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Old 19-12-2016, 10:35   #1
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Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

I have all the hardware I need to connect an Autohelm ST1000 to my Aries windvane. What I cannot figure out is how to program the ST1000. It is facing aft, so presumably set it for a reciprocal course. Will the autopilot understand that tipping the paddle on the windvane aft will cause the wheel to turn to port? If not, is there a way to program it to understand that?
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Old 19-12-2016, 11:23   #2
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Re: Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

If your auto pilot is one of the versions that learns it should have no problem. The only issue would be making sure that it attaches to the correct side of the air blade of the windvane if you attach it to the wrong side it will steer wrong way
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Old 19-12-2016, 11:45   #3
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Re: Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

The manual for my st2000 looks like it applies to the st2000 as well. If so there's a menu to change the operating sense, so if it steers the wrong way you should be able to change it.
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Old 19-12-2016, 12:00   #4
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pirate Re: Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

Would it not be better to disconnect the vane and connect directly to the rudder section.
Delivered a boat set up like that (broken vane) and it worked a treat.
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Old 19-12-2016, 13:51   #5
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Re: Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

Do you mean the autopilot was attach to the rudder's tiller or directly to the windvane oar?
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Old 19-12-2016, 13:58   #6
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pirate Re: Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

The windvane oar.. where the gearing is.. centred the rudder and let the TP and oar do the work..
Motored from Agua Dulce, Spain to the Thames Estuary like that.. the boat was a steel 30ftr that was unsailable.
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Old 19-12-2016, 14:13   #7
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Re: Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

It sounds like an auxiliary rudder rather than a servo-pendulum oar.
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Old 19-12-2016, 14:19   #8
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Re: Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

Using it connected to the vane and letting the vane steer the tiller greatly reduces the strain on the autopilot and adds a lot to their lifespan.
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Old 19-12-2016, 14:21   #9
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pirate Re: Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

Its 17+yrs ago but it sure looked like a windvane system to me.. without the vane.. same mounting sticking out at the stern with a narrow blade (maybe 9inches front to back) beneath the gearing.. no other fixing..
But hey.. what do I know..
Oh.. and the TP faced aft and worked with a pulley system of blocks and lines to the gearing.. the boat was a centre cockpit.. very little strain.. much less than a tiller would involve.
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Old 19-12-2016, 14:22   #10
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Re: Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

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Originally Posted by Bleemus View Post
Using it connected to the vane and letting the vane steer the tiller greatly reduces the strain on the autopilot and adds a lot to their lifespan.


I know. I'm trying to understand exactly what Boatman did.
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Old 19-12-2016, 14:37   #11
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pirate Re: Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

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I know. I'm trying to understand exactly what Boatman did.
Not my work.. it was set up by the owner who wanted it moved to the UK where he planned on modifying the mast & rig once it was in Galleons Reach..
Not a clue how long it took him to figure how to rig it.. just know it was very effective.. including running before a F7-8 E'ly as I passed Tarifa.
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Old 19-12-2016, 14:44   #12
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Re: Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

Ok. I'm always keen to hear new ways to skin a cat, not that the cat likes any of them.

Sounds like the details are lost in the mists of time as it were.
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Old 19-12-2016, 14:57   #13
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pirate Re: Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

Had a look at the Airies but its nothing like I remember.. so not a pendulum system..
I seem to recall teeth in the cog and pin points.. presumably to set and hold the vane to the wind direction.
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Old 19-12-2016, 15:30   #14
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Re: Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

The ST2000 manual describes how to change the pilot from a port to starboard set up, so presumably the ST1000 is the same. Probably a case of fit it and go play to see what happens. The tiller pilot doesn't know what direction the boat is moving in, only if the pilot unit moves off course from what has been set.

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Old 19-12-2016, 15:34   #15
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Re: Auto-tiller to windvane self-steering

Even if your model doesn't have a sense reversal option, there is a mechanical solution, turn the windvane head 180 so the pilot attaches on the other side.

The blade of the windvane is removed for use with an autopilot.
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