Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 22-11-2010, 11:37   #46
Vendor
 
witzgall's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Boat: Camper Nicholson 44 Ketch
Posts: 1,773
below deck autopilot for bluewater

Our pretorien came with both a Sailomat windvane and a Raymarine wheel pilot. The previous owner thought the same thing, that by having a good windvane, they could spend less on the autopilot.

While crossing the Atlantic, they found that the windvane wind paddle was somehow being interfered by the solar panel, which is high up above the bimini. He did not want to perform surgery on the paddle mid ocean, so they switched to the autopilot. It did not last the rest of the way to the Azores.

He fashioned a smaller paddle once in port, so the problem is solved, and might have been solved before they left if they had experienced those conditions, but hey, they did not.

So while I was thinking along the same lines, I want to put a good below-decks autopilot in place, as it seems like having a reliable backup for the wind vane is important.


Chris


Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
An ideal situation would be a good windvane, and an electric A/P. In this situation you could save a few bucks by downsizing the E A/P, for windless days........i2f
__________________

__________________
witzgall is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22-11-2010, 12:19   #47
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShipShape View Post
............One thing no one has mentioned yet is the power draw of an auto pilot, remember to consider that as part of your choice.
I should probably update. My original 1973 Benmar drive uses a 1/4hp motor to pump hydraulic fluid. In 1988 I "married" the drive to a Nexus control head. Anyway, I can't leave mine on long distance unless my wind generator, hanging in the often spoiled air in front of my mizzen, is really putting out. I'm sure not many are using a 37 year old autopilot, but mine is always spot-on excellent. We often cruise the Bahamas, though I agree the needs are the same elsewhere, and we always use the autohelm for at least occasional breaks, sail tending and raising the anchor single-handed, etc.
__________________

__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-11-2010, 15:38   #48
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
My helm center is marked and I can read how much helm is being applied... as in weather helm to keep the boat on coarse. What does a rudder angle indicator tell me that I can't tell by looking at the position of the CL of the rudder???
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-11-2010, 16:16   #49
Moderator Emeritus
 
hummingway's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Gabriola Island & Victoria, British Columbia
Boat: Cooper 416 Honeysuckle
Posts: 6,933
Images: 5
I have hydraulic steering and two helms. Marking centre does nothing useful so the gauge tells me where the rudder is ... sort of. Mine doesn't seem terrible accurate or responsive for some reason.
__________________
“We are the universe contemplating itself” - Carl Sagan

hummingway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-11-2010, 15:12   #50
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Evergreen Marina
Boat: Gulfstar 44cc
Posts: 89
Just finished 1000 miles of hand steering. Five guys in the crew. We all agree - Autopilot, don't leave home without one!
__________________
NCountry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-11-2010, 16:00   #51
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,263
Images: 12
My autopilot failed with with about a week to go on my last Bahamas cruise. Going solo with 30 knots of wind meant I couldn't leave the wheel for more than about 15 seconds at a time. Sailing all day that way, got very tiresome, very fast. I really can't imagine going into a cruise without one.
__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-11-2010, 16:29   #52
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nevada City. CA
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 3,745
Images: 9
RTB:

I think Brent Swain's book has a section on how to build your own windvane. After sailing my boat for four years w/o an AP I have a hardtime imagining sailing w/o one. The worst I had to do was 16 hours on the helm. It sucked and the weather was cold and miserable but I lived with it. An AP would have made that day easy.
__________________
Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
Charlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-11-2010, 16:30   #53
Sponsoring Vendor
 
The Boat Galley's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Now in Central Illinois
Boat: Formerly S/V Que Tal, Tayana 37
Posts: 74
There are ways to combine the wind vane and AP -- I've seen them on boats but honestly don't know all the details. We always said we'd look into it if our AP crapped out (we had a Monitor, hydraulic AP and wheel AP -- use the Monitor whenever we sailed, hydraulic AP if motoring).

Anyways, if you have a Monitor or other wind vane, it's possible to hook up a tiller pilot to where the wind blade goes when you're using it, and let the "vane system" do all the work. It's cheaper than having both, but you give up redundancy.
__________________
Carolyn Shearlock
Formerly S/V Que Tal, a Tayana 37
The Boat Galley
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
The Boat Galley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-11-2010, 16:58   #54
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,702
Images: 122
Like this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce smith View Post
$300 tiller pilot married to Monitor. Low power draw with lots of power to helm.
__________________
Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend, but the Kisses of the Enemy are Deceitful! ........
A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves!

Unprepared boaters, end up as floatsum!.......
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-11-2010, 17:00   #55
RTB
Registered User
 
RTB's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Home port Kemah, TX Currently in Brunswick Georgia
Boat: Hunter 36
Posts: 1,509
Images: 2
Thanks Charlie. I'll add the AP to my list. With only the wife and I, it will be tough to get along without one.

I only have 3 group 27 batteries in my house bank. I'm thinking that may not be enough, and not sure where I could add more.

The vane would solve that problem, but we want to add davits...sooo I need a bigger boat.
__________________
RTB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-11-2010, 17:09   #56
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTB View Post
With only the wife and I, it will be tough to get along without one.
The good news is that picking up an autopilot is a lot cheaper than picking up a second wife.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-11-2010, 17:13   #57
RTB
Registered User
 
RTB's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Home port Kemah, TX Currently in Brunswick Georgia
Boat: Hunter 36
Posts: 1,509
Images: 2
She never lets me drive now. I'm guessing that might change, huh?
__________________
RTB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-11-2010, 17:15   #58
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTB View Post
She never lets me drive now. I'm guessing that might change, huh?
Yeah, just as soon as she hears you want a bigger boat.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2010, 08:00   #59
Eternal Member
 
capt_douglas's Avatar

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Boat: Vancouver 36 cutter????
Posts: 620
Send a message via Skype™ to capt_douglas
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTB View Post
I would like to direct this to the Bahamas cruisers out there. Do you use your AP most of the time? Or would you be happy without one?
I sail either solo or doublehanded and find the AP well worth the power requirements, temperament, reliability problems and cost. The electric AP does well as does the wind vane. While wind vanes cost more and take time to install and setup properly, they are remarkably simple and very reliable. Having sailed for a week without the AP, I got pretty good at balancing the sails but never got the boat to sail herself.

As for the Bahamas, I use it a lot. I have a wired remote so I can sit on the bow and wind my way through coral heads, shallows/sand bores, and other thin water obstructions. In deeper water, I can fish, do my hourly navigation chores, or simply relax.

Being freed from the chore of steering in a real plus - something I miss a lot when I'm on land.
__________________
Capt. Douglas Abbott
USCG/MCA IV/M.I./C.I. 500-ton Oceans
capt_douglas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-11-2010, 09:51   #60
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,571
Images: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce smith View Post
$300 tiller pilot married to Monitor. Low power draw with lots of power to helm.
But is the bird a qualified helmsman?
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
autopilot

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
A Sail Is Always Important... Little Song The Sailor's Confessional 2 01-04-2010 15:37
A Not Very Important Question Chrisc Construction, Maintenance & Refit 5 29-09-2009 17:16
Autopilot: How Important? Jim Wilson Navigation 15 02-08-2009 00:31
How important is A/C for tropics Low Country Home Builder General Sailing Forum 31 05-06-2007 02:47
Important Discovery ! GordMay Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 3 30-06-2005 14:48



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:39.


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.