964racer

Tiller pilots - what are you using ?

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What tiller pilot do you use for SH and are you happy with it ?.    I have a Simrad T32 and looking to replace it - maybe with a below deck system if I can install it myself.

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big jump between a tiller pilot and a below deck unit, depending on the boat there's building work and as for the system and electronics the sky is the limit. What boat and what use 

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If you are steering with a tiller - is the rudder shaft exposed below deck to attach a below deck unit?

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I've been happy so far with our Raymarine Evolution tiller pilot. A below decks option would have been nice, but seemed like an expensive and complicated installation for how we use our boat.  

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1 hour ago, Slick470 said:

I've been happy so far with our Raymarine Evolution tiller pilot. A below decks option would have been nice, but seemed like an expensive and complicated installation for how we use our boat.  

Very interesting,.

I have same on my catamaran.
 

EV-100 Tiller pilot

After 20,000 miles, it’s only redeeming feature is its low initial cost.

I dislike how it’s been dumbed down from its predecessor with Only basic response options.

I dislike how the clown who wrote the installation instructions doesn’t understand the difference between a rudder and a tiller.

I dislike how the ram leaks and the single mild steel bearing corrodes solid if left Flat in a locker , and not stored tiller end down.

(I change these bearings to ss, as they are a standard size)

I carry 3 tiller rams on board and cycle through them as they fail, and rebuild as necessary.

With past models you could go into dealer cal and slow the response right down, but get max rudder movement when required.

As my boat is reasonable directionally stable it doesn’t require continual annoying correction for no apparent reason.
It appears to have no /adjustable dead band .

Windward work in open ocean gets the ram working hard for no good reason. 

Supposedly it’s a SMART pilot and learns stuff.

I would love to be able to turn that side off it off. I am happy to do the thinking for it. 
 

Open ocean in marginal surfing conditions the learning option is bullshit. 
The occasional surf does its brain in.

PS, I worked in a marine supply store  selling this product, and it appears other ocean travellers have similar experience.

Great product for lakes and harbours.

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Agreed.  The predecessor X-5 computer was the best of the lot, until the last software upgrade which screwed it up.  The one before that (S1G) was also better than the current EV-100.  The S1G had the gyro circuit but required rudder reference input - awkward with a cockpit drive.

A Pelagic cockpit drive was a stellar replacement for the Raymarine cockpit drives.  You'll need to change the plug but otherwise they are a drop-in replacement for the POS Raymarine units.

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Funny, I was going to write that I am happy with my EV100, but then I read MRs Octopus post and she is dead right. Maybe the difference is that I am coming up from even lower expectations (integrated units like ST 2000, or god forbids the notorious Plastimo AT50 probably unknown outside France as it coulnt cross the Atlantic even INSIDE  a container  ) and the EVo is a progress. I was also factoring in that I am probably dumber than the software and should not cricticize the pilot before I do read and understand the manual, and configure  it properly - although I slowly come to realize that maybe, maybe, what I see is what I get, and there is not that much  behind this layer of  SMART  software except annoyingly crude algorithms.

Anyway, I will stick to my original statement:, good enough for a standard use, and  back to the OP question, I like the simplicity of the cockpit ram. Easy to i stall, inspect, engage. Fo oceanic sailing for sure a below deck option is better.

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Pelagic, very happy about it.  Nke will be the best choice but expensive.

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7 hours ago, Zonker said:

If you are steering with a tiller - is the rudder shaft exposed below deck to attach a below deck unit?

Yes, it is.  It's an  Ericson 33RH and the shaft is fully accessible .  It looks to be a conversion from a wheel helm to a tiller.  It is a coffin below deck though  - not a lot of room to work and some sort of mount would have to be glassed into the hull for a below deck cylinder to be mounted. I might have to recruit a much smaller and skinnier person to do the below deck part (and it wouldn't be free).

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8 hours ago, toad said:

big jump between a tiller pilot and a below deck unit, depending on the boat there's building work and as for the system and electronics the sky is the limit. What boat and what use 

E33RH...The below deck space is very limited - it would not be fun job, but I think it's possible because the rudder shaft is fully exposed. I use the boat for cruising with ambition to do some SH racing this spring/summer. 

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Pelagic, got one, it's amazing. First thing I would fit to a new boat. 

Surfs my boat happily all day, spinnaker or gennaker. 

It's got its quirks but I got caught in a squall with full main and spinnaker at 35 knots once, pretty mean seas too. Pointed down wind, went down stairs for a cup of coffee, seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Don't hear many people raving about their Ray or tp in those sort of conditions. I trust the pelagic to do the right thing when I really need it.

