— January 2003
By Ben Ellison
Stupid Chart Tricks?
I got an impressive demo of the new autopilot from Nautamatic TR-1, and think this upstart company may indeed have enough new ideas to break into this established market. The Gladiator works only with hydraulic steering systems, but does so intimately. For instance, it uses a flow meter to automatically disengage itself when you turn your wheel and engage again when you hold it steady.
The Gladiator does not utilize a rudder-feedback sensor, but does come standard with a rate gyro, supposedly resulting in easy installs and high performance in boats up to about 55 feet, regardless of drive train. It can steer programmable zigzags and circles--even clover leafs and search patterns around GPS waypoints. I watched it perform a perfect man overboard retrieval turn and hold a steady course while backing. Wow!
The Gladiator costs $3,850.
Nautamatic TR-1 Phone: (800) 588-7655. www.nautamatic.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.