Which Tiller Pilot for a Monitor Windvane? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 22 Old 04-30-2010
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It steers whichever course you set it for. A tillerpilot is a stand alone item with its own internal fluxgate compass. You may hook it to a chartplotter but tillerpilots were around long before chart plotters existed.

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post #12 of 22 Old 04-30-2010
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In flat calms, or nearly, we hook our tillerplot right to the wheel. Although on spec it's grossly underpowered for a 42-footer, it works just fine for powering in calms. See http://www.sv-moira.com/projects.htm and scroll down to the "autopilot" section (about half way down). When the wind comes up, the tillerpilot gets overpowered, which is a reminder to us that we really should be sailing anyhow.

You say "When there is no wind and you are under power, or in extremely light air, the combination autopilot/windvane might be the best possible way to achieve perfect self-steering with minimum power consumption." But if you're under power, your alternator is spinning, so what's the big deal with power consumption? If a vendor says "Don't do it," and you do it, then...on you own head be it.

"I still don't understand what course a tiller pilot is steering if not connected to the chartplotter or remote." The Simrad TP10 tillerpilot has a compass built in. Yes, you have to set it for the desired course. I'm not familiar with other brands.

In an earlier post you suggested that you could accomplish what you wanted by lashing the helm. That's certainly a low-cost, KISS alternative. Perhaps you could try that solution for a few years and see if it works for you?

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post #13 of 22 Old 04-30-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zingaro View Post
Am I correct in this thinking?
As far as I know yes. Also I got trapped at the Monitor booth at the strictly sail boat show in Oakland this month. The guy working the booth (I think he was the owner) talked to me for 40 minutes and the question of autopilots on wind vanes did indeed come up. He specifically said you could use a very small autopilot to control the wind vane which as you pointed out is the logical conclusion anyway. Since I heard it from the horse's mouth, that would seem to confirm it. He did however recommend a second "real" autopilot as a backup if nothing else.

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post #14 of 22 Old 05-10-2010 Thread Starter
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Okay so I have been doing some homework. Sailingdog's comment about connecting to the GPS got me all confused when I thought I understood. Yes the tiller-pilots have internal Fluxgate compasses and steer a compass course all by themselves.

@Ishick "When there is no wind and you are under power, or in extremely light air, the combination autopilot/windvane might be the best possible way to achieve perfect self-steering with minimum power consumption." was quoted from scanmar's website from the link I provided. That is why I was saying they were contradicting themselves on the website. They say use under power on one page and don't on another.

@ Paul I agree I don't need to plot waypoints I am more than capable of making those changes manually.

@polypterus did he comment about motoring with the tiller-pilot? Time frame? Etc.

Auto-pilots are very expensive compared to the tiller-pilots. If I can use it both sailing and motoring then I can afford to buy 4 tiller pilots for the price of an auto-pilot. And then if used under sail, power consumption becomes a factor.

I realize my thoughts have wandered throughout this thread, about what exactly I want to do and how. This is just the process of learning what I can and can't do. Thanks for your help on this quest.
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post #15 of 22 Old 05-10-2010
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Quote:
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@polypterus did he comment about motoring with the tiller-pilot? Time frame? Etc.

Auto-pilots are very expensive compared to the tiller-pilots. If I can use it both sailing and motoring then I can afford to buy 4 tiller pilots for the price of an auto-pilot. And then if used under sail, power consumption becomes a factor.

He didn't talk about motoring. Logically you would think it would work since all that's required is that there is flow over the water vane. On the other hand there may be enough turbulence behind the prop to cause problems. I'm guessing it may depend on the placement of the prop in relation to the vane. It may be one of those things you just have to try. Also I think it was understood we were discussing tiller pilots. He showed me a couple pictures. I'm not sure what you are asking in relation to "time frame".
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post #16 of 22 Old 05-12-2010
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The April 2010 issue of "Yachting Monthly" (a Brit sailing mag) has an article by Tom Cunliffe about just this subject.
He's got a 40 foot, wooden, gaff rigged sailboat which he steers with a "Windpilot" windvane and a tiller pilot. He says that the tiller pilot pulls little power when connected to the windvane but steers really well. He uses it for inshore work where the apparent wind is constantly changing and only used the wind vane when offshore, where the wind is solid and unchanging.
I did a search on their website, but they want $12 to download the article!
sam :-)

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post #17 of 22 Old 05-14-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks Sam I'll think I can get that mag here.

@poly By time frame I meant how long you could use it under power. It was suggested earlier that it shouldn't be used for long periods of time. Actually from scanmars website. Since you didn't discuss motoring it was a moot question anyway.

Thanks for you input.
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post #18 of 22 Old 03-27-2012
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Re: Which Tiller Pilot for a Monitor Windvane?

Perhaps what you are missing is the tiller pilot itself has its own flux gate compass, it has no need of an esternal input. There are exceptions and variations depending on the pilot but I'm talking about a simple tiller pilot.

You set the boat to the desired compass course and press auto. Form that point on the autopilot tries to maintain the course you chose when you pressed auto.

Hope this helps, COB
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post #19 of 22 Old 03-27-2012
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Re: Which Tiller Pilot for a Monitor Windvane?

Perhaps what you are missing is that this is an old thread.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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post #20 of 22 Old 03-27-2012
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Re: Which Tiller Pilot for a Monitor Windvane?

Sorry all my mistake, will check the date next time.
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