I've got an old st1000 too, use it for motoring, less active as the boat rocks around, but useless for most sailing. 

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7 hours ago, BOI Guy said:

Pelagic, got one, it's amazing. First thing I would fit to a new boat. 

Surfs my boat happily all day, spinnaker or gennaker. 

It's got its quirks but I got caught in a squall with full main and spinnaker at 35 knots once, pretty mean seas too. Pointed down wind, went down stairs for a cup of coffee, seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Don't hear many people raving about their Ray or tp in those sort of conditions. I trust the pelagic to do the right thing when I really need it.

I've got an old st1000 too, use it for motoring, less active as the boat rocks around, but useless for most sailing. 

In the market for one and interested in Pelagic. I guess you have interfaced it with wind direction or is it efficient as a stand alone unit?

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Another vote for the Pelagic.
The only time I have trouble is in very light airs if the boat is rolling with a bit of swell it just pushes the tiller from side to side as each swell rolls under the boat. With a good swell it doesn't matter how low you set the gain it thinks the boat about to veer and tries to correct.

90% of the time its the best autopilot I've owned.

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A ST2000 with proper and cheap waterproofing seals is still less than half the price and an easier install of the the Pelagic. If you are worried about reliability you could buy two for ocean voyages. A heat shrink plastic makes it more splash proof.  Sheet to tiller tending maybe be the most reliable if you just need a break steering for a few minutes.

In the end - how much do you want to spend and how many holes do you need in your boat to sail it by yourself? You will not make any more money on resale on the boat in 3 years should you decide to sell her with any autopilot you decide to buy, install and use.

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I would say that 2 x ST2000 would not survive a passage to Hawaii on this boat.

If you're just sailing locally, and don't need a lot of control or can tolerate slow or inadequate response in big seas/wind -> ST2000

Going further or want an "all conditions" pilot, consider the Pelagic seriously. 

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The last ST2000 I used (which was three boats back) didn't survive a race around the Farallones, and it was a moderate year.

If you plan to do SSS races or cruise offshore, you need to install a solid autopilot.  There's no compromising with this.

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18 hours ago, Ganzi said:

Funny, I was going to write that I am happy with my EV100, but then I read MRs Octopus post and she is dead right. Maybe the difference is that I am coming up from even lower expectations (integrated units like ST 2000, or god forbids the notorious Plastimo AT50 probably unknown outside France as it coulnt cross the Atlantic even INSIDE  a container  ) and the EVo is a progress. I was also factoring in that I am probably dumber than the software and should not cricticize the pilot before I do read and understand the manual, and configure  it properly - although I slowly come to realize that maybe, maybe, what I see is what I get, and there is not that much  behind this layer of  SMART  software except annoyingly crude algorithms.

Anyway, I will stick to my original statement:, good enough for a standard use, and  back to the OP question, I like the simplicity of the cockpit ram. Easy to i stall, inspect, engage. Fo oceanic sailing for sure a below deck option is better.

A stick works too or a tiller extension. Come to think of it, that’s how I’ve been using our green tiller pilot when it is feeling blue (crap!  I forgot it’s name!) (But we’ve had it for a long time...:lol:). Once you figure your prop walk, or sail balance, shock cord can be ok too.

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38 minutes ago, BobJ said:

The last ST2000 I used (which was three boats back) didn't survive a race around the Farallones, and it was a moderate year.

If you plan to do SSS races or cruise offshore, you need to install a solid autopilot.  There's no compromising with this.

With much respect to you Bob - Glad you only had to hand drive home a couple of hours. Can I ask you how old the ST2000 was when it broke, were you the original owner and did you do the sealing on the unit prior to using it as well as water sealing the electrical components?

I understand there is much concern on these units but I also think some folks do not take proper care, storage or handling. At less than 500 dollars a pop they are affordable. Like much of sailing equipment - even the best and most expensive breaks. Making choices of affordability with reasonable expected use is a critical part of this recreation.  Most folks want the autopilot so they can make tea, take a leak or hoist or douse the sails - given that an inexpensive solution might work for most solo daysails.

 

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6 hours ago, Sebyseb said:

I guess you have interfaced it with wind direction or is it efficient as a stand alone

Mines stand alone, haven't got working wind gear to hook to, would like to for on the wind but had plenty of other stuff to spend on first.

Sitting on the rail with the remote is pretty handy for following the wind. 

