Join Date: Jul 2012
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Re: Last one for tonight. Tiller pilots
It's worth pointing out that no unit will overcome poor sail trim. If you trim your sails and just assume the autopilot will handle it, then you are gonna have issues. I usually trim our sails with my hand on the tiller, then, when the helm feels ok, set the autopilot.
Our Cape Dory 27 would balance to where you could tie off the tiller or, in some cases, leave the helm all together for a little while and it would retain the same course. Their boats are pretty easy to get balanced right and track really well.
If you keep in mind that the autohelm is basically a step up from tieing off the tiller, then you shouldn't have problems with it handling the weight of the boat under sail. If you just set it and forget it, you will probably have issues.