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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-18-2007
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Wheel autopilots

I am looking at web marine merchant sites now and it looks like there is only one wheel autopilot left out there - raymarine s1. Even that is not a true wheel unit - it is a combination of their remote computer and a wheel drive. There used to be quite a few options for self-contained wheel-only units that did not require installation of external items. What happened? Do people not need that anymore?
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Old 04-18-2007
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Most people opt for below-deck autopilots, since they're far more robust and far more long-lived. The wheel-based autopilots were very well-known for stripping gears and breaking belts, unlike tiller pilots and below-deck pilots.
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Old 04-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Most people opt for below-deck autopilots, since they're far more robust and far more long-lived. The wheel-based autopilots were very well-known for stripping gears and breaking belts, unlike tiller pilots and below-deck pilots.

Sure, they have drawbacks - but they obviously have advantages too. Looks like Simrad just discontinued their wheelpilot abruptly, which is too bad - I really would like to buy one. I wish they would reconsider, there is definitely a market for those too.
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Old 04-18-2007
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I managed to get the Raymarine ST4000 MK2 just last summer after hearing they were on the endangered list, perhaps with a bit of scouring around you may find some old stock somewhere.
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Old 04-18-2007
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There goes Raymarine and Simrad with their built in obsolescence again. If you buy one, buy two to have spare parts in ten years time.
SD is right about the inboard ones being robust(er). I have a thirty year old Raymarine drive unit, that with a bit of TLC has been persuaded to work with an ST3000 set of electronics. The old electronics went awol and spare parts for the drive unit are non-existent, but its built like a tank and can be repaired with a hammer. I bet the new ones can't.
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Old 04-18-2007
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I still have an Autohelm 1000 tiller pilot from the '80s. I scored a nicer one in the yacht club garbage that I can use for spares, or I can just see if I can spot the fried circuits.

Eats amps, but it's handy for keeping me head to wind.
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Old 04-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptKermie
I managed to get the Raymarine ST4000 MK2 just last summer after hearing they were on the endangered list, perhaps with a bit of scouring around you may find some old stock somewhere.
I've ST4000 MK2 on my boat since 2002 and had replaced the display unit once after lightning damaged 2 years back. Understand from Raymarine that ST4000 is replaced by S1 (which is actually ST6000). The S1 Kit includes MK2 Wheel (same as ST4000) and Rudder position sensor (optional in ST4000).
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Old 04-19-2007
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Simrad just repaired my WP-10. New clutch and overhaul for about $275 including shipping. I hope to get another 5-10 uyears out of it. Call me then.
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Old 05-07-2007
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Simrad WP 10

Can you tell me more about the WP 10? I just bought one on ebay. The owner says it's never been used. Have you had a good experience with it?

Chris Foley
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Cal 28-2
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Old 05-07-2007
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If he's spending the money to repair it, it is likely that he's had pretty good luck with the WP10 so far... I don't think he'd spend $275 to repair an autopilot he didn't like.
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