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post #116 of Old 02-24-2018
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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I'm not sure why the Triton AP controller was linked, or what it means, but we have a modern B&G/Simrad autopilot. If you haven't used one of the new AP's recently, you may be surprised at how well they anticipate, adjust, and steer. Better than me in pretty much all conditions. Definitely better than me in all conditions for more than an hour.

The newer autopilots, particularly those from B&G and NKE, are quite different beasts than in the old days (5 years ago). They use 9-axis rate compasses (ours even uses heave in its calculations, along with pitch and roll), accept 100hz data from all instrumentation, and have fast computers using steering and prediction algorithms developed from RTW southern ocean racing. These are the same AP's the Volvo and other race boats are using, only they have some specialized software specifically tailored to their boats and polars.

Not alThat's l current AP's are like this (Garmin appears to be atrocious), but B&G and NKE definitely are.


Edit: I see now that this AP controller shows in the video. While I wouldn't be doing those speeds in that boat, I would have no problem letting this AP have complete control. It is better than I am. Remotes are useless for instantaneous steering, like one is proposing necessary in the video conditions. They are fine for course changes, dodging, and the like - but not as a substitute for hand steering in large conditions. Leave that to the AP.
That's good feedback. Yes, my experience has been on older units. I know that the Vendee boats rely almost exclusively on AP (Lecomble & Schmitt I believe) - so I have no doubt that the technology has come a long, long way.

I guess what bugs me so much about that video is that they are sitting inside watching as the boat - at least to my eye - gets increasingly out of control. And they are talking about "breaking records". To me, and please let me know if this is wrong, they are completely disconnected from reality. It just looks like they are, as you say, "leaving it to the AP" - but their problem isn't steering - it's boat control. Therefore, it seems they are asking FAR too much of that AP and should be DOING something to maintain safety.
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