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Old 03-12-2009, 16:22   #1
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Portable Autopilot / Windvane

This is probably crazy, but I'm wondering if there's any sort of portable autopilot or windvane device. I realize, such a device, if it exists, would likely not be super reliable or particularly effective. The reason I ask is because I don't want to buy a boat and prefer to charter. But I charter enough that I would like to have an autopilot of some sort with me. It would need to be portable so I can remove it at the end of my charter relatively painlessly.

Insane in the membrane?
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Old 03-12-2009, 16:29   #2
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Think about the contradictions in what you want - something that will control the boat but be instantly removable and leave no trace of its existence........
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Old 03-12-2009, 16:54   #3
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yeah, I know. I was hoping there was some sort of flimsy widget that I could attach to the wheel temporarily.
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Old 03-12-2009, 17:18   #4
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I would think if you want to spend the money, a wheelpilot could be attached to the wheel quickly and run with a lighter plug. you'd have to do some rigging with lines to hold the contraption in place while it was turning the wheel............but this is not a "flimsy widget"
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Old 03-12-2009, 18:18   #5
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I just finished reading John Kretschmer's 'Flirting With Mermaids' which tells strories of a number of his adventures as a delivery skipper. He mentioned bringing along a number of spares on every delivery, one of which was an autopilot, and apparently he often needed it. Bring a Wheelpilot, and while you're at it, a hand held GPS, handheld VHF, and an EPIRB.

. . . It's kinda fun spending someone else's money for once
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Old 03-12-2009, 19:08   #6
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EPIRB?!?!?! for a charter!!!
but I will second all the other stuff.
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Old 03-12-2009, 21:29   #7
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Yeah, I guess I'm just paranoid that way. I single hand a lot and keep a PLB (w/ GPS) in my jacket just in case (despite all other precautions) I were to end up overboard. A hand held VHF might work better instead assuming there's lots of other boat traffic about, but I've found they don't have much range, especially if you're actually down in the water.
. . . but I digress . . . back to portable auto-pilots . . .
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:53   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discostu View Post
I don't want to buy a boat and prefer to charter.

Insane in the membrane?
Some charter company will provide an autopilot if requested.
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:41   #9
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Every boat I've ever chartered had an autopilot already installed
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Old 15-01-2010, 06:36   #10
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The guy was delivering a boat. This can include Ocean crossings. Not nice if it is only you and one crew member and a failed autopilot
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