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Old 28-12-2015, 14:17   #1
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Boat: 1981 51' Formosa
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Autopilot recommendation

I have a 51' Formosa with hydraulic steering. I also have a Cetec Benmar course keeper 210 that I am getting rid of but wouldn't mind keeping the 12v hydraulic pump and possibly the hydraulic ram if either will save me money. Any suggestions?

Scott
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Old 31-12-2015, 21:33   #2
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Boat: Hudson Force 50 Center Cockpit
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Re: Autopilot recommendation

I have basically the same boat (Hudson Force 50), same autopilot and same hydraulic steering.
I am converting to B&G AC42 pilot computer, Airmar heading sensor and RF25 rudder position sensor and will try to wire it to the Cetek pump. Everything is installed except the electrical connection to the pump.
No reason to change ram.

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Old 31-12-2015, 22:22   #3
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Re: Autopilot recommendation

My boat has two hydraulic rams, does yours? Are you tying into the original ram/rams? When do you expect to wire the pump up? Also there are circuit boards inside the pump enclosure, are you able to eliminate these?

Thanks
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Old 01-01-2016, 23:51   #4
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Re: Autopilot recommendation

My boat is a center cockpit with one helm and one ram.
My single ram is controlled either by the wheel pump or autopilot pump.

I am not familiar with the reason you have two rams. If they are independent of each, i.e. one is run by the wheel pump and one for the autopilot, then there will be a bypass valve of some kind to allow the ram that is not doing the steering to be move freely.

If I don't get the pump wired tomorrow it will be a few weeks or more as I am pulling my masts on Friday and will have more pressing projects.
The circuit boards in the Cetek pump will be irrelevant. The output of the AC42 will drive the pump motor directly and the circuit boards will not even be powered.

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Old 03-01-2016, 00:52   #5
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Re: Autopilot recommendation

I disconnected the two wires on the motor of the Cetec Benmar power unit and wired the output of the AC42 directly to these terminals. All power was disconnected from the power unit so the only power for the motor came from the AC42.

I did the dockside commissioning of the auto pilot and all seemed to work fine. It will be a while before I can do any sea trial.

So to answer your original question, yes, it appears you can save some money and use you original pump.

The install of all the components, (AC42 autopilot computer, RF24 rudder position sensor and Airmar H2183 heading sensor) were very straight forward and didn't take a lot of time. Easily done in a day if you already have a NMEA2000 network to tap into and all the cables and wire on hand.
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