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Old 11-10-2014, 06:39   #46
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Re: Back up AP

Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I am not aware of any autopilot that requires a plotter for operation. The RM one I mentioned for $2800 comes complete with computer, compass, drive unit and control head. Installed, it is self-contained. You can hook it up to a plotter, but that isn't required.

Likewise, Simrad, B&G, NKE and Furuno pilots are stand-alone that do not require a plotter. I don't have experience with other brands, so can't say there.

Are you sure you didn't get the older gyro version? If not, you really got screwed - but I bet you got the older gyro compass, which is still good kit.


How could you pass up the huge advantage of redundancy you have with the second rudder? I am green with envy that you are able to have an entirely redundant pilot set up below decks. I would do the same in a heart beat if I could.

However, autopilots are not that complicated (and none that I ever heard of was dependent on any plotter or anything else other than a source of heading data). One can also keep a spare hydraulic pump and spare ram and just swap out these components if they fail. The job wouldn't be that much fun with a sea running, but it's feasible. As for electronics, all you need is a computer, control head, rudder position sensor, and a heading sensor and you're good to go.

The other killer pilot backup is a windvane, which for many sailors is not a backup, but primary steering on a long passage. These don't even need power, much less any other input from any other system. Some of these even give you a backup rudder altogether. Quite difficult to fit on my boat, unfortunately (davits in the way; reverse counter transom with tip-out platform). I don't know whether one of these would work on your boat or not.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:05   #47
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Re: Back up AP

Windvanes are not good choices for catamarans, and particularly not for a L400.


You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
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Old 12-10-2014, 22:44   #48
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Re: Back up AP

Stick with the RM autopilots and grab a remote control for it too.

Sent from my XT1033 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

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