Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 14-01-2016, 08:50   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ferndale WA
Boat: Endurance 35 Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 107
Autopilot recomendations

I have an Endurance 35, new to me, we just moved it up from Seattle to Blaine Harbor this week. It is a 11 ton Pilot house cutter, It has two wheels, connected with cables to the Quadrant. I would appreciate your thoughts and recommendations about Autopilots I might install. I think it would be very easy to connect directly to the tiller post, or quadrant with a drive unit. Ideally:
  • We want to keep it simple and economical.
  • We are not interested in anything but sailing to a compass heading.
  • we need to have a remote so a single hander could make adjustments while on the foredeck.
  • It has to be easy to disconnect the autopilot from either wheel, which is why I don't think I want a wheel pilot.
I am looking forward to reading your response.
__________________

__________________
AZ-Oldguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-01-2016, 09:01   #2
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,755
Re: Autopilot recomendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ-Oldguy View Post
I would appreciate your thoughts and recommendations about Autopilots
What sort of sailing do you plan to do? The question has to do with durability and parts/service. If you plan to do long distance, or out of parts range, the answer is somewhat different than if you are going to do sailing well within fedex range. From what you say I presume you are not going to be racing or even 'performance sailing', which would also take you to a different answer.

But let me just assume local sailing . . . . . you have Raymarine and Furuno and Garmin and simrad as the main choices. They are honestly pretty much similar and will all fulfill the basic requirements you outlined. Reliability here has rather more to do with correct installation than the brand. Ray is (I believe) the market leader and does a competent job and a reasonable price (given it and the others are 'yacht priced'). Furuno probably tends to fit your described needs better than the others - simple, fewer bells and whistles and may be more reliable (but again that depends more on installation).

I will note that wheel pilots are usually MUCH less expensive/complicated to install.
__________________

__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-01-2016, 09:04   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Victoria BC
Boat: 1980 Hunter 36
Posts: 678
Re: Autopilot recomendations

What kind of sailing do you think you'll do? Coastal stuff where you can run into an anchorage if a storm blows up, or long passages where you'll be reliant on the autopilot in all weathers?

edit: beaten, that'll teach me to be slow
__________________
S/V Gudgeon
www.gudgeonblog.ca
alctel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-01-2016, 09:13   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
Re: Autopilot recomendations

You'll get lots of opinions... I have 99.0% of my experience with an Alpha 3000... 28 years of it!

It's a robust pilot... drives the rudder post with a link "arm" which YOU engage or disengage...from a location near the helm... no drag on the manual steering at all... It does NOT accept GPS input... It has an easy to set course compass dial...intuitive....large... no electronic displays to try to read in poor conditions... it also has various settings which limit yaw and will make more of less course corrections (use more or less power and steer presumably straighter.)

I find the pilot excellent and the service the same. I had over the 24 years... a ram burn out and it caused problems in the control head board... They replaced both... spendy but quickly and with upgraded and improved performance.

My boat is 8 tons and a fin keel with a full skegged rudder. The install is only tricky in the mounting of the ram... you want to get that perpendicular to the rudder post and with clearance to fully extend. Make sure nothing magnetic is near the included fluxgate compass... That will screw things up!
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-01-2016, 09:51   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Autopilot recomendations

The Alpha isn't going to meet most of your requirements because of the dual helm situation.

I think you should just put aside the point about wanting an AP that only steers to compass - almost all of them have complete integration capabilities, but you don't have to use it, and can just have them steer to compass.

What you will want is an nmea2000 system that will allow you to easily connect multiple control heads to the same AP at your separate helms. I believe all of the main player AP's will allow this.

Simrad/B&G have a relatively inexpensive pilot control pad that would work well at a secondary helm and save you a few bucks. Others may also have similar.

I don't quite understand what you mean by wanting the ability to remove the AP from the wheel. When not engaged, a below deck pilot just goes along for the ride and has minimal, if any, drag on the system (how much will depend on the specific drive unit). Even the ones with the most drag are not an impediment to steering.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-01-2016, 09:59   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Autopilot recomendations

Wait, you said you need the ability to control the AP from the fore deck, and I was thinking the second helm.

If you really did mean the fore deck (and I can't see why this would be necessary), then you need an AP that allows a wireless remote. Simrad/B&G has one, but I don't know about others.

I would be interested to know which situations necessitate remotely controlling a compass-only AP from the fore deck. I have no qualms with it, just curious given your other more agricultural requirements of simple and inexpensive.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2016, 07:59   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ferndale WA
Boat: Endurance 35 Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 107
Re: Autopilot recomendations

Thanks so much for your replies, It has allowed me to step back and re-think some of my own priorities re Autopilot.

Mark, I was mainly thinking of not being tied to one wheel or the other, but also thought that when reefing, or dropping the main, having the ability to adjust my heading to keep it into the wind might be useful if the wind was not consistently from one direction, we need to be on the pilot house roof to reef. It is probably unlikely that I would actually need that.
But after reading all your replies, and looking at comparative costs of systems, we had a discussion here of why we need an Autopilot.

Estarzinger asked what kind of sailing. For the foreseeable future we are doing coastal cruising and Island hopping around the Pacific Northwest. Blaine harbor is right on the Canadian border between the San Juan Islands to the south and the Canadian Gulf Islands to the north. there are dozens of nice destinations, and we can venture further afield for over an hundred and fifty miles through the inside passage, or even to Alaska and it is still coastal cruising. Mostly we would want the Autopilot for short stretches while we hoist or douse sails, go below to take a break, etc, so it probably would not be a great burden to be tied to the main wheel in the cockpit to adjust, or change settings on the Autopilot. If we ever did go offshore, we would probably be looking at a wind vane for long stretches.

That being said we are thinking we probably could be quite happy with a wheel pilot. We are looking at one of these CPT Autopilot Inc..

Does anyone have any experience or thoughts about this? It looks like the whole system would cost about half or less of most of the systems that would connect to the rudder post or quadrant.

Glenn
__________________
AZ-Oldguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2016, 08:44   #8
Registered User
 
cortezsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Cortez Island BC
Boat: Corbin 39
Posts: 163
Re: Autopilot recomendations

Ill second the CPT . Its everything you asked for . Simple , easy to hook up , remove and only sails to compass heading. Using one on my Corbin39 and have had no complaints on it .
__________________
cortezsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2016, 08:57   #9
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,755
Re: Autopilot recomendations

The CPT is a nice simple unit. We had one on Silk, went half way round the world with it. Just buy, or have a machine shop make, a handful of spare shear pins.

Your part of the world is lovely cruising.
__________________

__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
autopilot, men

Thread Tools
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
Cushion Foam Recomendations heron237 Construction, Maintenance & Refit 5 29-04-2009 04:46
Marina Recomendations in PR astontz Marinas 3 14-12-2008 18:02
Recomendations for water storage Iain Provisioning: Food & Drink 14 10-02-2007 19:43
Recomendations for a good fuel/water separator heron237 Engines and Propulsion Systems 17 07-02-2007 01:22
Recomendations for a Surveyor Talbot General Sailing Forum 6 30-12-2006 15:13



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:39.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.