I purchased the ComNav 1420 autopilot for my 30-foot custom built cabin cruiser “Shadow Dancer”. As far as marine autopilots go the 1420 is a low end, basic marine pilot that still packs a big punch when complimented with desktop/laptop navigation system.
In my particular case I use the ComNav autopilot with both of the Nobeltec Admiral and Trident software system. I found the autopilot to be easy to install and simple to set up and operate.
It has a number of different options and configurations available for use. Not all of these are listed in the accompanying documentation or on the ComNav website, however a call to the company’s 1-800 support line will resolve any questions you may have.
You are able to operate the ComNav 1420 in standalone “pilot” mode, which will track a straight course forever, or have it follow a route. I usually track routes created with my Nobeltec software package. The 1420 has supplied countless hours of hands free and hassle free operation.
I operate in the Pacific Northwest in many different types of weather and tidal conditions both while sport fishing and cruising and have found the ComNav to be a safety asset. For the record, I am absolutely thrilled with 1420 performance and operation. You can have multiple stations setup with this pilot and in my case I have three.
The one complaint I do have with the 1420 is the control panel itself, I find it limited in functionality when compared to more advanced ComNav units. Of course, this is an inexpensive lower end unit so I did benefit from the lower initial purchase price.
When I originally purchased my ComNav 1420 autopilot I wasn’t real sure it was a wise use of my boating dollars, even at one point considering that the purchase of an autopilot was simply a waste of money.
However in hindsight I have to say buying and installing the ComNav marine autopilot on my boat was one of the best boating investments I have ever made. The one piece of advice I could give to others from my experience is, yes, an autopilot is well worth the money.
In my case even the base model ComNav has performed well, still I wish I would have spent a few more bucks and opted for a higher end ComNav model.