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Old 24-11-2010, 14:18   #61
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I have been following Jeanne Socrates blog ( Sailing Vessel Nereida - Welcome to my journeys ) and the problems she had/has with her autopilot. She lost her first boat because of an autopilot failure that took her onto the beach. After canceling her 2nd attempt at a solo (non stop) circumnavigation she has started her third attempt after sailing from England, east about to Victoria with several stops along the way. She has been struggling with her autopilot and wind vane for much of her trip and for all of her 3rd attempt.
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Old 24-11-2010, 14:54   #62
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Remember Abby's AP woes? Besides having an AP, you need spares and the knowledge of how to make repairs. Then there is keeping up with the power demands....

Thanks to all the posters. It has been an eye-opener for me, realising that pretty much every cruiser would not be without one. Now, what to do with all of the spare time I will have since I won't be steering the boat?
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Old 24-11-2010, 15:00   #63
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I would not be without one.

It does a lot better than I.
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Old 24-11-2010, 15:27   #64
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Thanks to all the posters. It has been an eye-opener for me, realising that pretty much every cruiser would not be without one. Now, what to do with all of the spare time I will have since I won't be steering the boat?
Why Ralph, you'll be fixing the a/p...

Jim
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Old 24-11-2010, 15:31   #65
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Can't blame the loss of a boat on AP failure. That is a looser move.
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Old 24-11-2010, 15:50   #66
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Why Ralph, you'll be fixing the a/p...

Jim
Funny, I was thinking the same thing.
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Old 24-11-2010, 17:51   #67
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I have sailed the Bahamas for 12 yrs and I wouldnt be without an AP. Yes you could get by, but If one of your crew gets sick it becomes more of a neccisity if sailing offshore. I will not leave home without my AP... 50,000 miles made comfortable by at least knowing I had an autopilot for rest or need for an alternate/replacement crew.
A
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Old 24-11-2010, 17:59   #68
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replacement crew

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I will not leave home without my AP... 50,000 miles made comfortable by at least knowing I had an autopilot for rest or need for an alternate/replacement crew.
A
Good point. There have been a few passages where I've been one of three or four crew where the conditions get stinky, everyone else gets seasick, and I'm suddenly singlehanding. Thank the gods for an autopilot at that point!
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Old 24-11-2010, 18:26   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
I have been following Jeanne Socrates blog ( Sailing Vessel Nereida - Welcome to my journeys ) and the problems she had/has with her autopilot. She lost her first boat because of an autopilot failure that took her onto the beach. After canceling her 2nd attempt at a solo (non stop) circumnavigation she has started her third attempt after sailing from England, east about to Victoria with several stops along the way. She has been struggling with her autopilot and wind vane for much of her trip and for all of her 3rd attempt.
I've read her report of losing her first boat and the fault was not the AP failing, rather it was sailing to close to shore and she went below and went to sleep. If you singlehandle DON'T GO BELOW TO SLEEP IF YOU ARE WITHIN 20 MILES OF THINGS THAT WILL SINK YOUR BOAT!!!

Whether an AP will work for you depends on the way you use it. . Several boats have been lost because an AP will not antiicipate contitions that will affect the performance of the boat fast enough. Going directly down the face of a 20 foot swell, an AP can not recover fast enough to keep your boat from broaching. An AP can't deal fast enough with a spinaker round down or a micro-burst round up.

Any and everything will fail on a boat sooner or later. AP's and windvanes are no exception.
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Old 24-11-2010, 18:39   #70
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My next logical question would be....

What to buy? There are big boats, small boats, lightweight, heavy, different designs. These are the specs on my Hunter - HunterOwners.com

Is there one brand that shines, that has a bullet-proof reputation? Any to steer well clear of? I'm not looking for bells and whistles, just something that does a good job of holding a course.
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Old 24-11-2010, 19:58   #71
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My next logical question would be....

What to buy? There are big boats, small boats, lightweight, heavy, different designs. These are the specs on my Hunter - HunterOwners.com
Always upgrade one or even two sizes from the recommendations of the manufacturer. It seems they want to sell you parts too.
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Old 24-11-2010, 20:06   #72
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Yes, I've heard it is better to go bigger. What do you mean about them wanting to sell you parts? I guess parts related to the installation?
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Old 24-11-2010, 20:12   #73
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If they sell you only what you need in size. You will be buying parts to replace the overworked, and worn ones. Get one that will handle a battleship........i2f
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Old 24-11-2010, 20:26   #74
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I use my Raymarine wheelpilot 99% of the time,putting 5000 miles on it (4000 offshore),in the last 2 years,it has never failed me.I carry a spare drive unit just in case.A windvane would be nice,but useless when motoring,(probably 50% of the time).If you treat them gently the AP will give many miles of trouble free use.The only time I hand steer is in or out of harbour,or in extreme conditions(5% of the time).An underdeck unit would be nice in a heavy boat if you can spare the extra juice required to keep it going.Of course a well balanced boat is also essential.
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Old 24-11-2010, 21:29   #75
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I use my Raymarine wheelpilot 99% of the time,putting 5000 miles on it (4000 offshore),in the last 2 years,it has never failed me.
Which model do you have?
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