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Old 12-03-2014, 21:16   #1
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Autohelm 2000 Conversion

I have an Autohelm 2000 tiller pilot (which works fine) on my Santana 37 but I would like to upgrade to a newer control (while using my existing actuator) so that I can interface the autopilot with my ST60 instruments. Does anyone have experience doing this? Can I use a ST 6000 control? The Raymarine tech said that the closest matching control would be the 4000 but these seem to be rare and when found, expensive. Thanks for any advice.

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Old 13-03-2014, 13:50   #2
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Re: Autohelm 2000 Conversion

You can use a ST6000 control head, but will also need a course computer and compass. Note that some course computers also need a rudder reference to work properly. The ST4000+ would probably be the easiest solution as it is a combined control head and computer but again, you need to add a fluxgate compass . Yes, it is all $$$.

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Old 13-03-2014, 15:48   #3
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Re: Autohelm 2000 Conversion

Don't know how many hours you have used your 2000 drive on your Santana, but I have some doubt about its longevity on that size boat. The little recirculating ball "nut" that actually drives the shaft in and out is pretty small, even on the ST4000 that I have on this boat, and ours has failed twice now. We only use it in mild conditions (there is a larger pilot for stronger winds and seas, but it draws a lot of power), and still it has karked.

If this pilot is your primary means of self steering I would suggest a considerably more robust drive to go along with the new electronics.

Oh... in their usual non-cooperative way, Raymarine refuse to sell the replacement "nut" as a separate part. One must buy the whole drive unit. Grump.


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Old 13-03-2014, 16:18   #4
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Re: Autohelm 2000 Conversion

Thanks Jim.

I know that the 2000 is right at the edge of the recommendation. My boat weighs 15,000 lbs which is what Raymarine says is the upper range of the 2000. I have not had any problems so far but my boat steers very easily even in a seaway. My offshore work will be with a Hydrovane so the 2000 is mostly for inshore sailing where we don't get much weather (Puget Sound, Washington). I just would like to have it read the other instruments for wind. Maybe it isn't really worth it in the long run.

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Old 13-03-2014, 16:51   #5
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Re: Autohelm 2000 Conversion


I think your conclusion is very valid. You're dodging stuff anyway while in Puget Sound, so most ap steering is manual anyway.

Save some $$ and keep it, interfacing is over rated IMHO anyway. For that kind of sailing at least.

We sail the ocean and SF Bay with an ST3000 wheel pilot. Unless I was going further afield, I'd wait, and then buy a CPT. No interface, but much stronger for the wheel. You have a different issue with your tiller.
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