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samchristo 02-09-2009 10:53 AM

Autopilots on PSCs
We managed to wreck our Raymarine ST4000+ wheel pilot in some heavy winds and seas last week - just too much load for too long. I talked to Thumper at PSC this morning and he confirmed my fears of installing a below-decks autopilot on our 34 (really difficult).

What types of autopilots are being used on 34's and 37's ? We're looking at the X5 wheel pilot as a simple replacement but maybe someone's figured out a better solution ?

sv Grace PSC34 #163

mondofromredondo 02-09-2009 01:00 PM

This probably isn't he answer your looking for.
I had an ST 4000 on my Cal 34 and now I have the ST5000 linear drive on my PSC. I would never go back to that noisy wheel drive.
It pays to put equipment on the PSC that is relative in quality scale.

PSC 34
S/V Charity Rose

billbalme 02-09-2009 01:01 PM

I use the Raymarine 3000 - seems to work really well. However, when the wind's up I much prefer to use the Monitor Wind Vane - no noise and the harder she blows, the more power she has! A little pricey perhaps, but installation is quite easy - and makes the boat look like a real cruiser! ;)

MC1 02-09-2009 01:54 PM

I installed a Raymarine below decks autopilot on my PSC 34 without too much difficulty. The boat already had a mounting bracket installed to hold the linear drive and the Edson bronze tiller arm for the rudder post however. If you don't already have them, they're not hard to get. Since you're using the boat in challenging conditions, its probably well worth the trouble and extra cost.

Lansdowne 10-14-2009 09:39 AM

psc belowdecks autopilot
Are photos of your install available?


DGriffith 10-14-2009 12:38 PM

Sam, Good to hear from you and Ginger. We are sitll having our SSCA lunch meetings here in Houston. You may recall Kindred spirit has a Smartpilot system pak with the linear drive. Wasn,t too difficult to install but works much more accurately. The cost is high but worth my expense and labor. This is one I would do over with no changes. Doug Griffith

MC1 10-21-2009 01:11 AM

I just noticed the request for pictures of the install. For now I have a picture prior to the install showing the aluminum bracket for the linear drive (right side of photo, may be available from PSC - not sure because my boat came with it already installed) and the bronze Edson tiller arm (attached to the rudder post, available from an Edson dealer, spec's on the Edson website, PSC may also be able to get it at a good price for you). I'll take a picture of the installed linear drive and rudder position sensor and post it in the next day or two. I understand the newest units do not come with or (supposedly) require the rudder position sensor, but I've seen some posts where people have had problems without one. You might want to research that topic a little.

One item to take note of regarding the tiller arm installation . . . based on the recommendations from Edson and the geometries involved, one would end up attaching the linear drive shaft nearly at the end of the tiller arm. This should not actually be done with the PSC34 however because you'll have interference with the cockpit scupper drain hoses. My tiller arm had the correct hole position already drilled, which was several positions in toward the center (I'd have to measure it since I don't remember the exact postion off hand).

MC1 10-21-2009 01:18 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Pre-install picture . . .

83XT4 10-24-2009 07:51 PM

access on PSC37
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

DGriffith 10-24-2009 08:49 PM

On our 37 we installed a gen set in the space just below the wheel. Psc installed the ram for the auto pilot on the bulkhead just behind the water heater starboard side. Because I filled that space with the Panda I needed another option. I called Don Kohlmann at the old factory and he went out to a 37 being built and gave me some critical measurments. Since I cut the bulkhead between the engine room and the starboard deep locker and made it removeable to access the quadrant and Gen set, there was my option. I had a 1/2 " L shaped SS bracket 6"x6" that I thru bolted to the back bulkhead in the before mentioned locker with a 6x6 backing plate of 1/2" ss. Cut a hole in the removable door to the engine room and have the ram moving port to starboard instead of bow to stearn. I bought a stick shift boot from the auto parts store and fit it to the ram and the door to dress it up and provide a noise and water seal. When you use the long shaft raymarine ram you limit the rudder movement to 70 degrees port to starboard that matches their rudder angle gauge. I bought some dolly wheels to slip over the rudder stops to make up for the difference. I have adapted to the loss of 20 degrees
steering. It was easy to run the wires to the Smart pilot brain mounted midships behind the dinette just above and to the right of the battery box. Also easy to access to change fuses if need be. I put the flux gate in the head on the oak mast support facing forward close to the coach roof. That was in 2003 and I have never had a failure. Raymarine builds a stout system that includes a gyro compass that steadys the course in waves. Two thumbs up for this auto pilot. I even have a wireless remote that works anywhere on the boat. Best money I have spent to date. I will down load pics if anyone wishes to see. Doug Griffith PSC37 #249 Kindred Spirit.

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