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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-24-2013
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Tillerpilot Question

Hello everyone, I need some tiller pilot experience here.

The problem, I want a tillerpilot and unsure which model - never had one. First, I have a Southern Cross 28 sailboat that weighs 8,900 lbs unloaded. Once we pile on what we need, she's pushing 10,500 lbs. I'm planning this to be a stand alone unit with no electronic input from GPS, wind vane, etc. . .

Raymarine doesn't make a unit that will handle over 10k lbs so I selected Simrad. They have two models available for me, the TP22 (boats up to 11,000 lbs) and the TP32 (boats up to 14,000 lbs). Also the TP22 supplies peak thrust of 154 lbs and the TP32 supplies peak thrust of 187 lbs.

Should I just go ahead and get the TP32 or will the TP22 meet my needs of just coastal cruising? Am I looking at the whole picture or is there more I need to think about?

Thanks - Joe
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Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Tillerpilot Question

Either will work of course, but if you have the money in your budget the TP32 will 'work' less - which is always better.

Autopilots, windlasses and anchors are three things where bigger is better - are are one form of insurance.
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Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Tillerpilot Question

Does the Southern Cross 28 have an outboard rudder? My boat does, so I run the autohelm off the trim tab, on the trailing edge of my rudder. Works well. Minimum load on the Autohelm, which I have mounted below deck.
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Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Tillerpilot Question

Brent - the 28 is a full-keeled sailboat with skeg hung rudder. Wish it was outboard but no . . .
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Old 03-25-2013
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Raymarine X5 GP is rated fore something like 16,000 #. We use one on our 28,000# full keeler. Way undersized for us, but it only gets used when motoring (no wind). Aries steers us most of the time.
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Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Tillerpilot Question

MikeOReilly - I read a few reviews on the X5 units and owners liked it but they peg it at 3 amp-hour drain range with software problems (track mode). These reviews were back in 2010 so maybe they improved. How's your unit been and do you have the SPX-5 or the SPX-5GP?
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Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Tillerpilot Question

As I recall, the TP22 has a higher max current draw than the TP32. I took the oversize advice, got the 32 and have been very happy with it. Remember the bitter taste of poor performance quickly wipes out the pleasure of dollars saved.
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Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Tillerpilot Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joesplace View Post
MikeOReilly - I read a few reviews on the X5 units and owners liked it but they peg it at 3 amp-hour drain range with software problems (track mode). These reviews were back in 2010 so maybe they improved. How's your unit been and do you have the SPX-5 or the SPX-5GP?
I have the GP version. It's performed fine so far, although I certainly can't claim to have tested it in any extreme conditions. As I mentioned, we have an windvane which steers the boat while under sail -- so, most of the time. We use the tiller pilot when we are under power, which tends to be in low/no wind conditions, or when we are in close to land (anchoring, docking, exiting anchorage, etc.).

The GP is the highest-rated tiller pilot I could find -- higher than the Simrads. But for our boat it is still way under-sized. I would not expect it to perform very well in any real seas or wind. For your boat, it might do very well.
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