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Old 28-10-2014, 06:04   #16
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

A bit more information is in order
This Was Not a Delivery but was like lots of crew positions
A semi-charter with the crew making a "contribution" to expenses
You see it all the time "crew wanted, no experience needed, will teach"
Where the combined contribution is way more than operating expenses
But that is just a side bit. The point being that nobody signed up for racing or
delivery. We all had no time constraints.
Steering the boat by hand would have been manageable if that was what we were doing But it was Not.
The captain insisted on using a intermitantly malfunctioning AP
And that a crew member have a hand on the wheel in like a human standby
Mode. I'm sorry you old salts but on a modern brand new boat (50')
With Radar and AIS and AP there should be no need to stand out
Exposed in the Rain at Night ( I said most nights in a marina,what I meant was that when we stopped at night we were most likely in a marina)
So let me rephrase: Not Racing, Not Delivering, All crew making a sizable
Daily contribution, at most 2 of the crew with ANY experience, there was never more than 5 on board, and the owner refused to call in any techs to look at the problem. We were not in obscure little fishing villages but in major
Ports with complete marine services available. (UK to Gibralter)
There were no time constraints, the only issue was money that the owner
Didn't want to spend to fix his boat and it was all under warranty anyhow
He just didn't want to front the cash.
When you sign up as crew, on a boat advertised as being set up a certain way
Doesn't the owner have a responsibility to make reasonable effort to maintain
It as such?
Once again we were in many many ports with complete marine services available
And the owner just walked right by
Crossing Biscay in force 7 - 8 with an AP that could go belly up
At any time with no warning is no fun
So should repairs have been made at the nearest next stop?
Should the itermitantly malfunctioning piece of gear been taken off line?
Should repair stations been ignored when all that was needed was to walk in the door on the way to get a pint while in port?

PS: I think the whole concept of taking on paying crew and calling it a "contribution" is one day going to bite the whole cruising community
On the arse in the form of unaffordable insurance, just one major accident away
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Old 28-10-2014, 06:11   #17
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

I had assumed you were in a paid position, I've never been around a boat where the crew contributes, now if I go out on a friends boat, I'll always buy the fuel, bait, ice whatever depending on what we are doing, but paying crew is an oxymoron isn't it? If you pay, your a passenger?
There is a precedence though, even the FAA allows expenses to be shared, but it's a very sticky proposition, an owner can easily get burnt, I won't do it. If you want to buy the fuel after the flight is over or wash the airplane, then great, but no money is accepted before the flight. I don't see any difference in airplanes and boats here.

On edit, you guys hand over cash before the trip starts?
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Old 28-10-2014, 06:39   #18
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
The multi purpose display would error message
"AP lost communication" or something similar I don't remember exactly
Quote:
Originally Posted by nhschneider View Post
Our Simrad autopilot does the exact same thing - 'Can't find autopilot computer'.
Update your control head firmware. Navico recognized and fixed this problem last November. It was an erroneous timeout on the control heads - both B&G and Simrad.

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Old 28-10-2014, 06:46   #19
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
Exactly... I have a Jefa drive unit with a Garmin AP. The max output on the Garmin combo is 40 AMPS while the same unit with A simrad AP12 unit is only 12 AMPs.

I'm was also thinking voltage or wiring problem.
The maximum output of the AP computer has nothing to do with it. The Jefa drive puts out maximum torque below 12A input. Any potential output above ~10A cannot be used by this drive - one would need a different (more powerful) drive at those power levels.

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Old 28-10-2014, 07:00   #20
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

You mentioned in your first post a 40 day cruise and later mention UK to Gibraltar. Depending on where you left the UK that is at most 1200-1500 miles. Doing that in 40 days is hardly a major hardship.

Then you are paying the owner directly a daily fee to be on the boat, a fee significantly higher than just basic operating expenses? Not sure about the rules on your side of the pond but over here that would be considered a charter and would violate the restrictions of the insurance policy and would also violate USCG rules for unlicensed captain on a boat for hire.

If you went on this trip as a learning experience and the owner/captain did indeed provide such then I would say you got what you wanted. If you booked this as a holiday with the intention of laying about and relaxing then you missed out but you can't have it both ways.
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Old 28-10-2014, 07:09   #21
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

In 2005, when I was sailing to the Canary Islands with an acquaintance, we encountered three brand-new Beneteaus that had similar problems. They were all deliveries and they all had rudder failure. One of the boats had AP failure as well. The solution: install the emergency tiller and let the crew steer, get to a port and call the local Handy Harry to fix the rudder installation. What else can one do? But after that...

Quote:
So should repairs have been made at the nearest next stop?
Always.
Quote:
Should the itermitantly malfunctioning piece of gear been taken off line?
I might have kept it running. But only under supervision.
Quote:
Should repair stations been ignored when all that was needed was to walk in the door on the way to get a pint while in port?
No.
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Old 28-10-2014, 07:23   #22
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

Time2Go, you've clearly never owned a boat, lol.

If I had looked the system over and could not find the fault, I would have done exactly what the owner did, for the simple fact that pulling into a marina, finding a competent technician, waiting for them to find time in their schedule to come to the boat, then waiting on warranty issues and/or parts delivery could easily stretch into days if not weeks. Then, you depart, and since the problem has been intermittent you find out in two more days that the problem was NOT fixed. You lost time and money and complicated your warranty options.

