Raymarine ST3000 autopilot

Long Term Test (started 1993)

Autohelm had built the (old, today not any longer manufactured) ST3000 autopilot to approximately 1992. With the successor Autohelm ST3000 the design of the control unit was changed by an additional compass display. Everything else was practically unchanged to the old ST3000.

Afterwards Autohelm was taken over by Raymarine.

The Raymarine ST3000 autopilot is thus today still practically identical to that already 1992 by Autohelm built ST3000. Therefore the Raymarine ST3000 autopilot built today is just as bad as that already since 1992 built Autohelm ST3000 autopilot, because:

The ST3000 autopilot is not waterproof, not even splash-water tight!

The control unit of Autohelm ST3000 is to be installed in the cockpit. It is nevertheless not waterproof. The plate with the conductive strips is completely unprotected directly under the push button switches, so seawater runs on the electrical circuits of the plate.

Thus the conductive strips corrode, until Autohelm ST3000 precipitates totally or partly.

Also mechanically Autohelm ST3000 is not good:

The Autohelm ST3000 drive motor is much too weak for the sea: It takes his power only from high rpm, so it constantly runs at the border of its maximum stress. Accordingly fast it wears. IGARASHI Electrics, Japan, spare engines supplies Conrad Electronik/ Germany www.conrad.de, price 9.95 Euro (1994), toy department article # 605808. There the engines are intended for toy model cars.

The Autohelm ST3000 engine had not survived the Atlantic crossing on our test catamaran 1993.

Where one should NOT use Autohelm ST3000:


our comment


over deck

NOT waterproof !


seawater splash

NOT waterproof !



NOT waterproof !


strong wind

With strong wind the strength is always missing.


highly windward

Highly windward the strength is missing for holding the ship against leeway and wave.



Downwind the strength is missing, in order to hold the tail against the wave.



Catamarans have fast, rough movements. Until the ST3000 reactes, the catamaran is out of the wind.

Autohelm ST3000 is only useful in dry weather with few wind, little wave and only on a monohull as small as possible.

Service: Miserable:

Island Water World, one of the 2 big boating discounts in the Caribbean, took Raymarine from their boating listing in 2004, as Raymarine service did not correspond to the way of service Island Water World is expecting for customer's service.

We had asked Raymarine for a statement to our report. Result: Arrogance purely: Answer by Nigel Craine, senior sales manager Raymarine:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nigel Craine
> Sent: 26 April 2004 08:46
> To: Derek Gilbert
> Cc: Peter Dudman
> Subject: FW: www.info-center-online.com/skipper/dt_ray3000eng.htm
> Derek,
> You might like to have a look at this, written by someone with a gripe who obviously has lots of time on his hands.

> Note the comments on the ST3000.
> Nigel Craine
> Senior Sales Manager
> TEL +44 (0) 23 9265 1212
> Or +44 (0) 23 9269 3611 ext 1346
> FAX +44 (0) 23 9265 5750
> EMAIL nigel.craine@raymarine.com
> www.raymarine.com
> Robinson Way, Anchorage Park,
> Portsmouth, Hants PO3 5TD UK
> World Leaders in Marine Electronics
> -----Original Message-----
> From: www.skipper-info.com [mailto:info@skipper-info.com]
> Sent: 24 April 2004 22:03
> To: Sales
> Subject: www.info-center-online.com/skipper/dt_ray3000eng.htm

Derek Gilbert answers: "We are concerned about the waterproofing failing as this is not a common complaint about this product."

We offered a test of the current ST3000 over to determine on whether the ST3000 is waterproof today or not. No answer. Thus we assume that the ST3000 is also today not waterproof.

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