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Old 22-11-2015, 10:51   #1
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Where do people mount their helm controls for autopilot

Installing my autopilot now and just wondering if it's normal to mount it by the door down to the cabin or should I mount it on the wheel pedestal? It's a 27ft hunter. If it's really better to mount it on the pedestal what is a good mount to use since my boat has nothing.

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Old 22-11-2015, 11:08   #2
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Re: Where do people mount there helm controls for autopilot

I suppose it depends. But for me having the control near the engagement lever and the wheel seem best.
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Old 22-11-2015, 11:21   #3
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Re: Where do people mount there helm controls for autopilot

My autopilot has the over-ride switch on the helm control unit. I can't manually steer the boat if on autopilot without first pushing the button and setting it to over-ride. I would not want it anywhere but right at the helm.
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Old 22-11-2015, 11:52   #4
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Re: Where do people mount there helm controls for autopilot

helm or reachable by helm.


plus wireless remote control
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Old 22-11-2015, 12:06   #5
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Re: Where do people mount there helm controls for autopilot

I've had them both places I kinda like near the companionway, as I usually hang out there under Dodger if the AP is on. Of course you need to be ready to go forward and disengage fast if you happen to be aft!
Think about it: If you are going to be at the helm, you probably don't need the AP on! If you are not going to be at the helm, then having it at the pedestal is not any better than forward.
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Old 22-11-2015, 13:20   #6
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Re: Where do people mount there helm controls for autopilot

For me the disengage should always be at the helm. You also have to engage it, usually by holding the boat on course and then pressing engage.
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Old 22-11-2015, 14:09   #7
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Re: Where do people mount there helm controls for autopilot

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I've had them both places I kinda like near the companionway, as I usually hang out there under Dodger if the AP is on. Of course you need to be ready to go forward and disengage fast if you happen to be aft!
Think about it: If you are going to be at the helm, you probably don't need the AP on! If you are not going to be at the helm, then having it at the pedestal is not any better than forward.
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For me the disengage should always be at the helm. You also have to engage it, usually by holding the boat on course and then pressing engage.
I actually agree with both of these! On my Autohelm 3000, the control box is near the companionway under the dodger, but there is a mechanical disengage lever at the helm. Unfortunately, when the clutch is disengaged, the control box still thinks it's in charge, and the motor goes crazy. A remote control would be nice. However, the whole kit is now almost 30 years old, so the remote will have to wait until I get a new autopilot.
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Old 22-11-2015, 16:13   #8
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Re: Where do people mount there helm controls for autopilot

My Alpha 3000 control are in a recess in the forward port side of the cockpit. The mechanical teleflex to engage and disengage from the rudder post is just aft of the helm in the "cockpit" well. I can hand steer when I engage or disengage and actually AP steer from the control head in a protected forward location. This works a charm. But this is how the Alpha works best I think. Other APs would be different.
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Old 22-11-2015, 16:28   #9
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Re: Where do people mount there helm controls for autopilot

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I actually agree with both of these! On my Autohelm 3000, the control box is near the companionway under the dodger, but there is a mechanical disengage lever at the helm. Unfortunately, when the clutch is disengaged, the control box still thinks it's in charge, and the motor goes crazy. A remote control would be nice. However, the whole kit is now almost 30 years old, so the remote will have to wait until I get a new autopilot.
In between

single handing
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Old 22-11-2015, 16:28   #10
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Re: Where do people mount there helm controls for autopilot

I also recommend adjacent to the wheel for the very good reason that if you have a problem with the heading sensor and it takes a hard turn on engagement, you can more quickly correct if in confined waters
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Old 22-11-2015, 16:46   #11
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Re: Where do people mount there helm controls for autopilot

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helm or reachable by helm.


plus wireless remote control
+1. Sometimes you need it quick.

My main control head is at the helm and remote in the deckhouse...for when the weather sux.
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Old 22-11-2015, 18:52   #12
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Re: Where do people mount there helm controls for autopilot

So does anyone have any good products for mounting my helm display near my wheel?
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Old 22-11-2015, 21:32   #13
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Re: Where do people mount there helm controls for autopilot

nav pods?
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Old 23-11-2015, 00:49   #14
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Re: Where do people mount there helm controls for autopilot

Though the clutch and mechanical engagement is at the helm (in the helm box) our main control is inside the charthouse (low pilothouse) and we use a tethered remote control in the cockit. I like sitting inside and looking out if it is rainy or cold like it seems to be alot when we're on the move so the inside main station for the AP makes sense.

The cowl vent you see the edge of in the pic below--it has the wired AP remote coming out of it and the wire is 70' long so we can take the remote to the foredeck or anywhere on the boat really.

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Old 23-11-2015, 09:19   #15
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Re: Where do people mount there helm controls for autopilot

Definitely at the helm. On my previous '33, I installed the control unit on the inner side of the cockpit next to the helm. While you can disengage mechanically at the helm (and the motor does remain oblivious and attempt to steer), you want to be able to tweak the course easily from wherever you spend the most time.
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