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Old 15-11-2016, 12:06   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Massachusetts
Boat: Liberty, Pied Piper, 28'
Posts: 19
Noisy wheel pilot


I have a 28' Liberty Pied Piper under agreement.
8400 lbs displacement
9' beam
4' draft
full keel
Edson cable steering

She currently has a Raymarine ST 6002 wheel pilot. During the sea trial, The pilot worked ok, but the noise it made was extremely distracting. Sailing is my way of getting away from the noise...

I am hoping I can get suggestions on what to do here. I am assuming I will need a below deck system?

Thanks in advance

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Old 15-11-2016, 12:25   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 7,885
Re: Noisy wheel pilot

You can turn down the gain so the pilot works a lot less. The rapidity of finding any new course will be drastically reduced, but so will the noise. When we're in close quarters I set my gain high, when out at sea to the lowest.

That's a good start and a lot less expensive than a below decks pilot.

If the noise still bothers you?

Your boat, your choice.

Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
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Old 15-11-2016, 12:49   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Boat: Coast 34
Posts: 175
Re: Noisy wheel pilot

If you are thinking new autopilot, check out the CPT wheel pilot. We have one and it is so quiet we have to look at it to see if it is still running. Does a good job, too.
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Old 15-11-2016, 12:49   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 16,976
Re: Noisy wheel pilot


What part of it is making the noise? If it's the drive motor, taking it apart and cleaning and lubricating it will quiet it, somewhat. If the belt is slipping, you can try a bit of belt dressing on it, messy, but may stop slipping.

Try to change how you think about it, that the sound is the sound of it keeping course for you, making you free to do *whatever*. But mostly, you may want to helm the boat by hand, silent, and more efficient than any autopilot, though people are not as good course keepers as autopilots, steering by the compass is hard work to do well. You don't mention your experience level, but one thing you can do it pick an object on land to steer towards, that's easier than looking at the compass so much. At night, pick a star, and a new one every ten min or so. For me, the hardest, is when it's foggy, and you're at sea, at night. Hearing the whales blow, but not being able to see 'em, and just steering the boat, with your eyes and ears open wide....Mmmmm.

Upwind, you may be able to make the boat steer itself by trimming the sails so that she will. Some boats do this quite well, others, not so much.

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.

Jim and I are coming home to the boat.
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Old 15-11-2016, 12:58   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Now based on Florida's West coast
Boat: Pearson 34-II
Posts: 2,442
Images: 5
Re: Noisy wheel pilot

Flush the unit with water in the access hole on the assembly. Then, loosen the clutch assembly a couple of clicks. If that doesn't work, you can pull the face cover off the assembly and check for corrosion/breakage or blockage. In a worst case scenario, it could freeze completely as happened to me 150 miles from our destination. I had to remove the wheel and autopliot assembly, then remount the wheel and hand steer. My unit was shot after 13-14(?) years(not bad). In any case, if I liked the boat, it would have no bearing on the sale with the exception of a price adjustment. Good luck and safe sailing.
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathrustra
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Old 15-11-2016, 13:11   #6
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Location: Fiji Airways/ Lake Ontario
Boat: Want a B430!
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Re: Noisy wheel pilot

If you isolate the noise or tell us what it sounded like we may be able to offer a better solution. There are a number of elements in that unit that might cause "noise" and most of them can be reduced or eliminated.

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