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Old 06-11-2009, 06:56   #16
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Good point about, maybe they don't make them the way they used to.

One thing that worries me. Unlike a sailboat, my autopilot is set to response level 3, or maximum hyper, the thing never stops but that's the only way to steer a jet boat. Has anybody seen the hydraulic pump wear out?
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:17   #17
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FWIW, I sent Alpha a note describing what the pilot was doing and asked for their recomendations. Will post their response when I get it. Doing some price comparisons the Alpha 3000 system is quite a bit less expensive then the Raymarine packages for my sized boat. And having a pilot steer a GPS course is not as high of a priority to me as reliability and low power consumption.

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Old 03-12-2009, 20:37   #18
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Hi Mike,

Any response from the guys at Alpha?

Skip
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:52   #19
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Skip,
Going to the boat on Sunday to get the serial numbers they asked for. I will send them Monday and report back when (if lol) I get a responce. FWIW I sent a e-mail to WH, as they seem to have a very good reputation, several weeks ago about their products and estimated costs and never heard back from them. Not unusual according to another member of the forum. And now with the problems being reported with Raymarine the options seem to be shrinking.

But still have some time, 5 months till Lake Erie will be ice free and launch!

Mike
s/v Fair Wind
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:55   #20
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FWIW, this is the e-mail I got back, and it was timly.

Dear Mike,

If you would like to trouble shoot the pilot yourself there are good helps in both your manual and our website. I would also suggest you visit our new TECH TALK page. To advise specifically we need to know the model and serial numbers including those found on the drive. The alternative is to send it to us.

Chris Gade
Customer Service
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:49   #21
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I would suggest that most all the brands are very good - if - you buy one of sufficient size or one notch more powerful than the books suggest. Overloading of the power relays in rough conditions causes havoc with voltages delivered to the computer. Just go one notch more powerful/bigger and I suspect you will have decades of faithful service - barring problems with individual units that were improperly put together at the factory. Mass production does induce more "bad" units than custom built lower volume units. Every manufacturer has that same problem.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:12   #22
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I have had an Alpha 3000 installed for 22 yrs or is it 23???

I have sailed 10's of thousands of miles, most offshore from NE to Caribe. I hardly every manually helm the boat, only to come alongside a dock and pick up a mooring and perhaps in a narrow channel or when the conditons are glorious for hand steering.

I don't care for smart pilots which take instructions for other instruments. I like to insert myself into that process and set the course. I think it's more prudent and keeps me more engaged with my progress.

I have no complaints with the performance of the 3000 and highly recommend it for boats of similar displacement.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:19   #23
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Thanks, defjef ,
I am not looking for a smart pilot either, and was very happy with the 3000 till it developed a mind of its own. And I am guessing it is probably repairable. But after 27 years of service, and getting the boat ready for offshore cruising, I thing the puppy has led a long useful life and deserves retirement.

Mike
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:42   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Thea View Post
Hi Mike,

I replaced my alpha 3000 on my Stevens 47 with a Raymarine SmartPilot X30/ST70. Still using the alpha elec drive for now. Haven't used it a lot but very happy with it so far.

Doug
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Stick with the Alpha! My 3000 has been working flawlessly for years now, and Alpha's tech support and service are the absolute best. The Alpha is the most reliable piece of electronics I have onboard.
I have been having a problem with my Alpha 3000 it works fine for a day or two and then it craps out. This was really hard on the Baja Ha Ha that I just did. I have had Alpha look at it three times and still it works for awhile and then it just stops. I'm ready to buy something new but don't know what yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by defjef View Post
I have had an Alpha 3000 installed for 22 yrs or is it 23???

I have sailed 10's of thousands of miles, most offshore from NE to Caribe. I hardly every manually helm the boat, only to come alongside a dock and pick up a mooring and perhaps in a narrow channel or when the conditons are glorious for hand steering.

I don't care for smart pilots which take instructions for other instruments. I like to insert myself into that process and set the course. I think it's more prudent and keeps me more engaged with my progress.

I have no complaints with the performance of the 3000 and highly recommend it for boats of similar displacement.

I don't need the smart pilot but I would like something with an electric clutch the Morse cable can be a real PITA when aligning the tiller arm with the control arm.

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Thanks, defjef ,
I am not looking for a smart pilot either, and was very happy with the 3000 till it developed a mind of its own. And I am guessing it is probably repairable. But after 27 years of service, and getting the boat ready for offshore cruising, I thing the puppy has led a long useful life and deserves retirement.

Mike
s/v Fair Wind

I am very interested to hear what you come up with b/c I will be replacing mine soon.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:03   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Thea View Post
Hi Mike,

I replaced my alpha 3000 on my Stevens 47 with a Raymarine SmartPilot X30/ST70. Still using the alpha elec drive for now. Haven't used it a lot but very happy with it so far.

Doug
Hi Doug:

Could you please clairify for me are you using a comvonation of the two autopilots or do you have both a Raymarine and an Alpha installed.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:03   #26
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I have a alpha drive unit i want to use on my boat but I am lacking the clutch part that mounts on the rudder shaft. I can get one from Alpha but they are kinda proud of these things and I am a cheap bastard lol. So if anyone is removing there old unit let me know i might like to buy some of the old parts from you.

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Old 04-12-2009, 12:29   #27
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I believe you are talking about both the tiller arm and clutch assembly. If you are looking for a used one you need to know whether or not it will fit your rudder post.
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Old 04-12-2009, 13:03   #28
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Replaced my autopilot with a Comnav , Solid unit used by commercial vessels here in the PNW. Also sold by SiTex under their label. NEMA linked into my standard plotter. Can be used with a linier drive or hydraulic. I see Raymarine is having financial trouble.
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Old 04-12-2009, 13:17   #29
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Maggie-K,
Looked at the link and it appears the Si-Tex unit is only for hydraulic systems and I have the conventional chain/cable set up. Where did you see the linear drive unit?

Mike
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Old 04-12-2009, 23:08   #30
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When you have chain/cable steering, a hydraulic drive AP is the best option (it always is the best option) because you get another way to control the rudder in case the cable or chain breaks. It just means that besides a motor/pump, you also need a reservoir and ram and some hoses.

You guys should really look at the Simrad/Robertson pilots, or the new Furuno's get good press too.

cheers,
Nick.
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