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Old 09-08-2010, 13:30   #1
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Annoyed . . . Raymarine Autopilot

A while back, our Raymarine mechanical linear drive bit the dust. That's fine. It lasted for 20 years or so, and the failure was due to my error. Annoyance #1... no parts or support from Raymarine. So, the best option was to order a new drive. But they were generally not available. All backordered. But... found one on ebay. Score!! It arrived, and found the new design is not a 'drop in' replacement for the old units. On our old unit, the drive mount was in-line (parallel) with the drive. The new unit's mount is perpendicular. The pin for the quadrant is smaller and will require some machining to mate that up. Does Raymarine offer any retro kits??? No. Will the guts for the new unit fit in the old one (to use the same mounting system. Of course not. So, now.... a 75 mile sail across the Sea of Cortez to find a machine shop in Guaymas that can make a mounting plate and hopefully get the thing to fit. Who woulda thunk that a company would make a system that could retro into an older installation. Aaargh.

At least the weather's nice (no hurricanes.... yet) and we're only a day sail from a port with the resources needed to fix this thing up.
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Old 09-08-2010, 13:45   #2
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Things could be worse. Here it is in August and this morning I ALMOST built a fire in our woodstove.

I'd be back in Mexico in a heartbeat if only...but that's another thread.
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Old 09-08-2010, 14:17   #3
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Steve- good perspective. We're lucky enough to be cruising full time. My frustrations (which are relatively minor in the whole scope of things) are that: our autopilot doesn't work and it's going to be a hassle to get it fixed correctly; it's really hot and humid here; and I made the post just after climbing out of the lazarette.... which is just my 'favorite' place to work when it's hot and when I'm frustrated.

I think it's time to launch the kayak, take a cervesa along... and enjoy life
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Old 09-08-2010, 14:43   #4
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Hi Steve,

Sorry for the trouble you are having. I am sure you will find a solution. I am surprised at the difference in the mounting you found. I wouldn't have expected that myself. Are you sure you ordered the correct part? Your linear drive is either type 1 or type 2. Both have the same mounting mechanism. I have also seen linear drives that apparently are made for outboard tillers the mounting mechanism is completely different. Most people who sell (resell) these don't have a clue and unsuspecting consumers such as us who buy them end up with, in fact the wrong part, and have to go through hoops to make a remedy.

Post a picture if you can and we could try and help. Someone will see the picture and may have come across the same situation.

Also, I have sent you a private message with a question. Regards.
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Old 09-08-2010, 15:33   #5
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Hi msoneji- It's a type 2 mechanical linear drive... designed to be mounted below deck to a steering quadrant. Physically, the unit is the same size as the one we removed. Just the mounting system is different and the pin connection to the quadrant is a different size. Another annoyance: the threads on the end of the ram are different than the old unit... so I can't just interchange the ends. The solution to the mount is fairly straightforward. Just need to get a ss angled ("L") plate to mount the new unit. For the quadrant fitting: just need to find a machine shop to modify the new one.

When cruising full time... the fun is moving to a port where the services are available. At least sailing is involved in the solution. Yep... "cruising" is truley fixing ones boat in exotic places. But life is good....
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Old 09-08-2010, 15:44   #6
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I have decided RM does these changes to be sure you can not do upgrades by just replacing a piece instead buying a full system. I finally gave up with asking them anything about my old autopilot as they didn't seem to know anything about it. Couldn't even tell me the power output rating so I could look at getting someone else's drive after they told me none of theirs would work.
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:55   #7
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This morning, we DID build a fire in the woodstove...
I hope your drive problem is solved soon.
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