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Old 17-02-2013, 19:33   #16
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Re: Tiller Pilot on Windvane.

Aries with a ST2000. Works great, sort of.

44' 44,000lb boat, steers it just fine, as long as you have some headway. Does not do so good when you need to go forward to reef when single handing.

First unit new in 2012. Stripped its little guts out in a few hundred hours. Had a new one flown into St Johns, Nfld. Ran down the coast before I realized the damn gyro compass was bad. Took over a week to get another one, which ALSO had a bad gyro. %^^*++=

Swapped put parts and mde one work, but it got wet and lost circuit board. But at least I had spares!

Got home and returned the mess to Raymarine who fixed all at no charge, but am still stuck with three ST2000 units, at expensive purchase and shipping costs.

I have taken to wrapping them in cling wrap to keep them dry.

Looking at the guts these are remarkably under built units. They just won't last long. The size of the boat has little to do with it, easy finger pressure moves the oar. Probably a good thing I have three units.

I made the connection to the Aries myself out of aluminum. That seems to work fine.

So, all in all, it is. A mixed bag. If I stumble across enough money i will get a CPT wheel pilot. Or a second crew member.

I did not find a problem with the compass on a steel boat. But when the unit started to eat itself, bits fell down into the compass area and jammed the compass, and the boat would go god knows where. Disconcerting when coastal.

In my installation the ap hangs over the stern and connects to the Aries. I take the vane off and hook up the ap in its place. Took a little figuring to get the mechanics to work out, but I got it right. Pretty simple solution really, I had to fabricate the linkage out of one aluminum but simple to do.
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Old 18-02-2013, 04:16   #17
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Re: Tiller Pilot on Windvane.

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Thankyou Ocean Girl and Alchemy ,this is the sort of info i was looking for. I want to mount the tiller pilot in the lazerette as per the pic oean girl sent however as i have a steel boat i was wondering if this will effect the built in compass on the tillerpilot ...anty thoughts?
That outboard a #3 will definitly mess up any fluxgates in the vicinity.
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Old 18-02-2013, 04:44   #18
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pirate Re: Tiller Pilot on Windvane.

Delivered a 30ft steel home build from Agua Dulce, Spain to St Kaths Docks, London that had the tiller pilot set up facing fore and aft with lines running through little blocks to the Windvane rudder... when you wanted to use it the routine was centre the wheel then fit the shackle the line was attatched to onto the plastic end on the pilot (it had been drilled through). and Bob was yer Uncle..
Worked a treat... steered a dream with little effort for the pilot to turn that skinny rudder..
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Old 18-02-2013, 05:30   #19
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Re: Tiller Pilot on Windvane.

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I might be wrong, but is not the compass on a tillerpilot a flux gate? Either way a compass will work fine on a steel ship but will need to be swung to be accurate. If not how do the many steel ships find their way around?
I never bothered with accuracy using an st2000 on my steel boat, just push the buttons til the boat is heading in roughly the right direction and get a good book out for a day or 3 til the wind comes back Doesn't actually matter what the compass reads so long as the boat keeps pointing in the direction you want to go.
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Old 18-02-2013, 06:10   #20
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Re: Tiller Pilot on Windvane.

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I never bothered with accuracy using an st2000 on my steel boat, just push the buttons til the boat is heading in roughly the right direction and get a good book out for a day or 3 til the wind comes back Doesn't actually matter what the compass reads so long as the boat keeps pointing in the direction you want to go.
Exactly!
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Old 18-02-2013, 08:55   #21
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Re: Tiller Pilot on Windvane.

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
I never bothered with accuracy using an st2000 on my steel boat, just push the buttons til the boat is heading in roughly the right direction and get a good book out for a day or 3 til the wind comes back Doesn't actually matter what the compass reads so long as the boat keeps pointing in the direction you want to go.
If that's the case, I would just trim to the existing wind and rig shock cord to the sheet and the tiller. Much cheaper if you aren't picky about getting closer than 10-15 degrees to your desired direction.

Opua: sheet to tiller self-steering

I've done this on my 33 footer sloop (no vane) and it works, but you need to practice and fiddle until it's right. But the zero amp draw is desirable, as is the quiet.

Another approach can be seen here. Haven't tried it, but it seems like a "shock cord enhancement".

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Old 18-02-2013, 22:47   #22
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Just for interest, the ST1000+ and the ST2000+ have pretty accurate compasses which when set up according to the installation manual can steer accurately to a degree or two. Additionally when wired to a chart plotter /gps will steer to a waypoint.
The force needed by the ST series to steer using the windvane is very small indeed , no more than a couple of pounds at the most so its a mystery to me how it would strip gears, unless improperly installed.
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Old 19-02-2013, 08:17   #23
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Re: Tiller Pilot on Windvane.

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Originally Posted by bazzer View Post
Just for interest, the ST1000+ and the ST2000+ have pretty accurate compasses which when set up according to the installation manual can steer accurately to a degree or two. Additionally when wired to a chart plotter /gps will steer to a waypoint.
The force needed by the ST series to steer using the windvane is very small indeed , no more than a couple of pounds at the most so its a mystery to me how it would strip gears, unless improperly installed.
On a steel boat with an XP5 and a fluxgate installed in a suitable location a Deviation of no more than 2 degree is achievable.
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Old 19-02-2013, 08:25   #24
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Re: Tiller Pilot on Windvane.

