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  #21  
Old 08-24-2013
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Re: Remote helm

My remote controls don't go to sleep so are always ready to use. I've sold my remotes to people who are replacing their S100 remote and are happy not to have to wait for it to wake up.
I have a warning in my manual about not using the remote if altering course would result in a collision or running aground - seems to be just common sense to me.
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  #22  
Old 08-24-2013
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Re: Remote helm

aha ... I was just about to mention Tymadman and his remote control.

Why would anyone want more ? If vision is a bit dodgey from the helm it surely solves the problem without the need for full remote control. Throttle control might be a problem if you were set on being up near the pointy end when docking..
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  #23  
Old 08-25-2013
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Re: Remote helm

It all depends on the $$. The control system we install for this type of stuff is a specialized one, the company makes nothing else and it is installed OEM as the control system for several brands(Castoldi, Azimuth, Princess, Marlow etc) now. The company who developed it does nothing else, and at every step it is designed to relinquish control in case of a failure, after stepping down to what is left first(EG if thruster malfunctions it fails to engine only and adapts). All components are hardened, no electrical connection exists between Boat and Control, they are totally isolated, a sudden power surge or even a dead short of AC into the system won't cause it to go haywire, the physical separation on the boards prevents it.
If it all fails, it kills the power to the whole system.
I was a lot more worried by it before I got into the guts of it properly. IMO now, this system at least is more robust than many of the direct cable and hydraulic systems, a customer with the latter recently lost control due to a fluid leak.
There are some similar systems on the market, but most are locked down so tight you cant see what's going on inside them, though I got to see many of them on test benches in pieces, the programming is all proprietary and locked down, and the hardware often has significant weak points. Included in that are ones like Bosch Rexroth, Skyhook/Zeus and similar.
We can actually interface with those, and others like Glendining and ZF anyways, however they all seem to have significant weaknesses.

When we do a ground up installation of it is very robust, the linear actuators on the engine and transmission are simple, tough and high quality. If they fail, almost any standard actuator can be substituted to get home, the same type can be used for everything from autopilot to engines.
Or a Teleflex actuator system can be used which is a cable connected to an actuator with manual overrides right on it, pull the lever and you have direct gears connected to the cable instead.

So it's totally doable, and can be very robust, and long term economical, but it requires time and money to do it right the first time.
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  #24  
Old 08-25-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
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...
I've got to say Jon that seems a little mean to me too. Just because the guy misjudged things a bit and figured it would be safe to let you pass while he was at the bow I don't think he deserved to be blown off the road.

Don't forget if he waved you off you would not have the the right to pass at all. You legally have to get the forwards boats permission to pass inland.
So he was trying to be a nice guy.

Thinking of alternative you probably could have drafted him about 30' off his stern with no danger to you and 5 tooted him until he came back to the helm and radio to find out what the commotion was all about.

Frankly I don't think a guy with your credentials would do this again. I suspect you underestimated the wake and the result of the wake also.

From a legal point of view if you did what you did and he hit a submerged pole and sank his boat I suspect the the court would assign some significant part of the blame to you because despite the other boats errors you would be considered the aggressor.

But thanks for posting this as it shows that even our most experienced captains can sometimes in a split second make a bad call.
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  #25  
Old 08-25-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
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...
OK, I just got done with a nice little evening sail. I did a couple of tests with my S100 remote. Mine is a recent vintage, purchased last November. I do not know the firmware version.

With the autopilot engaged and S100 on, I pulled out a battery to kill the remote. My autopilot (Raymarine ST4000+ wheel pilot) continued to operate. It did not go into standby.

I then reinserted the battery and pressed the standby button of the S100 to turn it back on. The remote searched for the network and initially did not find it, giving an error message and saying "No Pilot." But after a few more seconds, it did engage with the network and the display said "Pilot." This means that the remote woke up and (eventually) locked in with the autopilot without taking it into standby mode.

So it would appear that my remote can both go dead and turn back on without affecting the state of the autopilot. Like you said, this might be affected by the vintage of the S100 device. It also might be a function of the model of autopilot that the S100 is connected to.

I was not able to verify whether my S100 goes to sleep while the autopilot is engaged. It did go to sleep at one point, but I had put the AP into standby and manually steered before I noticed whether the S100 was awake or asleep.
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Last edited by TakeFive; 08-25-2013 at 09:31 PM.
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  #26  
Old 08-25-2013
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Re: Remote helm

I hold the wheel steady with my foot if I have to peer out round the dodger for a few seconds. Does that count?
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  #27  
Old 08-25-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
I hold the wheel steady with my foot if I have to peer out round the dodger for a few seconds. Does that count?
Does your foot go to sleep after a while?
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  #28  
Old 08-25-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Bit of cramp maybe.
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  #29  
Old 08-25-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
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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Running the ICW is largely about cooperation between the wide variety of vessels that use the route. Power and sail, recreational and commercial, marine traffic and bridgetenders, and so on... I've always said, snowbirds running the Ditch would have a far better understanding of this, if they had the opportunity to make the trip at least once on a slow trawler or sailboat, and once on a big sportfisherman or fast motoryacht, all of which have equal entitlement to use of the route...

Here's the way to be overtaken by a faster boat, if the quarters are close enough where a slow pass is reasonable to expect:

Quote:

Over the years, animosity between sailors and powerboaters has increased, and as freeway drivers doing 50 in the passing lane heighten the road-rage quotient, cruising sailors must often share the blame for many of the tensions that ensue on the ICW. If you expect to be passed by a faster vessel in a courteous manner, you simply must throttle back to idle speed, thus permitting the overtaking vessel to do the same.

