Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-03-2018, 09:21   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Cruising the Med
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45
Posts: 179
Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

Our cruising plans for this year are Italy to the UK via the Caribbean on our Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45. As we're looking at two ocean crossing I'd like to have a backup option for the autopilot (main is a Raymarine type 2 linear drive).

If we were planning a more offshore sailing I'd seriously look at a wind vane, but there are plenty other things eating into our budget already. The other options seem to be:

1) Take spares for each part of current system - simple, but pretty expensive
2) Sheet to wheel steering - presumably quite cheap, but not sure where to start with this
3) Separate complete wheel pilot kit - simple and fairly easy to install if needed. Still a bit pricey but could be sold when we finish our trip

Anything else to consider?
__________________

terah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2018, 21:16   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Coming to a Marina Near You
Boat: Hallberg-Rassy 49
Posts: 160
Re: Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

Raymarine EV-100 is sub $1500. But would likely take a full day, if not two, for most people to install and your boat is likely twice the max displacement of this pilot. Probably not the best idea.

If it were me and I were worried about it, I would buy backups for what I already have.

Ultimately, replacing like for like is going to be the most efficient, cost effective, and reliable option.

You could sell an unused type 2 linear drive fairly easily if you ended up not using it.
__________________

KeelMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2018, 05:40   #3
Registered User
 
SV Siren's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Allegan, Mi
Boat: 1968 Columbia 50
Posts: 292
Re: Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

Drake Paragon really seems to love his CPT autopilot(youtube him)...it is easy to install. I am not sure how easy it would be for your helm design, they seem to hold value pretty well, and don't seem to last long on the used market.

Side note: I plan on installing one on my boat as a primary. From what I understand they use a Bosch window wiper motor as the drive unit, so parts might be easily available. They are highly regarded by those that use one.
__________________
Fair winds from the crew of the S/V Siren.
SV Siren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2018, 05:56   #4
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 10,406
Images: 14
Re: Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

We have the EV100 wheel pilot. It's plastic and on a 31ft yacht coastal cruising a very nice piece of kit at a good price. However, 2 ocean crossings on a 45ft yacht? if you had to rely on it for a long down wind passage I think you would break it. In a mono its a F5 rolly downwind passage, that's lots of work for an AP.

So its a choice of something like the Hydrovane or a complete replacement RM system duplicating what you have now. Given the horrors of having to hand steer across an ocean I would make an investment of one of them with a view of selling on return, used or not. Both the Hydrovane or a complete RM system will fetch good money secondhand even if used. So yes expensive but there is a return at the end of the trip and the safety of a redundant system on board which probably equals the original investment.

Pete
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2018, 06:24   #5
Registered User
 
boat_alexandra's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: chesapeake bay
Boat: bristol 27
Posts: 3,346
Re: Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

I sailed hundreds of miles on my free software autopilot pypilot.

It cost $175, or openplotter kit is about $100. This has gyro and rate sensors, can be controlled from smartphone, or any tv remote, as well as opencpn plugin.

My motor uses 15 watts, but is averaging 1-2 watts on all courses in 15 knots of wind because most of the time it isn't moving.

I used windshield wiper motor from a car, it cost $25. I think you could use 2 motors for more power on displacement up to 15,000lbs. If the motor is not strong it will work in light air, complimenting a wind vane. It can still work in stronger wind up to a point, but will consume more power if it cannot make fast corrections, and the course will also be worse.

The motor should move rudder full range in 8 seconds, but preferably 5 second or less, and brushed dc motor will do. Old autohelm, simrad, raymarine, and even tillermaster drive units all tested with success. Next month I try hydraulic.
boat_alexandra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2018, 08:02   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Germany
Boat: Beneteau Sense 43
Posts: 102
Re: Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

Finished a one year cruise with two Atlantic crossings last year.

We did in fact encounter a problem with the autopilot: a bolt connecting the actuator of the linear drive to the rudder quadrant broke while on a shorter passage - luckily NOT on the actual ocean crossing but quite close before we wanted to leave. We were extremely lucky that it did not happen a week later.

Manual steering was still well, but the autopilot would not be able to drive the steering any longer due to this problem. So in this particular case only something attached to the steering wheel (or completely independent of the rudder, like a wind vane) would have saved us.

Spare parts for the auto pilot would not have helped us, what we needed was a 10 mm x 100 m stainless steel bolt and some opportunity to install it. I. e. nothing what can be done when actually sailing.

In the attached images you can see
- the place where the (missing) broken bolt was installed
- the bolt, neatly sheared off


We were able to adjust our itinerary to get back to a rigging shop in St Martin where we identified the problem and got it fixed by the mechanics there.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_5489.jpg
Views:	118
Size:	153.1 KB
ID:	168041   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_5495.jpg
Views:	107
Size:	417.3 KB
ID:	168042  

mbartosch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2018, 09:48   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Coming to a Marina Near You
Boat: Hallberg-Rassy 49
Posts: 160
Re: Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

The CPT autopilot is a great option. I didn't realize anyone was currently making these. They aren't fancy, they won't steer you through the marina but they will most certainly get you across an ocean RELIABLY!

I installed a handful of these in the late 90's and I know for a fact at least three of them are still in service.

