Autopilots

Wheel, tiller and autopilots
Jim
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 8:25 am
Location: Cairns

Autopilots

Post by Jim » Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:47 pm

Hi guys, I have a Raymarine system to install on my boat. I am using morse steering with a liner drive on the tiller. To engage, press a button, to dissengage, press another button, it's that simple.

Jim.

Smooth Cruiser
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Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 1:51 am
Location: Brisbane

Autopilots

Post by Smooth Cruiser » Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:44 pm

zumsel wrote:Have you to engage and disengage the Autopilot Tiller every time you use the Autopilot. And if so, how could that be easily done when you are going with a wheel steering?


The tiller autopilot has one end fitted to a socket on the gunwale and the control arm sits over a pin on one of the tillers. When you engage the autopilot you just lift the control arm and engage the pin then press auto. When you press Standby again on the pilot you lift the arm off the pin - in my case the whole autopilot can swing and sit clear of the tiller so it just stays there out of the way until needed again.



Note that I only have tillers - I don't have wheel steering.



With basic wheel auto pilots, usually there is an inner knurled wheel mounted on the steering wheel that the autopilot drive belt sits on to drive the wheel one way or another. The autopilot drive unit which has a drive wheel for the belt then mounts on a swivelling bracket - when it is swivelled up the drive belt becomes loose and doesn't engage the knurled wheel so the wheel can be turned freely, when the drive unit is swivelled down and locked in place the drive belt becomes taut and the unit drives the wheel.



There are of course hybrid systems and systems suited to hydraulics where the autopilot might control a tiller arm while manual steering occurs with a wheel. I have no experience of these and cannot comment.

madaz
Posts: 527
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:47 am
Location: Hobart, Tasmania

Autopilots

Post by madaz » Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:30 am

So whats a good price for an S1 Autopilot?



I see whitworths sell them for around $1900.



I can get one for around $1396 AUD delivered from the US good price?

Jim
Posts: 691
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 8:25 am
Location: Cairns

Autopilots

Post by Jim » Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:24 am

You may get slugged with import duty as it is over AUD$1000. Still cheaper though.

Jim.

puremajek
Posts: 751
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 7:36 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia

Autopilots

Post by puremajek » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:53 am

Madaz



Could be wrong, but the import should go something like this:

> Purchase - $1396

> Postage - $130 (example)

> Insurance - $40 (example)

> AUS GST - $156

Sub total - $1722

> Import Duty (10%) - $172

ALL UP - $1894



Keep looking in AUS, you should be able to get it for less than $1900.
James
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http://www.diycatamaran.com
http://www.puremajek.com
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Bruce
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 6:15 pm
Location: Supply Bay, Launceston Tasmania

Autopilots

Post by Bruce » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:08 pm

I did a search in the USA and found one for $1272. Add on delivery and that should come out around the $1396 delivered price Madaz quoted above.

If you subtract your delivery charges James, it may still be a good deal even if a buyer is slugged import duty.

A number of items I have bought in the USA (over $1000) have been understated by the seller on price, or sold as second hand.

If you are not ready for an auto pilot just yet, it may pay to hold off for a while as the USA may be heading for a recession, which could bring more competitive pricing.

madaz
Posts: 527
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:47 am
Location: Hobart, Tasmania

Autopilots

Post by madaz » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:43 pm

This one is on the way, I will see how i go with the officials when it gets here.

44c
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:08 am
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld

Autopilots

Post by 44c » Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:53 pm

puremajek wrote:I am sourcing any data on autopilots. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Current options include:
> Windvanes,
> Wheel Pilots, and
> Tiller Pilots.

There appears to be no information on windvanes for catamarans.


On fast boats windvanes don't work too well. They steer to apparent wind angles, and with fast cats you can have the same AWA for a wide range of TWA's, so you really could be steering all over the place.



Also fast boats when running downwind have low apparent windspeed, which means the vane is underpowered.



A benefit of hydraulic steering is that you can get very powerful and reliable hydraulic autopilots at reasonable prices.



One option you missed is the hydraulic ram autopilts. Probably the most exxy option, but very effective.

puremajek
Posts: 751
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 7:36 pm
Location: Brisbane Australia

Autopilots

Post by puremajek » Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:27 pm

Thanks 44c



We have chosen to steer away from hydraulics and have a Raymarine S1 Wheel Drive Pilot now installed. We have a friend who launched his similar size/weight/steering Easy in Jan 2008 and has been sailing the Whitsundays since, so far he is impressed. His autohelm/navigation system is all coupled and almost identical to ours, so we hope to return the same feedback.



I have always wondered about the windvane concept. I did see a Wharram with it installed on one side, but thats the only one and your reasoning makes good sense, cheers.
James
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http://www.diycatamaran.com
http://www.puremajek.com
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madaz
Posts: 527
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:47 am
Location: Hobart, Tasmania

Autopilots

Post by madaz » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:52 am

Can the Raymarine wheel pilots be used on a wheel that is dished? has anyone installed one on a dished wheel? i asked them and they said as long as it is not no much of a dish, but they didnt say how much was to much...

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