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post #121 of Old 02-24-2018
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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
There is a diminishing return. My AP has steered 10s of thousands of miles... coastal, off shore. It's not perfect but it does better than I do and doesn't need rest or food. The course plots are damn good... But sure there is some wandering.

The AP does not have the full range of helm rotation.... it basically MOSTLY makes rather small course corrections based on whatever data it is using. If I wanted to turn hard over instantly.... AP can't do it. I can manually.

So for example when I approach the fuel dock in NPT... I approach heading south in the channel and make a tight as possible 180 even using reverse to kick the stern over. Not possible with the AP. Tight AP 180 won't work because there is not enough sea room... I use AP until I am ready to execute the turn. I doubt a new gen AP would do this.

I see little reason to "upspec".... but I would need to experience it to make the determination.
I'm not sure many would want to use their AP to go to a fuel dock. We use ours for almost everything, but will dock the boat by hand. Also not sure how many would require their AP to go hard over instantly.

On the other hand, our AP has full range stop-to-stop control of the helm, and a 5 second hard over time. With a push of a single button it goes into manual mode, where holding down the buttons moves it about as fast as I can. If we had the other controller, it has a knob for steering like this.

I believe I could dock it using just the AP, but it is much easier to use the wheel based on the motion efficiency alone. Underway, if we need to dodge something, the AP can turn the boat 90* in 2-3 seconds. Our AP can auto tack and has adjustable tack times. Ours is set for 6 seconds, and it does go through tacks that fast. It could go faster, but catamarans don't tack that fast.


Dolphin 460 Catamaran "Reach"

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