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Old 16-05-2018, 09:45   #1
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Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

Hi all:
I have a 1973 Morgan OI 41 that does not have hydraulic steering. Iíd like to add autopilot for an upcoming cruise so I can do away with the current bungee cord autopilot. Does anyone have suggestions or recommendations regarding brands or install? Thanks much!

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Old 16-05-2018, 10:05   #2
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Re: Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

What is your boat's displacement?
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Old 16-05-2018, 10:14   #3
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Re: Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

Any electric or hydraulic linear actuator will be able to be added to a tiller arm bolted to your rudder stock.

A CPT autopilot can drive your wheel.

Id bet that even a rotary drive motor can be added to the underside of your pedestal if thereís room for a second sprocket on the shaft
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Old 16-05-2018, 10:31   #4
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Re: Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Any electric or hydraulic linear actuator will be able to be added to a tiller arm bolted to your rudder stock.

A CPT autopilot can drive your wheel.

Id bet that even a rotary drive motor can be added to the underside of your pedestal if thereís room for a second sprocket on the shaft


It had a rotary when I bought it but it was shot so I removed everything outside the pedestal housing. Inner components are still there but donít know if functional.

She weighs 28,000 lbs.
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Old 16-05-2018, 10:36   #5
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Re: Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

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It had a rotary when I bought it but it was shot so I removed everything outside the pedestal housing. Inner components are still there but donít know if functional.

She weighs 28,000 lbs.


So you still have a non functioning autopilot drive motor in the engine room beneath your cockpit?

If yes, the simple answer is to get a whole new setup with a rotary drive.

Whitlock, Jefa, raymarine....they all make rotary drives.
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Old 16-05-2018, 11:28   #6
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Re: Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

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So you still have a non functioning autopilot drive motor in the engine room beneath your cockpit?

If yes, the simple answer is to get a whole new setup with a rotary drive.

Whitlock, Jefa, raymarine....they all make rotary drives.


Perfect thank you. Iím just not familiar with the specific brands of rotary AP. Any specific ones better than others?
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Old 16-05-2018, 12:49   #7
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Re: Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

Did you look at the pypilot? pypilot - open source marine autopilot

Here it is in action. https://youtu.be/KQuBwLSMSxI

Probably could box up the motor to make it prettier, but should be able to handle your boat.


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Old 16-05-2018, 15:15   #8
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Re: Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

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Did you look at the pypilot? pypilot - open source marine autopilot

Here it is in action. https://youtu.be/KQuBwLSMSxI

Probably could box up the motor to make it prettier, but should be able to handle your boat.


Bill O.

Thanks Bill. Iím not sure that will work without hydraulic steering will it? WhT I had was a belt drive type autopilot that had a motor mounted on the outside of the pedestal with a belt that went to the wheel and turned it based on the set heading. Even something like this would be fine with me. Iíd like to be able to set a heading and not just lock the wheel. I also donít mind if it doesnít sync with my navigation lowrance and navionics software. I just want be able to hold a course if i need to go below or to the bow.
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Old 16-05-2018, 15:25   #9
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Re: Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

Paul,
Yes it will work with your non-hydraulic system. Did you watch the you tube video? It's basically configured as a wheel pilot like you are looking for and in the video its compared to the CPT unit that someone else suggested.


Also you can hook it up to a very small computer running OpenPlotter/OpenCPN that will probably do as well or better than your current navigation/autopilot system.


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Old 17-05-2018, 01:46   #10
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Re: Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

Another possibility is the Pelagic drive unit coupled up to the old rotary drive motor.
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Old 17-05-2018, 08:57   #11
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Re: Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

We'll be going with a below deck Jefa unit on our 47'er with chanin/cable to quadrant steering. We'll use that with the b&g NAC 3 autopilot. We have a big hydraulic ram in storage that we'll use for backup later on with a simple heading pilot.
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Old 17-05-2018, 09:27   #12
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Re: Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

I have been very pleased with my Alpha 3000 unit for some 30 years now.
Linear actuator. One end attached to the hull with the other driving a lever arm attached to the rudder shaft and has a manual disconnect for normal hand steering.
Installation was a little tricky as the lever arm had to be bored at an angle since the rudder post is not perpendicular to the waterline.
Has done a great job of steering in some large following seas. Certainly steers a much better course than I can by hand.
Company is based somewhere in the north west.
Good luck on your quest.
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Old 17-05-2018, 09:43   #13
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Re: Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

You could go with Raymarine mechanical linear drive unit:
Raymarine Smartpilot - Drive Unit Selection

Type 2 would do it.
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Old 17-05-2018, 11:55   #14
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Re: Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

We had a rotary that was a brick so we replaced it with a Jefa and have been pleased so far. The Jefa unit comes with a sprocket and we had to change out the sprocket to be what they suggested but the thing is an impressive bit of engineering that should work fine on a boat your size.
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Old 17-05-2018, 12:20   #15
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Re: Non-hydraulic auto pilot suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowpoke View Post
I have been very pleased with my Alpha 3000 unit for some 30 years now.
Linear actuator. One end attached to the hull with the other driving a lever arm attached to the rudder shaft and has a manual disconnect for normal hand steering.
Installation was a little tricky as the lever arm had to be bored at an angle since the rudder post is not perpendicular to the waterline.
Has done a great job of steering in some large following seas. Certainly steers a much better course than I can by hand.
Company is based somewhere in the north west.
Good luck on your quest.
Yep excellent units. A bit old school, but sturdy, simple and good. They may have newer units now, not sure if they are still around. I had them on 40-47 foot boats. Plenty of power.
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