CPT Autopilot
KeelMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2018, 19:22   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 4,546
Re: Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

With the wind vane option, if you get the right one and plan up front, you can arrange the vane to be driven by a inexpensive tiller pilot in addition to the wind. In that case you have bought 2 backups.
hpeer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2018, 19:27   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Coming to a Marina Near You
Boat: Hallberg-Rassy 49
Posts: 160
Re: Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
With the wind vane option, if you get the right one and plan up front, you can arrange the vane to be driven by a inexpensive tiller pilot in addition to the wind. In that case you have bought 2 backups.
Very true. With a wind vane you can steer a 40,000 pound boat with a Simrad TP10 using less than an amp. I know this because I do it. Well, actually we could use a TP10 but we use a TP22 for the Simnet integration.
KeelMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2018, 19:54   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5,487
Re: Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

We purchased a CPT for backup when we crossed the Atlantic and it was so quiet and used so little power all the while holding an excellent course that it became our primary ocean crossing pilot with our hydraulic RayMarine going backup duty.
It's a good way to go because these units can be installed in less than an hour without drilling any holes and are easily sold on the used market when your ocean crossings days are over.
A good friend used one to sail around the world. The little RayMarine unit has a motor around the same size as a standard flashlight battery..,they work fine for weekend coastal sailing but are not built for ocean crossings.
A windvane is also a good option but at much higher costs and more work on the installation.
robert sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2018, 21:20   #11
Marine Service Provider
 
Steadman Uhlich's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 6,007
Re: Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

Friendly Advice Regarding an Autopilot on Passages

1. Get an autopilot if you don't have one.

2. If you do have one, get a second one (or a windvane)

3. Make sure you have balanced your boat (sails) prior to turning on the autopilot, any autopilot, especially if you are in rough conditions, high seas, or sailing down wind on big seas. Do what you need to do to reduce weather helm, so the autopilot is not overworked.

4. Hand steering is fun for a while, but quickly tiring in rough conditions. With a small crew, it can be stressful and exhausting to hand steer hour after hour in high winds or rough seas or downwind.

5. Anticipate some breakage or failure of the autopilot. Have redundancy or parts.

6. A good, robust and reliable autopilot or windvane can be one of the most valuable pieces of equipment on a boat, if you are going long distances with a small crew.
______________

Since the CPT autopilot has been mentioned up above, here is a link to it and cost (as of 2017, it may have changed).

CPT
CPT Autopilot Inc.
Cost = $1895 for Kit
Steadman Uhlich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2018, 23:09   #12
Registered User
 
Ydunlop's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2015
Boat: Jeanneau 47
Posts: 8
Re: Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

Hi - I have installed a second pilot on my boat (Jeanneau 47) as we are leaving this month for a trip from the Philippines to Australia. I installed a bracket with two 10mm stainless wings on the rudder stock and connected a ram on each side. We have a B&G ram with a Type 3 B&G hydraulic ram with a NAC3 and a Raymarine Type 2 linear drive with itís own pilot computer. Both of them are not interconnected and independent of each other. I installed a switch to be able to switch from one system to the other without having to install anything - makes the process of switching over a 2 min job at sea.
I also carry some spare connecting bolts for both - having had a few shear in the past.
Ydunlop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2018, 02:37   #13
Registered User
 
Ydunlop's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2015
Boat: Jeanneau 47
Posts: 8
Re: Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ydunlop View Post
Hi - I have installed a second pilot on my boat (Jeanneau 47) as we are leaving this month for a trip from the Philippines to Australia. I installed a bracket with two 10mm stainless wings on the rudder stock and connected a ram on each side. We have a B&G ram with a Type 3 B&G hydraulic ram with a NAC3 and a Raymarine Type 2 linear drive with itís own pilot computer. Both of them are not interconnected and independent of each other. I installed a switch to be able to switch from one system to the other without having to install anything - makes the process of switching over a 2 min job at sea.
I also carry some spare connecting bolts for both - having had a few shear in the past.


Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0002.jpg
Views:	73
Size:	429.6 KB
ID:	168205
Ydunlop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2018, 03:14   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 4,546
Re: Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

Robert sailor

Agreed about the RM tolerate pilotsEXCEPT when driving a wind vane input they have near zero load and then the small motor is fine. And at the cost you can buy 3 as backups.
hpeer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2018, 05:04   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 4,546
Re: Autopilot backup options - wheel steering

Let’s try that again with speel check OFF:

Agreed about the RM tiller pilots EXCEPT when driving a wind vane input they have near zero load and then the small motor is fine. And at the cost you can buy 3 as backups.
__________________

hpeer is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
autopilot, steering, wheel

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Backup Autopilot Aha Boston Blackie Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 0 21-02-2018 18:55
Suggestions for backup to hydraulic steering (twin outboards) Kit_L Powered Boats 1 15-05-2017 02:29
Backup hydraulic autopilot pump thoughts? Beausoleil Construction, Maintenance & Refit 2 03-06-2016 09:26
Wireless Control as Backup for Autopilot? (Raymarine) myocean Marine Electronics 1 11-02-2013 17:33
converting tiller steering to wheel steering hooked on water Construction, Maintenance & Refit 4 09-04-2008 22:13



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:11.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.