Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-10-2018, 06:03   #1
Registered User
 
thomm225's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hampton Roads
Boat: 1974 Bristol 27
Posts: 4,554
Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

My Raymarine ST2000 Tiller Autopilot Failed Yesterday. I've only had this autopilot for 6 months or so. The gearing failed. The shaft now moves freely now. I'm going to try and find my paperwork for a warranty repair, but in the meantime, can anyone recommend a better tiller autopilot?

I have used this one a lot in these past 6 months, but I thought it would last years

I still had another 20 miles or so to sail after the pilot failed and really didn't want to drive for 4 hours. After an hour. I tied off the tiller, adjusted the sails a bit, and my old full keel boat would track pretty good with only minor corrections every minute or so with the wind on her stern port quarter
__________________

thomm225 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2018, 06:23   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The boat - New Bern, NC, USA; Us - Kingsport, TN, USA
Boat: 1988 Pacific Seacraft 34
Posts: 552
Re: Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

We have had Simrad tillerpilots on our Pacific Seacraft 34 for 14 years. After changing the previous owner's installation to match Simrad's recommendations, we have had no problems with TP32 tillerpilots. It is however necessary to shade the black tillerpilot to keep it cool in the tropical sun.

Bill Murdoch
Irish Eyes to the Bahamas
__________________

wsmurdoch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2018, 06:27   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 6,523
Re: Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

Pelagic tiller pilots have a reputation of just working.

https://pelagicautopilot.com/
Sailmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2018, 06:30   #4
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: PORTUGAL
Posts: 22,267
Images: 2
pirate Re: Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

Well seeing as Raymarine and Simrad have gobbled up all the competition over the years like Plastimo and others..
Theres only one way to go..
Surprised you had that failure.. mine have lasted years..
Maybe working it to hard racing back n forth under full press..
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2018, 06:52   #5
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 10,498
Images: 14
Re: Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

I am also surprised, we inherited one with the yacht and used it for a decade even after fitting wheel steering. The tiller pilot being connected to a cut down tiller stub. It worked well for a decade even turning the wheel and we used it a lot. Sold it last Spring for more than I thought and the buyer was delighted. We now have the latest EVO 100 wheel pilot, but I do wonder if we should have kept it as an independent pilot just in case.

Clearly something wrong if it failed in six months, so would be worth investigating this before buying something else and then to have that fail. Was the wiring heavy duty and was the battery voltage good?

Pete
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2018, 06:52   #6
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: 4,599
Re: Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

I’ve had lousy luck with RM 2000 AP. The rubber bits inside disintegrate and fall into the “cup” holding the gyro and jam it. One failed within 24 hours of return from factory repair. I have 3 of these buggers and just bought a Peligic. I’ve nust received the Peligic and not used it yet but by weight and visual observation it’s Tonka vs. Caterpillar. No, not fair, actually Tonka is made of metal.

Failure history
1 Rubber thrust bearing (?) disintegrated after about 150 hours of use. Jammed gyro.
2 Brand new replacement with bad gyro out of box
3 second brand new replacement with bad gyro out of box
4 Repaired unit failed at about 80 hours when rubber 0 rings around stabilizer rods broke apart and jammed gyro.
5 Repaired unit failed after under 24 hours use. Not certain of failure mode, intermittent, but O rings and other parts were deteriorating and I found a small bit of rubber under the gyro.

The units we driving either a servo pendulum vane (nearly 0 force required) or driving the tiller on an aux rudder wind vane system with normal loads.

I have been able to disassemble, clean, and swap parts to make them work. If you don’t get them together just right they are subject to water intrusion. I’ve left off such failures.
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2018, 07:40   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2018
Boat: Aluminium Ketch 37ft 1956
Posts: 99
Re: Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

My boat is not within specs limits of an off-the-shelf Ray or Simrad tillerpilot. So I configured something myself. It's basically an ST4000+ boosted with an H-bridge amplifier and a type-1 linear motor from Ray. I sealed the type-1 to be watertight and it's above deck. It does the trick.


I'm dependent on it, I do not have a windvane and I've crossed the Atlantic with this setup.



(yeah I know, a windvane is safer, better, etc but my boat has the wrong ass for a windvane and the final decision was to go with an electric system and a backup electric system)
Standbly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2018, 07:49   #8
Registered User
 
boat_alexandra's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: chesapeake bay
Boat: bristol 27
Posts: 3,361
Re: Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
My Raymarine ST2000 Tiller Autopilot Failed Yesterday. I've only had this autopilot for 6 months or so. The gearing failed. The shaft now moves freely now. I'm going to try and find my paperwork for a warranty repair, but in the meantime, can anyone recommend a better tiller autopilot?
Usually these use belts not gears. Did a belt break? How exactly did it fail? Unfortunately they use non-standard belt gauge rather than the easy to find GT2. You could replace all the belts and pulleys with GT2.

I found a 14.4v cordless drill at a flea market for $1. From there, it has a 2 stage planetary gear and electric motor about the same size. The drill chuck can tighten directly onto the screw drive, and you end up with a more efficient unit.

Even more efficient is a windshield wiper motor as winch drive.

https://youtu.be/SbezaHPm_MU


These tiller pilot use obsolete technology (fluxgate compass) I don't recommend. It will use a lot more power and wear out fast and not steer as well. I also set the controller to soft-start the motor to reduce max torque and prevent failures like you describe.
Quote:
l boat would track pretty good with only minor corrections every minute or so with the wind on her stern port quarter
If you had used sheet to tiller, you would only make corrections when the wind speed changes.
boat_alexandra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2018, 09:11   #9
Registered User
 
thomm225's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hampton Roads
Boat: 1974 Bristol 27
Posts: 4,554
Re: Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
Usually these use belts not gears. Did a belt break? How exactly did it fail? Unfortunately they use non-standard belt gauge rather than the easy to find GT2. You could replace all the belts and pulleys with GT2.

