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  #11  
Old 08-23-2013
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Re: Remote helm

My remote helm looks remarkably like the admiral. I attach her to the wheel and it takes over.
I try not to leave the dock without her.

But seriously, current generation Raymarine autopilots and chartplotters have built in wifi, and both rayview and raycontrol as app's. I can steer my boat from my smartphone - no throttle control at this point but I suppose it's possible if you put nmea 2000 stuff on your engine.
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  #12  
Old 08-23-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Interesting. The current version of Raycontrol on my e7d prevents it from being able to change course or direct the autopilot (you get an error whenever the autopilot dialog would pop up). What version are you using?
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  #13  
Old 08-23-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Garmin now has a watch with gps and autopilot control,

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-t...rod120680.html,

I do not think I would trust any wireless controls in tight situations, but might be handy otherwise.
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  #14  
Old 08-23-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
But seriously, current generation Raymarine autopilots and chartplotters have built in wifi, and both rayview and raycontrol as app's. I can steer my boat from my smartphone - no throttle control at this point but I suppose it's possible if you put nmea 2000 stuff on your engine.
OK, Luddite alert, here :-)

I remain mystified by the perceived 'need' for this sort of thing on the sort of boats most of us sail. Seems to me so much of this sort of gadgetry and 'enhanced capabilitiy" is driven largely by the intense competition within the marine electronics industry, and the need to continually come out with the Next New Thing. And, may boaters wind up embracing this sort of technology, simply BECAUSE THEY CAN... But, really, what is the true value of the ability to pilot your boat from elsewhere than the helm? Is that generally a seamanlike practice?

Now, I will confess that my Raymarine S100 remote controller often gets plenty of use when I'm underway, running to my tillerpilot... And there are certain situations where such a device can be extremely handy to use out of the cockpit - jibing a spinnaker singlehanded is one that comes to mind... But I still feel that operation of a boat from anywhere not within quick reach of the helm station is very poor seamanship, and should generally be discouraged...

One of the reasons I'm afraid this sort of stuff is becoming increasingly popular, is the fact that so many boats today are configured in such a manner - particularly with cockpit canvas, and massive amounts of gear stowed on deck - that the visibility from the helm has been so compromised, that one really does have to stand somewhere else, to get a proper view of where one is going... It's amazing how often I have to do this sort of thing on many of the boats I deliver, especially at night...

But I see this stuff as a dangerous trend, especially when there seems to be so little NEED for it... Even the use of things like a remote windlass control in the cockpit can be a really poor practice, and a very good way to render your windlass useless, with a chain jam that would likely not have occurred if one was actually up on the foredeck, monitoring its operation...

Sure, remote controls can be handy, but they can also pose some very serious risks of which many boaters today appear to be blissfully unaware. Some may recall that Jeanne Socrates' first circumnavigation ended on a Mexican beach, only 75 miles short of crossing her outbound track, when the 2 AAA batteries in her Raymarine S100 went dead, kicking the AP into STANDBY, and her boat veered inshore as she was below catching a nap...

Hers turned out to be a heavy price to pay, for the convenience of using a wireless remote...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 08-23-2013 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 08-23-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
...Sure, remote controls can be handy, but they can also pose some very serious risks of which many boaters today appear to be blissfully unaware. Some may recall that Jeanne Socrates' first circumnavigation ended on a Mexican beach, only 75 miles short of crossing her outbound track, when the 2 AAA batteries in her Raymarine S100 went dead, kicking the AP into STANDBY, and her boat veered inshore as she was below catching a nap...
I remember you bringing up this standby issue a few months ago, so I'll put in my experience so far with my recently purchased S100.

I have not had my batteries go dead, but I have had the remote go to sleep because it timed out without my pressing a button. And when it did that the autopilot stayed engaged - it did not go into standby. Next time I think of it, I'll try pulling the battery out to simulate the battery going dead, so I can see what happens with the autopilot.

I think OP was asking about full helm control, and the S100 only does steering via the autopilot. So it's not exactly what he's curious about.

