Sva- could you educate us about these settings? Seems a lot of us aren't getting the most out of auto tack because we don't understand these settings. At present I'm real happy with how the boat handles on ap in any wind or sea state so,haven't messed with these settings. Guess need a few hours going through the CDs but a short course would be a great help.
Zanshin has most of it.
RESPONSE - the sensitivity of the autopilot for corrections. 0-5, high value means the autopilot frequently makes small adjustments, low response means it takes longer for the autopilot to react to course changes.
Impact - higher numbers mean you stay closer to the set course, but use more energy. Offshore I turn it down, inshore I turn it up.
GAIN - how much the rudder moves in response to a course change. Different boats types need more or less rudder to effect a change (a light fin-keeler with big rudder needs less input than a heavy full-keeler). Goal is that a course change is done quickly but with less then 5 degrees of oversteer that are then corrected.
Once you have this dialed in your shouldn't have to change it. The underbody of Zanshin is similar to that of Auspicious so I want his number. Lighter boats will have lower numbers than heavier boats. Fin keels will have lower numbers than full keels. Note that if you set this to work before you load up for cruising you may want to bump it up a bit.
COUNTER RUDDER - (Copied from the Raymarine Manual) If you intend to use RESPONSE level 3 (the tightest possible course-keeping) on a Non-G system, you will need to adjust the counter rudder.Counter rudder is the amount of rudder the SmartPilot applies to try to prevent the boat from yawing off course. Higher counter rudder settings result in more rudder being applied.
Impact - together with rudder damping this helps avoid overshooting the desired course when you make an adjustment or the wind or seas knock you off.
AUTO-TRIM: I haven't adjusted this, but it is used to keep course while sailing in dynamic conditions. If a wind speed change results in a changed course this setting will determine how quickly the autopilot reacts to correc the course.
gain, counter rudder, damping, and response level
This is effective only if the apparent wind (AWI) and speed through the water (STW) information is available to the a/p computer. It helps the computer keep the boat from being knocked off course by wind instead of waiting to respond to the deviation. I'm not aware of sensors for recreational boats for sea or current although such do exist for dynamically positioned platforms offshore.
RUDDER-DAMPING: Adjust the rudder damping value if the SmartPilot ‘hunts’ when trying to position the rudder. Increasing the rudder damping value reduces hunting. Increase the
damping one level at a time until the autopilot stops hunting, and always use the lowest acceptable value
Impact - getting this right improves course-keeping AND reduces energy consumption. It's sensitive to sea state and so the optimum setting varies with conditions. Reduce damping in heavy conditions and increase in flat conditions.
Aren't y'all glad you asked? *grin*