Rover Boat with Skid Steering - Auto Mode not working

I have built several quad and hexcopters using a pixhawk with ardupilot, but I am now working a boat using Ardurover. I have never build a rover. This one is is rather large. It is made from a 1 man rubber raft with the electronics housed in a pelican case in the middle. I have it working great in manual mode. Using mission planner I can see that it is reporting it’s proper heading, tilt and location. however every time I place a waypoint and flip it into auto mode using mission planner it seems to wildly pitch about with what does not look to be any reason. The motors switch from going to forward and reverse. I have gone through the tuning instructions on the pages and it does not seem to have any effect. Is there anyway to force it to only travel to wayponints in a forward direction? Also what should I be checking at this point. I have uploaded a log where I try multiple times to use auto and then switch back. I also posted it here in case the upload failed:

I had the same problem initially with mine. One or both of the motors are most likely reversed. Try manually reversing by switching the motor wires and see where you get.

For me, my Spectrum Receiver/PPM Encoder was wonky and I ended up binding the Satellite Reciever and plugging that into the Spektrum port. I then played with the motor wiring until they were going forward when I pushed the throttle forward. I still had to reverse CH1, but everything worked after that.

I’m still experimenting with getting NAVL1_PERIOD set right, but it is usually larger than 10 for boats.

Thanks so much for your reply. To be clear, mine works great when in manual. When I push the throttle forward both motors move forward and I can steer and navigate correctly. It is only auto mode that I have a problem. Perhaps what you are saying is that I should reverse the motor wires and then reverse the channel from the transmitter/receiver. Is that correct?

Thanks again,


Yeah give that a shot. You want everything to be “normal” on your RC transmitter, so if you have reversed something on the transmitter to get it working in manual, then it will be wonky when you turn auto mode on. I had that mistake and it sent my boat into reverse and kinda wiggled its way backwards away from the point.

Thanks I will try that. Here is the boat I am trying to get working for reference.

Looks great! Grab a video if you can of it working normally and the malfunction in auto mode.

Ok I will for sure. I won’t be able to test again until morning, but I did check and both my radio channels are not reversed from my transmitter, but perhaps they are expected to be.

Thanks again for your help.

It looks great. I’d love to see a video of it in action.
Have you correctly set the orientation parameters?

Thanks, Grant.

Ok I was able to get everything working. It was as simple as switching the wires on one of the ESCs so thanks so much Kevin_K. Here a few videos of it in action.

Notice in the first video (taken from a drone above) the boat does shake a bit. Also it tends to way overshoot the points even though in manual mode it is very maneuverable (with the motors being so far apart it can do a zero point turn). Which paramaters do you think I should be looking at to improve this behavior?


I’m glad you got everything working in auto, cool to watch everything work properly! Thanks for the videos!

Take a look at tuning the rover parameters:
I’m still working on tuning mine so if you get some good parameters figured out, let me know so I can get mine tuned as well.

If you can post ONE log file of when the boat shakes and overshoots the WP I can have a look.

Thanks, Grant.


im new here.

I build a Baitboat with the Ardupilot.

The Boat have 2 Motors without a rudder.

Were i can config the Channel Mixer to steer.

Greetings from Germany

Maybe this page?

Thanks, Grant.

What is the different between

Skid steer in
Skid steer out

I used no mixer at the transmitter for steering.

Steering mix should do the APM.

Which Mode i have to activate?

Try here


someone could Show me a Tuning for 2 Motor Boat?

Greetings from Germany

You want to make SKID_STEER_IN = 0, SKID_STEER_OUT = 1.