The trouble is that the wind pilot relies heavily on a balanced helm
. The pendulum exerts a small force on a well balanced helm
. You trim the sails
properly and it takes almost nothing to hold the point of sail. The course alters to the trim of the sails
and the wind direction. If you use a fluxgate compass and the wind shifts you need a lot more power because you are tied to a compass heading and eventually the boat
over powers the pendulum and you need a powered servo.
So it comes down to the issue of the servo is unable to counter prevailing wind and sail trim at some point. Connecting the two does not buy you much but maybe just a little tiny bit. The wind pilot really does not need the servo and the added force of the pendulum won't counter act the sail trim leaving the brute force to the servo. If the servo could do the job you would not require the pendulum since it adds so little force.
If the system did work then you would have invented a free lunch since making a low powered servo into a large powered servo can't be done with a pendulum. Both systems work and have value but linking them is not required.
Mounting the tiller pilot below deck
is another engineering issue. The leverage afforded is really the only problem and you can compute the force difference of a cockpit
mounted version vs. your plan. Make the lever arm equal and the power will be the same but never any better. Being below deck of course solves the water
problem. I don't see the linkages being common as saving you anything. The wind vane
requires a very low force and the servo is set up to deliver a much larger force. Anything that actually worked might be nothing more than coincidence.
Second is the location of the fluxgate compass. They can be particular about where they operate and metal effects the calibration. With the compass contained inside the unit and not located in the cockpit
you have to roll the dice about the location. Being able to locate the compass any place would be ideal. You'll find out when you attempt to calibrate the compass. With enough interference
it will refuse to calibrate the magnetic variations caused by the boat
and be useless. It will just come down to if it works.
Our last boat had the compass mounted in a poor location that in theory should have been perfect - but it was not. Moving the compass fixed the problem. It was in a forward locker where no metal was located and we moved it aft to where there was a lot of metal. Magnetic fields are what they are. I would say you can't know unless you tried. Steel
decks would make me think against it but maybe not. An external compass would make it work as they do work on steel tug boats. That much I do know for sure. I just don't know where they put the compass.