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Old 29-10-2014, 03:23   #46
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

OP, I think I'm getting the gist of your concerns.

Yes, it's unreasonable to ask voluntary crew to stand in the cockpit with hands on the wheel but not steering. it would have been far more useful to disconnect the auto pilot and hand steer and probably less stressful too.

Any owner of a ship, no matter how much money he has who doesn't look after the physical and emotional needs of the crew I wouldn't be sailing with again. As someone else said, it's not a democracy no, but the skipper if he's both a sensible skipper and responsible will consider the opinions of the crew. Until of course a decision needs to be made or their is desent, then it's the skippers time to make a decision and stick to it. Sounds to me like he did just that without thinking if his crew.

I always ask my crew for their opinions and I consider it and then I decide on the course of action.

And if the trip was a long way then I'd expect the skipper to 'get it fixed', sooner rather than later when finally reached home port. But, I get the impression yours was not a big trip and with enough crew so probably right to wait. Not really sure on that one.

Bottom line, if he's that stingy and inconsiderate don't sail with him again.
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Old 29-10-2014, 05:03   #47
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
The OP sounds like a crybaby. Poop happens... get used to it.
Sometimes when poop happens people are hurt. Or worse. Lets minimize the risk of poop happening.
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Old 29-10-2014, 08:00   #48
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

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Originally Posted by Saltyhog View Post
Mark, do you have personal experience with the Jeffa, or are you quoting their specs. I'm considering the Jeffa for my drive, but this is the third time I've heard of problems. The other two were due to water ingress in the drive, but this was mostly due to how/where the drive was installed. My understanding is they want to stay as dry as possible. I'm also getting conflicting recommendations as to which drive is appropriate for my full keel barn door rudder. If I need the DD2, I'm not sure the power savings are there relative to my other choice, the L&S hydraulic. It seems that the hydraulic drives are more robust, but I'm drawn to the low power needs of the Jeffa. Hoping to hear from some happy (or unhappy) Jeffa DD1 owners.
-Tom
I have no experience with the Jefa drives other than I did a lot of research on them when choosing a new drive for our boat (which has a Simrad/B&G AP).

I thought you were talking about the Jefa linear drive. The DD1 clutch draws 1.4A, but this still won't be a problem for the B&G (3A clutch). The DD1 draws 13A at full output torque. This is a bit above the smaller B&G AP (12A), but well within the larger one (30A). In practice, you will never see full output torque unless something has really gone wrong.

I don't see any reason you would need to use a relay to operate that unit from a B&G AP. Did your rep state specifically where the relay would be needed, or did he just make that statement to throw a wrench in your thoughts?

I don't think any drive unit should be wet frequently. Even if it is waterproof, corrosion and salt crystals will be an issue with most. Why is your below deck area wet?

Don't get too caught up in power savings - unless a drive is operated at full torque continually, they all use similar power. Electromechanical drives like the Jefa and Raymarine use a bit less power than hydraulic linear drives, but not a great deal less.

The most important factor in power consumption is adjusting the boat and sails so that there is no undue forces on the steering. Same as for hand steering.

The marketing for each speaks differently, of course. They either use full output power consumption figures or talk about "25% less" power, which translates into 0.5A in real terms. If one is installing an AP, one should not be so close to the power supply edge that a difference of 12Ahr/day is a problem.

Mark
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Old 29-10-2014, 08:26   #49
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

Hmm....

* Brand new boat with a minor warrentee problem. Though he might well have solved it over the phone, I'm guessing he was not boat savvy, part of why he needed a new boat. The vendors along the way scared him.

* New owner not comfortable with the situation, and perhaps some planning problems. Many owners get a little weird under pressure, and we should not blame this too deeply.

* Full crew, but didn't think someone was going to be on-deck all the time? Silly.

* Sail balance so poor that when the auto pilot disengaged the boat spins out of control? With proper balance, the watch should not need a hand on the wheel, only be in the cockpit. Unless there is a real breeze of the chutes up, in which case hand steering is better anyway. If the auto pilot can't be trusted you either hand steer or balance the boat. Perhaps no one knew how to adjust balance?

