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Old 19-02-2012, 13:32   #1
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Jefa Direct Drive for Autopilots

Does anyone on the forum have any real world experience with Jefa electric direct drives for autopilots, particularly their model DD2?

Manufacturer website
Vendor website

They look like viable alternatives to hydraulic rams, but there isn't a lot of independent feedback online. Simrad and Garmin are branding the model DD1 unit for boats up to about 40', but they aren't leveraging the larger DD2 and DD3 models.

I'm curious if anyone has gone to sea with one of these Jefa units. Are they as good or better than, say, a Simrad/Robertson HLD2000 hydraulic ram, which is 2/3 the cost?
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Old 19-02-2012, 13:59   #2
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Re: Jefa Direct Drive for autopilots

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Originally Posted by svHarbinger View Post
Does anyone on the forum have any real world experience with Jefa electric direct drives for autopilots, particularly their model DD2?

Manufacturer website
Vendor website

They look like viable alternatives to hydraulic rams, but there isn't a lot of independent feedback online. Simrad and Garmin are branding the model DD1 unit for boats up to about 40', but they aren't leveraging the larger DD2 and DD3 models.

I'm curious if anyone has gone to sea with one of these Jefa units. Are they as good or better than, say, a Simrad/Robertson HLD2000 hydraulic ram, which is 2/3 the cost?
Actually I just installed a DD112 (Simrad DD15) but haven't used it in anger yet - so I'd be very interested in feedback/opinions as well!
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Old 20-02-2012, 12:19   #3
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Re: Jefa Direct Drive for autopilots

I'd be really interested in feedback on these units as well. I'm having difficulty in deciding which drive would be the best fit. I *REALLY* like the very low power draw of the DD1. Also, I thought the Simrad DD15 was just the re-badged Jefa DD1. Are they different? My application is for a Cabo Rico 38. I'd rather not have to go through all the trouble of a hydraulic drive.
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Old 20-02-2012, 12:41   #4
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Re: Jefa Direct Drive for autopilots

I also started a Jefa thread, but have not received any feedback as of yet either!!

Rotary Drives, Raymarine VS Jefa
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:39   #5
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Re: Jefa Direct Drive for Autopilots

I have Jefa direct drive linked to S1 and ST6002. Works well, very powerful and when on standby no friction - releases fully.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:21   #6
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Re: Jefa Direct Drive for Autopilots

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I have Jefa direct drive linked to S1 and ST6002. Works well, very powerful and when on standby no friction - releases fully.
Stara, Which Jefa drive do you have and in what size/type of boat is it installed? I'm thinking about a Type I Jefa direct drive unit type I for my Cabo Rico 38. I'm hoping to hear from someone who has used this unit in a similar installation for offshore and ocean crossing use. Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2012, 13:12   #7
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Re: Jefa Direct Drive for Autopilots

Direct drive type 1, older version - fitted on a First 38.
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Old 18-08-2013, 08:27   #8
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Re: Jefa Direct Drive for Autopilots

I just ordered the JEFA DD3, for my Gulfstar50 to work with the SIMRAD AP28
and the AC42.
Hope my selection will be as good as I think it will be.
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Old 23-08-2013, 16:49   #9
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Re: Jefa Direct Drive for Autopilots

I installed one last year to mate with my Simrad AP28. Thus far it has been a very good system. (A hydrolic ram would not fit in my Bristol 35.5 without poking out of the starboard side of the hull on a hard turn to port.) Have only used it in medium weather, but has been a pleasure thus far.
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Old 23-08-2013, 17:35   #10
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I installed a Lewmar planetary gear motor with a Jefa direct drive connection in my Kanter 52' about 6 years ago. Boat displaces 60,000 lbs and has a huge rudder. Piloted the autopilot with a Simrad unit, large face, best at the time and coupled it with a blue tooth remote unit as I often single hand.

Ripped out a ray marine hydraulic unit with redundant rams, could hardly steer the boat. Was a real energy hog as well.
The direct drive unit with the electric motor steers the boat beautifully.... even in 60 knot winds!!!!!!! Much less maintenance with no hydraulics involved. Very energy efficient.

Direct drive unit attached directly to an arm on the rudder post, quadrant is not involved, no cables, no hydraulics, pretty bullet proof.

I really like the Simrad steering units, have used several of them. Steers excellently and will steer from compass, GPS or set angle off the wind. Will tack as well.

I also like the remote as it has a heading display and controls for the autopilot. If I am single handing and need to go on the foredeck to do something, I can control the boats heading.

Would never have another hydraulic autopilot on a boat.
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Old 23-08-2013, 17:36   #11
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Originally Posted by svHarbinger View Post
Does anyone on the forum have any real world experience with Jefa electric direct drives for autopilots,
Those drives are used in the Antares catamarans in which I have sailed from Buenos Aires to Trinidad and BVI to Bermuda. They are amazing, very reliable and use little power. I wish I had one of those instead of a Raymarine in my own boat.

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