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Company History

Showroom38 Years and Still On Course

Coursemaster Autopilots Pty Ltd has been designing and manufacturing quality autopilots in Sydney Australia for 38 years and exporting to Europe, Asia, Middle East and North America.

In 1974, Coursemaster was incorporated after David Chapman's innovative 'autopilot with unique compass heading sensor' won a John Lysaght Inventors Award and received national coverage on the ABC Television's Inventors Program.

Coursemaster's R & D has continued this tradition of technical innovation under the direction of Dr Graham Rigby PHD MSc., achieving another world first for Coursemaster in 1980 with the design of the CM300 autopilot using digital electronics and a fluxgate compass. An interface to enable a Coursemaster autopilot to automatically steer to waypoints from a satellite navigator achieved another world first for Coursemaster in 1984.

Coursemaster's commitment to specialise in innovative autopilot technology continued with the development of the first microprocessor based CM500, the dedicated commercial CM650 pilot, and the innovative software and large LCD graphics display of the CM700 and CM800 range. The development of the all the Coursemaster models may be seen on our Product History page.
Dr Rigby's Vessel Motion Simulator has been instrumental in the development of the intelligent, self-tuning software in the new CM80i autopilot - primarily designed for smaller powerboats with hydraulic steering and the first autopilot that does not require a rudder feedback sensor. Along with exhaustive sea trials conducted on vessels of differing displacement, the VMS has also been at the core of the development of the intelligence built into the software of the latest commercial CM880 autopilot - designed to IMO standards for use on workboats, trawlers and freighters of up to 10,000 tonnes or more.

Total Steering Solutions

Coursemaster is the sister company of HyDrive Engineering Pty Ltd, the largest manufacturer of hydraulic steering gear in the Southern Hemisphere. HyDrive has been manufacturing high quality hydraulic marine steering equipment since 1966 and won more than 7 prestigious awards for design excellence including 4 Australian Design Awards. The HyDrive Steering page of this website offers information on the inboard/outboard steering kits, heavy duty helms and power steering systems, or you may visit www.hydrive.com.au for HyDrive's complete range of products. Joint projects between the two companies, including the development of the 8000 Series Steering Pedestal, are continuing both here in Australia and around the world.

This close alliance between the two companies means that with a combined 70+ years of specialist experience, Coursemaster and HyDrive are in an enviable position to provide Australian-made quality steering solutions for both commercial and leisure vessels while providing a solid foundation for continued expansion and the pursuit of emerging opportunities around the world.

Here in Australia, Coursemaster is the authorised Australian distributor for KVH TracVision Satellite TV, TracPhone and mini-VSAT Broadband services, Koden fishfinders echosounders radars, SEIWA chartplotters, Interphase Forward Scanning Sonars, Leica/MX-Marine, Shakespeare marine antennas, Seaview antenna mounts, Sevenstar AIS, and FLIR Thermal Imaging Cameras, and is committed to providing technical sales and service expertise on these award-winning, quality marine electronics both directly and through our Australia-wide dealer network. 

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