How to install autopilot to a rack-and-pinion steering without pedestal-mounted whee - SailNet Community

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Old 02-06-2011
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How to install autopilot to a rack-and-pinion steering without pedestal-mounted whee

My yacht's wheel is the rack-and-pinion steering system without pedestal-mounted. The shaft of the steering wheel leads aft, under the helmsman's seat.

I am looking for any information or suggestion to install Raymarine SmartPilot X-5 wheel system to my old wheel sytem.

Thanks for any advice.

Sadao
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Old 02-06-2011
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If it's a woodspoke wheel I doubt you can get it to work.

If a SS wheel then you might adapt it. Otherwise you might want to investigate a below-deck drive style..
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Old 02-06-2011
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i wonder if the x5 control box will drive a linear actuator, i would not see why it would not except maybe amperage. its still just 12 wires that get voltage either way.
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Old 02-06-2011
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We have a reverse, wood spoke, rack and pinion steering on our Hans Christian 34T. We installed a Raymarine Wheelpilot 6-7 years ago. The only real trick was drilling through the rack and pinion cover/seat and installing a stainless steel all thread for a mount. The system works, but the helm is so slow I couldn't slow the pilot down enough, so it kind of snakes a course. For our new boat I just ordered a CPT autopilot, this I believe is adjustable enough to alleviate this problem, we'll see said the zen master. PS I don't believe you can install an under deck system, because the rack and pinion gear system won't like being driven backwards all the time. It's hard enough triing to push the rudder over to bottom paint in the yard.

Last edited by capnorv; 02-06-2011 at 11:27 PM.
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Oh I almost forgot, if you'd like a picture, send me an email address. The boats only 3 miles and I go there most days
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Old 02-07-2011
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Thanks for advices.
The yacht is Fuji Ketch 32. I think the Raymarine XmartPilot X-5 autopilot I purchsed can be installed on the yacht's rack-and-pinion steering wheel. The problem is that the shaft of the wheel come from aft. I have to install the motor tube of the X-5 autopilot to aft direction. My concern is the instrumets of the X-5 will indicate port or starborad correspond to the direction fo the wheel roated.
Sadao
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Reverse Wheel Pilot

I think Raymarine already solved your problem, the wiring instructions are such that most people usually hook them up so they operate backwards. To reverse operation you only need to switch two wires, it is a matter of trial and error anyway.


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Thats how I did it. Thought I'd have to reverse compass, but didn't
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Old 02-09-2011
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Tanks for suggesions.
I misunderstood that the steering mechanism of my Fuji 32 ketch is warm gear type not rack-and-pinion gear type.

Only differ from the standard pedestal mounted wheel sytem is that this traditional steering wheel's shaft leads aft.
I asuume that the reverse the wiring connection of the Drive unit motor will get correct indication on an insturment panel (the pilot controller).

Thanks
Sadao
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Old 02-09-2011
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You're Fuji 32's worm drive is quite different from a normal steering system. A typical wheel system system has a cable from the wheel to the quadrant on the rudder. If the wheel turns, the cables moves and the quadrant the rudder turn. If the rudder and the quadrant attached to it turn, the cable moves the wheel turns. It goes both ways.

The worm drive on your Fuji 32 is different. Turning the wheel turns a worm gear that moves a lever that turns a disk attached to the rudder shaft. Trying to turn the rudder will try to turn the disk which will push on the lever and that won't be able to move the worm gear. It only goes one way.

Check Edson's website, they have some nice pictures of each system.

Any kind of autopilot that's designed to move the quadrant won't work on a worm gear steering system.
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