Tiller Autopilot frustrations - SailNet Community

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Old 02-25-2010
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Tiller Autopilot frustrations

I have an old Raymarine autotiller and I think that it is on its last leg. I was using it in the rain a few days ago and it seemed to get lost. I am looking at the market for a replacement and from what I have heard. Autopilots configured with a windvane work great. I have even heard that linked with a GPS they rival a person at the helm. That may be the really expensivie ones but I am not sure. The irritating thing to me is that the Raymarine website has all of the info about the auto tiller but gives no description of the windvane necessary to go with it. What else needs to be purchased to make this auto tiller into an electronic wind tiller. What about interfacing with a GPS. What GPS will it work with? What do I need to make it work? They aren't doing a good job of being descriptive. What about Raymarine alternatives? Oh I have a 30' Grampian Sloop with an outboard motor. A mechanical windvane I think is not an easy option. Esspecially considering that I already have an electric tiller mount.
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Old 02-25-2010
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No. Autopilots can not rival a human. They can not anticipate a bigger wave coming or correct for a wind gust. The Raymarine autopilots can use the Raymarine wind instruments, like the ST60, to steer by apparent wind. The GPS can be connected via NMEA 0183 wiring.

If you're getting a tiller pilot, I would highly recommend making a "splash sleeve" out of some waterproof material for it. This will greatly prolong the life of the unit.
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