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Old 05-04-2015, 09:57   #1
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Location: Ballard , WA
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Seeking autopilot for westsail 32

Hi all ,
I'm looking at getting an autopilot for my westsail . Tiller , 20,000 lbs displacement . Interested in recommendations , et al !
(mechanical , not windvane )

Thanks !

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Old 05-04-2015, 13:29   #2
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Re: Seeking autopilot for westsail 32

You'll have to get a tiller pilot, duh!!! Raymarine makes a heavy duty one that might work. IIRC someone used one of these for a cruise through the Caribbean and halfway to Tahiti before it finally gave out. Raymarine was horrified that they even tried using it. The Westsail has a pretty heavy helm under sail that tiller pilots just aren't built to handle.

The Raymarine pilot used to be called an X5 but think it's now called an EV-1. It's only rated to 13,500 pounds displacement, though. Simrad makes a self contained unit with about the same rating. Don't know of other sources of supposedly heavier duty tiller pilots. If you just want it for steering under power, the Simrad would be cheapest way to go and would probably just fine.

If you have a vane, and you are a few sandwiches short of a picnic if you don't cause the boat is steered so well by a Pendulum Servo Vane, you could work out a way to attach a cheap tiller pilot to that. Would work for sailing but might not under power. The prop is close to the vane's rudder and the prop wash probably wouldn't allow it to work very well. Never tried one on our boat but the vane rudder danced around an awful lot under power. Easy to test out, just try and have the vane steer while you input heading into the vane by hand while under power.

Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
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Old 05-04-2015, 13:55   #3
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Re: Seeking autopilot for westsail 32

Thanks Peter ,
I've got an Aries windvane (not installed yet) for when the boat is under sail , and am looking for the heaviest duty tiller pilot to handle things under power , and maybe for light sailing duty . As far as I can tell the Raymarine is the one , but yeah only rated for 13,500 ... Just hoping there might be something out there rated for more .
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Old 08-04-2015, 20:15   #4
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Re: Seeking autopilot for westsail 32

The simrad tp32 is what most Westsailors use with good luck.
Bud taplins service manual illustrates the best mounting location which my be in conflict to common manufacturers mounting recommendations but seems to be the ticket.
In fact many Westsailors use their simrads in ocean passages and report good performance even in a stiff breeze.
Offshore races have been won with Westsailors using their tillerpilots primarily.
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Old 28-04-2015, 18:53   #5
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Re: Seeking autopilot for westsail 32

I would get one of these if I had a W32 Raymarine SPX/ SPX-5GP Removable Tiller Drive Autopilots
But we don't have a W32 we have a W28, and we use this one. Raymarine ST2000+ Tiller Pilot - Raymarine A12005 - Raymarine Tiller Autopilots - Raymarine Autopilots - Autopilots - Boatersland Marine
We don't ask too much from it , just steer the boat when we motor sail .
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autopilot, sail

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