The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Bluetooth Autopilot Remote Rocks

Given that, this remote control for our new B&G autopilot is invaluable and just generally adds to the fun. A couple of button presses will even make the boat tack automatically while I handle the sheets—beats heck out of steering with a foot while tacking.

Highly recommended and way better than wired remotes or running back and forth to a fixed autopilot control panel, although we need that too in case Bluetooth goes screwy—not to be relied upon for mission-critical stuff.

B&G sell the gadget with a neck strap, which, if you think about it, is a very bad idea, particularly for a singlehander constantly hanging over and grinding winches—do these people actually ever go sailing?

Anyway, it will also fit on a velcro watchband. I bought one from Amazon and then kluged it to work with a needle and palm. Supposedly B&G sell a band, for extra (of course), but I couldn’t find one.

Note to B&G: Stop being jerks and just ship the thing with a band before someone strangles themselves!

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jean-Louis Alixant

Hi John,
Same here, I wouldn’t single-hand or even double-hand without the remote anymore.
Watch out for the two flimsy plastic bars that the velcro strap attaches to. They break easily, and B&G won’t sell the back cover of the remote separately. Another point to add to the note to B&G, since this too will lead to strangulation.
Enjoy “New-to-Us”!

Charlie Wright

I have the B&G remote and agree with John “It Rocks”.  I used the supplied lanyard as a tether. Agree around the neck is problematic at least above deck. I have it rigged on a short length tether with a simple belt clip. I attach it as I do my Boye knife. Might I recommend the KUHL Radikl shorts and pants from REI in the USA. They have seven pockets none with cargo type flaps that get caught on things. Including an I-phone pocket and another small well-suited pocket for the B&G remote plus a “watch pocket” for a knife.  Like a fireman put your pants on and you are ready to go, knife, remote, plus phone to check on navigation and weather.  The wrist mount sure seems popular with the racing sailors including double-handed, SailGP and the America’s Cup monohulls.  John does yours adjust the foils? Interestingly when I was sailing in the Southern Ocean we would try and out steer the autopilot. At best a draw. We could see the waves however the autopilot was focused every millisecond with the tuning John recommended.  Interesting how in the Ocean Race just finished predominantly, except in light air then a tiller for better feel, the IMOCA 60s are sailed in the cuddy with the autopilot based on a constant data stream. Additionally, the swinging keel is constantly adjusted to maintain the optimum heeling angle.  The late Buddy Melges advised watch the angle of your headstay to the horizon. Keep it constant with heading and sail adjustments. As John has commented the newer autopilots consider many variables and soon, if not already, they will see the waves. All done every millisecond. Thinking maybe the Golden Globe Race, not allowing any modern electronics, has some merit. Additionally, it was won by a lady, Kristen Neuschafer.     

Charlie Wright