After over a month of trying to get the Raymarine
ST3000 auto-pilot (A/P)on my new-to-me boat to work, I believe she has taken on the persona of some high-maintenance women I used to know.
Background: When I bought my boat the PO stated the Raymarine ST3000 auto-pilot belt was always slipping and never seemed to work. After fixing his installation and getting the proper belt, I have good belt tension and grip. I recalibrated the compass. She was was working well under power to hold the boat into the wind when I set/reefed/stowed sails. Under sail, the rig was not balancing, so the more wind- the more effort required to hold a course and the more the A/P would slip. So I did not use the A/P for sailing. Yesterday I tweaked the genoa car location, and tighted the leech line to allow for an efficent set without a flapping leech. The rig balances such that marginal effort is required to hold a course. If you reef the main it is 100% balanced!
Current Issue: Making way undersail, I engaged the auto-pilot. After 10-15 minutes the auto-pilot felt the need to take a break (divas never work). When the A/P fails she gives off a solid beep tone (diva's always b!^ch). Unplugging the power supply and replugging it results in a resumption of the beep. After a 20-30 minute respite, the A/P will re-engage for another 10-15 minutes. I worked to eliminate possibile contributing factors, I confirmed that there was 12v in the house batteries. When the A/P engages, she seemed to over steer or "chase" a heading. I then decreased the rudder sensitivity in the set-up and increased the number of degrees it could be off-course before it errored out. While she seemed to do less heading chasing, she still felt the need for a break. As part of my sail I was practicing setting and shaking out reefs. I engaged the A/P so I could attach the cringle and pull in the reef line. About 90 seconds into her stint she then decided to drop out, fortunately it was a practice reef and conditions were benign .... If it was rough, things could have gone south real quick!
Any insight in how to get my diva to toe the line will be appreciated.