When is it time to replace your autopilot? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 51 Old 10-07-2007
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Had a wise man tell me they all steer in an "S", trick is getting smallest one possible. Looking at the specs on the Raymarine site they have a wide range for the mechanical drives from 22,000 to 44,000 lbs. displacement, if yours is a little undersized I wonder if a larger one from Ray might be compatible with the AH stuff. With luck maybe you can upgrade what you got cheaper than replacing everything.
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post #12 of 51 Old 10-07-2007 Thread Starter
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capttb,
That's a good thought. I'm wondering how much the newer computers/brains have to do with better performance in addition to a beefier drive unit.
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post #13 of 51 Old 10-07-2007
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Check with your manual. If you don't have one, they are available online, just google it up. Go through your set up and adjustments for rudder and sea state. It sounds as if your unit is out of "tune" for the sea state and rudder feedback settings while under power. At cruise speed under power is your boat normally easy or hard to steer. If it is normally easy, you should be able to tune out your "s" turns. Try going through the book before throwing the baby out with the bath water. A friend of mine has the same unit on a Benateau 51 as a backup autopilot and it steers fine under power with cable steering as primary. Good luck.

Mike and Joyce, S/Y "Tattoo"

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as simply messing about in boats."
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post #14 of 51 Old 10-07-2007
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We've got a WP5000. 20 years old. It's always worked quite nicely , holds it's course pretty well, no major esses BUT, the belt constantly slips on the wheel. Absolute pain in the arse and nothing I do seems to fix it. It's not simply tension, oh no that would be too easy wouldn't it ? It appears to be that the wheel itself has simply worn smooth. I've had absolutely no luck in finding a replacement.
Boat builder I was talking to said to scrap it and get an underdeck model. His opinion being that today the new underdeck models far outperform the old underdeck while he considered the above deck models to be not much better than junk.
If we do have to replace the WP5000 I'd definitely go underdeck but given that the WP has given 20 years service I'm not all that unhappy with it.
Having to disconnect the thing and pack it away below deck after use is the biggest drawback.

Andrew B

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
― Terry Pratchett, Nation

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post #15 of 51 Old 10-08-2007
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I have an auto 6000. It goes to standby without warning or reason. It will hold a course when the sails are trimmed well or motoring in calm seas, but when the sea state increases the system goes to standby with no warning. A very undesireable trait. I had to hand steer for 5 hrs at the end of a six hr watch, not too difficult but a situation that could lead to some bad decisions due to fatigue, unfortunatly I only have experience with autopilots that worked well ,and I never took any notice of them. So I too would be interested in hearing opinions on units that work well, This one does not.
My boat is 30000 lbs .
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post #16 of 51 Old 10-08-2007
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I have, I think, a Raymarine 3000+. It seems to hold a course for a minute or so but then suddenly wanders way off course for no apparent reason. Anyone know anything about this? Does it matter where or in what direction the compass part is mounted?
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post #17 of 51 Old 10-08-2007
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Shiva has an Alpha 3000 which is not linked to GPS and has to be BOTH mechanically engaged and electronically turned on and a course set. It can't go to "stand by"... whatever that is. If mechanically engaged and the unit is turned off, the helm is "locked" usually for dead ahead. If it is disengaged mechanically using the heading dial on the control head does nothing.

The mechanical engagement means that when NOT engaged there is no friction or drag on the helm. When anchoring with the auto pilot or picking up a mooring. I usually set the course to the location and as the boat is moving straight, turn the pilot off but leave it engaged. This locks the helm and keeps it going straight (at the mooring).

This is a simple and reliable and low drain pilot which has been at it for more than 18 years and tens of thousands of miles. I can recommend Alpha.

jef
sv shiva
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post #18 of 51 Old 10-08-2007
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I've got Autohelm ST6000 as well and for the past 4 seasons, have been very pleased with the performance. It was installed by the PO in '97 for 2-station hydraulic steering - would this make a difference?

True Blue . . .
sold the Nauticat
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post #19 of 51 Old 10-08-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
TE...you can get a Simrad under deck with hydraulic driven piston arm. Your boat need something substanial like that. You will see a world of difference in performance. Youalready know it is not cheap to do this so it is really a question of how badly you need the better performance.
I have this unit. The reliability has been poor. It has needed rebuilding twice.
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post #20 of 51 Old 10-08-2007
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It took me all the way to the southern caribe and then some with no problems. I have faith in it.
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