Autopilot for PSC37
We own Crealock 37, Hull 161, purchased new in 1984. GLORY spent most of the time in the US, but nearly two years ago, we headed to the Caribbean and now GLORY is at her mooring in Englishman's Bay on Tobago.
Years ago we purchased at the Miami Boatshow a CPT II wheelpilot which served us very well. This autopilot went "insane" in the BVI's in June 2005, and it appeared that the mounting bolts of the sealed control head, mounted below the wheel, had come slightly loose after all those years and seawated had seeped into the unit. (we had green water in the cockpit a couple of times along the trip.)
Of course CPT was no longer in business, so a repair or replacement was not feasible. On St. Croix, I ordered a Simrad WP32, installed it easily and we were on our way. This WP32 worked great all the way from St. Croix to Tobago, and for a year afterwards. The drive belt finally failed on a trip to the Grenadines last June. Simrad was very accommodating and shipped a replacement unit to Tobago, which I installed. In the fall, while we were taking GLORY to Trinidad for a bottom job, with only a few hours on the new unit and a very easy downwind (and no wind) motorsail, the belt failed again.
Simrad was accommodating once again, and I now have here in the US two new belts and an upgrade kit for the clutch mechanism, which I will try when we return to Tobago in a couple of weeks.
The specifications of the WP32 (as most wheelpilots I reviewed), state they will handle a maximum displacement of 19,200 pounds. I suspect that GLORY, as equipped and loaded as she is, comes close or exceeds that weight.
I am not too confident that installing the upgrade kit and new belt on the Simrad WP32 will solve our problems long term, and I am looking at below-deck autopilot systems. In looking at all of the Crealock 37s for sale on Sailnet, I see a variety of different autopilot systems installed, both wheelpilots and below deck systems.
What system is installed on the new PSC37 Voyager model? I asked John at the factory a while ago to find out and perhaps send pictures of the mount below decks, but as discussed on another thread, I have gotten no response.
For those list members who have autopilots installed, what system do you use and how is it performing? Any help would be appreciated. A below decks model is a major purchase for us and I would like to get it right the first time.
Gary & Margaret Peacock