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Old 19-07-2015, 10:35   #16
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

For what it is worth here's our two articles on what we did on our two boats (1) Tiller steered and Aries Windvane directly on the tiller (fantastic)
2) Aries windvane connected to the emergency tiller on larger boat (also great - ram on aries didn't work so well though)
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Old 19-07-2015, 11:31   #17
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
Has anyone used the Emergency tiller (or equivalent) to mount a Tiller Pilot on a wheel steered boat?
The boat i am buying is wheel steered. Wheel Auto pilot systems are 3-4 times the price of Tiller pilots and I am not planning on using the Pilot that often.

Thinking I might just make up a bracket or two and use a Tiller Pilot instead.
Your thoughts???

I get that it may take up a little extra space in the helm area, but that doesnt bother me too much for the few times I plan on using it.

(the money I save I will invest in other things like Beer and Women- I promise I wont waste it. )
Can you mount one to the quadrant?
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Old 19-07-2015, 11:38   #18
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Shop ebay,etc for a use Raymarine M81130 type linear drive. Build a tiller arm to fit your rudder stock. Simplest & easiest way to get ram steering. Rugged & reliable. $600-$1200 USD
Investigate your existing control head .It may have,or can be "tapped" to supply P & S output grds sufficient to control a P & S "relay" box,which will provide enough amperage to control P&S of M81130.
Comnav Marine sells an "electronic" relay box for this purpose @ $600 Can.
CM 2?
Most any autopilot will steer most any vessel,as long as drive system/ ram turning the rudder is up to the job.30yrs experience.
90% of A/P trouble is the ram/rudder & feedback mechanics. Control Head electronics are very reliable,compatible with any current drive systems,& IMHO,equal among brands. Bells & whistles re-fancy interfacing between control head & other electronics is the current "big problem" with A/Ps.
If you want a pilot to just steer the boat,about any brand will do fine.

Autopilots,in my experience,are the most troublesome/costly electronics on a boat,because they have the most mechanical/wear prone/heavily used components & are sadly mis-understood by most owners.


Cheers/Len
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Old 19-07-2015, 12:11   #19
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

deblen/Cadence: the OP found the raymarine wheelpilot to be too costly, and is searching for cheaper alternatives - considering a tillerpilot as one (that's my understanding). you're suggesting the underdecks route (mount on the quadrant, etc). that's certainly better in every respect except cost - that's going to be much more expensive just electronics wise, plus you need to mount the ram to the hull and attach it to the rudder stock or quadrant - which will make the implementation costlier yet.

i just finished such an installation, and although i bought most of it on ebay (and i'm in the US, shipping is probably cheaper here than to OZ), the rough cost breakdown of roughly 2600 usd in parts + 150 hrs of my labor (took me a year on weekends; i'm also lucky to be able to borrow tools from friends so i don't need to bye everything everything) was this: $1100 for the electronics (S3G+rudder feedback+control head, yes it was lucky), 700 for the hydraulic drive (B&G blue), 800 misc parts (250 bolts, 200 plywood, 100 fiberglass + epoxy, 100 stainless bar to attach to quadrant). here's a thread i started about this: Attaching ram to quadrant .
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Old 19-07-2015, 13:03   #20
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

We wrote two technical articles that would help, but I can't show you where they are on here (not alowed links).
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Old 19-07-2015, 13:06   #21
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

TARTAN57.

You happen to have an older ST1000 that is fully functional that you could sell you for about $125.

I am interested in buying it.
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Old 19-07-2015, 13:31   #22
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Quote:
Originally Posted by antoha View Post
deblen/Cadence: the OP found the raymarine wheelpilot to be too costly, and is searching for cheaper alternatives - considering a tillerpilot as one (that's my understanding). you're suggesting the underdecks route (mount on the quadrant, etc). that's certainly better in every respect except cost - that's going to be much more expensive just electronics wise, plus you need to mount the ram to the hull and attach it to the rudder stock or quadrant - which will make the implementation costlier yet.

i just finished such an installation, and although i bought most of it on ebay (and i'm in the US, shipping is probably cheaper here than to OZ), the rough cost breakdown of roughly 2600 usd in parts + 150 hrs of my labor (took me a year on weekends; i'm also lucky to be able to borrow tools from friends so i don't need to bye everything everything) was this: $1100 for the electronics (S3G+rudder feedback+control head, yes it was lucky), 700 for the hydraulic drive (B&G blue), 800 misc parts (250 bolts, 200 plywood, 100 fiberglass + epoxy, 100 stainless bar to attach to quadrant). here's a thread i started about this: Attaching ram to quadrant .
Good point. A/Ps are expensive.
Perhaps he could build a tiller to fit his Emg rudderstock att. point. This tiller arm would have to be as long. He would follow instructions for mounting his existing Tiller Pilot to a normal tiller steered boat,regarding the length from rudderstock to regular tiller att. distance reqd.

