Any tips or landmines about proper installation of a tiller autopilot? - SailNet Community

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Old 03-05-2011
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Question Any tips or landmines about proper installation of a tiller autopilot?

This years upgrades include a plan to install a Raymarine ST1000+ Tiller Autopilot on my Sparkman and Stephens Sailmaster 22, Wallilabu. She displaces about 3950 lbs with her full keel, so I think the 6000 lb rated ST1000 should be fine. The installation seems reasonably straightforward from the instructions, but having never done one, before I poke a lot of holes in my cockpit seats and tiller, I figured I see if anyone else has some experience and local knowledge. Thanks.
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Old 03-06-2011
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I inherited a ST1000 already installed that works well until it encounters heavy seas.
Installation would appear to hinge on getting the distance along the tiller from the rudder correct to allow sufficient movement of the tiller ram to control the rudder without engaging the rudder stops. This position should minimise the torque on the pilot motor.
No doubt this measurement will be in the instructions.
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Old 03-06-2011
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centaur is right,the distance from the rudder fulcrum to the mounting pin on the tiller is critical,the unit should be mounted as level as possible and at a 90 degree angle to the boat centerline,if i can do it anyone can
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Old 03-07-2011
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I installed a simrad tillerpilot on my boat this year. After deciding exactly where to put it and what installation hardware was required, the most difficult part of the installation was getting the pin that goes onto the tiller perfectly vertical and at the exact height required by the installation instructions. I would get the pilot all situated and then put the pin into the tiller.
John
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Old 03-08-2011
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Simple process I think from my own experience. Essentially follow the instructions that it comes with and get things level, like the pin and the autotiller mount spot. From there you'll have to calibrate it out on the water and see how it goes. I think the only thing I want to do a bit better is hook up the power to something more waterproof instead of what I have now, which actually happens to be the auxiliary power from the motor controls.
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