* Asked for contributions from people helping him move the boat. But he bought a new boat! More than he could afford, or perhaps justify? Cheapskate. I can't imagine accepting any contribution; I'll either take you... or not.

* Crew thinks a boat must have autopilot... with a full crew. What is this, a charter?

Just a stupid situation all around.
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Old 29-10-2014, 08:46   #50
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

Check the grounds, a typical problem.
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Old 29-10-2014, 09:07   #51
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

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Originally Posted by sbrin View Post
Did exactly this 2 years ago. You DO need the relay. No problems with the simrad or the Jefa (knock wood) and enjoy the combination very much. I recommend this combination highly.


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Interesting. Where does the relay go? Was this on an AC12 with the DD1? If so, I suspect the relay was just a safety thing to ensure that the drive had enough power in the event of a continual full-torque event. The AC42 wouldn't require this. Both Simrad AP's supply enough clutch current.

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Old 29-10-2014, 17:56   #52
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Congratulations. What did you get?

The apparently much despised CPT, but it works really well, makes no noise at all
and draws very little power. The idea is to have two, one kept below in storage,
then if one fails, it's a matter of just a couple of minutes to replace the complete
package with no tools required.
You do have the drive wheel mounted of course and do have the drive unit out in
the open so esthetically it's not as pleasing, but I primarily wanted something easily
replaced and or maintained.
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Old 29-10-2014, 18:36   #53
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

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Originally Posted by nhschneider View Post
We had that done by a Simrad technician in Sydney, Australia. We still have the same problem. Even though it's kind of dangerous, we've learned to live with it. But thanks for the suggestion, just the same.
If you indeed have the most recent software (I would double check that and not take a technician's word for it), then it is most likely a physical network issue. I wouldn't live with it, I would determine the cause - check termination, drop lengths, daisy chaining, instancing, power injection, etc. This problem isn't with the AP itself, it is with the control head losing communication with the AP. Perhaps you even have a bad control head.

The error was quite common and I haven't heard from anyone with that problem remaining after updating the firmware. Again, check to make sure the technician actually updated the firmware to the newest version.

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Old 29-10-2014, 18:52   #54
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
The apparently much despised CPT, but it works really well, makes no noise at all and draws very little power.
Not despised by this owner. Ten years now and has never disappointed (once I learned how to use it) on my 37' 20000lb cutter. And after reading all these posts I am delighted to have chosen a simple system....
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Old 29-10-2014, 19:00   #55
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

Have always installed my own units as commercial ones have different tolerance and I sail alone a lot ! There is a lot of flimsy under rated stuff out there
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Old 01-11-2014, 14:25   #56
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

Well,if your AP fails there not a lot you can do except steering by hand, involving everybody on board. In fact it will be a good learning experience provided the skipper can coach the "wet behind the ears" crew members.
It is always possible to try and minimise the effort by carefully and regularly triming the sails and puting a bit of "weather helm" so that once the helm is blocked (using benji cords preferably) the boat will keep moving in the right direction. Of course someone on watch will have to makes sure it all goes well and if the sea become rough it may become a bit of a challenge and hand steering will be necessary.
As always this should be anticipated and you could have a spare AP on board (Raymarine has some good options for that) or preferably, if if is YOUR boat, have a windvane.
This last option is definitly the best even if expensive.
It is worth it on a long cruise and on one own boat. Thats the solution we have on Hanami 2 and it proved very safe wheN for some reason the AP went 'on strike'.
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Old 01-11-2014, 16:41   #57
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

I think hansesailor made the right choices for the boat and crew. Personally I would have been keen to get it sorted ASAP and usually the broker should have sorted it on the way down, but in the end it's the owners decision and easy enough for crew to jump ship along the way if they're not happy about it. Sounds like sour grapes after the fact.
If my ap failed in that way I'd probably sit watch by the helm in ap mode ready to take the helm if needed. Hand on the wheel? Nah that would be pretty stupid and I doubt that was the case here, imagine your arm jerking back and forth as the ap operates...?.?
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Old 01-11-2014, 17:13   #58
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

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Interesting. Where does the relay go? Was this on an AC12 with the DD1? If so, I suspect the relay was just a safety thing to ensure that the drive had enough power in the event of a continual full-torque event. The AC42 wouldn't require this. Both Simrad AP's supply enough clutch current.