Though I'm a sailor on my own time, I mostly deliver sportfishing boats or fast motoryachts. My idea of a perfect pass is to first signal my intention to the slower vessel with a horn signal (one short blast if passing to starboard; two short blasts if to port). If the slower vessel accepts the faster boat's plan, then it sounds the same signal. I think that VHF communications are often unnecessary and, in most cases, overused, and a 20-plus-knot closing speed often precludes effective dialog.

I maintain my running speed until within a couple of boat lengths of the vessel being overtaken, then sharply throttle down to idle, which instantly flattens the wake. The slower boat, by then at idle, permits me to pass close aboard and maintains idle speed until my quarter wave has crossed his bow. Then we're both again off to the races. When executed properly, this entire maneuver can be done in 45 seconds, with no hard feelings from either party, and the overtaken boat has sacrificed but a few boat lengths of distance made good.

When a powerboat operator has neither the inclination toward courtesy nor the skill to demonstrate it, you can minimize the effect of a rogue wake by turning away from the wake and throwing a hip check with your own boat's quarter by beginning to cut sharply across the wake, then deliberately putting the boat broadside at just the right moment. In most boats of at least moderate displacement, this results in little more than the overtaken boat bobbing up and down, with a minimum degree of rolling.

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Over 25 years ago, I learned a very valuable lesson from an incident that could have easily ended my budding career in the delivery trade. Namely, autopilots can wig out at any time, and appear to have a greater likelihood to do so in close proximity to other vessels, or large structures such as bridges...

I was running a Grand Banks 42 on auto, when I was being passed by a large motoryacht. Fortunately, we were not particularly close, but when he was just about abeam of me, my autopilot suddenly locked hard over (It was a primitive Unipas unit, perhaps it was somehow affected by the yacht's radar which was running at the time) I was right there to take control of the boat - no harm, no foul, but I was still shaking hours later, it was a very sobering experience... Needless to say, I'm taking my boat off AUTO and hand steering when overtaken closely to this day, and I expect boats I'm passing to do the same...

If you've never run through the Alligator-Pungo Canal, it's understandable you might not appreciate the monumental stupidity of what this guy was doing... Trust me, I made a serious effort to attempt to convey to this guy I wanted to talk to him, he steadfastly refused to vacate the foredeck... Each passing minute was only further confirmation this guy was a fool, one that looked like he needed to be passed as quickly as possible...

Attempting to pass him at 9.5 knots would have entailed far greater risk, FOR BOTH OF US, than would doing so @ 20+ knots...

Here's a pic of the Neptunus 56:



Here's the wake she throws @ 27 knots -



Not insignificant, of course, but considerably flatter than if that boat is running in the hole, in shallow water, at 9.5 knots... Equally important, the wake trails well astern...

Here's what would have happened if I'd tried to pass that guy at 9.5 knots... In the 8-10 feet of water nearer the side of the canal, my bow would have been pointed skyward, the boat would have been digging a huge hole in the water as the stern was sucked down towards the bottom... About $25K worth of 5 blade props would have been spinning perilously close to the bottom... My wake would have been gigantic, much sharper than pictured above... More importantly, my quarter wave would have moved WAY forward, the boat being passed would begin to be affected by it even as I was still alongside...

In a cut that narrow, with 2 50+ foot vessels running side by side at displacement speed, the significant amount of water being displaced will create a considerable "sucking away" of water from the canal's banks ahead, and serving to draw the 2 boats even closer together... Only a complete and utter fool would trust any autopilot to keep a boat as heavy and slow to respond precisely on track in such a situation, and for the length of time it would have taken me to get by, traveling only 2 knots faster...

Trust me, I am painfully aware that I am responsible for my own wake :-) Running a boat like that Neptunus inside all the way to Lauderdale will involve slowing down hundreds of times, the reason I always run outside as much as possible, of course... But, I'm sorry, I am NOT responsible for the boneheadedness of someone who steadfastly refuses to do their share in effecting a safe and courteous pass, or his inability to handle a wake that I can easily handle in my own little tub, by simply taking control of the helm :-)

In the end, the fact that the guy actually waved to me as I went by indicates that he was not surprised by the fact that I passed him on a plane... He waved me on, after all, in the fashion ICW sailors do when they don't feel the need for a slow pass. He simply underestimated the size of that Neptunus, and how poorly his own boat would handle its wake in a spot with so little margin for error, especially when being steered by a freakin' autopilot remote from a lawn chair on the foredeck :-)

Last edited by JonEisberg; 08-25-2013 at 10:49 PM.
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  #30  
Old 08-26-2013
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Re: Remote helm

quote:
My idea of a perfect pass is to first signal my intention to the slower vessel with a horn signal (one short blast if passing to starboard; two short blasts if to port).
end quote

From colregs inland
c) When in sight of one another in a narrow channel or fairway:
(i) a vessel intending to overtake another shall in compliance with Rule 9(e)(i) indicate her intention by the following signals on her whistle:
− two prolonged blasts followed by one short blast to mean “I intend to overtake you on your starboard side”;
− two prolonged blasts followed by two short blasts to mean “I intend to overtake you on your port side”.
(ii) the vessel about to be overtaken when acting in accordance with Rule 9(e)(i) shall indicate her agreement by the following signal on her whistle:
− one prolonged, one short, one prolonged and one short blast, in that order.

What do most folks in the ditch do?
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