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Old 10-06-2014, 13:58   #16
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Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

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I like the OP only need a system that will keep a heading that I set, not a unit that will follow waypoints from a plotter or do fishing patterns the Si-Tex units hit these requirements at a modest price and have great customer support to boot.
They can be a pain in the butt where there are currents and obstacles. Might as well steer by hand in those situations.
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Old 10-06-2014, 14:04   #17
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Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

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Originally Posted by River Cruiser View Post
A a/p is also on my list of additions in the near future. Si-Tex is at the top my short list, I have their MDS radar and a couple of displays that are durable, work very well are simple enough that a very low tech person like myself can mount, wire and use. I like the OP only need a system that will keep a heading that I set, not a unit that will follow waypoints from a plotter or do fishing patterns the Si-Tex units hit these requirements at a modest price and have great customer support to boot. I will never buy Garmin gear because after having a perfectly good plotter they no longer supported with maps, that's when I went to Si-Tex and Standard Horizon electronics who use Jeppenson c-map nt chart cards and have for several years as far as I can tell. I just bought a new SH cp590 plotter for the lower helm because it will support my Si-tex radar and Jeppenson charts that I have.
Sci-Tex autopilots are only for power boats (which you have), and only for up to 32' (so yours may be a bit large for it).

Mark
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Old 10-06-2014, 14:41   #18
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Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
the CPT is not strong enough to drive the boat in heavy weather
beg to differ. i've never been in a truly serious storm but i've been in some pretty heavy weather for two days at a time, and the CPT steered flawlessly - i never even made an adjustment. this on a 37' full keel heavy cruiser, so it already has some inborn directional stability.

it's entirely true that there will be some circumstances where the CPT will have trouble steering, but i'll bet that just about every autopilot out there has it's own limitations.

by the way, has anybody noticed that the OP has a cal 28?
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Old 10-06-2014, 14:45   #19
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Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I have heard another CPT owner also say it doesn't have enough power. Worked OK in mild conditions but when the wind and seas picked up the CPT couldn't do the job. To be fair he has a fairly heavy boat with a large, unbalanced rudder that does take a bit of work.
please see my above post. my boat weighs 20,000lbs dry, maybe 22,000 cruising weight. it has a large skeg mounted unbalanced rudder. after ten years of use i've never had a problem with it.
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Old 10-06-2014, 15:03   #20
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Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
please see my above post. my boat weighs 20,000lbs dry, maybe 22,000 cruising weight. it has a large skeg mounted unbalanced rudder. after ten years of use i've never had a problem with it.
The person I was referring to has a 424 Pearson. Not much heavier than your CSY but a bit longer (boy they built those CSYs solid ). It is the same hull as mine and I can confirm that in some conditions it has a pretty heavy helm.

In the last 2-3 years he has singlehanded with a CPT from FL to Panama and FL to the Windwards and back. Last time I heard from him he reported that in heavy weather the CPT could not keep his boat on course on some points of sail (probably downwind). He's a pretty experienced sailor so don't think it was because he couldn't trim the sails right.

He's just back from his last trip and I'll ask him if he has anything new or different to report.

So not saying the CPT isn't a good pilot. Overall he loves it but for his particular setup it may not be quite enough when the weather gets bad.
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Old 10-06-2014, 15:25   #21
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Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

The OP may have a tiller-steered boat. If so, that would negate the CPT as a contender.

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Old 10-06-2014, 17:54   #22
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Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

I was on the same boat, sorry had to say it, and I was really not keen on buying another commercially produced one.
I ended up building my own, with lots of help from the original developer, using open source Ardurino micro controllers

$350 for the build and I can repair it!

The first picture is of the main controller, the second is the remote for the cockpit.

It works with or without rudder position, and is stable in both.

The video is off my first sea trial, before the cockpit remote was developed.

Currently there are three modes of operation, Compass, GPS, and Manual knob input, with wind mode is in development.

There is a small crowd of us from around the world, sharing our build experiences, so there is always good input a support.

Not the prettiest but for the money and experience......Priceless.

Cheers
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Old 10-06-2014, 19:32   #23
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Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

Personally for bang for buck, I think Raymarine new EVOs APs are state of the art.

As for engineering , see Panbos latest blog on Raymarine. Pretty impressive test systems.

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Old 10-06-2014, 20:02   #24
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Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
The OP may have a tiller-steered boat. If so, that would negate the CPT as a contender.

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Old 10-06-2014, 20:48   #25
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Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Sci-Tex autopilots are only for power boats (which you have), and only for up to 32' (so yours may be a bit large for it).



Mark

The SP70 is the unit that was recommended to me by a Si-Tex tech, say that real quick 3 times. It good for up to a 60' boat and I think they also make units for sailboats.

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Old 10-06-2014, 21:21   #26
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pirate Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
... by the way, has anybody noticed that the OP has a cal 28?
I did. I noticed it years ago.

I cringe at how some of you read the first line of a post and jump right on in, reading no more, caring even less; rarely correct but never in doubt.
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Old 10-06-2014, 21:32   #27
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Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
The person I was referring to has a 424 Pearson. Last time I heard from him he reported that in heavy weather the CPT could not keep his boat on course on some points of sail (probably downwind). He's a pretty experienced sailor so don't think it was because he couldn't trim the sails right.

So not saying the CPT isn't a good pilot. Overall he loves it but for his particular setup it may not be quite enough when the weather gets bad.
i think any particular autopilot may have problems on any particular boat due to many factors like hull shape, keel, rudder, wind force and direction, swell height and direction, etc etc etc....

i've never had a problem with my CPT but i've also not made any extreme demands on it either. your friend seems to have a lot more open ocean time than i do so i'll defer to his experience. i sure would like to hear what he has to say about the CPT overall, if you can relay that to me someday.
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Old 11-06-2014, 05:56   #28
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Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

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Originally Posted by River Cruiser View Post
The SP70 is the unit that was recommended to me by a Si-Tex tech, say that real quick 3 times. It good for up to a 60' boat and I think they also make units for sailboats.
Yes, the computer and control head is not the issue - they can be used with any boat, although some are specialized for specific characteristics. The problem is that SciTex only makes a small, weak cable-driven drive unit which is only good for small power boats. You would have to buy someone else's drive unit if you had a sailboat or larger power boat.

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Old 11-06-2014, 12:08   #29
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Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

There are some considerations with the way polar moments of inertia are reflected thru gear trains that makes driving from the wheel generally a lower power option. On a reasonably balanced boat a good portion of the AP power consumed is just overcoming the inertia of the steering/ rudder system.

I have a 32 Island Packet with the old thru the legs steering system. On the rear end of the steering shaft is a sprocket and chain drive set up. The drive unit is a Benmar Standard Power unit with a manual clutch. Tossed the Benmar electronics and drive directly with a Raymarine 5000+ control head. The motor circuit is fused at 5 amps. Never sailed through a storm, but have sailed in weather where I was wishing I was back at the dock. Never blown a fuse and the little power pulses when the unit drives barely move the ammeter. Manual clutch also helps on the power usage. 1 amp clutch current is 24AH per day on a long trip.

Just my $.02 worth for free.
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Old 11-06-2014, 13:09   #30
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Re: Otto Died, Need a New Autopilot

To clarify the electric clutches on most units, 1A is a rating, but rarely draws that much. Many of the units activate the clutches with 12V, but once engaged they drop back down to 9V. Once the electromagnet is powered, the current is lowered.

For example, both of ours are rated 1A, but I only measure 0.3A when activated.

In contrast, a mechanical clutch uses no power at all, but can be massively inconvenient to use on many boats due to design and size.

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