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serioladumerili

autopilot upgrade

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I bought a second hand Fastwave 30 boat, about 2200 kg, 68 sqm upwind 140 sqm downwind. Raymarine ST60/60+ and ST1000 tiller autopilot. No data connection between instruments and AP. Sailing mostly shorthanded, I want to upgrade the AP in a way that I can go to the bow, change sails and go back without falling in the water because the electronic invented a wind direction change. I know the solution with NKE for 10K of money :), looking for something cheaper. Thank you for your advice and Merry Christmas!

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Just stick with Raymarine. Easy to interface with your existing system. I used to use St 2000 and changed to a X5. Raymarine make a lot of good autopilots. They may not be as good as NKE or B&G, but are great value. On a open 60 there may be a bigger difference, but on your boat you are talking 90% of the performance at 1/4 of the price ($1000 for an x-5 tiller).

 

There are 2 important components for an autopilot to perform well:

The first key component is fast update rate from the compass.

The second is a gyro compensated compass. A compass can not be accurate while moving without this.

 

St 1000 updates once per second ... slow ... unresponsive ... only good for motoring a sailing in flat water (no gusts).

X-5 updates 5x/second and has a gyro.

 

New Raymarine line is the EV-100 tiller. You can still get the older x-5. I use mine on a Blusail 24. A friend of mine uses one on a J90. We are both very happy.

 

Good luck and since it is Christmas I will not give you the usual SA welcome. I'm sure somebody will take care of that soon. :)

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Should be able to get it one europe for 1000-1100 Euro

You can program specific tack/jibe angles or it will tack/jibe to opposite angle if connected to wind instrument. Your choice ... easily done in settings menu.

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You can program specific tack/jibe angles or it will tack/jibe to opposite angle if connected to wind instrument.

Are you sure about that?

I have the SPX-5 (not the new EVO 100) and can't change the tack/jibe angle.

My manual (dated Aug 2008) says the autotack angle is 90 degrees and can't be changed.

See here (page 13):

http://www.raymarine.eu/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=1530

 

Those 90 degs apply when in compass mode. When you're in wind mode, there is no fixed angle, the pilot just mirrors the wind angle you were sailing to before the tack.

 

Now I know there exists an earlier manual (2007) that says the autotack angle could be changed in the user calibration. But that doesn't seem to be true for later models.

 

I don't know how it is with the new EVO-models?

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This is what my manual says (X-5):

 

AutoTack
Use this screen to select how the vessel performs when using AutoTack. You can
either:
• Set a default AutoTack angle. This is the angle through which the boat will turn
when an AutoTack is performed.
or
• Select Relative Tack operation. With Relative Tack selected, the apparent wind
angle when AutoTack is initiated, is mirrored the other side of the wind, on the
opposite tack.
AUTO TACK 40° to 125° in 1° steps
Setting default AutoTack angle
To set the required AutoTack angle:
• If the SPX-5 Tiller system is receiving wind information, set the AutoTack angle to
the required change of heading.
• If the SPX-5 Tiller system is not receiving wind information, set the AutoTack angle
to 20° greater than the actual required change of heading.
For example, to tack through 80° (i.e when sailing at 40° to the wind), set the AutoTack angle to 100°.
Selecting Relative Tack
To select Relative Tack, use -1 and -10, to reduce the tack angle value to 30°. This
action selects Relative Tack and the screen displays rEL, to indicate this.
Gybe inhibit
With gybe inhibit on:
• You will be able to perform an AutoTack into the wind
• The SPX-5 Tiller system will prevent the boat from performing an AutoTack away
from the wind, to prevent accidental gybes.
With gybe inhibit off, you can perform an AutoTack into or away from the wind.
Wind selection
This screen determines whether the boat steers to apparent or true wind in Wind Vane
mode.
I'm not sure about the EVO models.
Either way, you can manage the autopilot to suit your needs. For Examble: Downwind you generally don't just hit the jibe button. The turn will be to quick for a single handed jibe. You might first go to 150TWA, ease the sheet, hit the jibe buttons, release old sheet, and quickly pull new sheet, may have to hit +or-10 to help it fill, all depends on wind conditions. Upwind you may tack and hit +-10 button to achieve your desired tack. The key is time on the water ... practice ... practice ... practice. That's why layout is so important for single hand sailing. I would strongly suggest a remote even though Raymarine's are ridiculously expensive.

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Go for it. You won't regret it. Once you experience a good autopilot you will never own a boat without one,

 

Good luck :) and let us know how it turns out.

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End of next week I wil have a Raymarine EV-100 tiller package, and already reading instalations manuals. Where is a best place to mount a EV-1 sensor unit? I suppose that the sensor will react differently when mounted front or rear, high or low. I have a place near the tube that guide the genaker pole, so it is high and 2 meters form the bow, Or am I just overthinking? :)

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I think the ideal place for the fluxgate compass is at the center of rotation of the boat. That might not be easy to achieve. I keep mine mounted pretty low in the hull (near the water line) and about 2' in front of the mast, centered on the boat. It is in the same locker that holds my through hull transducers and where I otherwise only keep spare line (nothing metal).

 

The manual for my X5 came with good guidance for compass placement. I assume the EV does as well?

