Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
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Re: Compass off on Autohelm ST4000
The actual numbers on the compass are really of little to no consequence for most autopilots. On most, you engage the pilot on the heading you want to be on and the pilot steers by whatever system, on whatever numbers it recognized at that time you engaged it. For all the pilot's compass cares, your boat's compass course could be north and its course reads south, and it will happily direct your boat on the northerly course if that's the heading you were on when you engaged it.
Chances are you won't get it very correct no matter how much you tinker with it, as there is probably some metal around it that will affect its accuracy. If you really care all that much, when you have your guy come down to your boat to swing your steering compass annually (or biannually for some), have him do the autopilot's compass, too. Then you can have two compass deviation cards aboard your boat that you rarely, if ever, refer to.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
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