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Old 22-11-2014, 19:11   #1
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Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

I am planning to get a better autopilot for our multihull.
We have a Vetus hydraulic system with wheel steering.
Used Autohelm ST3000 for years with moderate satisfaction ...
Vetus does not make any autopilot anymore so the easiest would be to fit another wheel pilot.
I am looking at getting a Raymarine Evolution EV-100 wheel autopilot pack. Looks easy enough to install and the manufacturer literature sounds wonderful but that is the idea anyway

I like to hear from anyone using that autopilot to help me decide to get one ... any problems ... any issues? Tnx for your feedback


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Old 19-09-2015, 08:48   #2
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re: Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

I have a Cape Dory 30 ketch I sail in Maine,with a worm gear steering. I purchased the EV 100, because my previous Raymarine wheel steering gave me so many problems. (innumerable compass recalibrations, terrible with a following sea, wouldnt work in anything less then 2.5 kts) Granted I didnt attach the rudder sensor (difficult with the minimal movement of the worm gear). The new EV 100 version said they didnt require the 360 degree turns, (but do require a couple of slow turns at a min of 3 kts). I find it is useless in anything less then 2 kts, if on a reach with a quartering sea it gives up the ghost and struggles to get back on track, chronic over-steering, which makes its own trouble, where if the boat was left to its own devices, it would be fine. Once over 30 degrees off its course, it stops and make this feeble attempt in minute increments to get back to course. By now things are beyond repair and Gybing has started (although you set the "do not gybe" on your set up. It is designed to work without the rudder sensor, but maybe other boats with the rudder sensor attached are having better luck than I? It does work well however with a violent, following sea and making 5-6 kts on a run (go figure), and on a nice beat when my boat sails well without anyone needed at the wheel anyway. I thought that this would be an affordable substitute for a servo-pendulum, but after two of these purchases, it might have been cheaper for a monitor???
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Old 19-09-2015, 20:07   #3
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re: Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

I did install the EV-100 with rudder sensor and the results were very similar to yours .. very disappointing Cruising 3 months in Indonesia and Palau, we had to hand-steer as the new system did not work well at all.

I don't understand, the old Autohelm ST3000 did well for many years ... this EV-100 should do much better but it does not so far!

I spoke with Raymarine and they say i should have taken a bigger system with hydraulic ram and not the wheel pilot!

Anyone has any positive experiences with the EV-100, please let us know what you learned, ok?
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Old 13-05-2018, 03:31   #4
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re: Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

I had one a Beneteau 37. Worked very well to windward but not good in a following sea. Also I did not like the noise. Cheap solution though. A rudder sensor and go's made no difference at all.
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Old 26-06-2018, 11:23   #5
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re: Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

I have the Raymarine smart pilot X5 with rudder sensor.
The unit works well. I have bought the Evolution pack as a back up pilot. Was hoping that the Heading sensor would improve course holding.
Installed the new Evolution and found on our Atlantic crossing, that the new unit has only 3 Rudder response settings compared to the 9 Response settings of the old X5.
Very disappointing, under certain conditions could not reduce rudder response to stop the wheel from continuously oscillating. The old X5 is much better, unfortunately the heading sensor from the Evolution appears to be not compatible with the X5.
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Old 26-06-2018, 11:32   #6
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re: Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

I'd say it works well, for all waves and sailing conditions as long as you have some speed through water. It gets very confused when it's dead calm. Very easy to install!
It squeaks though, a lot. All the time. Anyone solved this?
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Old 02-07-2018, 15:04   #7
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re: Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

On my 7 ton sailboat, It never worked with more than 15 knots downwind. It had a constant creaking noise. Cheap plastic. Manufactured not to last.

I gave up and bought the CPT. Unless your sailboat is really light (less than 4 tons?) the CPT is a much better deal.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:56   #8
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re: Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

Fitted the Evo 100 wheel pilot to a 31ft, 5000kg yacht two years ago. Took some time reading all the manuals and there are lots of them. Also ordered a single navpod unit to mount the P70 control instrument on the side of the pedestal. Took a day to fit and about an hour to commission. Did it twice because wasn't sure I had completed each step correctly but it worked straight away once complete.

Over the past two years it has worked flawlessly in conditions up to close hauled in a F6 and down wind in F5 with strong tidal currents adding to the fun and waves. Single handing, the wheel pilot will hold the boat on course whilst I sort out the sails and get them trimmed. Always tricky because there will be a while when I have only one sail deployed so trim is completely out of the question. This hasn't been a problem. Equally, less than perfect sail trim doesn't seem to be an issue for the wheel drive.

