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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Which Auto Pilot?
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Thread: Which Auto Pilot? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-08-2008 08:11 AM
ozsailer
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
I wouldn't go with a hydraulic ram since you have a cable and quadrant system. Unless the boat is really heavy, I would go with a linear drive below deck autopilot. Hydraulics only really make sense on a really heavy boat with hydraulic steering IMHO. How much does the Chieftain displace??
Hello all,
thanks for the replies, The chieftain displaces approximatley 8 ton. I must admit I was taken with the guy from Simrad he really knew his product and did mention that they had taken over from Robinsons. I spoke with the Raymarine people today and arranged to take the boat to the local marina next week for a quote and work out how it could be fitted. Price is not really an issue, well it is but with an auto pilot I figure spending a few extra bucks for a good unit is a good investment in keeping us safe at sea.


Greg and Sue
Land down under
08-06-2008 11:11 PM
brak
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Brak...it is an electrically driven hydraulic pump which actuates the linear piston. The ram is tied to the steering quadrant through a bolted joint. Valving takes it out of the circuit when the AP is not steering and the ram merely slides freely back and forth. It is much faster than the screw type mechanisms and I believe more powerful and reliable under long term load.
curious. that was always something I wondered. I have hydraulic steering and autopilot and there it is simple - if steering does not move the ram - autopilot pump does. I had trouble simulating the separate ram behavior (I connected one side to the other - but could not get it to move freely).
Anyway, I see the point and it looks like a nice all in one setup.
08-06-2008 09:28 PM
camaraderie Dawg...yep...that's why I wanted to broaden your education!
08-06-2008 07:10 PM
KindOfBlue I have that Simrad hydraulic drive system on my boat. When the AP is not on, you can very easily steer the boat, however you can also pull the cotter pin and detach the drive unit from the quadrant.

My system is technically not a Simrad, it's a Robertson which Simrad bought many years ago. I fried some connections in my remote a few weeks ago and I needed to contact Simrad to see what types of replacements parts or service I could get. Well it turned out that my unit was so old that they no longer have parts or people on staff who are trained to fix this unit. I spoke to a guy at Simrad for hours on the phone about how I could possibly attempt to repair the unit myself and about the products available on the market today. I don't know what the guys position is at Simrad, but he knew everything about the new, old and products under development. I could have talked to him for as long as I wanted. Not too sure if you can get that level of service at all vendors.

The Hydraulic drive unit on the old Robertson system is the same drive unit that they sell today, so if I were to upgrade I wouldn't have to replace the drive unit. I was just about to buy the AP2802 system (package that includes the AP28 control unit, rudder feedback, computer, etc.) and reuse my drive unit (undamaged), but I sucessfully rewired and fixed my remote and I am back in action. I'll continue to buy Simrad for APs..
08-06-2008 06:54 PM
sailingdog Cam-

Most of the hydraulic systems I've seen tie into the hydraulic steering, and use a pump like this:



I agree a hydraulic unit would probably be more robust, since the seals can be made very strong, and the linear drive units tend to be a bit less dependable. I wasn't aware that Simrad had made a standalone hydraulic system that automatically cut the cylinder from the steering system when it wasn't operating.
08-06-2008 06:26 PM
camaraderie Brak...it is an electrically driven hydraulic pump which actuates the linear piston. The ram is tied to the steering quadrant through a bolted joint. Valving takes it out of the circuit when the AP is not steering and the ram merely slides freely back and forth. It is much faster than the screw type mechanisms and I believe more powerful and reliable under long term load.
08-06-2008 06:10 PM
brak
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
There is a hydraulic driven ram drive for the Simrad Dawg and it works fine and is more reliable than the screwtype linear drives in my opinion. I have owned both types and presently have the Simrad on my cable driven quadrant. I am well pleased with the performance.
how does hydraulic pilot work with non-hydraulic steering? I.e. what happens when you hand-steer? Does the rudder post move and in turn push/pull the hydraulic ram?
08-06-2008 12:02 PM
max-on
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
There is a hydraulic driven ram drive for the Simrad Dawg and it works fine and is more reliable than the screwtype linear drives in my opinion.
SD SKOOLED!!!!!!!!!!!!
08-06-2008 11:39 AM
camaraderie There is a hydraulic driven ram drive for the Simrad Dawg and it works fine and is more reliable than the screwtype linear drives in my opinion. I have owned both types and presently have the Simrad on my cable driven quadrant. I am well pleased with the performance.

Oz...the nice thing about the under deck quadrant attachment is that if your steering cables fail which is not an uncommon occurence...you can still steer the boat with the auto pilot. Have no fear...underdeck is the way to go if you are cruising in a larger boat and have the room and access for it.
08-06-2008 09:04 AM
Ilenart Ozsailor,

I've heard some good reports about Coursemaster autopilots. This thread here gives some further details. They are an Oz company and theire website is here

Ilenart
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