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This pack includes all of the core components you need to upgrade your boat with a Simrad Continuum autopilot system—just add a hydraulic pump or mechanical drive unit to suit your steering system, and choose a dedicated autopilot controller or Simrad multifunction display. Designed for outboard and sterndrive vessels greater than 10 metres (35 feet) in length, this pack includes the high-current NAC-3 autopilot computer, Precision-9 solid-state compass, plus all necessary NMEA 2000® cables and connectors.
The NAC Autopilot Computer is the brains behind your Simrad autopilot system. It contains the electronics needed to operate a hydraulic steering pump or mechanical drive unit, while also interfacing with other components including heading sensors and rudder feedback units.
The NAC-3 was designed for boats ten metres (35 feet) or greater in length and is rated to operate high-current pumps, mechanical drive units, and solenoid valves (30 amps continuous/50 amps peak).
- Reliable autopilot performance based on Simrad Continuum steering technology
- Recommended for boats up to 10 metres (35 feet) in length
- Output of 8 amps continuous, 16 amps peak
- Clutch output (3 amps maximum)
- Compatible with low-current drive pumps, mechanical drives, hydraulic linear drives, and solenoid valves
- Virtual rudder feedback for simplified installation aboard outboard and sterndrive (inboard/outboard) boats
- Supports Simrad RF25 and RF300 rudder feedback units
- NMEA 2000® connectivity to heading sensors, rudder feedbacks, dedicated autopilot controllers, and multifunction displays no NMEA0183
Simrad Continuum steering technology
Every Simrad steering innovation builds upon a legacy encompassing over sixty years of autopilot development, which continues today at Simrad Yachting’s autopilot research hub in Norway. This legacy is exemplified by the Continuum algorithm: the software that drives Simrad steering technology. Continuum brings all those years of research and on-water experience to your helm, for a smart pilot you can trust to take the wheel.
The NAC-3 Autopilot Computer is recommended for boats above 10 metres (35 feet) in length. It is rated for high-current output of up to 30 amps continuous and 50 amps peak, plus a clutch output; this is suitable to operate high-current drive pumps including the Simrad RPU160 and RPU300, mechanical drives such as the Simrad DD15, hydraulic linear drives such as the HLD2000 series, and solenoid valves.
Virtual Rudder Feedback
Simrad Virtual Rudder Feedback (VRF) technology eliminates the need to install a separate rudder feedback unit aboard outboard and sterndrive (inboard/outboard) boats. This reduces overall autopilot system cost and complexity, and is ideal where a feedback unit is impractical due to mechanical constraints.
Rudder Feedback Units
Rudder feedback units are sensors that connect to your rudder via a mechanical linkage and continuously report actual rudder position to your autopilot computer—allowing the Simrad Continuum steering algorithm to make the best-informed steering decisions possible. These sensors are typically used on boats with inboard engines, on larger vessels, and in special applications where Virtual Rudder Feedback may not be suitable.
The NAC-3 supports SimNet or NMEA 2000® connected Simrad RF25 feedback units, and rudder feedback sensors with variable frequency output including the Simrad RF300.
Industry-standard NMEA 2000® networking and NMEA 0183® input allow simple connectivity to heading sensors, rudder feedback units, autopilot controllers, and multifunction displays located anywhere on board.
From stand-alone instruments to NMEA 2000 displays, this overview will help you make an informed choice.
By Tom Burden, Last updated 4/5/2019
This article steers you through our broad selection, asks questions and makes recommendations along the way.
By Tom Burden, Last updated 5/29/2020