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
If that's the case, I would just trim to the existing wind and rig shock cord to the sheet and the tiller. Much cheaper if you aren't picky about getting closer than 10-15 degrees to your desired direction.

Opua: sheet to tiller self-steering

I've done this on my 33 footer sloop (no vane) and it works, but you need to practice and fiddle until it's right. But the zero amp draw is desirable, as is the quiet.

Another approach can be seen here. Haven't tried it, but it seems like a "shock cord enhancement".

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Steersman med - YouTube
The autopilot only gets attached to the aries once in a blue moon for extended motoring offshore (it's actually been bust for a good few thousand miles after a thunderstorm) , the aries will somehow steer the boat even ghosting along in very light airs, no idea how it does it but it works
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Old 19-02-2013, 09:42   #25
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Re: Tiller Pilot on Windvane.

That argues for both a proper installation and plenty of experience tensioning the control lines. It's a fine balance between enough friction to overcome the inertia of the tiller and the blocks, but not so much to be "sticky". It's instructive to actually watch a vane work: if it's a series of jerky moves, that suggests too much tension. Ideally, you want smooth and as small as possible movements, assuming you have a light but steady wind and little wave height to block air flow.
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Old 19-02-2013, 11:39   #26
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Re: Tiller Pilot on Windvane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bazzer View Post
Just for interest, the ST1000+ and the ST2000+ have pretty accurate compasses which when set up according to the installation manual can steer accurately to a degree or two. Additionally when wired to a chart plotter /gps will steer to a waypoint.
The force needed by the ST series to steer using the windvane is very small indeed , no more than a couple of pounds at the most so its a mystery to me how it would strip gears, unless improperly installed.
The installation was just fine.

As near as I can tell.......
The worm gear goes into a thrust block of sorts. That has a plastic bushing and a metal bit. It appears to me the plastic piece went, the unit fell out of alignment, and that then ate up the rest of the assembly in the thrust block. Of course can't be sure as when I opened it, it had already lost bits.

Yes the force is very small. And I was careful to provide the connection through a pivot so there is no torsion on the arm. The bit on the end of the arm is a fork, that slides over a vane stub and is attached with a pin. It all moves very freely. There is a very small amount of vertical movement as the stub arcs through its range, but there is sufficient play in the system that that is not an issue because of the hinge in the aps mount pin.

Then again I received two conecutive units with the exact same gyro problem, out of the box, confirmed by RayMarine. At some point one stars to question QA. I hope that these were just an unfortunate series of events and all is now well.
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Old 19-02-2013, 11:51   #27
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Re: Tiller Pilot on Windvane.

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That argues for both a proper installation and plenty of experience tensioning the control lines. It's a fine balance between enough friction to overcome the inertia of the tiller and the blocks, but not so much to be "sticky". It's instructive to actually watch a vane work: if it's a series of jerky moves, that suggests too much tension. Ideally, you want smooth and as small as possible movements, assuming you have a light but steady wind and little wave height to block air flow.
We have a permenatly affixed emergency tiller that has a hunk of chain. This is the Aires preferred set up. I tied my control lines to snap shackles. That allows me to adjust tension one link at a time, or to bias the rudder for weather helm.

I'm still learning this bit of kit but this seems like a good way to go.

Issues I have are that I have to climb onto the aft deck to connect or disconnect the vane. Getting the bias right takes some fooling around.

But my control lines lead all the way to the companion way, so I can adjust from below.

This was my first trip with the boat and when learning to use the vane I at first found it easier to use the ap. Thus I put a lot of hours on it. As I got more used to the unit I used the vane more.

For me it did take a good bit of patience and fooling around. Seems it likes the control lines pretty tight.

I wore out one set of lines pretty quick. They were quite small and chafed where going around the crossover blocks. I substituted a bigger set which lasted much better.

Between the vane and the ap they got a lot of use.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:34   #28
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Re: Tiller Pilot on Windvane.

I am in the process of setting up up a ST2000 on my hydrovane, it works fine when I hold it away from the hull above my head at the max extension of the lead (not much good for steering the boat up there though. So I though it must be the mild steel handrail, so I cut it out to see if this was the case (extreme I know but I want to replace it anyway) but the unit still pays up, when I press Auto it just max extends in increments and then starts beeping. I am thinking I need a remote fluxgate compass mounted somewhere that wont get affected.
What do you guys reckon, can you buy these?
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:10   #29
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Re: Tiller Pilot on Windvane.

Do you have it tilted down as shown in the pic?

They need to be pretty near level to work. The flux gate sits in a two way gimbal, tilted that much may well screw it up.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:27   #30
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pirate Re: Tiller Pilot on Windvane.

The metal around should not make much difference... only times I've had that happen is when the motherboards gotten a bit corroded and goes doolally..
If its new/in warrenty send it back.. somethings faulty
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