I am surprised that folk have tried to use this on 40ft and 46ft yachts when the instructions clearly state a maximum boat weight of 7500 kgs. You wouldn't tow a large caravan with a Fiat 500, so why ask a wheel pilot to control a large yacht hour after hour?

Overall am I happy with the Raymarine Evo 100? yes very.

Would I buy it again? yes and whilst there are alternatives an under deck solution is twice the price and the alternative CPT wheel pilot again costly to import into the UK at 50% more than the Evo 100.

Pete
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:25   #9
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re: Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

I will be following this thread carefully as I will be attending the Toronto Boat show later this month with the intention of purchasing the EV-100. This system seams to be the predominate autopilot used in the Great Lakes. I haven't heard of any issues from any of my dock neighbours or friends using this system.
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Old 21-03-2019, 17:54   #10
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re: Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

I had a 3 tonn Catamaran fitted with an old grey dohnut RM wheel pilot.
It began to become eratic and make clicking noises .
I pulled it apart and discovered deteriating plastic bits that were under load and after 10 years service were a bit wobbly.
I called Raymarine service dept who were very helpful and confident I neede a new one.

So at the beginning of a long journey I bought a brand spanker.
This was fitted on easily and then produced a zig zag course of 100 meters per zig .
Setvice dept came up with lots of ideas .
Being a new belt I should adjust it to the losest setting .
Slight improvemnt .
Having pulled the old one apart and gathered some idea of how it all worked I thought I needed to adjust the belt even loser but there is a plastic cam stop on the dial that prevents this .
The service dept said that was not the problem .
In the mean time with some well placed knead it putty I reinforced the bits and screws on the old one and actually got it working again very well.
I now had a new expensive spare that worked like a drunk .
I got good at swapping these units out trying different fixes .
I would take the wheel off and steer via a multi grip on the spindle in conditions appropriate of course.

So back to RM service after a week of calls I tell them I am going to cut the cam preventer on the belt adjustment .
Oh oh this will void my warranty.
So I cut about three mm off the stop side of the cam washer loosened the new belt and away she went like a champion for another 6000 miles .
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Old 22-03-2019, 06:30   #11
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re: Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

I have had mine for a few years and couple thousand miles on a 30 mono hull. Works great, is very easy to use. I shut up all the squeaking inside of it by putting some lube on the belt. I wish it felt more solid, but it feels like the whole thing is held together well when engaged, but feels a bit flimsy when disengaged.
Very easy to install!
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:42   #12
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re: Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

In January I wrote a review (Post no 8) of our experience with an Evo 100 wheel pilot over the past two years.

Whilst I remain delighted with the Evo 100, I wondered if it could be fine tuned so went back to our local electronics supplier, Hudson Marine in the Solent for advice.

They suggested 3 things:

1. Move the gyro compass to the middle of the yacht (fore and aft).

2. Fit a rudder reference unit (RRU)

3. Update the software on the P70, ACU and gyro compass.

Armed with this advise I made some changes during the Spring. The gyro compass was originally mounted under the coaming between the primary winch and the stern. Safe and free of electrical items it seemed a good location. However, Hudson marine suggested that since a yacht turns around its keel, the stern will initially move the opposite way and this can throw a modern gyro compass out. A good look around the boat suggested that under the heads sink unit was also free of electrical items, some 3 metres further forward and a 1 metre lower. This was an easy change as the network cable reached the new location.

Next came fitting an rudder reference unit (RRU). This proved to be more of a problem as the yachts sugar scoop design left little room around the rudder shaft for mounting a RRU despite my best efforts. The solution was a second rudder arm just for the RRU. New ones are rather expensive and grossly over engineered for this purpose, so I decided to make my own. Using a steel split collar and a piece of u shaped channel I spent a morning in my shed bench fitting the parts together and making a platform for the RRU. A quick coat of paint and down to the boat to fit. The split collar fitted perfectly but note the RRU kit only comes with one ball joint. You need to buy a second ball joint from RM for the arm.

Commissioning an Evo is much more straight forward than previous generation wheel pilots. Also I noticed that the pilot recognised the RRU straight away and due to this takes you through a different commissioning program. It tells you on the P70 control head what it is going to do next and then asks you to confirm it is safe to move the wheel etc.

Proceeding to sea for the first time and engaging the wheel pilot I sat back to see what difference the changes had made. Initially I wondered if it was still working as the wheel didn't move for minutes at a time However, the yacht was still on course so down to the fact it just didn't need to, brilliant

Over the summer we have seen that the wheel pilot does far less adjusting and steers a much straighter course. With a following F5 sea previously we noticed that the wave would pick up the stern, the yacht tilt and then change course. At this point the pilot would turn the wheel and bring the yacht back onto the course.

