About your auto pilot...I looked up the specks it says it's for up to 20K displacement...arnt you more then that?...Im at 30K on a 41' Irwin..
SR - we weigh in at a stated tare of 26k(lbs) in cruising form we probably gross out at about 30k (fuel, water, beer, etc). We sailed this boat in really heavy weather (downwind 7- 8 knots under bare poles) and our autopilot never wavered.
We have friends that have a 41 foot steel boat loaded with gear and he reckons he grosses 14.5 tons (metric so about 32k lbs). He has the same autopilot and swears by it after 25000 miles of cruising.
So has Raymarine undervalued their autopilot? In a word, yes.
And by the way, we also both have wheel to cable steering.
TDW - we had some form of Raytheon wheel pilot on an earlier boat. Gave us never ending issues with belt adjustments, slipping "out of gear", fluxgate calibrations going awry, several times it failed altogether and had to be repaired by electronics boffins. Eventually it let me down on a long voyage across the Indian Ocean (zip support) and I ended up hand-steering for 3500 miles singlehanded.
You have no idea the bad taste that left for me. NEVER again a wheel pilot for me. If you're interested I could probably give you a fix from my log where I deep-sixed that mother although I recollect the water was about 7000 metres deep
I'd be interested to hear from Fleming windpilot owners. We have one fellow in Auckland who reckons this thing is the Holy Grail of wind pilots but then again when you've just parted with a bucket full of dinero that would be standard response.