PSC 34 Below Deck Autopilot Drive Unit?? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-20-2016 Thread Starter
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PSC 34 Below Deck Autopilot Drive Unit??

I just purchased a Garmin Reactor Autopilot Core Pack so I can integrate with my recent Chartplotter and Radome set on my PSC 34. The space around the rudder post and quadrant does not look like it could possibly fit the Garmin Class A linear drive unit which is what I had originally thought I would use. Anyone have experience with what type of drive unit can be most easily installed down there and be compatible with the Garmin electronics, or if there is a way to fit/mount the big Class A drive unit? Any suggestions appreciated!!!

Todd and Celia
S/V Eileen, PSC 34 #299
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-22-2016
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Re: PSC 34 Below Deck Autopilot Drive Unit??

I have an Octopus unit. Fits fine. It was originally installed on my PS34 with some old Australian electronics. The electronics went out so I replaced it with a Raymarine control unit and head, but Garmin would probably work fine too. Below is all of the info.

Autopilot hydraulic pump/drive: Octopus Model 1012 pump, Octopus 38mm bore linear actuator LAR style, 178 mm (7") stroke. Rebuilt 2014. Raymarine ACU-400 Actuator Control Unit, with P70 Control Head.

The pump and drive were working fine, but since I was fixing up everything I ordered seal kits from Octopus, then took the pump and drive unit to a local hydraulic shop and they rebuild them cheap. The electric motor unit did not look too good so I ordered a new one from Octupus which swapped directly in and out with the old electric motor. I redid the way the drive unit was mounted to make its installation super beefy, adding 2 bolts going through the cockpit deck.

I will upload several photos showing you how it looks.
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Re: PSC 34 Below Deck Autopilot Drive Unit??

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Originally Posted by toddoh72 View Post
I just purchased a Garmin Reactor Autopilot Core Pack so I can integrate with my recent Chartplotter and Radome set on my PSC 34. The space around the rudder post and quadrant does not look like it could possibly fit the Garmin Class A linear drive unit which is what I had originally thought I would use. Anyone have experience with what type of drive unit can be most easily installed down there and be compatible with the Garmin electronics, or if there is a way to fit/mount the big Class A drive unit? Any suggestions appreciated!!!

Todd and Celia
S/V Eileen, PSC 34 #299
Can you mount the linear drive unit forward against the bulkhead between port cockpit locker and the engine compartment ?
I did something similiar on my Crealock 37.

Make sure and reinforce the area to support the loads of the autopilot. I reinforced with a mahogony 2x6 fiberglassed to the hull and and bulkhead. It may have been overkill but it has held up well over close to 20 years.

Best
Marc Hall
Crazy Fish - Maintaining, Upgrading and Sailing a Crealock 37
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Re: PSC 34 Below Deck Autopilot Drive Unit??

Here is a photo that shows the installation of the bellow-deck hydraulic autopilot on my Pacific Seacraft 34.

I annotated the photo to identify the drive unit, the pump, and the electric motor and fluid reservoir attached to the pump.

Some drive units have the pump, electric motor, and reservoir all attached in one unit. Having the pump, electric motor, and fluid reservoir separate from the drive unit, as shown in my photo, I think makes the installation easier, certainly if there is a space problem fitting in the drive.
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Re: PSC 34 Below Deck Autopilot Drive Unit??

Thank you for taking the time to reply...it is much appreciated. I am collecting all of the info that posters have generously contributed and will post as the project progresses!
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Re: PSC 34 Below Deck Autopilot Drive Unit??

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply. Everyone's input is very helpful in helping me plan the project!
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Re: PSC 34 Below Deck Autopilot Drive Unit??

Here is another photo. It shows the installation on my boat of the hydraulic pump. I mounted the pump on a piece of starboard plastic material, attached on the starboard side of the engine compartment (must use "portboard" if attaching on the port side - haha, that's a bad joke) using a piece of aluminum angle material.

From left to right you can see in the photo: the wiring cable coming from the electronic control unit, the electric motor, the hydraulic pump attached to the motor with the fluid reservoir above, and the two hydraulic hoses that connect the pump to the hydraulic drive.
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-26-2016
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Re: PSC 34 Below Deck Autopilot Drive Unit??

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Here is another photo. It shows the installation on my boat of the hydraulic pump. I mounted the pump on a piece of starboard plastic material, attached on the starboard side of the engine compartment (must use "portboard" if attaching on the port side - haha, that's a bad joke) using a piece of aluminum angle material.

From left to right you can see in the photo: the wiring cable coming from the electronic control unit, the electric motor, the hydraulic pump attached to the motor with the fluid reservoir above, and the two hydraulic hoses that connect the pump to the hydraulic drive.
A little bit of a sidetrack, but I just wanted to mention that although I have used starboard in the past in similiar situations, on recent projects I have started using g10. Purchased a 4x4 foot sheet of 1/4" g10 and use cuts from it rather then the starboard or plywood that I would then epoxy to seal. Its really strong, it bonds well with fiberglass and it can be tapped eliminating the need for nuts and washers when bolting hardware to it. Great for backing plates.

Best
Marc Hall
Crazy Fish - Maintaining, Upgrading and Sailing a Crealock 37
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