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Old 22-02-2017, 09:02   #1
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Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

I would like to hear from others who've tried one of these, it has the P 70 control head and the ACU 100 heading sensor.

My first comment is regarding the tiller drive unit, not sure what the model # is, but that simply failed to do the job. My boat is a 37 foot double ender well above the rated displacement for this drive unit, but I find it hard to believe it could steer anything bigger than a large dinghy. While it's engaged it only takes hand pressure to overpower the motor and then the center rudder setting is off, and it will yaw wildly. Even if it did steer reasonably well it is not robust enough to stand up to offshore sailing. After my first trial in light/moderate conditions it was clear that the drive unit was useless. That drive is now stowed away, probably permanently, an expensive mistake.

I ordered a tiller drive from Pelagic Autopilots and it is infinitely better. However I am still having issues with the P 70 control unit. When I alter by 10 degrees or more it wildly oversteers and then takes a few minutes and several yaws to settle onto the new course. It has three settings, Leisure, Cruising and Performance, Performance is the only one that steers my boat but not very well. It's supposed to be "intelligent" and adapt to the way the boat steers, but I see no evidence of that. In light winds and speeds of 3 knots or less it yaws wildly and then beeps when it fails to regain its course. Then it seems to reset where it thinks center rudder is, and will not steer to one side or the other.

On balance, I am very unimpressed with this autopilot. The drive unit is hopeless, but I'm hoping to get the control unit to work reasonably well. I'm wondering if anyone has had the same issues, and if there is a fix for it? Possibly a firware upgrade?
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Old 22-02-2017, 09:53   #2
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re: Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

In addition to the three settings (leisure, cruising, performance) there is another parameter that needs to set. It is the time (in seconds) for the drive to move the rudder from stop to stop (port to starboard).

The manual was pretty useless during the my set procedure. I just wandered through ALL the menu items.

For what it is worth, my unit (with wheel drive) steers my 8 ton boat flawlessly (haven't been offshore, however).

Steve
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Old 22-02-2017, 10:55   #3
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re: Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

Thanks for the reply, mine doesn't seem to have that parameter. There is a calibration procedure which I'll try doing again. How old is yours? If it has older firmware possibly I could roll mine back. This is not the first time I've been disappointed with a supposedly "smart" autopilot. I've found that speed of response is all that matters. People who think a machine can anticipate what rudder response is needed just don't understand that seas are chaotic, inherently unpredictable. Thats why servo rudder wind vanes work so well, they're fast and powerful, and dumb as.

Are you the Panope who does the anchor vids? If so, many thanks for those, too!
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Old 23-02-2017, 00:07   #4
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re: Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

Robert,

I bought my EV -100 in the summer of 2013.

Yep, I am the anchor video guy.

Steve
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Old 23-02-2017, 05:07   #5
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re: Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

After visiting Raymarines website I am not optimistic. There seem to be more than a few people with similar issues. People are finding they won't work in even light and moderate sea states.

Here is a typical response from Raymarine:

"The sea states which you are experiencing problems with may be exceeding the design for the Evolution autopilot, particularly for following seas.

There is very little you can do with an Evolution autopilot in way of adjustment. The only settings available to improve such performance would be Response, Rudder Damping and Vessel Hull type."

A lot of people seem to have problems like mine, and all Raymarine can offer is weasel words like the above.

Summing up: I strongly recommend not buying one of these. It might work on your boat and it might not, if not, tough luck. Too much money to gamble on something which may or may not work. The drive unit is a waste of money for sure. I'll keep trying to make the control unit work, maybe a recalibration will help but I deeply regret buying this unit.
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Old 23-02-2017, 05:30   #6
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re: Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

Have you updated the software to the latest version. The early software for this autopilot had what I considered a significant error which has been corrected in later software updates. The old autopilot I replaced would make a small course change (about 10 degrees) to reacquire the track if it got off track by more than .01nm and less than .1nm and make a 30 degree course change if more than .1nm off track. When I got the new autopilot it would make a 30 degree course change at .01nm which was way too much for 60ft off course and it would seriously overshoot the track going more than .01nm past the track on the other side and starting the process all over again. This has been corrected in in a software update. The unit now makes a 10 degree correction at .01nm
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Old 23-02-2017, 06:00   #7
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re: Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

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Have you updated the software to the latest version. The early software for this autopilot had what I considered a significant error which has been corrected in later software updates. The old autopilot I replaced would make a small course change (about 10 degrees) to reacquire the track if it got off track by more than .01nm and less than .1nm and make a 30 degree course change if more than .1nm off track. When I got the new autopilot it would make a 30 degree course change at .01nm which was way too much for 60ft off course and it would seriously overshoot the track going more than .01nm past the track on the other side and starting the process all over again. This has been corrected in in a software update. The unit now makes a 10 degree correction at .01nm
Thanks, but that is not the issue I'm having. I only use it to steer compass courses, I never steer to waypoints. I have two issues: the first is the build quality of the tiller drive. I replaced it with one from Pelagic after my first offshore sea trial in light sea conditions. It was simply not up to the job, and even if it was I'm quite sure it would not have lasted very long.

The other issue is with the controller, which does not seem to "adapt" to my boats steering characteristics at all. Raymarine just seems to put the blame on the user when they don't work.

The most annoying thing of all is that the Pelagic autopilot package is cheaper than the Raymarine. I'm probably going to end up replacing the control unit as well, meaning the ev 100 was a total waste of time and money.
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Old 23-02-2017, 06:06   #8
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re: Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

Are you saying you bought an autopilot for your boat, that raymarine suggests a max displacement of 6000kg, (typically a modern grip 34ft) and you are disappointed with its performance, and you are aware your boat has a displacement in excess of 6000kgs.
Why?
The evolution autopilots with the latest R4 software work pretty well from what I have seen.
Raymarine publishes the latest manuals with software updates and these have very comprehensive instructions.
Unfortunately I think you should have got a more expensive ev 200 sail for a boat the size of yours.

