Originally Posted by tropicalescape
I have Edson wheel steering
on my boat,I also have an emergency tiller in the lower cockpit
at the stern end,can I or has anyone else used a tiller type auto pilot on the emergency tiller? Will this work for me ? thanks DVC
It all depends on how much force it takes to move the tiller while sailing in the conditions in which you want to use the a/p. Typically emergency tillers are not well thought out and often take a lot of force...
So, I suggest that you go out sailing. Using a simple scale (type that honest fishermen use to weigh their fish), determine the force required to move the tiller while maintaining your course. Then peruse the manufacturers specifications for thrust available from their various models of tiller pilots. When you find one that seems to meet the requirements, check their installation
manual to determine how far out along the tiller they recommend attaching the drive. Compare that distance with where you attached the scale when you made the measurement, and if different, make the correction in required thrust. If it still meets the specs, it should work ok.
A simple way of looking at it is if it is hard for you to steer with the tiller, then it will be hard (or impossible) for the a/p to do it!
PS FWIW, our boat has both wheel and tiller (originally steered exclusively with the tiller, so it isn't an "emergency" setup. We have an Autohelm
ST4000 tiller pilot, and it will steer our boat under only mild conditions. Boat is 46' and roughly 11-12 tonnes in cruise
trim, so well beyond the mfgs specs for that pilot.