Autopilot session, how long? - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-27-2010 Thread Starter
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Autopilot session, how long?

-How long do you run your autopilot without a break? (as in straight hrs)
-Whats the longest session?
-How long have you heard/read suggested?

1980 Pearson 323 #268 "Enchantress"

Last edited by theway; 11-27-2010 at 05:52 PM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-27-2010
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If it's a good one. All the way around the world, and more.........i2f

20 MPH ain't fast unless, you do it in a 1000sq 3/2 house on 10foot waves
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-27-2010
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All the time, non stop.

On a crossing of Caribbean sea on a friends boat AP worked non-stop for 4-5 days.

Closer to home, we had a nice sail (and then "drive" when wind died) today - AP ran for 6 hours. I rarely hand steer - I get bored with steering quickly (and fall off-course all the time as I take in the view and enjoy the sea).

AP is an amazing invention, it just keeps going and going.
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post #4 of 5 Old 11-28-2010
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If the boat's sailplan is properly balanced, there's really no limit to how long you can run the autopilot, as long as the batteries hold out. Of course, the more robust an autopilot is, the safer it is to run for long periods of time. Marginal autopilots will have issues when run with an unbalanced sailplan or for long periods of time.

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Originally Posted by theway View Post
-How long do you run your autopilot without a break? (as in straight hrs)
-Whats the longest session?
-How long have you heard/read suggested?

Sailingdog

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post #5 of 5 Old 11-28-2010
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I've heard of times from a few days to months. I've used mine for weeks at a time with zero problems. I did change the belt on my Autohelm 3000 after 3 years, mostly out of concern about an upcoming transatlantic, but other than that, nothing.

I did try to keep the sail plan balanced and made sure the batteries were charged.

Capt. Douglas Abbott
USCG/MCA IV/C.I./M.I. 500-ton Oceans
PADI MSDT

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