Well, *there's* your problem... (trashed my wheel pilot) - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-14-2011
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Well, *there's* your problem... (trashed my wheel pilot)

It seems the Raymarine Mk2 wheel pilot isn't up to the challenge of beating into F8 in the steep confused seas of the Gulf of Riga...




Three of the nine orbital gears in the gearbox have sheered teeth.

(this is the third time this wheel pilot has failed, all due to breaking plastic, if only a bit better materials were used, it would be alot more robust -- the issue doesn't appear to be the design, just the build quality)

So here I sit in Liepaja, Latvia, waiting on a replacement gearbox...
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Old 09-14-2011
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I have never really trusted wheel mounted self-steering. Give me a quadrant mounted hydraulic system any day.
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Old 09-14-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I have never really trusted wheel mounted self-steering. Give me a quadrant mounted hydraulic system any day.
I agree. The wheel pilot is legacy from a previous boat, where it was the only reasonable option. Given that the wheel drive has now failed three times, I'm definitely going to be looking at a beefier drive solution.

That said, it's clear from the construction that Raymarine was really trying to minimize the manufacturing costs to an unreasonable degree. Just a tad bit more metal in the construction would make a world of difference in its durability.
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Old 09-14-2011
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I once had to reach through a moving wheel to disengage the pilot. That experience was unnerving.
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Old 09-14-2011
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Take a look at CPT autopilots. They are an intermediate step between these cheap plastic wheel pilots and expensive below deck pilots.
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Old 09-14-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickstickler View Post
Three of the nine orbital gears in the gearbox have sheered teeth.

(this is the third time this wheel pilot has failed, all due to breaking plastic, if only a bit better materials were used, it would be alot more robust -- the issue doesn't appear to be the design, just the build quality)
Bummer.

Any chance a machine shop could repro the gears with metal replacements?
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Old 09-14-2011
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Hey,

My boat came with an old Ray 3000 pilot. It's belt driven and works fine. One of the nice things about the belt drive is that if there is too much of a load on the motor, the belt just slips. No sheered gears, just a belt that slips and then grips when the force decreases.

Barry
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Old 09-14-2011
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I could think of worse places to be stranded.
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Old 09-14-2011
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Another big advantage of a quadrant mount pilot is the ability to steer if a cable parts.
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Old 09-14-2011
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I could think of worse places to be stranded.
Las Vegas comes to mind...
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