Mark

Mark, I have the DD1 in my Bristol 35.5. My stern is too narrow to use the hydraulic Robertson rod I initially ordered. I initially installed the AC12 with a relay - did not work! Worked with B&G who advised me to take the relay out and the pilot worked well for 5 minutes - then blew the unit! Substituted the AR 42 with the relay and it did not work again. Short story is that the relay was defective (who would have thunk!?). New $8 relay and it has worked like a charm for the last 3 years. I believe I placed it to the DD1's drive wires. As it is working well, I am leaving it as it is with the relay in.
This is a hugely better system than the Raymarine system it replaced, although that was 20+ years old. The simrad/Jefa combo is smooth, quick, powerful, no drama and virtually no drag on the wheel when the clutch is out. Interfaces well with the B&G Tritons I installed 2 years ago. All in all, recommend the combination very highly.


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Old 01-11-2014, 22:17   #59
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

Monte,
Not sour grapes at all
This little ditty is fine wine, really fine wine
Compared to some of the other nonsense that went on
During this cruise
An example: fighting with the captain that when the wind is coming over the starboard rail you are on starboard tack and not on port tack
2nd example: Arguing with the captain that a backed jib slows the boat
He didn't comprehend this.
No sour grapes at all
I had a great time but it could have been better if smarter decisions were made
I can tell you one thing for sure I will not crew on any boat without getting at least 3 prior crew references or with an owner where this is his first boat
In years
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:50   #60
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Re: Auto Pilot Failure. What would you do

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Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
Monte,
Not sour grapes at all
This little ditty is fine wine, really fine wine
Compared to some of the other nonsense that went on
During this cruise
An example: fighting with the captain that when the wind is coming over the starboard rail you are on starboard tack and not on port tack
2nd example: Arguing with the captain that a backed jib slows the boat
He didn't comprehend this.
No sour grapes at all
I had a great time but it could have been better if smarter decisions were made
I can tell you one thing for sure I will not crew on any boat without getting at least 3 prior crew references or with an owner where this is his first boat
In years
Time2go,

Your last paragraph shows you've learned the most important lesson from this trip.

You had a new owner, lacking in confidence, who had not thought to look up in advance professionals in the major ports he would pass through. He thought his new toy was like a car, pick it up, drive it away, and no worries, mate. but, WRONG.

However, the skipper gets to call the shots, so you are right to check out any future skippers for whom you might crew.

IME, one expects to hand steer when all the autopilots fail. It's a drag. You might be cold and wet (especially if your weather gear">foul weather gear dies all of a sudden), but your foulies are your responsibility, not the owners.

You know the old saw, "He who pays the piper calls the tune?" The skipper, tyrannic, stupid, or whatever else, he calls the tunes. You can't "fix" stupid. That's why I think you got the best lesson this trip had to offer. Step back a little, and see, with my outsider eyes: [as you say, fine wine]

You guys were asked something unreasonable, yet you did it. Much better to hand steer than stand with your hands on an unruly wheel--how dumb was that? But you guys coped. Confidence building.

You learned about questioning how good your foulies are, too, always useful. I used to think they're supposed to keep you totally dry at all times, but that's not how it works in the real world. Suddenly, in a downpour, or too much spray or greenies, they fail. It's just life. But I sure felt indignant.

Bad choices by skipper, well back to he who pays the piper, but also, humans are fallible, and s**t happens. Maybe on the trip you signed on for, too much s**t happened. But, why did you not leave the boat if you felt it was mismanaged? Perhaps there's a guide in there for future behavior.

As my ex used to say, "illegitimae non carborundum", fake latin for "don't let the bastards wear you down."

Cheers,

Ann
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