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Old 14-09-2011, 10:43   #1
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Well, THERE'S the Problem . . . (Trashed My Wheel Pilot)

It seems the Raymarine Mk2 wheel pilot isn't up to the challenge of beating into F8 in the steep confused seas of the Gulf of Riga...




Three of the nine orbital gears in the gearbox have sheered teeth.

(this is the third time this wheel pilot has failed, all due to breaking plastic, if only a bit better materials were used, it would be alot more robust -- the issue doesn't appear to be the design, just the build quality)

So here I sit in Liepaja, Latvia, waiting on a replacement gearbox...
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Old 14-09-2011, 11:20   #2
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Re: Well, *there's* your problem... (trashed my wheel pilot)

Never did like planetary gear systems. Weak and if one gear goes, they seem to like to take a few with them.

Hope the replacement parts gets there soon, unless you like that area (a lot).

Keith
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Old 14-09-2011, 11:34   #3
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Re: Well, *there's* your problem... (trashed my wheel pilot)

I have a MkI with gears that look just like that. Guess they didn't improve much from I to II
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Old 14-09-2011, 13:52   #4
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Re: Well, THERE'S the Problem . . . (Trashed My Wheel Pilot)

FWIW,

This won't help your immediate problem, but might be good in the future.

I would be very surprised if Autohelm has those gears custom made, so there is a good chance that they are of some standard size and number of teeth. If so, it is quite possible that a commercial vendor (McMaster-Carr, etc) would have similar gears made from brass or some other stronger-than-plastic material. So, when you return to civilization, take one of your old gears to a supplier and set them to work finding a replacement.

And I for one got tired of rebuilding my Autohelm 3000 gearbox and abdicated to another autopilot OEM.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 14-09-2011, 13:59   #5
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Re: Well, THERE'S the Problem . . . (Trashed My Wheel Pilot)

Yep, those autopilots are made for Sunday afternoon on the mill pond.
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Old 14-09-2011, 14:08   #6
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Re: Well, THERE'S the Problem . . . (Trashed My Wheel Pilot)

and folks wonder why i dont like those particular thingies........
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Old 14-09-2011, 14:13   #7
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Re: Well, THERE'S the Problem . . . (Trashed My Wheel Pilot)

Why not give the new parts to a good garage and have them manufactured in e.g. bronze, or some other adequate but stronger material?

Then use the metal parts for repair, the plastic ones for spares?

b.
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Old 14-09-2011, 14:43   #8
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Re: Well, THERE'S the Problem . . . (Trashed My Wheel Pilot)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post

And I for one got tired of rebuilding my Autohelm 3000 gearbox and abdicated to another autopilot OEM.

Cheers,

Jim
Jim, can you tell us what brand you went to?
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Old 14-09-2011, 14:49   #9
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Re: Well, THERE'S the Problem . . . (Trashed My Wheel Pilot)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjames View Post
Jim, can you tell us what brand you went to?
Whitlock drive, Navman brain (different boat... the 3000 went with Insatiable I when we sold her).

On I-2 we actually have both a tiller and a wheel, use an Autohelm 4000 tiller pilot in light going (way less power hungry, but not enough grunt for even moderate conditions) and the Navman/Whitlock for anything stiff.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 14-09-2011, 16:34   #10
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Re: Well, THERE'S the Problem . . . (Trashed My Wheel Pilot)

you have a tiller AND a wheel on your sailboat????

or just a tiller auto pilot and a wheel auto pilot???

how are they connected??
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Old 14-09-2011, 18:32   #11
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Re: Well, THERE'S the Problem . . . (Trashed My Wheel Pilot)

Quote:
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you have a tiller AND a wheel on your sailboat????

or just a tiller auto pilot and a wheel auto pilot???

how are they connected??
Insatiable II started life with only tiller steering. On her first heavy weather voyage (Japan to the Aleutians) the owner/builder's wife found that she was hard for her to steer in the big following seas found on that route. So, once they got to Canada, Gary (the owner, who is also a master shipwright) installed an Edson wheel steering system, but retained the tiller. It is normally seen in its vertical position, but is available instantly should a cable break or such. We still use it for the Autohelm 4000 tiller pilot as described above. The "big" autopilot drive is mounted in the lazarette and connects to a below-deck tiller arm on the rudder post via a drag link.

They coexist without squabbling. And, just to add fuel to the arguments, I find the boat easier and pleasanter to steer with the wheel. The rudder is mounted on a narrow structural skeg and is partially balanced... this results in a feather light helm under most conditions, and she is now delightful to steer.

Hope that this answers your queries.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 14-09-2011, 18:54   #12
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Re: Well, THERE'S the Problem . . . (Trashed My Wheel Pilot)

Thank much, i looked at the photo of your boat, interesting system you have, I like it
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Old 14-09-2011, 19:23   #13
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Re: Well, THERE'S the Problem . . . (Trashed My Wheel Pilot)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
Yep, those autopilots are made for Sunday afternoon on the mill pond.
Well, I'm abit surprised a few other bits of the boat did'nt give up the ghost too!

Not for me ...going to windward in force 8 gale conditions...crazy!

"Sailing to me is all about enjoyment not endurance"! You can quote me.
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Old 14-09-2011, 19:36   #14
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Re: Well, THERE'S the Problem . . . (Trashed My Wheel Pilot)

Small Parts Inc.
I love this company for gears and misc stuff. Maybe even more than McMaster-Carr

Be careful!! If you start poking around either of those websites, you may wonder where the last hour (or two) went. Maybe I'm just a geek that way.

Richard
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Old 14-09-2011, 19:47   #15
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Re: Well, THERE'S the Problem . . . (Trashed My Wheel Pilot)

It's a long shot but...... A good, in focus, macro-ish photo of a cleaned up gear with a decent ruler, caliper set to a known dimension, etc. in the picture and we might be able to source something for you. Front and side of the gear. Like I said, long shot.

Richard
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