Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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As Zanshin has pointed out, the draw of the typical autopilot will vary with the balance of the sailplan. To minimize the draw, try and balance the sailplan as much as possible when using the autopilot.
As to whether you'll need to run the generator every day, it really depends on how large your battery bank is, what your typical daily electrical usage is, and what passive charging systems you have aboard. On my boat, I can run my refrigerator, the VHF, autopilot and such and still have the three solar panels keep the batteries fairly well topped off... never have to run the engine to charge the batteries, which is a good thing, given the low amperage output it has.
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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.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.