Garmin auto pilot, coming very soon


The Garmin GHP 10 autopilot system, announced back in November, looks like it will make its “third quarter” shipping date. It’s hard to tell in the photo—since the GHC 10 control head is so similar to the GMI 10 instrument—but this new Krogen 44 has been a GHP beta site since March. I happen to know the owner, an experienced and technically astute fellow, and thus know he witnessed the install and then used the pilot all the way from Florida to his Chesapeake home port. He says it works well, and particularly likes “shadow drive”, the system’s ability to go in and out of standby just by “feeling” your desire to steer, or not steer, in the hydraulic line (sensor seen below).

So far, though, he’s only experienced a bare bones version of the control software, but I’m told that the full-featured version is nearly ready for Beta testing. Meanwhile, another boat I’m familiar with—this a Wesmac jet-powered 50 footer—will be getting a GHP installed in a couple of weeks. I hope to see some of that process, plus try GHP on one or both of these beta boats. Garmin is not listing a price for the GHP on its site, but I see a couple of online retailers apparently willing to take orders for well under $2,000. I think that’s considerably less than what the Nautamatic TR-1 Gladiator it’s based on cost, and that was without NMEA 2000 networking, the bright color control, and the Garmin brand cachet. Sounds like a winner.

Update: yeah, those online prices are too good to be true, as apparently they don’t include the pump kit; the full GHP system will have suggested retail price around $3,000. Another upshot of this entry: Tim Flanagan got excited about Shadow Drive as though it just arrived on the planet, which is exactly what I meant by Garmin’s “cachet”. Nautamatic introduced the winning feature in 2003, but had a hard time getting anyone’s attention.

Garmin Krogen shadow drive

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

7 Responses

  1. James says:

    So, any idea if it will work with my new IPS drive boat, already fully Garmin’ized with 2 5212’s, 404 radar, etc? Full drive by wire system.

  2. Gary Wood says:

    I had a 38 foot aluminum catamaran built last year. It has two TR-1 autopilots. One for the 15 HP Honda kicker motor to use for fishing, the second to use with the main engines at 30 knots. Fishing with a TR-1 (now Garmin) is fantastic. It steers so you can check your lines and play with your bait and lures. It has a small remote that you hang on your belt so you can speed up, slow down, go to idle, and steer right and left. The Gladiator drive for the main engines works just as well, including the “shadow drive”. Both take a bit of computerized tweeking so they match your boat, but it is easy to do. I would not have a powerboat without the two autopilots. Now if they would just make something that will work well on my sailboat….

  3. Salva says:

    No, IPS only approved pilots are Raymarine and Simrad.

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Right, the Garmin pilot will only work with hydraulic steering systems. IPS is fly-by-wire, and Volvo has let Raymarine and Simrad build interfaces between their autopilot computers and controls and the IPS steering electronics.
    I imagine Cummins Merccruiser has made similar arrangements for the Zeus and Azium drives, but I don’t have detail.

  5. Dan (b393capt) says:

    Are sailboats in the target market ?
    1) How would the system realize that a sudden increase in force is due to a user at the wheel vs. increased forces at the rudder in response to a change in sail trim or wind gust ?
    2) For those of us that set our autopilots to xx degrees off the wind, we would still want the -1, -10, +10, +1 style interface.

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Dan, The original Nautamatic auto pilots were not intended for sail boats, few of which have hydraulic steering anyway. I don’t know what Garmin’s plans are, or how the new control head works, but should know more in a couple of weeks, when the Garmin team comes to install the GHP in the Wesmac.

  7. glenn says:

    I have hydraulic system on a 42′ sailing cat with garmin 3210 and would be intrested in what you find out. I’ll check back in a bit.

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