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I am reading instalations manual that I found on the Raymarine site. Everything seem idiot proof, just the EV-1 unit, no additional fluxgate compass...

Except standard "no heat, no excesive vibrations, at least 1m from cables and electromagnetic stuff" there is no other instalation requirements.

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I have two questions for you guys about this topic (if you know)- I'm thinking of doing the Bermuda 1-2 next year (Olson 30), but have only been using the RM ST2000 tiller pilot (without Seatalk), and only using it as a dummy helmsman. I figured it kept me in tune with the boat, since I was doing all course changes and not letting a computer with wind information hold a heading based on apparent wind angles. I'm not sure what most single-handers do in these simpler races (not like the open 40's or 60's do, for example- I'm sure they have all the crazy electronic everything). Is including Seatalk (or NMEA) connections really necessary and commonplace? Second question- can the RM EV-100 even be installed without using Seatalk?

 

Any help is appreciated-

Ray

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Seatalk, NMEAxxxx, are "communication languages" between devices. AP EV-100 contain two boxes and tiller, and these three things must be connected. If you do not connect other devices your AP will work just trying to mantain the course that you choose.

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You can use the ap without connecting it to other instruments. You'll only need that if you want to have the ap steer to a wind angle (wind mode, then it needs to be connected to your wind instrument) or if you want it to steer to a GPS-waypoint (track mode, then it has to be connected to a GPS).

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Ray,

 

There is nothing simple about any offshore race, especially the Bermuda 1-2.

I'm not sure what your aversion is to connecting instrument, but I would ask more questions about how to connect them rather than how not to.

Seatalk is not needed for ST 2000. However, as stated before, EV-1 needs a connection so that the head/instrument can communicate with the computer. And yes, most people connect Wind and GPS to their AP.

 

If you are planning on doing the 1-2, I would strongly recommend getting the best autopilot you can afford. The ST 2000 can be a emergency back up pilot at best for an Olson 29. And yes, you want to connect it to a wind instrument. Then you want to spend the next year learning the AP and your boat. You need to learn when to use the compass mode vs AW or TW mode. You can't simplify an AP and make it work better. I have done two Bermuda 1-2's as the return crew. One on and Olson 29, the other on a Mini. Every race there are stories about autopilots not working, not doing their job good enough. You don't want to be one of these stories. Get a good one, hook it up right, learn how to use it, sail fast, and be safe.

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I have finaly installed my EV-100 w tiller and SeaTalk bridge for using older already mounted wind instruments. Sensor is mounted in front, near the pole, about 1,5 m above th water.I have to buy just a longer backbone cable SeaTalknNG and a good marine 2,5 mm electric cable from central unit to the tiller. I saw that Raymarine have a new firmware, but upgrading is possible only with some of the Raymarine MFD displays. Also, I have found different manuals (slightly different menu on the P70 head). Commissioning went smooth, except the calibrating procedure (two circles...). In fact, I did not succeeded in finishing calibrating procedure like was explained in the manual. Today was 10 knots of thermal wind, up to 14 kts. Upwind the boat goes smooth, tacking was easy, AP is pushing the tiller fast and hard to dead upwind and then slower offwind. Downwind with gennaker was fun, went up to 9kts, I was helping easing the sheets on the puffs and I choosed a "performance mode" to have quick reactions on the helm. Autojibe is too fast. Next thing is sailing in bigger waves. again sorry for ma english

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I have finaly installed my EV-100 w tiller and SeaTalk bridge for using older already mounted wind instruments. Sensor is mounted in front, near the pole, about 1,5 m above th water.I have to buy just a longer backbone cable SeaTalknNG and a good marine 2,5 mm electric cable from central unit to the tiller. I saw that Raymarine have a new firmware, but upgrading is possible only with some of the Raymarine MFD displays. Also, I have found different manuals (slightly different menu on the P70 head). Commissioning went smooth, except the calibrating procedure (two circles...). In fact, I did not succeeded in finishing calibrating procedure like was explained in the manual. Today was 10 knots of thermal wind, up to 14 kts. Upwind the boat goes smooth, tacking was easy, AP is pushing the tiller fast and hard to dead upwind and then slower offwind. Downwind with gennaker was fun, went up to 9kts, I was helping easing the sheets on the puffs and I choosed a "performance mode" to have quick reactions on the helm. Autojibe is too fast. Next thing is sailing in bigger waves. again sorry for ma english

Thanks for that. Keep the reports coming. Video?

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Grazie mille. Any chance seeing a gybe? Next time.

 

Any concern about water in the hydraulics since it is installed on the floor? Some hydraulic arms in the past have been known to fail because of leaks and require a cover. And these were installed on deck or at tiller height a couple of feet above the floor. Doesn't look like there is much room for a below deck installation.

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well, the arm is not hydraulic, its plain 12V. to have the arm under the deck i must make significant modification to the steering system. automatic downwind tack (jibe, gybe) is too fast. i am just clicking +10 or -10 button to "cover" the gennaker with main sail, release and pull the other sheet and few more +or- 10 to fill the gennaker. the wireless remote will help a lot, it was outside of my budget

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Of course 12v. I guess my question is, did Raymarine address the issue and upgrade the seals so that they are more water resistant? Waterproof would be nice but you know how that is. Nice ride by the way.

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