Tacking solo with Auto pilot (video) - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 02-20-2008
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Tacking solo with Auto pilot (video)

I can't remember who was that asked, and can't figure out who because my old laptop was gone..

Anyway, today I filmed the procedure for tacking using the autopilot and the auto pilot's self tacking feature, that I have set in my boat for 80º degrees..

I start by setting the heading at around 35º off the wind, this is very important, as the Raymarine autopilot system does not allow you to tack if the angle between wind and boat is lower than 30º degrees, as it assumes the boat is gybing and instead of tacking it veers away. A nice sometimes annoying feature, that adds safety. So to correct for the safety feature, set the apparent wind well above 35º off the bow.

Get the lazy genoa sheet and the active sheet ready and in your hands, look around, hit the +1 and +10 buttons at the same time (this is for the Raymarine system, other brands may differ), for a starboard tack and -1 and -10 for a port tack.

In the video bellow I hit the + buttons.

once the boat starts the tack, release the lazy sheet and winch the active sheet accordingly.

Once you have done the tack, readjust the heading and go trim the sails.

Simple.



It's a pretty simple thing, and remember to wear the safety gear when alone.

Last edited by Giulietta; 02-20-2008 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 02-20-2008
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Giulietta,

Nice video.

Which RM autopilot are you using? Also, are your wind instruments interfaced with your Autopilot such that you can sail an apparent wind angle rather than a compass course? Thanks.
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Old 02-20-2008
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Thanks for the video Alex; a nice day for a sail!
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Old 02-20-2008
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He's got the Autohelm 6000+ same as mine. Yes - it operates in wind vane mode. I couldn't and wouldn't singlehand without it, with it life is GOOD
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Old 02-20-2008
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I had to think for a minute why this was necessary, and then I remembered how wide Alex's cockpit is...

My autopilot on my old boat was my knees!
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Old 02-20-2008
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Very close to what I do on my boat without using the AP -- except that I am a lot busier during the tack handling the wheel and both sheets! Also interesting to see how expert one becomes throwing the lazy sheet off the winch. Alex has convinced me to try using the AP this coming season.
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Old 02-20-2008
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I've got to vid me doing a tack.
Catamaran tacking is 'interesting' - slow and easy when done correctly.

I punch the buttons, walk the 14 feet to the lazy winch, pause and wait until the jib backs for 3-4 seconds (depends on boat and wind speed), throw the line off - walk to the other side and trim up seldom using a winch at all.

Ten to Fifteen seconds of smooth and peaceful activity. I bet I could do it without setting down my drink even in 20 knots of wind.
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Old 02-20-2008
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While I appreciate Alex taking the time to put together this and the other videos. I must say that I never use my autopilot when I tack (even though I have a similar unit to Alex's). I find that the rate of tack is very important in terms of easy of tacking the jib or genoa and in terms of maintaing boatspeed through the tack. I initially want the boat to turn quickly at the start of the tack and then more slowly as it settles into the new tack. The autopilot tends to swing at a constant rate and overshoots the new course a little and then comes up a little too high before locking in on the new tack.

At least in my cockpit its just too easy to spin the wheel to start the tack, and then reverse it half way through the tack, just after setting the traveller for the new tack and before breaking the jib sheet.

Just a different thought process I guess,
Jeff
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Old 02-20-2008
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Nice video Alex.
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You guys understand I have a 13 or 14 foot beam don't you?

And as much from the wheels forward....

I too can tack without the AP, but with it its much cleaner, relaxed and free of worries....
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