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Old 08-01-2011
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Poor man's autohelm

I need to jury rig a tiller autohelm to a wheel for a cruise up the Chesapeake Bay. Nothing permanent. Is this do-able?
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Old 08-01-2011
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I used to use two bungee cord to fix my tiller. It is not automatic but it allows me to free my hand for a long while. I guess knowing how to balance the sails helps.
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Old 08-01-2011
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Oh...you have an electronic autopilot for a tiller, and you want to use it on a boat with wheel steering.

I'm gonna guess, no. If a tiller autohelm pushes a tiller over 12 inches, that can be a considerable change in the rudder angle. Pushing a wheel over 12 inches doesn't do much, when you consider it takes several revolutions of the wheel to go from neutral to hard over.

It would be a lot less trouble to get one of those "work for food" guys to steer your boat than to adapt a tiller autopilot.
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Old 08-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siamese View Post
It would be a lot less trouble to get one of those "work for food" guys to steer your boat than to adapt a tiller autopilot.
The last time I looked, slavery is alive and well in America. I love being a captain with Da "yacht". Ooops, i am boatless, never mind.
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Old 08-01-2011
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Do you have an emergency tiller ? Maybe you could rig the tiller pilot to that.

Thats said, as the educated redneck suggested, if you balance your sails properly you could make her self steer under sail with that aforementioned shock cord. Its really not all that difficult to do. You'll lose a certain amount of performance but you;ll feel quite chuffed when you make it work. We've sailed the Womboat down the east coast of NSW and not had to touch the wheel for hours on end.
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Old 08-02-2011
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i just clove hitch to each cleat and it will hold okay for a few minutes, i wouldnt leave it to take a nap but good enough for what i need.
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