Best to just get where you can have it serviced properly by someone that you know and/or can go back to for follow-on troubleshooting if necessary. It's a non-essential piece of equipment almost any scenario. You guys were basically day sailing. And it's not like you had to have your hand right on the wheel. If you were simply in the cockpit (which his where you should be when on watch) then you're about 1.2 seconds from the wheel.

The real issue is that you feel, since you were a paying customer, that you did not get the experience that you expected and paid for. Fair enough. Ask the owner for a partial refund.
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Old 28-10-2014, 07:46   #23
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post

PS: I think the whole concept of taking on paying crew and calling it a "contribution" is one day going to bite the whole cruising community
On the arse in the form of unaffordable insurance, just one major accident away
Reasonable insurance on a cruising boat while traveling around the world.
Now thats a Novel Idea..........
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Old 28-10-2014, 07:52   #24
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draikhyan View Post
In 2005, when I was sailing to the Canary Islands with an acquaintance, we encountered three brand-new Beneteaus that had similar problems. They were all deliveries and they all had rudder failure.

No.
Beneteaus with rudder failure.. Now thats the basis for a new post
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Old 28-10-2014, 08:00   #25
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

I'm with Suijin.

You paid and you didn't get the experience think you were paying for. Probably not properly spelled out in writing so good luck on any sort of remedy from teh owner.

But I am still with the owner on this. Getting warranty repair in a non-home port is fraught with problems. What if there are follow on issues. The original tech is hundreds (1,000's?) of miles in the wake.

Go home. Get my permanent, regular, manufacturer recommended(?) tech to do it all under warranty.
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Old 28-10-2014, 08:38   #26
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
A bit more information is in order .............
It looks to me like you were upset and trying to get sympathy on a boating forum, not just looking for information.

I think the owner did the right thing, waiting until he was at a place where he could get reliable repairs and the chance to call the same person back if there was a problem.
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Old 28-10-2014, 11:52   #27
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

You got more than your moneys worth. You learned some real lessons about sailboats and travel. You learned about watch standing rather than total dependency on electronics, you learned about fatigue, which all sailors learn, you may have learned a little about the expense of a large boat. Sharing expenses means different things to different people, but there is a lot more to going from point A to point B than the cost of bacon and eggs in the morning, and fuel. Very little about cruising is like the fancy magazines present it. It is a wonderful life, but it is not easy. If fatigue was a problem on a trip where you anchored, or went to a marina most nights, then you may not be cut out for the realities of cruising. Sorry to sound harsh, but your captain did what made sense to get to a destination. ______Grant.
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Old 28-10-2014, 15:50   #28
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

Mark,
Thanx for the heads up info
Amazingly this boat was delivered to the owner,
Brand new with outdated software, May 2014

Skipmac,
The trip was considerably longer and started in the Baltic
and finished in the Med. I only commented of the section with the most issues.

Suijin,
Not so, I have owned many boats,
The issue with your comment is that we were heading away from where
the boat was bought and commissioned. It was never going back in that direction
and we were over 1000nm away. So no matter what, the owner had to find
new techs to work on the problem. This boat is on its way half way around the world
Indeed the factory did send their techs 200 miles by car to fix the problem the first time
(swapped course computer) and guess what 500nm further away Same Problem,
Try this force 7-8, Heavy Rain, Nighttime, Bay of Biscay, Take your hands off the wheel for 1.5 seconds. What Happens?????

ExCalif,
The "home" port is 15,000 miles away
This boat was bought brand new, delivery and commissioning in the Baltic
Then it departed for the other side of the world.
All warranty work had to be done in transit.
Buy a boat in Germany then depart for the Far East on a two year cruise
and what, Bring it back to Germany for Warranty Work?

GJordan,
You miss the point, This had nothing to do with money
and everything to do about the Owner/Captain ignoring an issue with his
brand new 600,000 toy that made life a bit more difficult than it had to be
for his crew and even a bit dangerous at times because of a mostly a novice and inexperienced crew.
Also there was absolutely no pressure for us to get to a destination.
We had no time constraints, No drop dead time and indeed
got weather stuck a few times.
If there was a "time to destination constraint" it would have been a delivery
and not a cruise, Correct????.

Who here is going to tell me that a good tech couldn't be found in at least one or two of the following ports
Torquay, Brest, A-Coruna, Camarais, Baiona, Porto,Cascais, Sines
Like I said the owner walked right by many companies and facilities
some even Highlighting the B & G logo on his way to get a pint.

So under warranty, far from where you came from, far from where
you are going to, and Do Nothing,
Not Smart in My Opinion
I'm somewhat surprised that most said suck it up and deal
I'm guessing if the same folks spent 600,000 for a New Boat
Left for an extended cruise, They would demand that the builder charter
a Lear Jet and Fix the thing.
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Old 28-10-2014, 16:15   #29
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

Well, I'll say if the skipper told me to have a hand on the wheel, I would only do it when he was looking.

I feel your pain, but if I ever brought "contributing" crew with me, I'd do my best to show them a good time, but if the AP fails, we take watches. I wouldn't make you hold the wheel, but you'd be in charge of grabbing the wheel and turning off the AP if it decides to die while it's your watch.

The AP is a convenience for when the seas and wind are benign.

Did the boat have a proper shakedown cruise? If the owner took delivery and then immediately departed on a long cruise, that's the risk they took when they made that choice. This goes to show you that a new boat is no better than a used boat, and really the best boat you can buy is one that is used regularly and well maintained.
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Old 28-10-2014, 16:18   #30
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

If you had spent $600K for the boat you could do as you please. And the owner did. I would probably have done the same were it me. There's got to be more than one side to this tale.
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