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Old 07-11-2015, 20:20   #16
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Re: Repairing a type 2 mechanical linear autopilot drive in cabo

This time of year there are many people driving and flying from SoCal to Cabo or La Paz. Find one, have the parts shipped to them, have them bring the parts south. This is a very common procedure. Learning to find and receive help from friends you have not yet met is an important and wonderful part of cruising.

Use the local VHF net and ask who is going to San Diego or has friends coming down from SD

Downwind has a morning SSB net - contact them and find out who can bring the parts to you

Hand steer to La Paz and wait there. I spent parts of three years there and at least once a week someone was coming to La Paz from SD and the local VHF net would have an announcement "who needs things from SD - contact xxx after the net."

Several times a bunch of us in La Paz would rent a small truck and drive to SD for parts and stuff. We could make the drive in 26 hours each way. Once brought six Spade anchors to La Paz in a single load.
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:31   #17
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Re: Repairing a type 2 mechanical linear autopilot drive in cabo

Greetings from a long time Mexico Cruiser,
1. If you decide to have parts made in Mexico, I'd suggest you reach La Paz Cruisers' Supply in La Paz (Tom Brown). He's located at Marina Palmira and can direct you to competent machine shops in La Paz, of which there are several. You can reach him at bigleftturn@gmail.com/ Mx tel # 612-100-5203. BTW, you can EASILY catch a high speed bus from Cabo to La Paz, about a 3 hour trip, go to La Paz, meet with Tom and whomever he directs you to, and be back on a return bus the same day. As I recall the ticket price is about $20 each way, and it is very comfortable. Plus you get to see the beaches along the coast you just sailed by. And also in La Paz is a very good chandlery - Lopez Marine - that is the equivalent of West Marine. They could order the parts for you and you could pick them up there as another option.
2. If you decide to acquire the replacement parts from the US, it is easy to have them shipped to you in Cabo. The way to do it is to have the parts shipped to an Agent in San Diego, who will take the parts across the border, thru Adunana (Customs), and have the parts put on BajaPak. BajaPak is the equivalent of Fedex Ground in Mexico. The parts will come to the BajaPak office there in Cabo which is affiliated with the long distance bus terminal. The Cabo Marina folks will know where to go for your parts. There are a number of Agents who do this-I have used several, including Maxxum Export, 925 Hale Place, Chula Vista, CA 91914, tel 619-216-6125. They ship a lot of big stuff to various locations in Mexico. Their charge is $35.00-$50.00 for their service. They will calculate the Aduana (Duty) on your parts, and the BajaPak shipping fee and charge you all of that in one Invoice. BajaPak from Tijuana to Cabo is nominally 30 hours once the package is at the terminal in TJ.
3. There is probably a competent machining capability in Cabo. I'd suggest going to the Cabo Marina office and right in the parking lot where you probably had the HaHa final party, is a good chandlery that does lots of work of all types on power and sailboats. They would know who might be able to fabricate parts for you.
Hope this helps. I'm in El Salvador these days so can't help other than the above advice. Cheers, Bob & Sherry SV Nirvana
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:53   #18
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Re: Repairing a type 2 mechanical linear autopilot drive in cabo

Bob,

Serious candidate for the most helpful post on CF...

Bravo !
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:05   #19
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Re: Repairing a type 2 mechanical linear autopilot drive in cabo

Great info NirvanaBob, thank you so much for posting.

We'll likely head up to La Paz instead of across the sea to Mazatlan... baby steps... and a buddy says the fishing off the mainland is not very good. We caught a small dorado and yft on the way south and then got skunked the rest of the way, and I love to fish and need to make up for lost time!
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Old 18-12-2015, 11:49   #20
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Re: Repairing a type 2 mechanical linear autopilot drive in cabo

An update for those that find themselves needing parts in baja.

Tom at Cruisers Supply is a great guy--I highly recommend going to him if you need anything.

