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post #21 of 24 Old 08-19-2008
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Yes, but a windvane requires no electricity and can keep the boat sailing more efficiently than an autopilot.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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post #22 of 24 Old 08-19-2008 Thread Starter
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Given enough solar panels and a wind sensor, what would be the difference?
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post #23 of 24 Old 08-19-2008
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bad weather, cloudy days, electrical system problems are still pretty common.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #24 of 24 Old 08-19-2008 Thread Starter
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Let's take these one at a time:

1. Bad weather. As I mentioned, my set-up dealt splendidly with very large quartering waves, too much wind, etc. The balanced rudder makes all the difference.

2. Cloudy days. Yes, you get less power from a solar array on cloudy days, but with a balanced rudder, the autopilot doesn't use up much juice at all, so you're still OK.

3. Electrical problems: if you can get 12V to the autopilot, you are still OK. If you can't, then you probably don't have nav lights either, so you aren't even legal. The Simrad stick autopilots seem remarkably robust. I broke one, so I know what it takes, and it takes a lot.

Anything else?
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