I am quite sure his Tiller Pilot would not have the strength to turn the rudder in sea conditions just by att. it to quadrant or 8-10" tiller arm. It requires more leverage.

Nice job on your ram install

Cheers/Len
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Old 19-07-2015, 13:44   #23
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Len, thank you!

i gotta say, what a difference a real autopilot makes, both for reliability and noise levels, not to mention the aesthetics.

btw: i would worry about attaching an A/P tiller ram where the emergency tiller is meant to go: i don't know how much wear you can put on it before the emergency tiller itself would start slipping there. also in our case, it's not very accessible (you have to lift the cockpit grating, then unscrew the protective cap, then get the ugley crow-bar lookin' emergency tiller thingie onto the square cross section rudder stock end, and it fits sideways otherwise the binnacle is in the way). not smth i would like to have out all the time - and they are not meant to be used all the time either. it's for emergency usage, which means convenience and comfort can be safely disregarded.
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Old 20-07-2015, 04:29   #24
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

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Originally Posted by Tartan57 View Post
The answer is probably related to one of geometry. The longer the moment arm (ie: connection point of the autopilot arm on the emergency tiller length to the rudder post), the more mechanical advantage and thus the less force required for a tiller pilot to steer. Of course the drawback on that is that the autotiller arm will have to travel farther to make a steering correction, and so the electrical amps used may be a concern on your battery life. A lot would depend how far forward you would be able to mount the auto tiller without interfering with comfort and utility in the cockpit

I happen to have an older ST1000 that is fully functional that I could sell you for about $125, if you want to try it. It is the type that has the heading selector on the unit in the form of a rotating dial., So, if it doesn't work, you will only have a small bronze socket installed in a cockpit seat.

Joe Henson

Tartan 34c
Aeolus
Thanks for the feedback. I am in Aus so its probably prohibitive to buy the ST1000 off you. Thanks all the same.

Yes, I am aware that the I will get a better lever moment with the AP set further forward on the tiller. I am not so worried about cockpit space as I would mainly use it when short handed. Mainly to go and make a cuppa, use the loo or check charts etc. Its not something I plan on using days on end.
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Old 20-07-2015, 04:33   #25
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

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Originally Posted by Captain Fred View Post
Just because you have never had a cockpit full of seawater doesn't mean it can't happen when you least expect it! A gust from behind the jenny can put your spreaders in the water and you wouldn't want the emergency tiller rigged all the time to accommodate an autopilot. On my boat, to rig the emergency tiller I have to remove a four-inch threaded access plate which exposes the squared top of the rudder post. Doing so breaks the watertight integrity of the cockpit sole, opening a large drain hole directly into your bilge, and you no longer have a self-bailing cockpit. Bad Idea!
Thats a very valid point and a good one. This particular boat has the Emercency tiller position on the rear cockpit coaming however. I certainly wouldnt want to have a hole in the cockpit sole leading directly into the boat. Yikes!
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Old 20-07-2015, 04:38   #26
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
Can you mount one to the quadrant?
I possibly could mount one to the quadrant if I added a lever arm to the quadrant. However, the boat is only 30 and the crawl space is very limited. So accessing it would be rather problematic and would require a remote etc.
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Old 20-07-2015, 05:02   #27
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

One of my previous boats was set up like that by the PO. He said it worked just fine. I had a perfectly good wheel pilot from another boat so I let him keep the tiller pilot, so I never actually tried it.
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Old 21-07-2015, 01:16   #28
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Quote:
Originally Posted by deblen View Post
Good point. A/Ps are expensive.
Perhaps he could build a tiller to fit his Emg rudderstock att. point. This tiller arm would have to be as long. He would follow instructions for mounting his existing Tiller Pilot to a normal tiller steered boat,regarding the length from rudderstock to regular tiller att. distance reqd.

I am quite sure his Tiller Pilot would not have the strength to turn the rudder in sea conditions just by att. it to quadrant or 8-10" tiller arm. It requires more leverage.

Nice job on your ram install

Cheers/Len
yes, you are right. Fixing to the quadrant would require and extender arm then more electronics -eg remote etc.

Your idea of building one isnt bad. As I could build it to the perfect length for the AP. Aside from a fabricated stock, I only need some ply, epoxy and varnish for that Then, it would take up less space as the EMG is quite long .
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Old 21-07-2015, 06:48   #29
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Capt. Fred, a simple boot on the emergency tiller, like a mast boot, will solve the water entering problem.
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