Regards

Ab
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Old 23-02-2017, 06:21   #9
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re: Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertLeask View Post
Thanks, but that is not the issue I'm having. I only use it to steer compass courses, I never steer to waypoints. I have two issues: the first is the build quality of the tiller drive. I replaced it with one from Pelagic after my first offshore sea trial in light sea conditions. It was simply not up to the job, and even if it was I'm quite sure it would not have lasted very long.

The other issue is with the controller, which does not seem to "adapt" to my boats steering characteristics at all. Raymarine just seems to put the blame on the user when they don't work.

The most annoying thing of all is that the Pelagic autopilot package is cheaper than the Raymarine. I'm probably going to end up replacing the control unit as well, meaning the ev 100 was a total waste of time and money.
I have hydraulic steering s the tiller drive is not an issue for me. After they fixed the course tracking problem I found that it steered much better than my old Raymarine autopilot that only referenced the fluxgate compass either in track mode or heading mode. Since these are the only two autopilots I have owned I can't speak to how they compare with other brands. I have used other brands on other people's boats but I don't have enough experience with them to compare them.

I notice that you said it seems to reset where it thinks the rudder is. Am I to assume you do not have the hardware rudder position indicator installed? I do have the hardware rudder position indicator. I also have a catamaran to my rudder effectiveness does not change because of heeling. The software may be capable of dealing with my boat, but not yours so comparing our results might not be valid. I would note that a following sea presents the greatest challenge to my unit, but it still does a much better job than the previous one.
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Old 23-02-2017, 06:26   #10
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re: Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

Yes, mea culpa on that. I knew the drive unit was not rated for a boat this size, but thought it should be adequate for motoring and light air sailing. It was not. The one made by Pelagic is, now my issue is with the controller. I don't think those are rated for boat length or displacement. Raymarine says they're for "medium" sized sailboats. If one of these works for you, good for you. My experience has been not so good.
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Old 23-02-2017, 06:37   #11
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re: Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertLeask View Post
Yes, mea culpa on that. I knew the drive unit was not rated for a boat this size, but thought it should be adequate for motoring and light air sailing. It was not. The one made by Pelagic is, now my issue is with the controller. I don't think those are rated for boat length or displacement. Raymarine says they're for "medium" sized sailboats. If one of these works for you, good for you. My experience has been not so good.
From what I have seen the primary difference in the various EV100-400 series is the capacity of the drive electronics. Larger boats require more electric power to the steering unit regardless of the type of drive. The EV100 is clearly sized for relatively light weight boats and each step up (200-400) has bigger output drivers (and much more expensive) to handle the requirements of larger boats. These output drivers are matched to the type of drive units sold with the autopilot. I'm sure you can buy a tiller drive rated at higher capacity than the one you have, but it will require more power. The problem is that your computer/driver is not rated for that much power. Your likely result is to burn out the the output electronics in your computer/drive unit.
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Old 23-02-2017, 06:40   #12
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re: Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

I notice that you said it seems to reset where it thinks the rudder is. Am I to assume you do not have the hardware rudder position indicator installed? I do have the hardware rudder position indicator. I also have a catamaran to my rudder effectiveness does not change because of heeling. The software may be capable of dealing with my boat, but not yours so comparing our results might not be valid. I would note that a following sea presents the greatest challenge to my unit, but it still does a much better job than the previous one.[/QUOTE]

My boat is a double ender with a barn door rudder, so a rudder followup is impractical. Thats one reason I got the ev 100., because Raymarine claims they work without one. I also have a new Simrad tillerpilot which I'm quite happy with, it seems to steer my boat just fine. I got it as a backup for the ev 100 but as it turned out, it will be my primary for offshore sailing until I resolve the issues with the ev 100, or replace it.
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Old 23-02-2017, 06:52   #13
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re: Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

Quote:
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From what I have seen the primary difference in the various EV100-400 series is the capacity of the drive electronics. Larger boats require more electric power to the steering unit regardless of the type of drive. The EV100 is clearly sized for relatively light weight boats and each step up (200-400) has bigger output drivers (and much more expensive) to handle the requirements of larger boats. These output drivers are matched to the type of drive units sold with the autopilot. I'm sure you can buy a tiller drive rated at higher capacity than the one you have, but it will require more power. The problem is that your computer/driver is not rated for that much power. Your likely result is to burn out the the output electronics in your computer/drive unit.
Not encouraging news. I'm coming to the conclusion that if your boat is at or above the rated displacement of 13500 lbs one of these won't work and it's your own damn fault for buying it. The odd thing is that I have an old Tillermaster which I went around the world with, it was also not rated for a boat this size but it did the job and took a lot of abuse. I guess a I made an expensive blunder.
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Old 23-02-2017, 07:26   #14
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re: Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

FWIW I had a problem that sounds quite similar to yours. Problem turned out to be reversed polarity on the rudder sensor. It was hard to diagnose because the learning function on the control head tried to compensate for the reversed signals it was getting from the rudder sensor. It worked - sort of - for small deviations but then would get too far to be able to come back. The fix was dead easy - reverse the two wires and voila. I was led to this by the raymarine help line who led me through a diagnostic procedure on the phone. It is easy to believe that your problems are somehow related to the rudder sensor
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Old 23-02-2017, 07:28   #15
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re: Raymarine EV 100 Tiller Pilot review

by the way, I have a 400 series computer for a 22K boat. You need the right size for your boat
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