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post #21 of 38 Old 01-28-2014
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

Barry,

As other have said there are many advantages to a below deck autopilot vs. a wheel pilot but the final installation will be 2-3 times the price. Mounting the drive, rudder position sensor, tiller arm, resetting rudder stops, and wiring will take time, dollars, and energy. But in my case, worth the time, $'s and effort... You can see what was involved in installing a below deck unit on our Pearson 36 cutter at [url]www.sailingseadragon.com[url] go to projects then – “Installing Autopilot”.

Without question or hesitation this was and is still the BEST improvement / investment I have made to Sea Dragon.

Good Luck,
Garner
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

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Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hello,

I will be installing an Autopilot on my new to me C&C 110. It seems like Raymarine is the only one who makes a wheel pilot these days. The price is $1400 or so and I can probably install it myself. But, will it work well enough or do I need a below deck pilot? The 110 weighs around 11,000lbs.

My O'day 35 came with an Autohelm 3000 that works fine. It steers great when under power, when the wind is moderate, and the sails are balanced. It does not steer well when the wind is over 20 kts, or downwind with waves. Still, I have used it for 7 years and I was happy with it.

So, will I be happy with the Raymarine Evolution Autopilot EV-100 Wheel Drive or should I spend over $3000 for the Raymarine Evolution Autopilot EV-200 Linear Pack? I doubt I could install that myself since I don't do fabrication well.


Thanks,
Barry
Time for an update Barry!

Did you pull the trigger on the Raymarine EV-100, or go with something else?

I am looking to add an autopilot to my O'day 35, to help me make the trek to Florida this fall. Right now I don't care about integrating with any other devices, I just want a reliable unit. I know about the CPT a/p, but it seems that the Raymarine can be had for just about a boat buck, therefore cheaper than the CPT. I also like that it doesn't require that big box at the helm. Initially, I would plan to install it using the wheel connector for ease of installation. I like that this unit's controller could be used either with the wheel adpter, or a below deck drive unit.


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Last edited by eherlihy; 06-11-2016 at 01:45 PM. Reason: dosent .ne. doesn't
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post #23 of 38 Old 06-11-2016
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

I jumped through all kinds of hoops trying to get a CPT autopilot to work for about eighteen months. First it was there had to be some magnetic interference, then some of the hardware had to be improper, then it had to be my steering. I kept telling them that the autopilot was trying to correct but the speed of correction was too slow. I asked if they could speed up the drive motor or supply a different size pulley to change to drive ratio, no and no. The autopilot would work for a short time ( 5 min) then start to swing side to side over 50 to 60 degrees in flat conditions, in a any sea at all it was dangerous. Why eighteen months, I would sail somewhere and stay awhile and repeat.
Finally sent it back for testing I was told nothing was wrong, BUT THEY DID HAVE A DIFFERENT SIZE PULLEY , the case was all scuffed ( I wish I had taken pictures when I shipped it)and the wires were corroded (connections were inside with shrink sleeve connectors) . At that point I was so tired of it when they offered approximately half price refund I took it.
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post #24 of 38 Old 06-11-2016
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

My O'day 35 is listed at ~12K lbs, 12K lbs x 1.2 (to account for "stuff") is 14.4K lbs. The EV-100 is rated at 16.5K lbs, so that would work. All my other research tells me that the Raymarine EV-100 wheel unit is robust, easy to install, N2K compatable, and the wheel unit can swapped for a below deck unit. This seems to fit my needs.


Raymarine EV100 Wheel Pilot The GPS Store


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post #25 of 38 Old 06-11-2016
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

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Originally Posted by adki110 View Post
I jumped through all kinds of hoops trying to get a CPT autopilot to work for about eighteen months. First it was there had to be some magnetic interference, then some of the hardware had to be improper, then it had to be my steering. I kept telling them that the autopilot was trying to correct but the speed of correction was too slow. I asked if they could speed up the drive motor or supply a different size pulley to change to drive ratio, no and no. The autopilot would work for a short time ( 5 min) then start to swing side to side over 50 to 60 degrees in flat conditions, in a any sea at all it was dangerous. Why eighteen months, I would sail somewhere and stay awhile and repeat.
Finally sent it back for testing I was told nothing was wrong, BUT THEY DID HAVE A DIFFERENT SIZE PULLEY , the case was all scuffed ( I wish I had taken pictures when I shipped it)and the wires were corroded (connections were inside with shrink sleeve connectors) . At that point I was so tired of it when they offered approximately half price refund I took it.
Interesting. I read a LOT of boating forums, and this is the very first complaint I have EVER heard about CPT. I've met the owners and they're great guys. Too bad you had a bad experience.

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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

All was well UNTIL I noticed that in order to update the firmware to the latest revision, it seems that you MUST have a Raymarine MFD, and I do not...


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post #27 of 38 Old 06-11-2016
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
My O'day 35 is listed at ~12K lbs, 12K lbs x 1.2 (to account for "stuff") is 14.4K lbs. The EV-100 is rated at 16.5K lbs, so that would work. All my other research tells me that the Raymarine EV-100 wheel unit is robust, easy to install, N2K compatable, and the wheel unit can swapped for a below deck unit. This seems to fit my needs.
Sure you can swap the wheel drive for a linear drive (about $1650.00) but you'll also need an ACU-200 (about $800.00) as well because they don't provide clutch terminals on the ACU-100.
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post #28 of 38 Old 06-11-2016
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

Boat 3 was a fairly heavy Bayfield 36 with a wheel pilot (I think Raymarine, this was quite a while back). Never gave us trouble. Admittedly this boat was easy to balance with a full keel.

Boats 4 and 5 have been below deck units, which admittedly are better for all the reasons many have listed; however, if I was trying to stay to a budget, and was coastal sailing with occasional offshore passages, and had an 11K # displacement boat, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a wheel pilot.
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post #29 of 38 Old 06-11-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

Hey,

Sorry, I should have updated this.

I did go with the EV100 wheel pilot. I am happy with it. I'm sure that I would have been happier with a below deck pilot, but the price, including installation would have been around $5K. I paid $1100 for the EV unit, and another $300 for installation and another $100 for misc stuff so it was around $1500 total.

i have all of my instruments connected with a NMEA 2000 bus. This includes the EV100 pilot, Garmin 740S plotter, Ray ST60 wind and speed, and Simrad VHF / AIS receiver. This allows the pilot to steer to a heading, wind angle, or waypoint. Since I do most of my sailing single or short handed, this is very valuable to me. I also think that proving the pilot with speed and wind allows it to do a better job. I also like being able to display that information on the AP display.

Overall I am happy with the performance. In light to moderate wind the pilot steers better than I do. In windy conditions, the pilot steers well upwind (as long as the sails are properly trimmed, under trimmed is better than over trimmed). Downwind, in a blow, with a sea running, the pilot doesn't do very well. I admit that I don't steer very well in those conditions either. I have had a few times when the drive motor will stop and sound an alarm if there is too much pressure on the helm. Easing the sheets and starting the pilot usually solve that problem.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Barry
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Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #30 of 38 Old 06-15-2016
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Re: Autopilot - wheel pilot vs below deck

Barry,

Do you have any other Raymarine electronics on your boat? Specifically; do you have a Raymarine MFD?

The reason I ask is that Raymarine has released firmware updates to the sensor core and control head. My understanding is that these can only be made through a Raymarine MFD, or by shipping the components back to Raymarine. I suppose the other option is to forego the updates.


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