Looking for a newbie-friendly guide for building a rover boat


Could you please me point towards a newbie-friendly guide for a self-driving boat?
I mean a real-size boat, but still relatively small - 12 feet with one electric motor.
The main idea is to make it following a predefined route using GPS by adjusting the direction.
No remote control.
No thrust control - motor will work on the fix speed and will be adjusted manually if required.
There is a cable steering, it can be replaced by hydraulic steering if it is easier to add/rotate a small oil pump than trying to marry cable steering and ardupilot hardware.
How to do that?
I read manuals but get lost on “Choosing an Autopilot” page - too many options, which one I need?
Thank you.

Regards, Tim

You really, really must read the provided documentation.

Thank you. I understand that. I read it and then I read it again.

Unfortunately, I still cannot see the full picture. For example: why there are so many options for the autopilot, what are the differences, which one is good for my project? Why there are so many versions of Rover? Again, which one to take? Section “Boat” is so small comparing to other types of rovers.

Overall, I don’t feel it is newbie-friendly. It is fine if the purpose of this documentation is to maintain support for a narrow circle of “true believers” and keep away everyone else. If the plan is to expand the audience, then I would expect more newbie-friendly guides.

Writing documentation is really hard, this is an open source project, you are free to contribute and improve the existing “non user friendly” documentation.

That said, there are many flight controllers because there are many different use cases, if you want a friendly one just get a cube orange plus.

There is no gatekeeping as you perceive, and the only limitation is solely yours: approaching things with such a negative bias.

We get this question all the time: “What is the best autopilot?”

The answer is: “The one that is available, fits your budget, and has the feature set you need.”

We don’t know what feature set you need because you haven’t really described much about the goal of the project. Any supported autopilot can control a single steering servo and motor to follow a GPS course.

If you want one that will run most every feature that ArduPilot has to offer, look for “H7” in the processor name.

You’ll also want remote control for initial configuration and tuning. It’s ok to abandon it (or keep it as a backup) thereafter, but you’ll find yourself hitting a brick wall quickly if you never use it in the first place.

No one is chiming in regarding your other mechanical questions because they are too vague. Search this forum for boats. There are plenty of examples.

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Thank you, Amilcarlucas. I was leaning towards cube orange too - I love the colour. It is weird but colour can be a criteria too, if other criteria does not clear.

I do appreciate that writing documentation is difficult. Writing for “simpletons” even more difficult. Knowing how to do something requires an expert. Being able to explain the same technicalities to normal people, that is, not experts in your area, requires much higher level of expertise.

I don’t have any level of expertise in this area, so I should not try to mess up with documentation. However, I can express how I see the situation. People with expertise can take my opinion for consideration or completely ignore it. This is a free world.

Thank you, Yuri_Rage for your response with no negative bias. Your support and encouragement are highly appreciated.

Could you please expand your idea about the necessity of the remote control. As I can see, documentation does not require the remote control. The program is loaded from the ground control, and ground control can be used for testing. What is a special need for the remote control? I would think that less equipment I connect - less opportunities for problems.