Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-11-2017, 22:35   #31
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Oregon to Alaska
Boat: Wheeler Shipyard 83' ex USCG
Posts: 3,044
Re: when autopilot doesn't like the conditions

Commercial fishermen face worse weather, almost daily, than most yachts ever see. Their autopilots work in all but the most extreme conditions. How well the boat handles in rough weather also depends on the rudder size.
Lepke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-11-2017, 06:24   #32
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Australia
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 52.2
Posts: 171
Re: when autopilot doesn't like the conditions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Just curious
I have only transited that area non stop from Brisbane to Sydney.
In a southerly blow, is there no points that you can tuck behind enroute to wait out the easing of wind?
Yes, we were only 10 or so miles from Coffs Harbour (but had to tack, turning off the wind a lot more than in lighter wind so sailed 25 miles to get there). We later learned we could have tucked in behind north solitary island- unfortunately we had no idea there was a suitable anchorage there.
Nikki S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-11-2017, 15:13   #33
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Victoria, Canada
Boat: Olson 30
Posts: 169
Re: when autopilot doesn't like the conditions

Quote:
We often hear this advice given but I'm sorry I just don't buy it. Strength of the autopilot *does* matter. For example I have an undersized wheel pilot on my boat - it simply doesn't have the rated strength for certain conditions, particularly closed-spaced following waves. No amount of sail trim will enable it to do its job. The waves are what are pushing the boat. It depends on the boat design too - a full keeler might track like a train running downwind but a fin keel boat doesn't.

Also the advice that the tiller should be finger light and require no more strength than a 2 year old could muster. They were in high winds with huge close spaced waves from high current interactions. I don't see how you could have finger-light 2-year-old steering in those conditions, even going upwind. The advice to crack off (fall off) a few degrees is good though, as that might have dealt with the waves better. But an underpowered autopilot could still have difficulty even after that.
Sorry, I was away for a bit. What I want is for you to imagine that you had absolutely perfect sail trim at every second. You would find that you could steer the boat quite well with just the sails alone. This is something they teach young sailors as a way to understand just how little effort should be required to steer. So you should first work towards improving sail trim before looking at anything else.

Now obviously this is not possible in the real world where winds shift and waves slap at the boat. But what I was trying to impart was that in a perfect world, it shouldn't require more strength than a 2 year old to steer. This is the best and fastest way to sail your boat.

What is vastly more important than the "strength" of your autopilot or the "over time", is the intelligence of the autopilot and it's ability to adapt to the wind wave conditions. They are making APs better all the time and they are really getting towards this goal. Think of the current 100' trimaran that is circling the globe. The autopilot is not so huge that it could overpower that boat when it wants to broach. Rather, that autopilot is so smart that it anticipates and corrects for the broach before it even happens. Even on my own little Olson 30 my autopilot can't overcome when I'm trimmed badly. But is manages the boat nicely when I've got things set correctly. Keep going back to the two year old with his hand on the tiller to get the idea.
__________________
Nobody who has ever
written anything significant
Foolish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-11-2017, 20:21   #34
Registered User
 
daletournier's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Australia
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 4,788
Re: when autopilot doesn't like the conditions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tessellate View Post
We often hear this advice given but I'm sorry I just don't buy it. Strength of the autopilot *does* matter. For example I have an undersized wheel pilot on my boat - it simply doesn't have the rated strength for certain conditions, particularly closed-spaced following waves. No amount of sail trim will enable it to do its job. The waves are what are pushing the boat. It depends on the boat design too - a full keeler might track like a train running downwind but a fin keel boat doesn't.

Also the advice that the tiller should be finger light and require no more strength than a 2 year old could muster. They were in high winds with huge close spaced waves from high current interactions. I don't see how you could have finger-light 2-year-old steering in those conditions, even going upwind. The advice to crack off (fall off) a few degrees is good though, as that might have dealt with the waves better. But an underpowered autopilot could still have difficulty even after that.
Absolutely. I also wonder about the "just balance the sails" thing. Sure, the other day in relatively flat waters, close reaching I had the boat sailing very balanced. Earlier this year in plus six meter seas, strong winds, seas off the quarter and surfing.... Autopilot strength matters.
daletournier is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
autopilot

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
St40 doesn't work like it has no power.... danstanford Marine Electronics 5 28-09-2016 07:28
Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning terminalcitygrl Health, Safety & Related Gear 14 17-07-2012 22:59
Why Doesn't OpenCPN Send SOG to Autopilot RhythmDoctor OpenCPN 19 01-07-2011 00:17
Mother Nature Doesn't Like Showoffs breweraz The Sailor's Confessional 15 03-07-2009 05:09
He doesn't like boats but... knottybuoyz Off Topic Forum 16 17-03-2007 00:44

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:39.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.