The unit was installed by Raymarine
certified installers including a rudder
position indicator. The leg where I experienced poor performance was about 3.5 hours, with the wind
and chop gradually building over the first 1.5 hours. So plenty of time for it to learn the conditions.
The point of sail was maybe 30-40 degrees to the wave face, with wind
gusting to 21-22 kts true, and sustained 19-20kts, at about 50-60 degrees AWA, one mainsail
reef and a 140% roller furled to maybe 110%. So not the best airfoils and probably could have reefed more. Boat is 37 LOA
, 32 LWL, 11.5 beam, 20,000 lbs, with 250' of chain in the bow.
The course was held most of the time, but after a lot of wheel
action with the boat heading up in a gust and cresting a wave, it would be slow to correct as the bow then fell off to leeward some 30-40 degrees over about 4 seconds, and then it would correct back up to course, and do ok until it happened again.
I would take it off auto occasionally to gauge the weather helm
by feel, and it did not feel really excessive for these conditions. Also, while hand steering
I was able to busily correct ahead of time before the bow fell off too much, and keep from veering to leeward like the pilot was doing.
I only have about 400 miles on the new Evo so far and except for this one leg where I had high expectations, the conditions have been moderate at 10-15kts, mostly motor
sailing, and easy for the Wheelpilot
or Evo to handle.
I do like the relative silence of the Evo compared to the squeaky belt driven Wheelpilot
, and I share your expectations that it will prove robust over time. But then so has my Wheelpilot.
I will discuss this with my installers and Raymarine
. And read comments and advice here.