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Old 27-06-2012, 10:31   #1
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Location: Baltimore, MD
Boat: Cal 2-27
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Just hooked up my tiller pilot / auto pilot

Took a half day today. Hooked up my tiller pilot. Better than working. Going to go sailing and calibrate it after I get off this evening. I was on the boat in pinstripe slacks and a long sleeve dress shirt working against the clock.

lessons learned:
Do your own research when selecting wire, fuses and things like that. The guy at west marine told me that 12gauge would be ok to use. The book says to use 16 as the smallest wire and 14 as a better wire. By that rationale, 12 would be great, but the wire does not fit into the terminals. I had to go back to west marine to get 14 gauge wire this morning. Moral....figure it out on your own so you make less trips to the store and never, never, never forget to make your list....and if you make a list, don't forget to bring your list:-)
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Old 27-06-2012, 11:05   #2
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Location: Catskill Mountains when not cruising
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Re: Just hooked up my tiller pilot / auto pilot

What kind of boat do you have?

I put a tiller pilot on our boat last year and it's a joy.

I haven't tried steering for a GPS waypoint yet, though I do have it wired to accept NMEA input. Mostly I'm just happy to be able to hit the button and keep going in one direction, as I dash below to grab a chart, get some food, or whatever. Also to relieve that crick in my neck from sitting sideways but looking forward while hand-steering for hours. . . .

Hope yours works well!
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Old 27-06-2012, 11:15   #3
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Re: Just hooked up my tiller pilot / auto pilot

I have a Cal 27. It's my first boat. Always on my fathers/grandfathers boats in the past.

I got the raymarine tiller pilot. Hooked it up very simple. Only 2 wires. No gps hookup.

I chartered a 33' beneteau in the bvi a few months ago and it did not have autohelm. I wish I had it. I made the statement that I MUST get a tiller pilot on my boat.

Going to get the solar vent hooked up before the weekend and vent the composting head I just bought. Been very busy lately!

I can't wait to go out for my calibration celebration later this evening. It's going to be a nice sail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 27-06-2012, 14:55   #4
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Re: Just hooked up my tiller pilot / auto pilot

If it's the Raymarine ST1000+ it does take NMEA input, if you ever feel like wiring for it. I can't think of many situations where I would need that, though. Maybe a 15-hour crossing of the Bahamas Banks, though you can always steer a compass course for a few hours and if there's a lot of lateral current, reset your course periodically.

Have a great sail. It's a whole new world with a tiller pilot on board.
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Old 27-06-2012, 23:59   #5
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Re: Just hooked up my tiller pilot / auto pilot

"If it's the Raymarine ST1000+ " That's the one!

I just got back for the night. Getting ready for bed now. That might have been one of the most fun sails that I have had in a long, long time. You are right. It is in fact a whole new world! I sailed around to the Baltimore Inner Harbor tonight. Was a good time. Very calm out. Perfect for testing and calibration. I went below to quickly grab a water and did not have to ask ...can you take the tiller for a minute...

This is game changing. I am really looking forward to single handing more than ever before.
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