Below-deck autopilot solution for a 31? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 10-12-2011
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Below-deck autopilot solution for a 31?

PSC 31 owners: Has anyone installed a below deck autopilot and, if so, which kind and how did you mount it, given the limited space we have in the area of the steering quadrant?

I am particularly interested in the direct drive system from Simrad--less resistance when off, quieter, and more energy efficient than hydraulic linear drive (or so they say).

Thanks for any insights,

Paul
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Old 10-14-2011
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Ouch! 155 views and no replies. Could it be that no one has ever installed a below-deck autopilot in a 31?? Well, if I succeed I will let you all know.
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Old 10-14-2011
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Seems to me that going below deck on a 31'er is possibly overkill and most definitely expensive.
Our heavy Van de Stadt 34 (steel) worked perfectly well for 15 years with a Navico Wheel Pilot and since then with a Raymarine.
That said, our new 42'er (Malo) has below deck and I prefer it to the wheel pilot if only because it is quieter. (Obviously also stronger.)
Of course you are free to do as you wish, I'm only offering an opinion which I acknowledge in advance you didn't ask for.
Other than all that surely going below deck in your boat is not greatly different to doing so in a larger vessel.
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Old 10-15-2011
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You might also check with Thumper at the factory to find out whether they've done any below-decks systems, and if so what they used. The 31s and PH32s I can recall have had wheel pilots.
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