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Looking for inexpensive autohelm replacement

Hi all.

Our autohelm died just at the end of the season

It died once before as in this thread in 2011 Autohelm 4000 wheel pilot mix&max

We were fortunate to be able to have it refurbed and get a few more years out of the old Autohelm 4000 but I think it is all over now.

I am looking to get a new one before we launch again next Spring.



We have a 1985 Tartan 34. We have no modern electronics so don't need anything fancy to hook to a plotter etc.

All I want is something reliable to use as an extra deck hand while hoisting sails, motoring or sailing in light/moderate conditions. I don't want to spend a ton of money on the hardware or install. Ideally it wouldn't be a big power hog either.


Suggestions welcomed.

Thanks!

dergon


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post #2 of 14 Old 12-30-2014
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Re: Looking for inexpensive autohelm replacement

don't think there is such a thing as inexpensive when comes to APs

is this the part you need?

Pinion Gear Autohelm Raymarine 4000 ST4000 Wheel Drive Autopilot | eBay

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-30-2014
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Re: Looking for inexpensive autohelm replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by dergon View Post
Hi all.

Our autohelm died just at the end of the season

It died once before as in this thread in 2011 Autohelm 4000 wheel pilot mix&max

We were fortunate to be able to have it refurbed and get a few more years out of the old Autohelm 4000 but I think it is all over now.

I am looking to get a new one before we launch again next Spring.



We have a 1985 Tartan 34. We have no modern electronics so don't need anything fancy to hook to a plotter etc.

All I want is something reliable to use as an extra deck hand while hoisting sails, motoring or sailing in light/moderate conditions. I don't want to spend a ton of money on the hardware or install. Ideally it wouldn't be a big power hog either.


Suggestions welcomed.

Thanks!

dergon
go the no power option and get a windvane


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post #4 of 14 Old 12-30-2014
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Re: Looking for inexpensive autohelm replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by dergon View Post
Hi all.

Our autohelm died just at the end of the season

It died once before as in this thread in 2011 Autohelm 4000 wheel pilot mix&max

We were fortunate to be able to have it refurbed and get a few more years out of the old Autohelm 4000 but I think it is all over now.

I am looking to get a new one before we launch again next Spring.



We have a 1985 Tartan 34. We have no modern electronics so don't need anything fancy to hook to a plotter etc.

All I want is something reliable to use as an extra deck hand while hoisting sails, motoring or sailing in light/moderate conditions. I don't want to spend a ton of money on the hardware or install. Ideally it wouldn't be a big power hog either.


Suggestions welcomed.

Thanks!

dergon
There is no smartness/logic built into the drive unit, only two power cables +&-.
So you can use later models from Raymarine
Maybe you can find other makes that could be used, just make sure that the drive unit is not consuming more power than the "brain" can deliver.
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-30-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for inexpensive autohelm replacement

@denise030 -Not the plastic piece this time (although that's what went the last time). Electronics and a funny little smell at the time it went. I'm calling it dead.

@white74 -Not looking to go the windvane route ... but maybe some day.

@ knuterikt - Which "later models" of Raymarine? Do they have a good old fashioned helm mounted unit?


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post #6 of 14 Old 12-30-2014
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Re: Looking for inexpensive autohelm replacement

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@ knuterikt - Which "later models" of Raymarine? Do they have a good old fashioned helm mounted unit?
I don't know all the wheel models Raymarine have made but I would think that you could use the SPX-5 wheel drive unit with your old "brain"

The drive unit is only a DC motor with a clutch and a belt system to turn the wheel.

It's the "brain" that does all the control of the drive unit.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-30-2014
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Re: Looking for inexpensive autohelm replacement

Dergon.. is there a chance the steering has more friction/resistence then the AP can handle? I ask because I found the supporting plywood under my Cpit floor binding on the quadrant only by accident one day. proped it up and the steering wheel can turn with the touch of a feather now. (well not really, but it's very easy now)

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-31-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for inexpensive autohelm replacement

CPT Autopilot Inc.

Anyone haveexperience with these CPT units?


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post #9 of 14 Old 12-31-2014
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Re: Looking for inexpensive autohelm replacement

Hey,

IMHO you really only have two choices for an 'inexpensive' autopilot: Raymarine makes the 'evolution' line which includes the EV 100 wheel pilot. As you listed above, CPT has the belt driven Autopilot.

Last year I was looking for a pilot for my boat and I decided on the Raymarine unit. I wanted a pilot that would integrate with my existing electronics so I could steer to a course heading, wind angle or to a waypoint. The EV 100 does all that and was pretty easy to install and integrate. The price of the complete unit is around $1300 when on sale (and it's on sale all the time).

My boat, at 36' and 10K lbs, is right at the upper limit of the EV 100 specs. The pilot works great in light conditions. As the weather gets worse, the pilot starts to struggle to maintain the heading. If I reduce sail area and otherwise keep the helm balances, the pilot does better.

Good luck,
Barry

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #10 of 14 Old 12-31-2014
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Re: Looking for inexpensive autohelm replacement

Quote:
Anyone haveexperience with these CPT units?
We have one on Nikko, which weighs in around 24,000 lbs. It's a nice unit.

Ray
S.V. Nikko
1983 Fraser 41
La Conner, WA


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Boating for over 25 years, some of them successfully.
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