Lowrance recently announced its all-new Outboard Pilot for use with the Lowrance High Definition System (HDS) series. This autopilot system allows fingertip steering of the outboard engine giving anglers an “extra hand”, so they can focus more on their fishing activity. Featuring integrated control from an HDS Gen2 or HDS Gen2 Touch, the Outboard Pilot can be installed with hydraulic or cable-steered outboard systems – with all commands coming directly from the HDS display. Designed for single outboard set-ups on boats 30 feet or less, the Lowrance Outboard Pilot can steer to a selected heading, waypoint or along a route, as well as execute a selected turn pattern. Additionally, the Outboard Pilot allows users to create routes from saved trails with the touch of a button, giving anglers the ability to retrace previous tracks from a fishing area back to the launch point. The new and innovative Lowrance HDS SmartSteer™ interface provides outboard control as well as the ability to control a MotorGuide Xi5 Pinpoint electric-steer trolling motor. This new steering interface – available with the free HDS 3.5 software update – allows anglers to easily switch between the Xi5 trolling motor and the outboard motor with the push of a button. The Outboard Pilot is easy to install and configure – right out of the box – featuring all the required parts for a do-it-yourself solution. Other key features that simplify the Outboard Pilot installation include: a Virtual Rudder Feedback (VRF), which eliminates the need for a rudder position sensor, as well as plug-and-socket connections with no complex terminal wiring and a straightforward first-time installation guide. The complete system includes a Point-1 GPS antenna with heading sensor for extremely accurate and rapid boat position and heading updates, at any speed, as well as a dash-mountable Auto/Standby button that changes the autopilot from STBY to AUTO mode with one press. The Lowrance Outboard Pilot will be available in November 2014 and comes in hydraulic or cable-steer versions. Both include the NAC-1 Autopilot Computer, Point-1 Heading and GPS Sensors and either the HELM-1 or PUMP-1 drive units. The free Lowrance HDS 3.5 software upgrade, featuring the SmartSteer interface, is available during August.
RRP of $1,500 for hydraulic and $2,500 AUD for cable steer.