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Old 19-07-2010, 11:48   #1
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Raymarine SmartPilot X-5 Wheel Pilot Pedestal Pin Mod

Raymarine SmartPilot X-5 Wheel Pilot pedestal pin modification.

After following the manual, running cables, cutting holes, and "owning" the wheel pilot, I realized, the pin that mounts to the pedestal would not fit my standard edson pedestal. The curved piece of the pin mount was too big.

The raymarine rep said he had worked there for 10 years and only heard of one other guy with my problem. He actually suggested jb weld.

I came up with a simple solution. The photos should be clear to any other poor bastard such as myself who may be just starting to scratch his head looking for a solution. Hoping a few minutes here posting may save someone some time or at least offer a starting point for further evolution.

There's a cork gasket that you can't see to help grip and protect the pedestal. Local welder fabricated the assembly for $30. You can see where I had to cut away a corner to give the motor case some space.
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Old 20-07-2010, 07:26   #2
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Thanks for sharing that, blackcloud. Good stuff.
Welcome aboard the CF.

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 26-12-2010, 07:06   #3
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Now that you have installed it, how does it perform? What size boat? I'm thinking of getting one.
Capt Rags
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Old 26-12-2010, 07:48   #4
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Boat is a 45' C&C built by Whitby in '69. So it's longer than the recommended length, and quite a bit heavier than today's boats. But performed quite well on trip from Miami to Jamaica this past summer. Took quite a a bit of fiddling with the sensitivity setting to get it to track, but then no issues. That said, it did not work in 20' following swells in windward passage.. but then again how would it. For $1500, I'd do it again. Once seas picked up, I would hear the internal track skip.. and if it skipped more than a couple times, it was time to disengage. Probly a good idea to have spare track and motor cheap and easy as they are to replace. You'd have to rip thru quite a few before reaching the $5k entry point for a direct drive.
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Old 26-12-2010, 08:53   #5
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Raymarine SmartPilot X-5 Wheel Pilot defect ?

I purchased a Raymarine SmartPilot X-5 Wheel Pilot in July of 2009. After opening the box I found the cable socket was disconnected from the motor tube. It's a compression seal with an o-ring. I sent it back to the distributor and received a second one. A few days after installing it the same thing happened. I sent it back and received a third unit. This one lasted about a year until last month. I contacted Raymarine and asked if they had had many instances of this or if there had been any type of recall. He replied that he had heard of a couple of instances but no recall.

I'm wondering if there are any other cruisers out there who have experienced the same problem?

You can do an easy fix with a couple wraps of electrical tape but I think it's a terrible design component of an otherwise great product.
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Old 26-12-2010, 10:19   #6
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I've got a Pearson 35 which develops a very heavy weather helm as the boat speed nears hull speed. The motor will not handle the heavy load on the wheel in these conditons, get a motor stall disconnect. For that matter, I can't handle it either as you practically have to stand on the wheel to counteract the forces on the rudder.

In slower sailing conditions and powering it's worked flawlessly. Did a TransPac last summer and the autopilot steered under power for more than 72 hours straight without a complaint. Allso sailed for a short time under spinnaker with signficant confused following seas and it handled it well. Would expect the X5 would steer boats with a balanced rudder and correspondingly low loads without much of a problem. Really appreciated the ability to fine tune the pilot so it met a variety of sea conditions with aplomb.

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