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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > Pacific Seacraft
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  #11  
Old 10-24-2009
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Sam,
Before we bought Indigo, we looked at a number of other PSC 34s. One (a 1995 model) had a below deck auto pilot. I cannot remember the make or model, but it does appear to be doable.
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  #12  
Old 10-25-2009
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. . . Finally was able to take a picture showing an installed below-decks auto-pilot on a PSC34. I used steel braces (from Lowes, hand cut to needed length, isolated from the aluminum mounting bracket and also the linear drive with "custom cut" plastic from a milk carton, painted for rust-proofing) to mount the linear drive to the bracket to get the correct positioning (existing bracket didn't extend far enough to center and was mounted too low) . . . there was probably a better way, but this worked and is very strong. I used an L-shaped (for strength) piece of aluminum (also from Lowes) running port-starboard to mount the rudder position sensor. If you do this, be careful the starboard cockpit scupper seacock handle is able to move fully from open to closed position. The linear drive needs to connect to the tiller arm toward the middle of the arm so it doesn't interfere with the port cockpit scupper drain hose, but stay outboard as far as possible otherwise. I'm sure this can be much improved upon, but it's one workable approach.
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2009
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Cloud Messenger's linear drive

On Cloud Messenger we have a Robertson/Simrad linear drive pilot that is mounted differently (I think) than any of the other descriptions here. Ours is not mounted in the "engine room". Cloud Messenger has three lockers lids in the cockpit, two of which are smallish located port and starboard of the rudder post (sorry I don't know the proper name for these lockers). The rudder post comes up through the bottom of this locker space and terminates just below where the helmsman would sit. Between the floor of this locker and the top of the rudder post there is plenty of room to attach an arm to the rudder post, and the locker itself (either port or starboard..... ours is on the port side) is big enough to house the motor/ram with plenty of room to store other gear......
Just make sure the ram and arm can move freely without hitting other stored gear.

I don't know if this is an option on a PSC 34 but thought others might be interested in hearing how ours is installed.

I tried posting a picture, but I guess it's too big for the system. If anybody is interested I can try posting it again tomorrow.
David Schachter
Cloud Messenger PSC 37 #293
San Francisco, CA.
(currently in Oriental, NC.)
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  #14  
Old 10-26-2009
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What a coincidence. My ST4000Plus gave up the ghost about a week before that (while single-handing offshore in 10 foot waves and 20-25 kts). I did a lot of research on the things and found lots of bad press--and, yes, the noise really reduces the joy of turning off the engine and sailing. I think a new belt will fix mine, but I have decided to install a Cape Horn windvane and integrate it with the smallest push-rod type tiller autopilot for compass steering. The servo-pendulum does all the work so a strong autopilot is not needed. I really think this is the way to go. I have sent in my deposit on the CapeHorn (Yves has been extremely helpful) and will be installing it in the Spring (10% discount for waiting). I will let the forum know how it goes. I'm pretty excited about it.

Paul
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  #15  
Old 10-26-2009
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I see many of the Cape Horn installation photos show steering lines attached directly to the steering quadrent, which allows the vane to backup the regular steering in case of a steering cable faillure, etc.. This is also a benefit of the below-decks auto-pilot with tiller arm (although the below-decks AP w/ tiller arm still works if the bolt connecting the steering quadrent to the rudder post fails - rare, but happens). Of course most wind vanes attach their steering lines to the steering wheel instead, so the Cape Horn method seems like a better approach if you're concerned about redundancy (I'd need a few weeks of therapy before drilling that big hole anywhere near the waterline though). If the vane hardware itself fails (and therefore the small tiller pilot isn't useful either), for me it'd be nice to have the below decks auto-pilot available as a fully redundant AP system. I'm waiting a while to install a wind vane (since I'm only crusing locally for now), so its nice to use a capable AP in the mean time. I notice the Hydrovane has an option for an actual backup rudder, which is appealing in the spirit of having as much redundancy as possible for long distance crusing. Even with a below-decks AP, I'd still add a tiller pilot to work with a vane for low energy consumption (and additional redundancy).
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Old 10-27-2009
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Thanks for posting this as it's on my project list in a 31. Any chance you could send me a larger photo? stevemac00 at gmail.com
(I tried to PM you but was not allowed.)
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  #17  
Old 06-10-2010
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I don't know if the Cape Horn will behave differently than a Monitor but I cannot use our Monitor while the engine's running. The prop wash causes the vane to overcompensate and it will not settle into a course.

I'm always amazed at how often we motor sail. We prefer to sail using the Monitor but weather and time tend to conspire against us...

Sam
s/v Grace PSC34 #163
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  #18  
Old 06-11-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samchristo View Post
I don't know if the Cape Horn will behave differently than a Monitor but I cannot use our Monitor while the engine's running. The prop wash causes the vane to overcompensate and it will not settle into a course.
I have, but I have a 2-blade prop and kept the speed
down to 5 knots to minimize prop wash. And assuming
its light wind conditions, it helps alot to have the light-
air wind vane.
Tom
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  #19  
Old 08-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83XT4 View Post
Is the access the same on the pacific seacraft voyagemaker 37, through the cockpit floor?

Keep reading how access is a squeeze, then see this an looks easy.

I wish to put a below deck auto pilot the the afore mentioned. Any experience or advice (and photo) much appreciated
The pictures are of C34 but access on the newer 37s (at least from 1989 on) is thru an access hatch in the forward part of cockpit.

I installed a WH belowdecks autopilot on Crazy Fish and I ended up spending quite a bit of time behind the engine but there seemed to be plenty of access.

The hydraulic ram installed on the starboard bulkhead and the bulkhead needed to be reinforced to support the forces involved. Reinforcement was done with a piece of mahogany, West System epoxy and a layer or two of fiberglass mat.

Autopilot was installed with in 97 and I was very happy with the support from WH and the autopilot itself. Largely made up of robust off-the-shelf components easily replaced without buying from WH if needed. That said I have never had to replace any component.

Regards
Marc Hall
Crazy Fish, Crealock 37, Hull 207
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  #20  
Old 11-13-2012
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Re: Autopilots on PSCs

We have a tiller on Terrwyn ( PSC 37 hull no. 231) and are looking at a below deck Auto Pilot ( to back up to our Monitor Windvane ) how to access rudder stock, Any suggestions please ? where to cut into the glass rudder post tube and is this required ?? necessary ???
Thanking you all,
Bill
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