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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 07-09-2001
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jnorth is on a distinguished road
CPT Autopilot

Jack,

I finally installed the unit by taking the transmission lever off for a few days to see if it was worth it to deal with grinding etc. The jury is stil out. I have a few questions.

The manual says wire the unit directly to the battery. Did you do this? What is the downside to not doing this? Could this explain some course deviation? (The manual says the unit is not ignition protected.)

Also, I still can''t figure out the rudder knob. It seems that even at the "1" setting, I am doing some large "S"''s. This makes it impossible to sail at a close point to the wind. Have you had a similar experience? Any advice would be appreciated.
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2001
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GypsyGirl is on a distinguished road
CPT Autopilot

Jack and JNorth,

Thanks for all your input. Spoke with a Scanmar rep yesterday and according to him, there are 2 guys working on the CPT. They also claim to stand behind their warranty with a full install and refund if the unit proves unsatisfactory under sea trial. Given all the info and options available, we are inclined to give it a try.

Delivery is delayed 4 weeks so we''ll keep you posted on our install and sea trials.

Thanks again,

Lisa and Neil/ Gypsy
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  #13  
Old 07-12-2001
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jack_patricia is on a distinguished road
CPT Autopilot

For Lisa & Neil...congrats on the decision & I surely hope you''re pleased. If you would like to chat some more after your initial install, feel free to email me at n3fyp@winlink.org (24/7 on the boat, which we''re going back to in a few days). Note the comment below on ''settings''; it took me a while to zero in on what works best for us.

JNorth, a couple of thoughts about your unit: First, we did not wire it directly to the battery nor have I found it necessary. They''re justifiably concerned about all those stray voltage spikes and maybe even rf from a SSB ruining the unit performance; thus, their instructions. I do think it is important that you properly fuse/breaker the individual power line to the unit, beyond any group breaker at the panel.

You mention S turns & a ''low'' setting on the Rudder knob - I realize it''s somewhat counter-intuitive but that''s part of your problem. The unit adjusts the wheel in small/bigger increments depending on the rudder setting. You set it low, the boat heads off, it incrementally, slowly is turning the wheel to correct, but in the interim the sail trim has changed and the boat''s being driven even further off course. You can''t overcome that simply by turning te deadband way down, as the unit is still not ''authorized'' by you to make larger course corrections.

FWIW we''ve found - and heard the same thing from KOTCHKA, another bluewater CPT user - that both settings need to be kept as low as possible but with enough authority to control the boat. We have a skeg-hung rudder (not semi-balanced) and still we find the CPT does best when the deadband setting is 1.5-2 (motoring) or a bit more when sailing, and the rudder setting is 2-3 (tho'' more is needed under more strenuous conditions...usually). Turn on the unit in the slip with the dock lines a little loose and, while someone''s pulling on one bow line and then the other, see if you can''t adjust the settings so the unit is responding properly. (No distractions with this. Stick with it and ''play'' a while, until you get a feel for heading change vs. settings chosen). Almost all our CPT use has been at-sea and, with the settings I mention above, we find a course is maintained in the 5-10 degree range, tho'' occasionally above that - not too bad given that we''re being pushed around some by the seaway.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

Jack
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  #14  
Old 09-21-2001
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patrick.t is on a distinguished road
CPT Autopilot

Don''t know if anybody is still following this thread, but I would like to chime in and also hear more of what others have to say re:the CPT.
I have a Cape Dory 36 that displaces about 16,500lbs and have been working with the CPT for about a year. It is not the easiest unit to "tune" to your boat, but you can eventually get there. I will agree that it seems to be best to keep the settings low. I have found for me that what seems to work best is to keep the deadband at around 2 and the rudder at around 4 - this is for saling in moderate conditions. Since I have a windvane I tend to use it more often, but I still try and use the CPT cuz I want to get it figured out....I''m still trying. Even still, if I get a sudden gust or a swell pushes me around, the CPT doesn''t seem to be quick enough and then the boat gets unbalanced and the conditon worsens, etc. Like to hear others response to this.

There is an option I am considering and that is to replace the "control head" with a unit made by (I think) Technautics. Saw an article in Cruising World I think on this and it sounds like a possiblitiy. Anybody familiar with this? I has a gyro and fluxgate compass and a control head that should be able to drive the powerful motor on the CPT.

Any thoughts?

Pat
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