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Old 22-06-2020, 17:15   #1

Join Date: Sep 2014
Boat: 1980 (Canning) Mariner36
Posts: 834
Windvane / Autopilot overboard kill switch.

I dont own an autopilot or a windvane yet but was wondering...are there autopilots that have a kill switch feature similar to the little safety tether we use for our outboard engines? Also was curious if its possible to rig a windvane with a tether to disable it if you fell overboard?

would it make sense or even be feasible to have such a feature for either that could be used where you tether yourself to the kill switch on whichever is currently steering the boat, so that if you fell over the self steering would be disabled letting the boat stall so you would have another chance to get back aboard? assuming your boat has some weather helm of course?

please bare in mind i dont have any experience yet sailing far offshore in heavy weather and can imagine there are circumstances where you probably wouldnt be able to get back to the boat even if self steering was disabled but was curious if its something someone could jury rig that might have a use. It seems like it could be a nice alternative to wearing a full harness when solo sailing in milder conditions.
er9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2020, 17:54   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
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Re: Windvane / Autopilot overboard kill switch.

A kill switch on a windvane would be simpler to rig. Some solo sailors tow a long long line behind the boat ....

FOR AP you would rig it to AP head power cable.

I have never seen one on AP yet.

If you have a remote AP control, once happily bobbing overboar, press the tack button IMMEDIATELY. This might help if the boat is still close enogh. If you were lucky she crashes and slows down. If you were unlucky, you press the PLB button. If water is very cold ...


barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote

autopilot, overboard, wind, windvane

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