Our 44' , 20 ton cruiser had an Aries
, but no AP.
I installed a RM 2000 adapted to drive the Aries
. The force to drive the attachment was negligible. The rig worked well, until it didn't.
There is a bearing on the shaft that holds the force as rod goes in and out. Christ, I'm blocking on what it is called. Ah ha, found it. THRUST bearing! Anyway after a while, a couple of hundred hours, no more, the bearing gave out. The drive motor
is shockingly small, but worked. It was the mechanical bits that died, and jammed the gyro, intermittently, sending me all over the place. Very dangerous.
I'm in a kind of remote
place so it takes a bit to get parts
shipped there. And expensive.
Cutting to the chase...the replacement unit came with a bad gyro. The second replacement ALSO came with a bad gyro. I eventually scavenged the old gyro into the replacement unit and it worked. But I didn't get the cover on watertight and a night of heavy rain fried the circuit board. So I scavenged the circuit board and kept going, with a Baggie over the unit.
Once back home I sent all three units to RM, who repaired all three for no charge, but who would not take one back. So I now have three units.
I've recently installed a CPT wheel
pilot in the 44'er and will keep one tiller pilot as an emergency
back up to that.
The other two will go on our 33', 8 ton boat. Not sure how I will install them. It has an easily installed emergency
tiller that I might use. But also it has an auxiliary rudder vane that has a tiller attachment or I could use the AP instead of the vane for input. I'll work that out next year.