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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-01-2008
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Autohelm -replace or fix?

I have a 1997 'partial' Autohelm system... the drive has been removed by the previous owner and I am left with the head unit and whatever other bits are involved in the system (I have a good mechanical aptitude but no experience with installing or repairing this).

So do I try to buy a new drive off of Ebay (or somewhere cheap) or just install new? I'm a touched maxed out this season with new canvas, and other upgrades. Does anyone know how much I should expect to pay for a new system installed? We have two VERY young kids and the other half wants me to get this fixed for an extra set of hands on board.

Hunter 29.5
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Old 06-01-2008
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I have an old belt drive system from a navico (the control head got wet). Should work for you, if you want it we can make arrangements. You should also be able to source a new drive unit for less than the cost of entirely new system. A new S1 from Raymarine (which I don't recommend at all unless you enjoy wasting many hours, thousands of dollars, and enjoy going to sea with electronics guaranteed to fail) will cost you over $1200. That seems to be the absolute minimum for wheel boats these days. So, my vote is find a cheap drive unit and go for it.
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Old 06-01-2008
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Thanks for the offer but I know that type won't work. On this model, Hunter put in the is huge cockpit table like pedestal that limits my options greatly! I run in to the same problem with the engine controls as well.
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Make sure your head unity is functional first. Power it on, then give commands and check for the voltage to the terminals used to power the drive. It should appear, invert polarity, disappear at all, giving you some clue. Checking compass might be a bit more complicated, but feasible. If you have physical limitation, look for the exct match on the web, and negotiate the price.
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Thanks so much for the help. I will take my tester on my next trip starting Tuesday and do some investigating (after the two kiddies are asleep).
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