When I bought the S100 I wasn't sure if I would ever use it, but I'm happy to say that it has been a nice convenience to have. There were times when caught in heavy rain where it allowed me to sit under the bimini and steer without having to reach the wheel. Another time it was very cold out, and I was able to stay warm by sitting in the cabin on the companionway ladder with my head sticking out just enough to keep a watch (I don't have a dodger). Another time I was singlehanding and able to tack from the companionway, where my winches are located. Finally, I recently had to motor for 8 hours straight, and the outboard's noise was annoying my wife tremendously in the cockpit and even down below. With the S100, we were able to sit on the bow together and get away from the motor noise. I steered the whole way home from there.

That said, I would never use it in close quarters, and would never take a nap with it running the boat. But I'm just a daysailer and occasional cruiser.
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  #16  
Old 08-23-2013
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Re: Remote helm

friend of mine who repairs my stuff has one he made in his boat--he can raise anchor and sterr at same time..not bad for solo sailor. i will have same kind of thing when he is done with my boat...lol....he can do throttle and direction with his on bow while raisingor lowering his anchor.

oh yes and my one way windlass will be modified to be a two way windlass--i will be able to lower and raise anchor with it.

my repair guy laughs at my cool wood wheel and asks why i dont use joystick without wires...lol....soon, mon, soon....i told him to fix it.
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  #17  
Old 08-23-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
I remember you bringing up this standby issue a few months ago, so I'll put in my experience so far with my recently purchased S100.

I have not had my batteries go dead, but I have had the remote go to sleep because it timed out without my pressing a button. And when it did that the autopilot stayed engaged - it did not go into standby. Next time I think of it, I'll try pulling the battery out to simulate the battery going dead, so I can see what happens with the autopilot.

I think OP was asking about full helm control, and the S100 only does steering via the autopilot. So it's not exactly what he's curious about.

When I bought the S100 I wasn't sure if I would ever use it, but I'm happy to say that it has been a nice convenience to have. There were times when caught in heavy rain where it allowed me to sit under the bimini and steer without having to reach the wheel. Another time it was very cold out, and I was able to stay warm by sitting in the cabin on the companionway ladder with my head sticking out just enough to keep a watch (I don't have a dodger). Another time I was singlehanding and able to tack from the companionway, where my winches are located. Finally, I recently had to motor for 8 hours straight, and the outboard's noise was annoying my wife tremendously in the cockpit and even down below. With the S100, we were able to sit on the bow together and get away from the motor noise. I steered the whole way home from there.

That said, I would never use it in close quarters, and would never take a nap with it running the boat. But I'm just a daysailer and occasional cruiser.
Apparently, not all models of the S100 are the same, as Dave on AUSPICIOUS had noted... They are designed to 'go to sleep' after a period of time, but mine will only do so when the AP is in STANDBY mode, otherwise it remains on as long as the main unit is on AUTO... The only way I can turn mine off without hand steering for a few minutes, and waiting for it to turn itself off, is to remove the batteries... A real flaw in design, IMHO, but mine is a much older unit than yours, perhaps Raymarine has since worked out those issues...

So, here's my favorite story involving Amazingly Stupid Misuse of an autopilot remote...

I was running a 56' Neptunus motoryacht thru the Alligator-Pungo canal years ago, late in the season, but on a bright sunny day... I come up on a 51' Formosa/Island Trader Captain Ron machine plowing along at almost 8 knots...

As I get closer, I can't see anyone in the cockpit... I give a horn signal for a 2-whistle pass, and I finally notice an arm above the deckhouse, waving me on...

The guy is catching some rays up on the foredeck, lounging in a freakin' LAWN CHAIR! Steering with an AP remote, of course...

I try to raise him on VHF, to explain to him there's no freaking way I'm gonna pass him until he gets back to his helm in the cockpit, slows the beast down, and takes the damn thing off AUTO... No response whatsoever, he obviously doesn't have a handheld up there with him, or is simply not monitoring the VHF... Just repeatedly waving his arm, COME ON BY...

