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  #1  
Old 01-24-2014
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Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

Hello,

I will be installing an Autopilot on my new to me C&C 110. It seems like Raymarine is the only one who makes a wheel pilot these days. The price is $1400 or so and I can probably install it myself. But, will it work well enough or do I need a below deck pilot? The 110 weighs around 11,000lbs.

My O'day 35 came with an Autohelm 3000 that works fine. It steers great when under power, when the wind is moderate, and the sails are balanced. It does not steer well when the wind is over 20 kts, or downwind with waves. Still, I have used it for 7 years and I was happy with it.

So, will I be happy with the Raymarine Evolution Autopilot EV-100 Wheel Drive or should I spend over $3000 for the Raymarine Evolution Autopilot EV-200 Linear Pack? I doubt I could install that myself since I don't do fabrication well.


Thanks,
Barry
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Old 01-24-2014
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

I installed a raymarine wheel pilot on a Pearson 33-2 last year. It is (obviously) a shorter boat, but very similar displacement (11,000lbs). I have been very pleased with the performance. I have certainly used it under sail in greater than 20knt winds with confused seas without problem. The gyroscope seems to handle the challenges of downwind with waves pretty well. I can't speak to the longevity (having had it only a single season) but it has met or exceeded my expectations so far. Below deck would certainly be quieter, but it isn't bad.
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Old 01-25-2014
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

Barry

check out the CPT wheel pilot. It's a well built simple unit. uses a simple optical compass for direction and just works.

CPT Autopilot Inc.
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Old 01-25-2014
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

When selecting an autopilot, it's important to consider the boats fully loaded displacement which is often 20% over the number when empty. The Evolution series look very good and well thought out. I am concerned about the pilots ability to manage due to the displacement of your boat. I tried to quickly find a rating for displacement capabilities but wasn't able to locate one.

I consider a pilot to be safety equipment. Consider this: you get caught in a squall but you cannot furl your jib as there is a jam up at the bow. You need the help of your partner so you engage the pilot and both go forward to manage the sail and get back under control. That pilot needs to be able to competently manage the boat in those conditions to keep you safe.

Tod


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Old 01-25-2014
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

Quote:
So, will I be happy with the Raymarine Evolution Autopilot EV-100 Wheel Drive or should I spend over $3000 for the Raymarine Evolution Autopilot EV-200 Linear Pack? I doubt I could install that myself since I don't do fabrication well.
I hear great things about the new evolution. I have the old linear drive, which gave up the ghost last fall at the worst possible time. I'm sending it in for a rebuild here shortly. I'm actually considering upgrading to the evo.

I think that if you have the room below that you should put it out of sight. Looking at mine i don't think it would be that hard to install.

The wheel pilot has a max load of 16,500 lbs. So you would be at the upper end of the capability of the unit once you are fully outfitted. I also think the linear drive is better protected from the weather down below.

In addition; if you plan on sailing in any heavy weather (20Kts and up) i don't think the wheel pilot will handle it in your boat. I could be wrong though.
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Old 01-25-2014
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

I like the CPT ones! thanks for that

need to save up!
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Old 01-25-2014
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

Besides being more robust, a below-decks autopilot has the capability of steering the boat should a steering cable break. My boat is too small (C&30) to justify the expense in this economy, but if I had a bigger boat I'd go with a below-decks unit.
Having previously had an exposed-belt wheelpilot (Navico) just going to a Raymarine S1 was a huge improvement.
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Old 01-25-2014
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

my boat came with a massive chain driven(to quadrant) below decks autopilot, it looks like the cpt except mounted below on a wood base, it has a gyroscope or compass sensor on the port side...too bad It doesnt work cause its perfectly installed...

I wonder what one would do to try and fix a non working older type of autopilot...? where to start?

Ill post some pics hopefully somebody will be able to identify it
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Old 01-25-2014
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

To the best of my knowledge, drive units are just motors that run forward and reverse. Their instructions come from the controllers. Why not test your drive unit and if it's functional, just buy the computer and controllers? If the drive fails someday, you can replace that with a new drive and keep the computer/controllers.
The drive unit is the hardest part to install. If it works, I'd keep it.
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Old 01-25-2014
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

yup its a blcak box with gear, moves forward and reverse...with a chain simple to fix that I think...its the control box that has been exposed to sun and basically looks like crap, not even a name on it...

the gyroscope has always been indoors so its in fine fine shape

guess I could start with the motor box first and see if the motor works if it does then Im game to look for a new control box

cause its mounted and all the fuss workd has been done...now the technical brain stuff has to be applied! jajaja

thanks

pd. IO crewed on a big steel boat that had a very big linear drive autohelm pilot it sucked JUICE like nothing else

partly because the owner being very conservative used an autopilot for twice the displacement of his boat...which is very smart to do...but it cost him at the time in spain around 8k...for an autopilot that was his BACKUP to the aries

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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