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post #42 of Old 08-27-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
Originally Posted by JonEisberg
...Over 25 years ago, I learned a very valuable lesson from an incident that could have easily ended my budding career in the delivery trade. Namely, autopilots can wig out at any time, and appear to have a greater likelihood to do so in close proximity to other vessels, or large structures such as bridges...
It's the remote compass getting thrown off by the steel in bridge or other boat.
Amazing how many people don't appear to appreciate this. When I had my first 'Teachable Moment' with an AP and a passing yacht all those years ago, I was aware of that, of course... The eye-opening realization for me, was that such an effect might be felt at such a distance... The AP locking hard over at that particular moment MIGHT have been purely coincidental, of course - but if it was, that only reinforces the notion that an AP can go nuts at ANY moment...

But the faith many boaters put in the infallibility of these devices today is pretty spooky... I once saw a boat kiss the fender system at the North Landing Bridge, obviously going thru it on autopilot when he suddenly veered off course... Gee, I wonder what possibly could have caused THAT to happen? :-)

Well, better he learned his lesson at a placid spot like that, than when passing a towboat in one of the ICW's typical land cuts...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 08-27-2013 at 10:15 AM.
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