Well, OK dumbass, you asked for it :-) So, I drop back a bit, in order to get the Neptunus back up on a full plane to pass him. I don't want to be alongside this clown in such close quarters for any longer than I have to, and at speed I'd be throwing him less wake than if I had to creep past him at 10 knots...

So, I blow by him at 25 knots, the numbskull even gives me a nice friendly wave... Then, comes the point at which recording this encounter on video would have been priceless...

This Neptunus was an express yacht, rather low slung, so he had obviously misjudged its size, and seriously underestimated the size of the wake... Which he took on the quarter, of course... He appeared to make a belated effort to cut sharply across my wake, which of course in such close quarters only served to set him into a pretty good 'Death Roll'... Still seated in his chair (mind you, this was not a 'deck chair', but an actual chintzy lawn chair like you'd pay #11.99 for at Walmart, and the damn thing crumpled and collapsed after the first snap roll back to port...

Now, the autopilot begins to fight the wallowing beast with a series of over-corrections... The guy is trying to pick himself back up off the deck, and realizes he might be in trouble, wandering off course in such a narrow ditch... Just about the time he makes it back to the helm, he's gone aground amid some of the stumps that line the edge of the canal, pictured below... Yup, a video of all that would have been priceless, but I'll carry that image of that moron in his crumpling lawn chair in my memory to my dying day :-)

You'd probably be surprised, how often I've seen sailors 'driving' their boats down the Ditch in such a fashion...


Last edited by JonEisberg; 08-23-2013 at 02:27 PM.
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  #18  
Old 08-23-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Jon - I did have a couple large boats pass me (on in the C&D canal), but I was smart enough to go back to the helm for proper steering as they passed me.

I definitely have to run a couple of tests with the S100. Now that I think of it, there was one time that I was using it that it had gone to sleep, and upon waking it up the AP was in standby when I had thought it had been in Auto. It's possible that I pressed the standby button one too many times when trying to wake up the device, but it's also possible that the device could have put the AP to sleep somehow.

I think I've also noticed that the device stays awake whenever the AP is set to Auto, but need to verify that too. So some of what I said needs to be re-checked. In my case, I'm in a narrow river, so I'm always keeping a close watch even if AP is active, so it's less critical for me. But I do want to be familiar with all the potential glitches that could happen.
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Last edited by TakeFive; 08-25-2013 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 08-23-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Have the remote for my raymarine. don't use it. scary thing is no obvious way to tell if the batteries are dead other than trying to make a course correction. if batteries go dead while being used screws up autopilot. would use it anchoring or picking up a mooring but so far feel more secure just leaving AP in standby and using wheel brake when I run forward.
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  #20  
Old 08-24-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post

Well, OK dumbass, you asked for it :-) So, I drop back a bit, in order to get the Neptunus back up on a full plane to pass him. I don't want to be alongside this clown in such close quarters for any longer than I have to, and at speed I'd be throwing him less wake than if I had to creep past him at 10 knots...

So, I blow by him at 25 knots...

...The guy is trying to pick himself back up off the deck, and realizes he might be in trouble, wandering off course in such a narrow ditch... Just about the time he makes it back to the helm, he's gone aground amid some of the stumps that line the edge of the canal, pictured below...

Let me get this straight. He is maintaining course and speed, which, if I recall correctly from the rules, is within his rights to do, and you blow by him at full speed causing him to go aground?

Isn't he the stand-on vessel, and you, by virtue of passing him the give-way vessel? Aren't you responsible also for the consequences of your wake?

I know the guy wasn't exactly displaying the picture of seamanship, but by the photo you posted, it's not exactly extreme conditions either. Why not relax a little?

Frankly I'm surprised that you're willing to be so boastful of contributing to a fellow sailor going aground. It doesn't sound like he was being particularly reckless, or endangering anyone else to me. You could have passed him at 9.5knots (hull speed) and not have thrown up such a wake. You could have passed, waved back, and not ruined his day. Instead you swamp him (because you feel unsafe being next to him for a few extra seconds) and then brag about doing so.

This is not what I've come to expect from you Jon.

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