TR-1 Gladiator, getting its due

TR-1 YTS display

Another intro at FLIBS, this is the new YTS model of the Nautamatic TR-1 Gladiator autopilot I wrote about a few years ago. The new control head is a nice sGladHandheldimple alternative to the somewhat daunting 10–button wired remote that is the primary control on other models. As I understand it, you still get the remote and need it to make the pilot do all the customizable maneuvers that get fishermen excited (I’ve also seen it perform a perfect Williamson man overboard circle). YTS, by the way, stands for “yachts, trawlers, and (big) sportfishers”, who are the new customers Nautamatic is trying to attract. The head will help, but perhaps more important is the performance reputation the Gladiator has earned in the last few years, confirmed pretty emphatically by a recent Powerboat Reports shoot-out. Of course you have to pay for that report, but I have and think it’s one of the most well done product comparisons I’ve seen there. Here’s some detail on why they thought the TR-1 performed the best when compared to a Furuno Navpilot 511OB, Raymarine ST6002+G, and Simrad AP16VF:

We were blown away by every aspect of the product’s performance. There was nothing that we could do to the boat to throw this unit off course. At 2 knots with one motor in gear, we actually had to verify that the sea anchor had opened properly—the boat’s heading didn’t change even a degree. At 15 knots, when we dropped out an engine, there was again no change. It appeared as if the TR-1 program algorithms are monitoring the engine RPM’s very closely and knew what to expect when we abruptly killed an engine.
  Even Nautamatic’s GPS interface exceeded our expectations. At 15 knots, when we engaged a waypoint 180 degrees behind us, the TR-1 immediately put us into an aggressive, but controlled, turn. Nautamatic calls this a G-limited turn. All we can say is that within two seconds, we were spun around and tracking back toward the waypoint before the GPS plotter had time to calculate any cross-track error
.”

Nautamatic doesn’t have YTS on its Web site yet, but these feisty folks—who are, um, very confidant about their technology—weren’t entirely pleased with the shoot-out and have their say here

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Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

2 Responses

  1. Duncan says:

    Ben,
    The TR-1 seems like a neat product that works really well. The problem is the goofy user interface. In this world of graphical interfaces, this pilot is impossible to sell to the broad market. Any idea why they insist on such an outdated UI?

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I have no idea how well the pilot actually works, but the Navman/Northstar AP interface seems wonderful:
    http://www.panbo.com/yae/archives/001161.html

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