Wheel pilots - which one? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-25-2018 Thread Starter
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Wheel pilots - which one?

I have an old ST4000 autohelm connected to seatalk that I would like to replace. I see Raymarine x-5ís and EV-100ís. I donít know much about auto pilots, they both look
the same to me, can someone offer any insight as to the difference between them or why you would choose one over the other?
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-26-2018
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Re: Wheel pilots - which one?

Consider a CPT The mechanics are stronger than the two you mention although the electronics are not as sophisticated.
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-26-2018
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Re: Wheel pilots - which one?

Donít know what the size of your boat, but I gave up on wheel pilots for my 35 footer. Itís more money, but it you want a serious autopilot, go for the below deck version. My old Autohelm wheel pilot was not reliable and would eat sheer pins, even though the wheel had a light touch. If you are single handing, a reliable autopilot should be considered a safety issue.
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-27-2018
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Re: Wheel pilots - which one?

This is the Raymarine part number you need T70152. Be sure you aren't exceeding the max displacement. Maximum recommended laden boat displacement: 7,500kg (16,500lbs) Many wheelpilots are installed without a rudder reference sensor. I would highly recommend you install one if you don't have one. They aren't terribly difficult to install, you just have to get the geometry right.
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-27-2018
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Re: Wheel pilots - which one?

If the 4000 works with your boat, the X5 and and EV100 should work fine. Displacement is not the best determinant if the Wheelpilot will work but how much force is needed to turn the rudder. A boat with heavy weather helm may not work with a wheel pilot even if it's lighter displacement while a heavy boat with a light helm may do just fine.

AFAIK the only difference between your 4000 and the later auto pilots is the control electronics. The newer pilots are able to learn to some extent and much more flexible in modifying the response to meet different conditions. The actual wheel drive appears to be the same for all of them. Know the X5 and the 4000 plus don't have any different capabilities. Both will not work on a boat with a heavy helm under sail. Will probably do fine under power.
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-28-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Wheel pilots - which one?

The boat is about 8500 lbs, and Iím not crossing oceans. The 4000 had no problem turning the wheel, do the newer unit still connect to seatalk ? Iíve got an old chart plotter that is still working.
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-28-2018
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Re: Wheel pilots - which one?

I have heard nothing other than rave reviews of the CPT wheel pilot and that it uses a windshield wiper motor as the drive motor, which has lots of torque. Check them out at CPT Autopilot Inc.

Gary
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-28-2018
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Re: Wheel pilots - which one?

I like the ev 100 for the money. Boat is 11,000 lbs and it does a good job... up to a point. Not for ocean passages in blustery conditions. I thought that the 4000 was a belt drive? The ev100 is a direct drive wheel pilot. The controller (P70) is a real advancement in technology. Your sailing venue and the type of sailing that you do will determine if a below deck AP is worth the significant displacement of coin that will be necessary to purchase and install one of these over the wheel pilot. In my case it wasn't. If I had more cash on hand and less projects clamoring for what little there is then perhaps I would have went for the EV200 below deck unit. Just another compromise......
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-29-2018
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Re: Wheel pilots - which one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by timangiel View Post
I have an old ST4000 autohelm connected to seatalk that I would like to replace. I see Raymarine x-5’s and EV-100’s. I don’t know much about auto pilots, they both look
the same to me, can someone offer any insight as to the difference between them or why you would choose one over the other?
Why do you want to replace it? Is it broken? If broken, is it the control head or drive unit? If it’s slipping, it might just need a simple adjustment or internal cleaning. New belts are discontinued by Raymarine, but readily available from 3rd parties on ebay. The newer gray drive units first came out with the ST4000+MkII, but work fine with the original ST4000 control heads. They’re quieter and more simple/reliable than the older black belt-driven drive rings. I believe the gray drive rings are the same as used on the current wheel drive models.

Figure out what’s wrong first before you buy new. It might be simple to fix.

FYI, I’ve owned both the ST4000+MkII (on prior boat) and ST4000 (on current boat). MkII was nicer than ST4000, but not enough to justify upgrading my current one. A new $20 belt fixed all my problems.

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Last edited by TakeFive; 07-29-2018 at 11:22 AM.
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-29-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Wheel pilots - which one?

It works for awhile then suddenly steers me way off course for no apparent reason. Iíve tried replacing the flux gate compass but it didnít fix the problem.


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