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  #21  
Old 01-06-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haifa View Post
I have had the S1 autopilot for a little under a year and have to say that its performance leaves a lot to be desired. Be aware that they have a recurrent problem with the cluth or lever disengaging when turning to starboard. I have sent the wheel drive in once and got a new one back under the warranty agreement and have to send it again in less that 6 months after being sent the new one!
Wow I've never had that problem and I've put over 1.5k nm on it since installation on my 17,000 pound loaded weight vessel. The accuracy thing, in most cases, is getting your boat truly dialed in with the right settings. I'm kind of geeky like that so I spent a good deal of time, in both flat and rougher water, with the set up and so far it's accuracy is far superior, even with a wheel drive, to any I've had in the past and I don't even have the rate gyro.

I went with the S1 because if, in the future, we set off I can easily convert it to a below deck drive..

I'll keep a look out for the clutch issue! Oh and I've never had that s-turn issue either?

DON'T let the S1 choose the settings for you if you really want GREAT performance out of it...!
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 01-06-2008 at 10:43 AM.
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  #22  
Old 01-06-2008
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Halekai-

The difference is that you have the under-deck quadrant drive, and they've got a wheel pilot unit... so yours will probably be a lot more robust.

Wheel pilots tend to be fairly light duty from what I've seen...the underdeck ones are much more reliable.
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  #23  
Old 01-06-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Halekai-

The difference is that you have the under-deck quadrant drive, and they've got a wheel pilot unit... so yours will probably be a lot more robust.

Wheel pilots tend to be fairly light duty from what I've seen...the underdeck ones are much more reliable.
But SD look at post #21 directly above your last post. I don't have a quadrant drive on this boat. Look at the picture, it's Raymarine wheel drive and S1 head..

As I said I have owned above and below decks units, by owning 10+ cruising sailboats over the years this happens. How do you think I got all those anchors? The accuracy of this S1 beats them all regardless of the fact that I have a WP.

While I agree 150% that a WP is far less robust than a below deck unit I have used them in some pretty nasty stuff and they've held up well.

Currently, my wife, daughter and I only coastal sail due to other commitments and rarely even sail over to Nova Scotia any more. I would have no problem using my S1 for that trip and I've done it on many boats with WP's from both Simrad and Raymarine..

Last summer we sailed a 78 mile virtually dead down wind run in 25-30 knots and 4-6 foot chop, very typical coastal stuff, and the S1 steered the whole way no problem. All I had to do was trim sails....

Set up is key though..

If you're coastal a wheel pilot is fine. If your off shore get a below deck. If you're cruising get a wind vane too!!
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 01-06-2008 at 11:13 AM.
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  #24  
Old 01-06-2008
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Ahh.. i see, the first set of photos you posted is only the rudder angle sensor... and you hadn't posted the binnacle photo then. It seems that you got one of those exceptional units that occasionally comes along out of any mass production run... Kind of like my friend's Toyota Camry thats got 275,000 miles on it, and is somehow still on the original engine and tranny.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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  #25  
Old 01-06-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Ahh.. i see, the first set of photos you posted is only the rudder angle sensor... and you hadn't posted the binnacle photo then. It seems that you got one of those exceptional units that occasionally comes along out of any mass production run... Kind of like my friend's Toyota Camry thats got 275,000 miles on it, and is somehow still on the original engine and tranny.

Actually that's not that unusual for a Toyota/Lexus or a Honda/Acura at all....

My brother ran a Civic to 329k original tranny & engine and my Honda dealer has a photo of a late 80's accord they still service with 750+k on it. Same engine and tranny as well. This guy commutes from Portland, ME to Boston every day.....

But to your point yes it's unusual for a Raymarine... perhaps a better analogy would have been KIA...
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 01-06-2008 at 11:46 AM.
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I have just completed the installation of the S1 on a Beneteau 343. The rudder indicator was the most difficult to do, required some real thinking, and some custom fabrication work. I have not completed the sea trials yet.
I also purchased the wireless "Smartcontroller" remote.
Does anyone have any experience with this device?

Terry
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Old 01-06-2008
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I use the raymarine s100 wireless remote. love it. there's nothing special to make it work. just add batteries and your off and driving by remote. I find it likes to be a little closer to acquire the signal (when you turn it on) after that I can have it at the bow or anywhere. If your have it at the other end of the boat, it will connect and acquire the signal from the autopilot but it just might take it 20 seconds longer for the initialization.
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Old 01-06-2008
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Originally Posted by trodzen View Post
I use the raymarine s100 wireless remote. love it. there's nothing special to make it work. just add batteries and your off and driving by remote. I find it likes to be a little closer to acquire the signal (when you turn it on) after that I can have it at the bow or anywhere. If your have it at the other end of the boat, it will connect and acquire the signal from the autopilot but it just might take it 20 seconds longer for the initialization.
Have you figured out how to get your remote to keep from turning off if your not on pilot? It is such a PITA that this thing just turns it's self off after a few minutes if you are in standby mode. When you do want to use it you have to re-acquire a signal to make it work again (stupid!).

In Maine we dodge a lot of lobster pots so we're on and off pilot a lot and it seems every time I pick up the remote I have to turn it back on and re-acquire.

I've read the manual cover to cover but can't seem to find a manual override to keep it on while in STBY mode.

Hell I'll buy three cases of batteries for this thing if I have to but please just let me decide when I want it on or off!!!
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 01-06-2008 at 10:47 PM.
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I agree, that is a bit annoying. I dont think there is a fix. If you find one, post it!
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We are trying to decide on an autopilot primarily for motoring. We have an old Seacourse Unit not installed now, removed by the previoius owner before we acquired the boat. It seems to works on the bench but not sure we want to install it as Co out of business and no parts seem available. Internet search provides nothing. Have the book.

Have been looking at the S-1. Our problem is we are 26,000#, full keel, on our 34'6" Atkin Cutter. Spoke to one owner who has been using one on 28,000# for a while but need more input. All help and advice appreciated.
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