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Old 29-07-2011, 13:31   #1
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pirate Tiller Steering, Autopilot

I need recommendations for an electronic autopilot for a 39'lod 35'wll 27000lb full keel cruiser. I have windvane for 90% of gulf sailing. I would like to add tiller pilot. What have you used and what did you like or not like about your unit. Thanks in advance.
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Old 29-07-2011, 13:38   #2
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Re: Tiller steering, Autopilot

You might use the smallest tiller pilot, but attach it to the windvane for power. This is not uncommon. Saves money and electric power.
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Old 29-07-2011, 13:52   #3
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Re: Tiller Steering, Autopilot

I'll second Daddle's suggestion. Try it out first though. In some boats the prop wash really messes with the pendlum servo selfsteering rudder.

If you want to go with a tiller pilot, Raymarine makes a heavy duty unit called the 'X5 Grand Prix' that will be about the only one up to the tiller on your boat. Raymarine Tiller AutoPilot. The usual one armed bandit tiller pilots are designed for relatively small boats with balanced spade rudders and probably won't handle the force required to steer your boat. I've got the wheel pilot version on my boat and it's worked well for powering and sailing in light air.
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Old 29-07-2011, 14:21   #4
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Re: Tiller Steering, Autopilot

Daddle and roverhi,

Thanks for your quick and informative replies. I have looked at the Raymarine 5X and it is the closest to meeting my boat size and weight. I had not thought of using a smaller unit attached to my vane. I will also look at that..again thanks

On rereading roverhi's message I do NOT have a tab fastened to my rudder, my unit is an independent one of the rudder controlling it via attachments to the tiller itself.
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Old 29-07-2011, 15:12   #5
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Re: Tiller Steering, Autopilot

small auto on wind pendulum, if pure auto then anything that can be serviced in your area and with an oversize drive

my fave are hydraulic drives

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Old 29-07-2011, 15:18   #6
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Re: Tiller Steering, Autopilot

Baranakiel,

Thanks for the info, amazing how many have the knowledge you need when you ask for it.
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Old 29-07-2011, 19:23   #7
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Re: Tiller Steering, Autopilot

I'd go with the heavy duty Raymarine. 100% redundancy if the rudder on the windvane breaks. Tiller pilots are noisy though.
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Old 30-07-2011, 09:40   #8
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Re: Tiller Steering, Autopilot

Curmudgeon,

Thanks for the noise issue with the Raymarine. First I have heard.
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Old 30-07-2011, 12:42   #9
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Re: Tiller Steering, Autopilot

It's a noise issue with all cockpit located pilots, not just Raymarine. Hear the tiller pilots are noisier than the wheel pilots possibly because of the screw drive. Haveb't really noticed all that much in any case. Personally, like the lovely symphony coming from my wheel pilot cause I know it's working. It's one of those things that bother some and don't bother others.
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Old 30-07-2011, 13:11   #10
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Re: Tiller Steering, Autopilot

Roverhi,

As I get older (seems to come faster now) my hearing is decreasing while the hair loss is increasing.
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Old 31-07-2011, 06:31   #11
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Re: Tiller Steering, Autopilot

I wouldn't say the Raymarine one is noisy, not like a drill or anything. WE have the ST2000 and after a couple of minutes it becomes back ground noise, but as Roverhi says its nice to hear it working after all you don't have to be next to it so you are free to move around, go to the loo or put the kettle on.

Its probably worth mentioning you shouldn't sit next to it with a mobile phone in your pocket. We found out the hard way when the boat gybed of its own accord. Took a minute to work out why

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Old 31-07-2011, 07:25   #12
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Re: Tiller Steering, Autopilot

I would look at the Simrad TP 32. When I purchased mine I also looked at the ST 4000 which is the same as the the Raymarine 5X now. The 5x has 185 lbs. thrust and is rated to 16,500 lbs. the TP32 is 187 lbs. thrust and is rated to 14,000 lbs. The main reason I picked the TP32 is because of cost. You can buy 3 TP32s for the price of 1 5X.
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Old 21-08-2011, 14:29   #13
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Re: Tiller Steering, Autopilot

How would you rate the longevity of the TP32 Footloose?
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Old 23-08-2011, 14:19   #14
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Re: Tiller Steering, Autopilot

But the Ray thing is a G model and can have the control mounted anywhere - say up front under the dodger, so that you can control the whole thing from there.

Other than the thrust and timing, these two are two different beasts.

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Old 24-08-2011, 01:38   #15
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Re: Tiller Steering, Autopilot

We have a Monitor windvane and a Raymarine tiller pilot (the most powerful one). I would certainly recommend the combination. The spectra cord on the Monitor broke in atrocious conditions and I was reluctant to lean that far outboard to replace it. Hand steering could only be done for about an hour at a time, at great physical cost. We had doubts that the tiller pilot would steer the boat and had visions of it coming to a grinding halt.

How wrong we were. It steered us perfectly for the next few days when reached port. We were impressed and now want to get a second drive unit only as a spare. Also we will for the future make a direct connection to the windvane although that still wouldn't have worked with a broken control line.

Noise? Nothing to note, especially with a background of high winds and big seas. Power drain? Not much at all.

Boat is 38 feet with fin keel and spade rudder.
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