Weight/size limits for autohelm 4000 - SailNet Community

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Old 05-21-2013
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Weight/size limits for autohelm 4000

Hey everyone..

Considering an autohelm 4000 for a 43ft 23K lb sloop rig.

Any thoughts??


Jamie
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Weight/size limits for autohelm 4000

You are over the weight specs, but so was I on my cutter. For motoring and light air it should work if you keep the weather helm down. In bigger seas and wind you will kill it and or your batteries.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Weight/size limits for autohelm 4000

I really only need it to serve as a back up crew member so I can take 20 minute naps.. cook some dinner.. hit the head.. make a quick repair or sail adjustment...
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Re: Weight/size limits for autohelm 4000

It will work fine for that just keep watch of the sail balance.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Weight/size limits for autohelm 4000

The answer lies in the specifics of your boat. If you have a boat with a lot of weather helm, dramatically changes helm loads with heel angle, or a helm which needs a lot of turns lock to lock, then its probably not up to the task. If you have a boat which has a light helm and is forgiving, then it might work. I have the Raymarine updated version on a 10,500 lb 38 footer and it works fine except that it is nearly impossible to callibrate the electronic compass so it actually reflects the proper course.

Jeff
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Weight/size limits for autohelm 4000

Aren't we up to a '6000' series with RM? If it's truly a used 4000 be careful of the (black) wheel drive ring assembly - lots of plastic bits prone to breaking as opposed to the newer (grey) version.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Weight/size limits for autohelm 4000

And the 4000 is no longer supported by Raymarine.
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Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Weight/size limits for autohelm 4000

Good Points.... I had the newer raymarine.. i was not impressed at all. I miss my old Autohelm 300 belt drive. that thing was tough! .. I think I may hold out for a linear drive below decks.
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Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Weight/size limits for autohelm 4000

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailnteacher77 View Post
I really only need it to serve as a back up crew member so I can take 20 minute naps.. cook some dinner.. hit the head.. make a quick repair or sail adjustment...
I have a 4000 on a 37 ft'er @ 24,000lbs, Otto is pretty good helmsman that allows me to run around the deck, play with the sails, go below for a minute or two but that's all I allow him to do. Don't want him thinking he runs the boat.
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Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Weight/size limits for autohelm 4000

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailnteacher77 View Post
Hey everyone..

Considering an autohelm 4000 for a 43ft 23K lb sloop rig.

Any thoughts??


Jamie
I have more than 10 seasons use on a 4000ST. Our boat is 38'6" and 15,000 disp. I've been surprised by how well it has steered the boat, most of the time in those 10 years.

It's done 95% of the steering in several Gulf of Maine overnights, much of that time under sail. It has no problem with wind forward the beam. I can adjust course, sail trim on our yawl off the wind, to have it do all the steering.

It get's tricky downwind with a good breeze and following seas, but so far, I've found a way for it to do the hard work on overnights, even downwind.

I'm nice to it(the WP, it's plastic) and make sail/coourse changes when it's working hard. I don't want to hold the wheel all night.

As coastal sailors, I'll happily get the newest version WP when this gives up(I'm on the second belt), knowing it'll do what we need without the expense and complication of an under deck AP.

I think you're use will depend on how well you can maintain an easy helm on your boat.
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