Have you selected a steering
system yet? If not, I would highly recommend the Whitlock Mamba system. It uses a torque-tube and a push-pull rod, eliminating cables
and hydraulics. In addition, the autopilot motor
bolts into the steering box. Use the autopilot electronics
from any of the manufacturers. In tens-of-thousands of miles on our 40,000-pound boat, we've never had an issue.
When we were sailing from Mexico
, the massive electric motor
on our autopilot got a real workout trying to keep Rutea
on course as she surfed down the trade
winds-generated waves. When I got to Hawaii
, I called PYI, who was the dealer for Whitlock at the time and inquired about a spare motor
. "You don't need one," the rep said, "We've never had one fail." "How much are they?" I asked. "TwentyTwo NinetyFive," said the rep from PYI. I told him something was wrong because I had seen the motor and I knew it cost more than $22.95. "No," he said, "You don't understand." I bought the motor anyway, installed the new one and have kept the original as a spare.
Fair winds and calm seas.