knots she tracks like an arrow in all winds and sea conditions. The combination of your autopilot and hydraulic steering gear have proven more than adequate to the task. The virtually infinite adjustments which can be programmed for different conditions and the unit’s ability to learn her handling characteristics give me great confidence when I am singlehanding and up on the foredeck some 60’ from the wheel, changing a headsail in 25 knots of wind at -5° Centigrade."
Roger D. Elmes
65’ ULDB Ocean Racer
"I wish to express my satisfaction with your autopilot. We installed the box in Norfolk, Virginia, just before making the trip across the Atlantic Ocean to Portugal. I began to think this pilot had some innate intelligence. It had a sense of when to make a correction at just the right time. In quartering seas, it did the job of steering our Maple Leaf 42 better than a good human helmsman."
Maple Leaf 42
S/V Hyack Wind
"The Mediterranean sea is known by both ancient and modern mariners as vicious, with very steep and short seas when winds are + 30 knots. Many times the Autonav autopilot was tested in these rough conditions and it steered ‘Spurwing’ more efficiently than we could ourselves, especially on beam and following seas with over 40 knots wind. Power consumption is surprising minimal and my wife found the manual uncomplicated, and raves about the ease of operation. My technical questions any assistance needed was given fast, accurately and efficiently. My wife and I are the only crew members and we rely on the Autopilot at all times. This is my first letter of recommendation I have written and I am pleased to write it."
R. van Hasselt
I wanted to share with you the details of our last passage. It was from Mazatlan 200+ miles across the Sea of Cortez in our Maple Leaf 50 ‘Love of Song’. The ships log reads... We left Mazatlan at 0630 hrs on March 14, 98, a Saturday morning with clear skies and a promise of a great weather window. The wind was less than 5 knots apparent out of the south west so we started off motoring. In the first 13 hours we flew along and logged over 100 miles. Our speed indicator on the GPS showed us averaging 8.7 knots and we had a high of 12.6 knots for a brief time.
At around 2330 hours, all hell broke loose. In 30 minutes the wind clocked around to the west, north west and grew to a steady 35 knots. The seas built. Within an hour, the wind was 40 knots with larger gusts. The seas were 10 - 12 feet and were still confused having the southerly component still there. For the next 17 hours we had water coming in everywhere.
It will take us weeks to clean up the mess. Our forward windows in the house are leaking because the heat of the summer has shrunk the seals. They do not leak when we wash the boat or when it rains, but I guess when you submerge them anything can happen. The water was so deep on deck that the dorade boxes (a good three feet off the deck on the house top) filled and ran into the boat because they couldn’t drain fast enough.
The last 30 miles were beating head long into the waves. We crashed over so many waves, I thought Love Song was going to come apart, the whole boat shuddered and sent water flying. This has been the worst passage of our three years out. We finally arrived in a bay south of La Paz called Ensenada de Los Muertos and set the anchor in 25 ft of water in the lee of the land and watched the wind speed instrument hold a steady 28 knots with gusts to 32 knots. No sea, no swell...wonderful!!! When we cleared the breakwater back in Mazatlan we had set our Autonav A-1500 autopilot for Los Muertos and other than a few small course adjustments along the way to deal with the drift, never touched it or had to hand steer. Thank you Paul Wagner, for making our passage safer. Now if you can deal with the weather..."
John D. Simpson
Maple Leaf 50
S/V Love Song
This letter is to inform you of our pleasure and complete satisfaction with our Autonav A-1500 autopilot. We have had the A-1500 for over two years now. It is installed in the Maple Leaf 48 sloop used mainly for cruising - sail and power - with a crew of two plus ‘Otto’. The A-1500 has performed flawlessly. It does everything that you and your promotional literature say it will do. We are particularly pleased with the way ‘Otto’ handles a following sea. Probably the best measure of any product is: Would we buy it again? Absolutely !!! Thanks for the many pleasures that having ‘Otto’ at the helm has allowed us."
Maple Leaf 48 Sloop
MS/V Song of Joy
"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are made for." John A. Shedd