Originally Posted by Ausluke
Can i ask what sort of failures are common with basic auto pilots? (Eg ray marine electrical )
Computers?, motors? ect..
Depends on the type.
; corroded pipes; cracked hoses
2. Pump seals
3. Pump motor brushes
, or bearings, go
4. Ram seals go
5. Bypass valve fails
fail or go wonky.
7. Networking problems.
In other words, every little bit of it can fail!
Serious long distance cruisers in remote
places often have TWO separate autopilots to give redundancy.
In my own opinion, FWIW, they are very reliable and very easy to fix, so full redundancy might not be really necessary.
What I would suggest:
1. Change the ram seals and have a good hydraulic shop give the ram a good going over, every 5 years.
2. Carry spare ram seal kit.
3. Carry a spare pump and motor
. Most of the big name ones are made by Hypro in the UK, and you can buy them directly for half the price
(PM me for contact details) -- they are surprisingly inexpensive.
4. Carry a spare set of hoses.
5. Carry a spare bypass valve.
6. If you're really anal, carry a spare pilot computer.
7. Take good care of it; keep it topped off; inspect it; don't let any parts
of it get corroded; know how it works and know all of its parts