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Old 12-06-2014, 15:50   #1
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Tiller Autopilot which can be disengaged and engaged remotely?

Hi,

I have an electrical Raymarine tiller autopilot ST5000.
The tiller control arm is separate from the control unit.

While the system does what it is supposed to do, stear the boat, I have the problem that I need to climb on the portside stern if I want to engage the AP (=hook the pilot ram on the tiller arm).
On a mono this would pose no problem as the tiller is in the cockpit.

To disengage quickly, I rigged a release line into the cockpit. This works fine.

Still, to climb on the stern to reengage in wavy conditions is dangerous and I'd like to avoid it.
I am pretty sure others have the same problem.

Did anyone find a solution to avoid it?
Is there a tillerpilot which can be put into neutral? I know that wheel pilots can be disengaged by loosening the drive belt or putting a hydraulic ram into neutral. But on a normal electric unit?

I would love to keep tiller steering and would really hate it to change to a wheel.

Do you have pics of your set-up?

Thanks,

Franziska
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Old 12-06-2014, 18:16   #2
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Re: Tiller Autopilot which can be disengaged and engaged remotely?

I use a ST2000 - I do not have the remote but I suppose this is the proper way to do what you are asking.

Amazon.com: raymarine-autohelm-st5000
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Old 12-06-2014, 18:20   #3
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Re: Tiller Autopilot which can be disengaged and engaged remotely?

Oops - Sorry I just reread your post.

I get it. Your tiller pilot is remote from the cockpit and even when "disengaged" electronically you must physically unhook the unit to get it to be "free."

Sorry the remote is not what you need.
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Old 12-06-2014, 18:31   #4
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Re: Tiller Autopilot which can be disengaged and engaged remotely?

You have a string to disengage it, why not use a string to engage it. For me that would be a nice lathe project with happy hours designing it .
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Old 12-06-2014, 19:14   #5
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Re: Tiller Autopilot which can be disengaged and engaged remotely?

OK here is a crazy thought...

What if the "boat end" of the TP was mounted on a "standard" harken traveller - ball bearing type.

Unclip the traveller line and the TP freely rolls back and forth on the traveller with the tiller movement. You are pushing the weight of TP back and forth when manually steering but you aren't a racing cat so this may be livable.

Center the tiller clip the traveller lines and besides the slight back and forth movement the rope and traveller allows the TP should be stable enough to steer.
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Old 13-06-2014, 03:41   #6
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Re: Tiller Autopilot which can be disengaged and engaged remotely?

Hey Ex-Calif,

awesome idea & clever out of the box thinking. I like!

This will get rid of the release line as well. I will see if I can find a used dinghy track on ebay or the like.
Loads should not be very big, as AP's are usually designed not to carry huge loads either.
With a Spectra line I would think it should be precise enough.

Many thanks,

Franziska
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Old 13-06-2014, 03:58   #7
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Re: Tiller Autopilot which can be disengaged and engaged remotely?

Here's an improvement idea.

What if the line that connected to the traveler was actually 1/8 or even 1/16 SS wire in a continuous loop that passes through a single clutch near the helm. Turnbuckle to tension it. turning blocks etc to route it.

1/16 gear would also be really light and plenty strong. And because it is one loop and wire (guaranteed zero stretch) the TP would be more stable as well.

Then there is only one motion, one clutch to engage and free the TP.
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Old 16-06-2014, 02:36   #8
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Re: Tiller Autopilot which can be disengaged and engaged remotely?

There is a remote for the ST series, and there was a guy on here who was building wireless remotes for them too.. i'll see if I can find the email he sent me if you want.
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Old 16-06-2014, 04:44   #9
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Re: Tiller Autopilot which can be disengaged and engaged remotely?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomm0 View Post
There is a remote for the ST series, and there was a guy on here who was building wireless remotes for them too.. i'll see if I can find the email he sent me if you want.
I initially thought she was looking for a remote control too. But then I reread and remembered when you "disengage" the the ST series the ram just "locks" in place.

To free the tiller you physically have to unhook the ram from the tiller bracket to manual steer. Hence the mumbo about a traveller so the tiller pilot can freely ride back and forth under manual.

It appears the ST5000 series has a remote control head and I presume she has this in the cockpit.
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Old 30-06-2014, 14:31   #10
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Re: Tiller Autopilot which can be disengaged and engaged remotely?

Actually TommO,

just saw your posting. While it is not the solution after which I am , I could do with a remote too. Could you be so kind to track the email down?

Many thanks,

Franziska
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Old 02-07-2014, 17:27   #11
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Re: Tiller Autopilot which can be disengaged and engaged remotely?

Why not replace the tillerpilot with a Raymarine Linear Drive, it works like a tillerpilot but disengages when the autopilot control unit is turned off but stays connected to the tiller.
The length of the drive may be the only issue but that can be addressed by the position of the connection to the tiller.

Peter
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Old 02-09-2014, 14:33   #12
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Can a raymarine type 1 linear drive be mounted outside? Experiences?

Hi,

kind of a late reply. I did not know that the linear mechanical drives (not the cockpit mounted tiller drive systems with inbuilt controls!) could be put into "neutral".
Seems actually that this is possible.

Before I get one, does anyone know if this system could be also be used on deck? Maybe with a splash cover retrofitted?

Has anyone done that?

That would solve the issue of having to climb on the stern to reengage the pilot.
My rudders are transom hung, so an exterior connection would be great.

Thanks for further thoughts & experiences,

Fran
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Old 11-11-2016, 17:34   #13
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Re: Tiller Autopilot which can be disengaged and engaged remotely?

Hi,

old thread, but I owe the picture of the solution which works quite nice.
Important is that the blocking line is very low stretch.

The slider/traveller sled has to work on pressure and not on pull.
My first version used a ballbearing roller on an X-track and needed replacing by a plastic slider later.

Now it works very well.

N8N8 Franziska
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