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Old 17-07-2015, 23:23   #1
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Autopilot. Have you ever..

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. )
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Old 18-07-2015, 02:12   #2
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Hmm... I foresee many problems; almost as many as too much beer and too many women could cause.

Might just be possible but would really depend on many factors and arrangement of existing rudder stock and wheel steering components. Might be doable if you only want AP in light conditions or sheltered waters.

IMO, start saving and forsake the beer and women for a few months.
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Old 18-07-2015, 05:20   #3
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

I just watched a video where a sailor had put a sawed off tiller on his emergency tiller post specifically to run his wind vane. If I remember which one it was (and remember to look) I'll post a link. Looked simple enough.

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Old 19-07-2015, 07:12   #4
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Hmm... I foresee many problems; almost as many as too much beer and too many women could cause.

Might just be possible but would really depend on many factors and arrangement of existing rudder stock and wheel steering components. Might be doable if you only want AP in light conditions or sheltered waters.

IMO, start saving and forsake the beer and women for a few months.
What problems do you foresee. The only serious one I foresee is the added load on the AP caused by the friction of the various wheel components. That could be resolved by buying a larger AP- Say ST2000

(its only a 30 ft boat mainly used for day sailing and the occasional short coastal cruise of 40-50 NM)

Prices here are
Raymarine Evo Wheel system $2000 Aud
Raymarine ST 1000 TP $620
Raymarine ST 2000 TP $800

The difference is a lot of beer. It would also buy a variety of other shiny boat bits :-)
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Old 19-07-2015, 07:13   #5
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Quote:
Originally Posted by goat View Post
I just watched a video where a sailor had put a sawed off tiller on his emergency tiller post specifically to run his wind vane. If I remember which one it was (and remember to look) I'll post a link. Looked simple enough.

goat
Thanks. If you find the link I would love to see it.
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Old 19-07-2015, 08:17   #6
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

My previous boat, a Pearson 28, had a tiller; current boat has a wheel. I can say that moving the rudder with the emergency tiller on this boat requires a lot more force than the regular tiller on the P28. And that's not even under way. So I wonder if the little tiller pilot even can do this - let alone be used in a continuous duty application.

You can maybe use a wheel pilot? Such as raymarine grey thingie? A snap to install, meant for the application. Not the same as under decks of course, but nor will be what you are considering.

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Old 19-07-2015, 08:39   #7
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
What problems do you foresee. The only serious one I foresee is the added load on the AP caused by the friction of the various wheel components. That could be resolved by buying a larger AP- Say ST2000



(its only a 30 ft boat mainly used for day sailing and the occasional short coastal cruise of 40-50 NM)



Prices here are

Raymarine Evo Wheel system $2000 Aud

Raymarine ST 1000 TP $620

Raymarine ST 2000 TP $800



The difference is a lot of beer. It would also buy a variety of other shiny boat bits :-)

I know it's a tough ask, but go off the grog for a week and the price difference is surely covered 😉


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Old 19-07-2015, 09:11   #8
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Quote:
Originally Posted by antoha View Post
My previous boat, a Pearson 28, had a tiller; current boat has a wheel. I can say that moving the rudder with the emergency tiller on this boat requires a lot more force than the regular tiller on the P28. And that's not even under way. So I wonder if the little tiller pilot even can do this - let alone be used in a continuous duty application.

You can maybe use a wheel pilot? Such as raymarine grey thingie? A snap to install, meant for the application. Not the same as under decks of course, but nor will be what you are considering.

Anton


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Yes, that was my concern. That the load would be greater. Its something I will need to work out. thanks
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Old 19-07-2015, 09:13   #9
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
I know it's a tough ask, but go off the grog for a week and the price difference is surely covered 😉


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A week? Who drinks $1200 worth off grog in a week?
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Old 19-07-2015, 09:22   #10
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Personally I favor tiller on most 30's. If you boat is designed well the effort is not great and tiller pilots work well. Might consider selling the wheel setup, getting rid of the extra forces needed and having a lot of beer money left over.
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Old 19-07-2015, 09:22   #11
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

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.

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Old 19-07-2015, 09:33   #12
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

There are a lot of variables, but on our first boat (tiller steered) we fixed the autopilot ram onto the Aries. It was nothing short of fantastic.
On our second boat, bigger boat, centre cockpit, wheel steered we had the Aries steering via the emergency tiller - we tried the Ram on the Aries it worked sometimes and sometimes it didn't. I have detailed technical articles on both of these - together it may help you cobble something together?
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Old 19-07-2015, 09:42   #13
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Autopilot. Have you ever..

Also just wanted to mention that there's more to the install costs than the prices you listed. I just finished an under decks ram install - and I spent >200 usd in bolts alone (stainless is expensive, esp metric in the U.S., sometimes you have to buy a box when you only need 2, sometimes you get the wrong size and the only place that sells what you need doesn't accept returns etc). So try to factor in what it would take to make the custom bracket that will go in place of the emergency tiller (I would suggest not rigging emergency equipment for alternative applications, what if it breaks and the emergency it's meant for comes up). It may not be cheaper than the wheel pilot, all in.



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Old 19-07-2015, 09:52   #14
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

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!
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Old 19-07-2015, 10:11   #15
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Re: Autopilot. Have you ever..

Often an emergency tiller is too short not giving enough mechanical advantage for a light duty tiller pilot....would be my concern.
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