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Old 10-06-2015, 02:07   #61
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Re: Back-up Auto Pilot for Lagoon 440

@Mark,
With apologies to this thread about back up autopilots for a 440, let me mention that boosted hydraulic systems reduce the tactile feedback to the wheel but unboosted transmits the feeling very well if you remove all of the air from the system.

Admittedly small airplanes (550 lbs) are not big boats. But a friend of mine and I built an experimental airplane and used hydraulics after we discovered a resonance in a cable. In this case, the hydraulics gave the pilot (me) more tactile feedback.

So I suspect that yachts use cables because of either cost or tradition. After all, when the very best cables age, they stretch and the steering tends to get sloppy. Whereas the fluid will always be incompressible. Of course, this is conjecture on my part.

Doug
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:51   #62
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Re: Back-up Auto Pilot for Lagoon 440

Doug, the way cables attach to quadrants would allow you to tighten them if need be. That said, steering cables should not be made too tight: you have a sprocket in the steering wheel with chain on it (which is in turn attached to cables). So stretch would be negligible here (sounds different from your plane experience).


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Old 13-06-2015, 06:23   #63
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Re: Back-up Auto Pilot for Lagoon 440

My L440 certainly has hydraulic steering, but only when the auto-pilot is selected to AUTO. A 12V electric motor drives a hydraulic pump which in turns powers a hyd ram on to the top of the port rudder post. A rigid, tubular cross arm runs between the port and starboard rudder posts to apply the same force to both rudders. It does a fine job and can easily compensate for weather helm, but trimming the sails to reduce weather helm is also important in terms of both boat performance and reducing unnecessary auto-pilot activity.

Again, sail trim is equally important when the auto pilot is selected to stand-by mode where cables from the helm go to the same connecting cross tube to move the rudders. I can easily steer with modest effort, and I get great feedback through the helm and rudder indicator when wheel steering to see if I need to do additional trimming. I hope that helps.
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Old 13-06-2015, 06:40   #64
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Re: Back-up Auto Pilot for Lagoon 440

Col, how are you finding sailing between the islands under AP when picking up weed on the rudders. Our observations are, if hand steering the helm becomes very heavy and under AP the rudder angle sensor will be way over in the green. Finding we have to head upwind every 30 mins or hour to dump the weed from the rudders. Are you experiencing the same in the 440?
We are still considering adding the cpt ap in grenada over the summer, or some form of belowdecks ap on the other rudder.
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Old 13-06-2015, 07:24   #65
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Re: Back-up Auto Pilot for Lagoon 440

Our worst experience by far with weed and the autopilot was crossing the Atlantic when the weed masses were as large as a foot ball field. Our first indication at night was the boat yawing, and speed dying rapidly, and the "off-course" alarm going off. Our first reaction was generally to reverse both engines when we'd generally find the weed was blown away. During the day when we could see the masses, we'd try and navigate around them either with the autopilot in 10 degree increments, or by hand as required. Our Raymarine AP and integrated systems worked well. Around the islands in the Caribbean not so bad, and we only cruise by day so can see the masses and anticipate what might occur. The much larger problem around the islands is the hundreds of poorly marked and randomly laid fish trap floats often consisting of a couple of clear plastic large-size soft drink bottles that are hard to see. You need to keep a good lookout as we had one foul our port prop but we were able to untangle it without too much problem using our SCUBA. They can be laid in waters up to 90M in depth so being well offshore sometimes doesn't help!
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Old 13-06-2015, 07:29   #66
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Re: Back-up Auto Pilot for Lagoon 440

Yeah same deal with us on the Atlantic crossing, but we are finding it an issue around the islands still. Not so good for fishing either!
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Old 13-06-2015, 07:43   #67
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Re: Back-up Auto Pilot for Lagoon 440

Hi Monte. We are currently between the Pitons near Soufriere on the West coast of St Lucia headed for St Vincent tomorrow then along the Grenadines to the southern end of Grenada to slip our boat to rub the hull back and do annual below water line works. Hope to slip around 23rd June for 10 days but we haven't committed to a yard yet. Very likely it will be Spice Island Marine Services in Prickly Bay near the airport. Do you have any experience of services or different facilities down that way?
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Old 13-06-2015, 08:13   #68
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Re: Back-up Auto Pilot for Lagoon 440

No I don't Col. We may see you on your way past us. Were currently in saltwhistle bay mayreau. Just north of Union island. Time to start locking the boat when you're ashore (maybe even at night) there's been the odd theft from below st lucia southward. There is a grenada cruisers group Facebook page which seems pretty good for answering local cruisers questions regarding services and haulouts and I think they have a specific page for marine services and recommendations as well. There is a new marina and haulout yard just opening called clarks court as well. They may have some opening rate deals.
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