Join Date: Jul 2002
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Tiller pilot recommendation needed...
Sorry if this is a ''repeat''; I added it on Friday but don''t see it listed among these threads today.
We''re presently preparing for some more offshore cruising. One addition I intend to make this time before leaving is to set up our Sailomat windvane with a small tiller pilot. The point of this, where the pilot directly controls the base of the vane, is to use the power of this self-steering method in lighter winds and/or without the power consumption of our larger autopilot.
The problem is making a product choice, and especially given the highly variable and sometimes wet conditions we''ll occasionally face when sailing in areas like the UK. (I suspect that ''weather'' is the #1 killer of cockpit mounted pilots).
I care not one smidgen about features, thrust #s or interfacing. We do plan on sewing up a Sunbrella cover with a plastic window, so the unit "should" normally have it''s own protection. So ultimately, I guess I''m concerned about watertight integrity, reliability (how long it might last under ''normal'' conditions) and availability of service in Europe when (probably not ''if'') it fails.
Simrad''s low-end unit is a bit cheaper but I''ve had discouraging service and also product performance from them in the past. Raymarine is my biased choice but based exclusively on ignorance. Thus, my query.
If any of you have some extended experience with the low-end tiller pilots currently available (TP10; ST1000), I''d surely welcome hearing about it here. You are also welcome to contact me directly via email. Many thanks!