Pendulum Servo systems like the Monitor
don't work well attached directly to the wheel with hydraulic steering. There is constant creep of the rudder because of the hydraulic fluid seeping past the seals
. You can use a Pendulum Servo if you run the control lines directly to the stub tiller attached to the rudder shaft and add a bypass valve to the Hydraulic steering. You can also go direct to the steering quadrant but you probably don't have one.
That leaves auxiliary rudder systems like the WindPilot Pacific Plus, etc. I've got the WPP+ on my boat and it steers exceptionally well. Only problem is maneuverability un tight spaces. Think this system would actually work better on a fin keel
The problem with Auto Pilots is how long they'll last before they go tits up and feeding them. You have to take along enough spare parts
to totally rebuild
the sytem 'cause you don't know what will go wrong, just that something will. In any kind of a seaway, autopilots eat up a whole bunch of electrons. You can easily double the cost of the A/P in solar panels
, windmills, generators and huge battery
banks to keep the juice flowing.
IMHO, you buy the selfsteering system then find a boat to put it on. As a single
hander, you cannot make a passage
without self steering
, and really can't sail much beyond the harbor. You just can't be at the helm and trim the sails
, handle the ground tackle, navigate, and simply take a break all at the same time. On my boat, the selfsteering gets engaged as soon as I'm out of the harbor and I don't take the helm again till heading back to the slip.