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Old 27-09-2016, 11:23   #1
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Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

I'm looking for a new autopilot. Ideally I would like a tiller mounted autopilot that moves along and stays connected and when I need it starts steering at the push of a button.

(Like the raymarine linear drive below deck autopilots)

Does something like this exist?

Now I am using a auto helm 1000 analogue autopilot. I has only failed me twice in about 3000 nmi and both times I could repair it under 1h on board.


However setting the course with the compass is cumbersome and takes time.
I would like an autopilot I can engage at the push of a button without 2 min setting up first so I can easily use it inside the harbor entrance when storing my fenders.

Besides having 2 autopilots on board seems like a good idea for longer trips.
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Old 27-09-2016, 11:40   #2
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

To answer your question , I don't know if something like that exists . Interesting thought though . IMO the newer AP's for the tiller are a little easier to use nowadays . When not in use it's in stand by mode , but not hooked to the tiller . To use it , connect to tiller, hit nav . and then fine tune by the degree buttons . Usually goes pretty quick . By the way nice looking boat .
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Old 27-09-2016, 12:25   #3
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

I can't see what you're sailing on my tablet but Lecomble & Schmitt sell an external mount linear drive for the mini trans boats. Their other cylinders are made of the same materials, so, they should work equally well if you need larger.

We have a rudder in a transom cutout and will have the cylinder through a bulkhead with half of it exposed to weather.... We went with a 40 Lecomble & Schmitt for this reason.


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Old 27-09-2016, 13:22   #4
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

I didn't know Lecome en Schmitt. I'm looking at their stuff now.
Looks a bit overkill for met 28ft Trintella. Their smallest model gives 280kg of force. Thats enough to break my rudder. The autohelm 1000 can handle almost anything. (It is too slow when sailing downwind in heavy weather but has never lacked force)

Anyway, thanks for the tip.

Also I like to participate in classic boat events, race's and rallys. Thus anything removable is a +.
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Old 28-09-2016, 08:24   #5
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

Octopus Autopilot Drive Systems |
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Old 28-09-2016, 08:51   #6
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

Have a look at the Pelagic tiller pilot.
Robust and with fast responce.
Easy to use.
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Old 28-09-2016, 09:04   #7
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

Have a look at " Pelagic autopilot" control at <pelagicautopilot.com>, about the size of a pack of cigarettes with a wireless remote control for $780.00, used by a number of single-handed transpax racers.
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Old 28-09-2016, 09:06   #8
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

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Originally Posted by TOPGALLANT32 View Post
Have a look at the Pelagic tiller pilot.
Robust and with fast responce.
Easy to use.
I'm looking at them now. Looks like a beautiful product.
It's expensive. But you get what you pay for.

I also like the external gyro. The normal compass on my authelm and modern ST series autopilots does funny things when boat heel is suddenly over 40. Not a problem for most modern boat but it is a problem for my old longkeeler.

Can someone confirm you can leave it connected and still steer easily by hand when the autopilot is not active?
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Old 28-09-2016, 09:46   #9
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

Contact the company. They are very nice and respond to questions quickly.
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Old 28-09-2016, 09:53   #10
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

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.
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Old 28-09-2016, 09:55   #11
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

The pelagic is as cheap as they come, basically. Drives my boat in 40 knot winds doing 15 knots.
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Old 28-09-2016, 10:13   #12
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccgarnaal View Post
I'm looking at them now. Looks like a beautiful product.
It's expensive. But you get what you pay for.

I also like the external gyro. The normal compass on my authelm and modern ST series autopilots does funny things when boat heel is suddenly over 40. Not a problem for most modern boat but it is a problem for my old longkeeler.

Can someone confirm you can leave it connected and still steer easily by hand when the autopilot is not active?

No. Like the tillerpilots, you have to lift and disconnect the drive when not in use. It is not a clutched drive.... that is how they keep the price low.

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Old 28-09-2016, 11:31   #13
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

Think twice about your requirement for leaving it attached when not in use. One of the few advantages of a tiller pilot is that it is engaged/disengaged by simply lifting it on/off the pin on the tiller. Otherwise there is a clutch, which can require a fair amount power to keep engaged. This wouldn't matter if you are only using the AP under power, but for long passages under sail it would add up.

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Old 28-09-2016, 13:58   #14
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

In addition to the power consumption, and arguably more importantly, a clutch would be one more possible failure mode, one that could be dangerous.

On a typical (belt-driven) wheel drive, a clutch failure would mean that either the autopilot won't work (fails disengaged), or make hand steering slightly more difficult (fails engaged).

Linear tiller drives use a worm gear, which gives them great holding strength, yet still able to be driven with a relatively small, low current motor. If you had one with a clutch attached to your tiller, and the clutch failed, it would be impossible to hand steer until you disconnected it from the tiller, which could be too late.
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Old 28-09-2016, 14:29   #15
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Re: Best autopilot for a transom hang rudder with tiller?

You could always make a simple "declutching" system for example by mounting the base on a short athawtships track that gets locked with a rope, much like a mainsheet traveller.

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