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Old 28-02-2021, 17:52   #1
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Rotary drive Auto Pilot

Howdy, I want to replace my very old, malfunctioning Benmar auto pilot. It is chain driven from an 12 volt motor mounted down below the helm.
I see Ray Marine sells a similar set up called Type 2 Rotary drive.
Iím not too familiar with a bunch of the language so Iím asking if anyone has experience with these units and the other parts needed for function?
Any alternatives?
Going on a 40í, 32,000# motor sailer.
Thanks.
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Old 28-02-2021, 17:55   #2
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Re: Rotary drive Auto Pilot

Iíve got a raymarine type 1 rotary drive. Not much to know about it, you hook the wires up to an autopilot of your choice and it turns the wheel.

Other makes are

Jefa

https://www.jefa.com/steering/produc...ocket-menu.htm


Lewmar

https://www.lewmar.com/node/11798
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Old 28-02-2021, 18:32   #3
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Re: Rotary drive Auto Pilot

As Sailmonkey says, connect an autopilot of your choice to the existing 12v reversible motor in your Benmar, and connect the clutch control leads from the new autopilot to the clutch leads of your Benmar. Unless, of course, the motor and clutch are toast.
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Old 28-02-2021, 20:07   #4
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Re: Rotary drive Auto Pilot

I have been running a Benmar std power unit for years. Driven it with RM ST4000, S1, S1G, X-5, and now Evo. Just pull out the internal circuit cards and connect directly to DC motor leads. A good cleaning, blow out the motor brush dust, little oil for the bearings, grease the gears and oil lite bearings. If there is a better designed/ built drive unit, I have yet to find it. Add a rudder feedback sensor for best performance.


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Old 28-02-2021, 20:14   #5
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Re: Rotary drive Auto Pilot

Thanks for the feedback all.
Frankly, could you elaborate on the “Evo” and the feedback sensor?
Thanks
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Old 28-02-2021, 20:50   #6
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Re: Rotary drive Auto Pilot

The Evo is the latest Raymarine Autopilot series. The position transducer is just a sensor to provide rudder position feedback for the autopilot unit. A couple of pictures of my set up.


Frankly
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Old 28-02-2021, 21:05   #7
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Re: Rotary drive Auto Pilot

Thanks for the info and taking the time to send photos.
Bones
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:37   #8
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Re: Rotary drive Auto Pilot

I have a Raymarine Rotary Drive which was installed in 1991. Never one hiccup or repair. Best piece of gear on the boat or at least the most maintenance free.
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:38   #9
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Re: Rotary drive Auto Pilot

I did a bunch of research into chain drives as I had a sprocket on the bottom of my quadrant and not much room for a linear. Everything I could find made in America didn't seem that robust and weren't getting the best reviews but I found one made in Scandinavia somewhere called Jefa and right out of the box it looked very strong, had excellent reviews and has done an excellent, no complaints job. It also has a built in clutch so when it moves, it locks itself in so the motor isn't always taking the force of the ocean against the rudder.
It's made very well with excellent attention to production details and while it's a robust motor, doesn't take up that much space in the engine room.
I'd recommend it highly and you'll see from the reviews that some circumnavigators/single handed racers will say the same thing.
We can also sail all day without draining the batteries which is great.
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:25   #10
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Re: Rotary drive Auto Pilot

I have a friend with the Raymarine rotary drive located below his helm and it works very well on his 44ft. catamaran. He has been down to the Caribbean and back a few times and no problems.
When I had to change the autopilot on my catamaran I decided against a rotary drive that works through the steering cable system, as my cables have a long path and several turns on the steering cables and opted instead for a linear drive that connects to a separate tiller arm on one of the rudder shafts. Thus the autopilot would work independent of the cable steering system.
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:32   #11
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Re: Rotary drive Auto Pilot

Take a look at these offerings:
https://www.pyiinc.com/jefa-autopilo...ketdrives.html

Jefa offers several rotary solutions that have clutches that offer no interference with the manual system when disengaged.

on the broader front, my experience with both cable and linear actuator systems says that linear actuators must be more easily accessible because they seize up and so must be quickly detached when they fail.

CA
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Old 01-03-2021, 14:50   #12
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Re: Rotary drive Auto Pilot

As already stated, if the motor and clutch is still good, keep it and interface a new control, i highly recommend a " pelagic system", reasonable cost, good record from cruiser's, small remote control, all the bell's and whistles, i did this on my Roberts, thru all the component's in the dumpster, and replaced with the Pelagic. For $995, you get the controller and brain, check it out.
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Old 01-03-2021, 19:33   #13
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Re: Rotary drive Auto Pilot

Thanks, I will do !
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Old 01-03-2021, 23:22   #14
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Re: Rotary drive Auto Pilot

I’m looking at the Raymarine EV-400.
The Pelagic I need to do more research.
The Jefa drive motor looks very good but pricey!

I’m interested in being able to interface my Coastal Explorer if possible with what ever I get.
I see lots of discussions talking about doing this with the Raymarine stuff but most are dated and describing problems they are having doing so.
Anyone out there know if they will work together and how?
Should I start a different thread?
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Old 02-03-2021, 03:48   #15
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Re: Rotary drive Auto Pilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by BonesD View Post

Iím interested in being able to interface my Coastal Explorer if possible with what ever I get.
I see lots of discussions talking about doing this with the Raymarine stuff but most are dated and describing problems they are having doing so.
Anyone out there know if they will work together and how?
Should I start a different thread?

According to the software website the coastal explorer software supports nmea0183 & 2000 outputs (need a adapter for 2000) and the software supports autopilot control. Deeper digging will tell you what autopilots theyíre best at interfacing with.
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