However, following the changes, as soon as the yacht tilts the pilot makes a small adjustment before the yacht veers off course. This could be down to the gyro compass rather than previous generations of flux gate compasses. RM do say the system has the ability to learn and adjust to different conditions over time.

Finally the software updates will have to wait until I fit the new RM chart plotter later this month.

Overall the changes have made a significant difference to the way the wheel pilot handles the boat and I remain very pleased with the investment. Whilst RM say the RRU is optional, I now think it is essential for a fin keeled yacht if you want to maximise the performance and reduce the amount of work a wheel pilot needs to do.

Pete
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:51   #13
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re: Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

If you have hydraulic steering, why would you install a wheel pilot instead of a hydraulic pilot? I have the hydraulic pilot on my boat with the RRU. I've never owned a wheel pilot but many friends nave and the wheel drive seems to be the weak link in the system over time. I installed the system myself and it was quite easy. I just totaled up my tracks since installing the unit and I have over 15000 nm since installation. Early on there was a software bug in the unit that caused it to make a 30 degree course correction if it got off track by .01nm. I nicknamed the unit crazy Ivan it was so bad. This was corrected in a software update. I think that the programmer had slipped a decimal point. My old RM autopilot would make such a large course correction only if it was off track by .1 nm. It definitely does better than my old st5000 which only had a flux gate compass for heading reference.



With a cat as large as yours I would be concerned that the wheel pilot is not heavy duty enough to last.
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Old 16-09-2019, 12:08   #14
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Re: Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

I have an old Wheel Pilot. Has to be at least ten years old. I found it a true pain to install, largely because of the rudder sensor. There is no room in the butt end of a B32.
Also, the wire connections to the central brain are so flimsy as to be ridiculous. I reattach them every year, sometimes stripping those that have obviously degraded.

With that out of the way, it has performed flawlessly. A bit of a power hog, but it works great! When it breaks (which it soon will) I will replace it with another.

Two things; it needs that rudder sensor. I know the new ones claim not to need it, but I don't believe it. The old ones simply don't work without it.
My B32 ways about 11,000 pounds fully loaded, and that is about right for this pilot. Putting it on anything twice is heavy is just asking for trouble. JMHO
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Old 30-08-2020, 06:14   #15
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Re: Raymarine Evolution EV-100 Wheel Autopilot review

I have an evolution 100 wheel pilot that I fitted to my 39ft Scanyacht 391, it has no rudder reference device. It's had three and a half years use and still works well on the boat even though we're at the top end of the recommended weight range. The boat is very well balanced under sail, so that likely helps. The wheel pilot package consists of 4 separate units; a P70s control head, the wheel pilot device that bolts onto the wheel (the donut containing electric motor drive), an Ev-1 course computer (best mounted amidships and must be at least a meter away from electrical interference), and an ACU-100 pilot controller box. The rudder reference unit is optional I understand. I've read that the Ev-1 is heads and shoulders above the previous units and greatly improves accuracy.

I'm assuming that the other commenters have each of these components in their systems as well? as it is a system that you install not just the wheel pilot unit. If one were installing just a wheel pilot into an older existing system, then the results may be different compared to a completely new install with all the components I've mentioned. The wheel pilot system can be stand alone or can also be linked to an RM plotter. I have this and it gives me access to the pilot controls on the plotter screen (with Lighthouse 3 OS that is, so you may be able to forego the P70s control head unit if you have a plotter running Lighthouse 3).

Yes it is noisy when working hard, so especially in following/quartering seas, but most of the time it's ok and bearable. Note, the the unit is programmable with three levels that control the response, setting it at the "loosest" will stop a lot of noise and reduce the power drain. I have mine set on the middle setting and that's a good comprimise. However it would be nice to quiten it further. RM specifically say not to lubricate inside the unit, so it would be interesting to hear how "sveinung's" lubrication fix goes (what lube did you use btw?). The plastic donut on the wheel does feel pretty tinny, but it's holding up fine after three and a half years. I have heard of issues with the internal plastic mouldings (holding the female threads) cracking and falling apart when people go to change the drive belt, you'll find those problems illustrated on youtube. Also note that the power plug that goes into the back end of the drive unit is sort of long and vulnerable and not a particularly good design in my opinion, so pay attention to this with your installation and try to protect it.

Overall I find that the unit works well and as advertised. Only time will tell if it's been worth the investment. My boat has a fine feel, rack and pinion style steering system, the wheelpilot, when disengaged, doesn't interfere with the feel of the helm at all and that is a big plus for me.
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