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Old 07-05-2019, 11:47   #1
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Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

For a sail boat, does it exist such thing as an autopilot that keeps the boat at constant angle with the wind direction?
(I am not referring do those bulky ancient rudders that mount on the back of the boat. More looking into a electronic input of the readings from the wind vane on top of the mast that would connect to a regular autopilot.)
If anyone could point in the right direction, that would be great thank you all "newbie here"

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:49   #2
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Re: Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

Yup most modern auto pilots can be set for wind angle or compass bearing. I like the wind angle for open sea . I have a Raymarine unit
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:52   #3
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Re: Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

This is a standard thing. Without this feature, I can't imagine using for sailing, just motoring. I would say I use wind mode 95% or more of the time.
11 year old Raymarine AP. You press both red buttons to put in "wind" mode. If it doesn't go into "wind" mode then something is missing (ie wind data).
Then it shows degrees to the wind in either port or starboard. IE, you set the AP to 50P it will keep the wind 50 degrees off the port bow.
Download and read any autopilot manual for more info.
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:55   #4
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Re: Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

Has the potential to chew through battery power, but it's just a mode setting in the AP.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:07   #5
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Re: Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

Wow, that is pretty cool. My autopilot is Raytheon ST4000+ and I am dont have a wind vane yet. I am considering to buy a Raymarine i60 with short arm wind vane (link below). Do you think it will work?
https://seatronic.no/elektronikk/ins...ard-mastegiver
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Old 07-05-2019, 16:22   #6
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Re: Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

My 24 year old ST4000 does that.
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Old 07-05-2019, 16:25   #7
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Re: Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

A real cool feature...... love my auto pilot.

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Old 07-05-2019, 22:59   #8
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Re: Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
My 24 year old ST4000 does that.
Ok, we have the same then Do you think if I buy a new Raymarine i60 pack with wind vane, will it "talk" to the ST4000+? (I am new at this, sorry)
The new raymarine i60 says: "interface with plug and share information using the NMEA 2000 and SeaTalk systems"

... and this is how it looks on the back of my very old Raytheon ST4000 AutoPilot: (see photo attached)
It does have one connection SeaTalk that is not in use. Is that it? will it work if I buy this Raymarine i60, wind?
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Old 07-05-2019, 23:48   #9
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Re: Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

Quote:
Originally Posted by zuzullo View Post
For a sail boat, does it exist such thing as an autopilot that keeps the boat at constant angle with the wind direction?
(I am not referring do those bulky ancient rudders that mount on the back of the boat. More looking into a electronic input of the readings from the wind vane on top of the mast that would connect to a regular autopilot.)
If anyone could point in the right direction, that would be great thank you all "newbie here"

Thanks in advance.
You’ve had the answer, but don’t forget that those “ancient rudder” contraptions aren’t replaced by an electronic autopilot. They have the advantage of being much more capable in ocean conditions, they use no power, they are usually more reliable, and the better ones give you a backup rudder. If I were making a long passage I would always pick a wind-driven autopilot over an electronic one, although obviously having both is the best solution.
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Old 08-05-2019, 02:06   #10
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Re: Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

The interface plug isn't cheap, you might be better off buying the older ST60+ wind instruments which would plug straight in. Still not cheap but simplier.

Are you using a RM wheel pilot on that boat? whilst quite light, it is a big boat. Are you planning on cruising offshore with it? or sticking to the Nordic / EU coasts?

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Old 08-05-2019, 03:32   #11
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Re: Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

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The interface plug isn't cheap, you might be better off buying the older ST60+ wind instruments which would plug straight in. Still not cheap but simplier. Pete
But both i60 and ST60+ uses SeaTalk, no?

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Are you using a RM wheel pilot on that boat? Pete
I am new at this, its a wheel, yes See photo attached.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
whilst quite light, it is a big boat. Are you planning on cruising offshore with it? or sticking to the Nordic / EU coasts?
Pete
I sail only on the shore of Norway and only on good days if I can. Having this setup is mostly for me to be able to hoist sales when I am sailing alone.
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Old 08-05-2019, 04:04   #12
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Re: Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

Ah, yes the i60 has Seatalk and a converter to connect to the more modern SeatalkNg (New generation) Raymarine network system. So you could go either way, ST60+ or i60 depending on the budget.

Your black wheel drive probably has brass gears in the motor gearbox which if in good condition are stronger than the plastic gears in the later Mk2 grey wheel drive. So worth keeping hold of, unless you want to sell it to me
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:24   #13
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Re: Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
Has the potential to chew through battery power, but it's just a mode setting in the AP.
Reduce the sensitivity to 1 as the default is 5 then drop the backlight from 100% to 1% and you will see a huge drop in the amp burn.

In fact you should reduce the backlight on all the instrument screens to reduce energy drain anyway.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:29   #14
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Re: Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

My Raymarine has it, and my previous 20 year old Raymarine had it. Use it a lot.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:36   #15
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Re: Autopilot with WIND instead of compass

SeaTalk is NMEA0183, SeaTalkng is NMEA2000.

Raymarine uses proprietary connectors for it's NMEA data. They have interfaces to convert, say NMEA2000 to NMEA0183. Dealers and techs use them to get other products to play nice with Garmin, B&G, Simrad, etc.

So it is possible to get functionality out of different Mfgs and protocols, though the new stuff is definitely slicker.
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