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Old 04-09-2008
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Bluetommy,
There may be others but I didn't come across them when I did my research a few years ago. You usally get what you pay for and in my case, I needed a simple and inexpensive tiller pilot to hold course, possibly for long periods of time. The TP10 is a screw drive type of mechanism as opposed to a more expensive but more efficient recirculating ball which is found in the TP32 and higher end Raymarine units. The "lock to lock" time is a function of it's power and the TP10 is fine for my purposes put won't turn the boat on a dime as some more expensive units will. If I recall correctly, the stroke is more or less the same between the high cost and low cost units... but the higher cost units will cover that stroke faster. Higher cost units can also be linked with other electronics. I'm not sure what I would do with that feature but if you want it, the TP10 is not for you.
Note that tiller pilots are no good in a sea following on the stern quarter where some "predictive" steering is required. "Sea state" features in the TP notwithstanding (can't believe I used that word in a sailing discussion!) , I don't know if any auto pilot would hold an adequate course in a 2.5 metre sea off the starboard quarter as we had for 6 or 8 hours last year on Lake Huron.
I assume you are in the market for a Tiller Pilot.
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Dave S
Georgian Bay, Ontario
Catalina 34 - "Good Idea"
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