We tried Lopez Marine before we met Tom. Ordered the part on 11/17. We followed up a week later and he said the part was supposed to arrive in his warehouse in San Diego on the Friday after Thanksgiving. He said it would be 1-2 weeks from there until we got it. 3 weeks later he started telling us it would be in any day now... if it's not on this truck, probably tomorrows. After a week of that I asked for specific info on where our part was, or our deposit back. Markus then told us that the part was still in San Diego awaiting a paperwork issue and more excuses, but if we wanted our money back that would be fine with him, just email him our credit card info. I said I'd rather give it to him on the phone, at which point he told me that his phone is insecure and anybody nearby could be listening with a scanner. So we went down to the store and got our refund.

It's a $120 part, Lopez was going to charge us $280 for it. If they have what you need in stock, sure shop there, but I wouldn't order anything from them unless you have a lot of time and money to burn. After shipping and importing we expect to pay about $200 for the part now, and get it in 2 weeks instead of who knows how long.
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Old 18-12-2015, 12:50   #21
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Re: Repairing a type 2 mechanical linear autopilot drive in cabo

I seriously doubt anyone in La Paz or most of Mx for that fact, knows how to hob a gear. I think replacement bronze part as mentioned is your best bet.
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Old 26-05-2016, 09:20   #22
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Re: Repairing a type 2 mechanical linear autopilot drive in cabo

I have a question for the people that posted about the drive gears. I've notice on my Autohelm 7000 that it is making noise while working. Is it normal for it to make any noise or will I also have to change gears? Is this a sign of the gears wearing, did any of you have a noisy unit before it broke?
I'm thinking I should order the parts in the event it fails. If I do this what should I order? Thanks
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Old 26-05-2016, 11:00   #23
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Re: Repairing a type 2 mechanical linear autopilot drive in cabo

We did not hear any noises before the failure, which was 100% our fault. We left an anchorage with a lot of wind and big waves and forgot to release the mechanical wheel brake when we engaged the autopilot.

It is very easy to get to the gears in the autopilot - basically release a few bolts and the linear drive cover comes off. If you have any concerns - just dive in there and look. The gears are cheap.
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Old 29-05-2016, 08:24   #24
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Re: Repairing a type 2 mechanical linear autopilot drive in cabo

Thank you... Still works fine but seems a bit noisy when working. I think I'll order the gears and keep them on the boat in the event the drive fails.
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Old 29-05-2016, 12:36   #25
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Re: Repairing a type 2 mechanical linear autopilot drive in cabo

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
Anybody have any luck buying things off ebay and having them shipped to cabo?
Yes you can ship stuff to Mexico, but it will involve IMPORT TAXES.

Yes, your Temporary Import Permit (TIP) should relieve you of the import taxes, but to do that you have to go to the nearest SCT Office and show them the broken parts. They in turn type up some paperwork that is supposed to be sent to the shipper of the parts, so it can be included in the package shipped to Mexico... Then when the parts arrive in Mexico, they are exempt from Import Tax.

Many of us cruising Pacific Mexico always found it much easier to fly or drive back to the US, buy what we need and return to Mexico... As you go through the airport, you might or might not get stopped for customs inspection. If you do have a copy of the TIP and sometimes that will get you through with a warning... Otherwise you might still pay taxes so have the original receipt with you.

My suggestion is... Get up to La Paz and hook up with the Cruising Community up there... They have that town wired and it is much cheaper than where you are!

Someone in La Paz might have the parts on their boat! if not someone may be going to the States or you can use one of the Mexican shippers...

Good luck!
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Old 29-05-2016, 12:43   #26
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Re: Repairing a type 2 mechanical linear autopilot drive in cabo

La Paz is great, tom at la Paz cruisers supply is great, u can get parts through him but u will pay the import fee(which u can't avoid unless u fly or drive it yourself)

I highly recommend replacing any plastic crap gears in your autopilot with metal, don't just carry the new ones as spares. Remember when those plastic gears die they won't die on an easy day sail, they will die 12 hours in to a 36 hour storm at 3am when conditions suck and you're exhausted.


Sent from somewhere in the Pacific
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