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Old 11-05-2016, 12:06   #31
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Re: Autopilots... Why are they so finicky, expensive?

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I don't think there is a more proven autopilot made right now than NKE, and they have a side benefit of being price competitive.

Having been out short handed when the AP decided to stop working, there is nothing more prone to cause problems. Cruising vessels simply do not have the man power available to dedicate someone to be permanently driving the boat. If given the option I would rather loose the engine than the AP... HecK I would probably rather loose any single system on the boat before the AP.
NKE would be my choice too, but after pricing it out, NKE was double a high current B&G system.


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Old 11-05-2016, 12:59   #32
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Re: Autopilots... Why are they so finicky, expensive?

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I don't mind getting my own cold drinks but if someone invents an AP that will wash the dishes I'm interested.
Such high standards

I would be more interested in APs that also go get the cold drinks with no talking or criticism in my drink choice.
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Old 11-05-2016, 14:22   #33
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Re: Autopilots... Why are they so finicky, expensive?

An autodprpilot is the most essential piece of equipment on a boat, in my opinion. New Raymarine EV-100 can be had for $1300. Is this expensive? It is not the best autopilot but you also get a top of the line gyro stabilized compass included which is much better than your magnetic compass.

I can see how marine instruments, chart plotters and other electronics are way overpriced but autopilots and VHF radios are good value for money devices.

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Old 11-05-2016, 16:21   #34
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Re: Autopilots... Why are they so finicky, expensive?

Yes.

I too agree hand steering is not something we want to do on any extended passage.

When our windvane failed, we had to hand steer our boat quite a lot and so now I fixed that windvane VERY VERY well.

Interestingly a very well fixed windvane worked better than the original one. Perhaps this is a trick for AP owners too: break yours prior to sailing off, fix it. It may run for ever now ;-)

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Old 11-05-2016, 16:53   #35
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Re: Autopilots... Why are they so finicky, expensive?



Unfortunately windvane is a bad solution for me. Huge skeg hung rudder with with hydraulic steering and a canoe stern makes installation inconvenient.

I'm stuck with relying on solar and alternator to run auto.

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Old 11-05-2016, 17:41   #36
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Re: Autopilots... Why are they so finicky, expensive?

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Originally Posted by Ungvar View Post


Unfortunately windvane is a bad solution for me. Huge skeg hung rudder with with hydraulic steering and a canoe stern makes installation inconvenient.

I'm stuck with relying on solar and alternator to run auto.

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Do have a look at windvanes that have their own rudders. You can use them with whatever steering you have in your boat because you simply lock your main rudder and the windvane does all the steering.

We have an older Windpilot like this. Very simple, very reliable just not the top notch technology people have now after so many years of developing better and better vanes.

Canoe stern is not a limitation either (hmmm: our boat is actually canoe-like, for we have a spitsgat boat).

What is a huge limitation is a very unbalanced, twitch boat, a very fast boat or a boat with very long overhangs.

Look at Windpilot Pacific Plus or the Hydrovane. They may work for you.

An AP is sure a nice thing to have, alone, or paired with a windvane when reasonable.

Cheers,
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Old 11-05-2016, 19:20   #37
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Re: Autopilots... Why are they so finicky, expensive?

I have cost it out, but with my short passages (3 days max) it doesn't make sense.

My old boat just isn't up for transoceanic work, especially not with young children on board. With $20k of work maybe, but we like to stay within 24 hours or so from rescue with the little guy on board any way.

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Old 11-05-2016, 20:28   #38
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Re: Autopilots... Why are they so finicky, expensive?

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Originally Posted by Ungvar View Post


Unfortunately windvane is a bad solution for me. Huge skeg hung rudder with with hydraulic steering and a canoe stern makes installation inconvenient.

I'm stuck with relying on solar and alternator to run auto.

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??????

We have a Monitor windvane on our Pacific Seacraft 40. Canoe stern, skeg hung rudder, and it works well. Maybe it's the type of windvane you have?
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Old 11-05-2016, 20:50   #39
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Re: Autopilots... Why are they so finicky, expensive?

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??????

We have a Monitor windvane on our Pacific Seacraft 40. Canoe stern, skeg hung rudder, and it works well. Maybe it's the type of windvane you have?
Yes, the more expensive windvanes could work for me. I certainly do not have a high quality boat like a Pacific Seacraft though.

My issue is more the expense vs usage issue. My AP does the job I need it to do with running the engine 1 hour out of 4 at night. I have a Perkins 4.108 and 500 liters of fuel, so it's pretty sustainable over long distances.

I have never drained the tank, but I estimate a conservative 2400 mile range with my current configuration with a 50 liter reserve.

It's good enough for what I do, and then some (I have never done a transoceanic voyage on my boat though, nor do I plan to.)

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Old 11-05-2016, 21:35   #40
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Re: Autopilots... Why are they so finicky, expensive?

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I have a Perkins 4.108 and 500 liters of fuel, so it's pretty sustainable over long distances.

I have never drained the tank, but I estimate a conservative 2400 mile range with my current configuration with a 50 liter reserve.



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What? I think you've got the math a bit wrong.
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Old 11-05-2016, 21:45   #41
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Re: Autopilots... Why are they so finicky, expensive?

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What? I think you've got the math a bit wrong.
Help me out, what's wrong with my math.

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Old 11-05-2016, 22:21   #42
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Re: Autopilots... Why are they so finicky, expensive?

Make sure you get one of those integrated autopilots for complacent sailors ! You just punch in some numbers and can then enjoy the ride
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Old 11-05-2016, 23:03   #43
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Re: Autopilots... Why are they so finicky, expensive?

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Help me out, what's wrong with my math.

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4.108 run at about half throttle uses at least some 1.5 l/h (but you have to be sure) and runs the boat 5.5knots = 1800Nm and that's optimistic. Being conservative I'd estimate 1400Nm max.. no reserve

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Old 14-05-2016, 00:49   #44
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Re: Autopilots... Why are they so finicky, expensive?

Ya, but, I sail most of the time. My math was based on only a couple hours of engine use per day.

I estimate my full motoring range at only about 800 miles.

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