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Old 28-09-2016, 16:43   #16
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

Just had a look at the Pelagic site... an interesting product. The price seems quite attractive to me, especially when I paid over 800 AUD a few years ago for just the drive unit for a Raymarine ST4000.

However, their site leaves me with a vague uneasyness: they are kinda coy about specifications. For instance, I couldn't find what the max travel for the ram was, anything about the control box or how the software worked, whether there was an input for wind direction or STW to aid their calculations, or even what size/displacement vessels it would suit in their opinion. Then there was their "comparison test with the competition", where they didn't identify said competition. Was it a Ray 1000 or a 4000GT? or something else. Makes a big difference!

I have used a ST4000 as a backup on our boat, and it is inadequate... been through several motors and two drives so far, and have given up on further replacements. Have considered using an industrial linear drive with the ST4000 control plus some load relays, but this Pelagic might be a good intermediate option... but as I said, the website has me a bit worried! I'll give it some more thought...

Jim
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Old 28-09-2016, 17:01   #17
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

This is of interest to me also. Have a P30 with it's rather powerful rudder (I think it's the shape and the way it's hung).
We need to add some sort of AP - so when I look at new units , I see units like the pelagic vs others like the ST2000+ .. Long term, what's better ? We travel a bunch now and way more in the future and only want to do this once!!!
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Old 29-09-2016, 01:23   #18
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
I have had the raymarine autohelm 800,1000, and 2000+ (on different boats...T22, C&C25, P30). They are all essentially the same unit. And they were all great. If you are doing a long trip, buy a spare.

In addition, I built my own backup....a 1x2 piece of oak with a pin in one end, and a hole in the other. If I just needed someone to hold the tiller straight for a moment/minute, I would pop in the stick. Good enough to hold a heading while going slow, while I get the lines and fenders out, or pop below for something. Requires no electrical connection, no electronic compass, no buttons, no adjustments...just a stick. I also used it to hold the tiller when at anchor and docked, so the rudder would not smash around. Really, it was almost as good as the autohelm. And could steer better than most of my guests. More pleasant too.
Have another look at my picture. Under the helm is a stainless line locking mechanism. When sailing by hand usually a rope runs trough. I just need to move the white handle up to lock the rudder in any position. It's my go to solution when single handing. Especially use full inside port when preparing fenders and mooring lines.
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Old 29-09-2016, 13:20   #19
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Just had a look at the Pelagic site... an interesting product. The price seems quite attractive to me, especially when I paid over 800 AUD a few years ago for just the drive unit for a Raymarine ST4000.

However, their site leaves me with a vague uneasyness: they are kinda coy about specifications. For instance, I couldn't find what the max travel for the ram was, anything about the control box or how the software worked, whether there was an input for wind direction or STW to aid their calculations, or even what size/displacement vessels it would suit in their opinion. Then there was their "comparison test with the competition", where they didn't identify said competition. Was it a Ray 1000 or a 4000GT? or something else. Makes a big difference!

I have used a ST4000 as a backup on our boat, and it is inadequate... been through several motors and two drives so far, and have given up on further replacements. Have considered using an industrial linear drive with the ST4000 control plus some load relays, but this Pelagic might be a good intermediate option... but as I said, the website has me a bit worried! I'll give it some more thought...

Jim
Jim- It might help to explain that the Pelagic product is the result of a single, very talented engineer. He has spent years developing the AP, and continues to improve its design (and add features). The web site is not where he is concentrating his efforts. It has been about half a year since I saw him, and at that time he had already added the ability to receive wind info via 0183. He may add other sentences in the future, possibly XTE, but his concept is a self-contained system which does one thing great: steer the boat straight in all conditions. No fancy display. No route following (very problematic feature IMHO). Just a great AP. Inside the controller is a surface mount PCB with microcontroller and heading, acceleration, and gyro sensors (he designs his own layouts). The second box has the drive circuit (high power transistors) - check the max current spec. The magic is in the programming, of course, but how to explain that?

His work has been on developing the electronics and firmware, which can work on any number of drive types and sizes. He has a price for just that if you want to provide your own drive. Personally I was looking at a different linear drive for my boat than the one he offers. No problem.

He is extremely helpful, so if you do have any questions you should just ask him, either through his website or here (@brianb00).

Greg
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