I found a 14.4v cordless drill at a flea market for $1. From there, it has a 2 stage planetary gear and electric motor about the same size. The drill chuck can tighten directly onto the screw drive, and you end up with a more efficient unit.

Even more efficient is a windshield wiper motor as winch drive.

https://youtu.be/SbezaHPm_MU


These tiller pilot use obsolete technology (fluxgate compass) I don't recommend. It will use a lot more power and wear out fast and not steer as well. I also set the controller to soft-start the motor to reduce max torque and prevent failures like you describe.
If you had used sheet to tiller, you would only make corrections when the wind speed changes.
I haven't opened it yet. I was worried about voiding the warranty …..that is if I can find the paperwork showing I bought it.

I heard the thing making some really bad noises yesterday am and oiled the shaft hoping that would help but it failed an hour of so later. It was working hard with the wind and waves abeam and toward the stern. The day before also in pretty strong NE Winds in a similar way but opposite direction.

I may experiment with sheet to tiller but I liked the electric autopilot especially going out the creek which is when I raise sail etc while the autopilot drives. The same coming in and bringing the sails down

I'd actually like to have an Aries or Monitor Wind Vane Pilot but my outboard is in the way
thomm225 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2018, 09:12   #10
Registered User
 
thomm225's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hampton Roads
Boat: 1974 Bristol 27
Posts: 4,554
Re: Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

Thanks for all the replies.
thomm225 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2018, 09:19   #11
Registered User
 
Cruiser2B's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Norfolk
Boat: Westsail 32
Posts: 382
Re: Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

My SIMRAD TP32 has worked quite well over last few years.
Cant say I work it too hard , but it steers my westsail quite well
Cruiser2B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2018, 09:24   #12
Registered User
 
thomm225's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hampton Roads
Boat: 1974 Bristol 27
Posts: 4,554
Re: Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
I am also surprised, we inherited one with the yacht and used it for a decade even after fitting wheel steering. The tiller pilot being connected to a cut down tiller stub. It worked well for a decade even turning the wheel and we used it a lot. Sold it last Spring for more than I thought and the buyer was delighted. We now have the latest EVO 100 wheel pilot, but I do wonder if we should have kept it as an independent pilot just in case.

Clearly something wrong if it failed in six months, so would be worth investigating this before buying something else and then to have that fail. Was the wiring heavy duty and was the battery voltage good?

Pete
The boats wiring is good (but old) and the tiller pilot came with it's own plug and wire.

I also had a Simrad TP10 that lasted a few years before I blew it up wiring in a new plug. (one of those Oh Sh!t moments)

I had a Navico that came with the boat but I lost it overboard the first time I got caught in strong winds (24-29 knots for about four hours) I had to take the tiller from the autopilot rapidly because I had too much mainsail up and the wind was on the starboard stern quarter to stern and was trying to round the boat up. I think I flipped the pilot overboard when I took control. The plug wasn't screwed on. Funny thing was I kept looking over the side for the pilot!!

Battery voltage is anywhere from 13.5volts to 11.8 volts. All those pilots were hooked to the same wiring. Only the plugs were changed

I liked the Raymarine best though because it was easy to recalibrate from port to starboard position. The Navico was short enough that it didn't need to be moved
thomm225 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2018, 09:25   #13
Registered User
 
thomm225's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hampton Roads
Boat: 1974 Bristol 27
Posts: 4,554
Re: Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruiser2B View Post
My SIMRAD TP32 has worked quite well over last few years.
Cant say I work it too hard , but it steers my westsail quite well
Nice. My Simrad worked well until I blew it up, but it was a pain to recalibrate after a tack. It was too long to leave on one side all the time.
thomm225 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2018, 09:30   #14
Registered User
 
thomm225's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hampton Roads
Boat: 1974 Bristol 27
Posts: 4,554
Re: Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Well seeing as Raymarine and Simrad have gobbled up all the competition over the years like Plastimo and others..
Theres only one way to go..
Surprised you had that failure.. mine have lasted years..
Maybe working it to hard racing back n forth under full press..
No racing.

Just long sails in closely spaced, steep waves but you would think that pilot could have handled that.

I don't reef much though so maybe I'm putting a lot of pressure on the pilot to perform in all conditions. Still I would have thought it would be okay.

Windvane pilot would be better though I think
thomm225 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2018, 09:33   #15
Registered User
 
Cruiser2B's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Norfolk
Boat: Westsail 32
Posts: 382
Re: Good/Best Tiller Autopilot

Was going to recommend getting a windvane
__________________

Cruiser2B is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
autopilot

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
Good Food, Good Flavor, Good Value, Good Packaging Steadman Uhlich Provisioning: Food & Drink 23 10-08-2018 08:19
Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller? ccgarnaal Construction, Maintenance & Refit 18 29-09-2016 14:20
I'm a tiller guy, not a wheel guy. With a tiller, I felt I always had complete... Pipeline Multihull Sailboats 30 30-04-2016 10:24
Good Morning, Good Evening and Good Night bullitt774 Meets & Greets 10 30-08-2010 15:35
Need a Good Tiller Autopilot ddsailor25 Marine Electronics 1 06-05-2010 14:37



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:34.


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.