The Scanmar Autohelm
is a design that looks good but apparently doesn't work well. Every one I've seen on a boat has been a decoration hanging off the back of the boat in various states of disuse and disrepair. Apparently they don't work or at least well enough for them to be maintained in working condition. Would be interested in hearing if anyone has had one that's worked successfully for long passages or short.
Because there is a small amount of bleed in a hydraulic steering
system they do not work with direct attachment to a pendulum servo self steering
system. Attach the self steering
directly to the rudder
shaft and bypass the hydraulic steering
with a pressure relief valve and you are in business.
Failing that, you need an aux. rudder self steering
system. If you got fabrication and design skills you try and do it home-brew. Don't expect it to be easy to get a system that will work and certainly not cheap
unless you build it yourself. There a number of auxiliary rudder self steering
systems available but none are cheap
, WindPilot Pacific Plus, and Fleming
are some. Have a WindPilot Pacific Plus on the boat and it's worked a charm as long as I tighten the mounting bolts. Sailed the boat DDW to Hawaii
with a relative wind
of less than 10 knots. That's the worst point of sail for a self steering system in light air but the vane did a super job.