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5 hours ago, MiddayGun said:

Another vote for the Pelagic.
The only time I have trouble is in very light airs if the boat is rolling with a bit of swell it just pushes the tiller from side to side as each swell rolls under the boat. With a good swell it doesn't matter how low you set the gain it thinks the boat about to veer and tries to correct.

90% of the time its the best autopilot I've owned.

100% agree, hate to say it but I sometimes use the st1000 when it's light and rolly, I call it washing machine conditions.

The st1000 just sits there doing pretty much nothing which actually works if my sails are set properly. 

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7 hours ago, MiddayGun said:

he only time I have trouble is in very light airs if the boat is rolling with a bit of swell it just pushes the tiller from side to side as each swell rolls under the boat. With a good swell it doesn't matter how low you set the gain it thinks the boat about to veer and tries to correct.

i have a TP22

even if the water is flat.., if the boat is slow the pilot is not going to work well - the problem is that even large rudder movements don't have much effect without sufficient boatspeed.

i sometimes find that with the tiller pilot, i am tempted to sail a bit lower and slower downwind than i would if i were steering myself - if i think the pilot will have trouble, i want to avoid rounding up.., but i only make the problem worse...

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4 hours ago, Black Jack said:

With much respect to you Bob - Glad you only had to hand drive home a couple of hours. Can I ask you how old the ST2000 was when it broke, were you the original owner and did you do the sealing on the unit prior to using it as well as water sealing the electrical components?

I understand there is much concern on these units but I also think some folks do not take proper care, storage or handling. At less than 500 dollars a pop they are affordable. Like much of sailing equipment - even the best and most expensive breaks. Making choices of affordability with reasonable expected use is a critical part of this recreation.  Most folks want the autopilot so they can make tea, take a leak or hoist or douse the sails - given that an inexpensive solution might work for most solo daysails.

 

Oh, the ST2000 survived that race physically - and to answer your question, I'd bought it new and used diver's grease in the appropriate spots.  I added it to my pile of inadequate gear and sold it several years later.  It was good for steering the boat while hoisting sails and for light upwind work.  But in bigger waves and especially after I rounded SE Farallon and started back, it couldn't keep up with the conditions.  Not even close.  That was on a J/33 - a comparable boat in size and weight to the OP's.

Yes, our needs are different.  I wanted an autopilot that would allow me to sleep in the tradewinds with the A2 flying.  And it did.  The S1G got my J/92 to Hawaii in 2006 and the X-5 got me there in 2008.  The Raymarine cockpit drives were the weak component - I went through 5-6 of them over that time.  Meanwhile the first Pelagic cockpit ram still works (it was one of Brian's prototypes).  I still use it on the Alerion with a Simrad AP24 as a tiller-mounted backup, to the H5000 primary AP.

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1 hour ago, BobJ said:

Oh, the ST2000 survived that race physically - and to answer your question, I'd bought it new and used diver's grease in the appropriate spots.  I added it to my pile of inadequate gear and sold it several years later.  It was good for steering the boat while hoisting sails and for light upwind work.  But in bigger waves and especially after I rounded SE Farallon and started back, it couldn't keep up with the conditions.  Not even close.  That was on a J/33 - a comparable boat in size and weight to the OP's.

Yes, our needs are different.  I wanted an autopilot that would allow me to sleep in the tradewinds with the A2 flying.  And it did.  The S1G got my J/92 to Hawaii in 2006 and the X-5 got me there in 2008.  The Raymarine cockpit drives were the weak component - I went through 5-6 of them over that time.  Meanwhile the first Pelagic cockpit ram still works (it was one of Brian's prototypes).  I still use it on the Alerion with a Simrad AP24 as a tiller-mounted backup, to the H5000 primary AP.

I have a five year old ST2000. I was trying to stretch my boat dollars with a new second one. Maybe it is a false economy. I should take heed of your singlehanded wisdom to closer heart considering my more ambitious racing schedule joining you this next year.  The Pelagic is a nice piece of gear and now I will ask Santa for one.

On a side note - I would love a chance to actually see your boat close up and see how you have it set up. In the next weeks, i will be getting mine into fighting shape and would love to be inspired by your ideas and boat layout. You and your boat seem to make the local racing SSS look more effortless than most.

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Did Bruce have an autopilot on that boat?  I have a lot of respect for his experience/choices.  I considered buying his Frers Swan 36 as he began to reduce his fleet.

The Shadow is just across from me at RYC.

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A Pelagic connected to a B&G NAC-2 gets you connected to wind direction related steering.  That's a relatively inexpensive way to get all the bells & whistles and some measure of reliability.  But if you can get something below decks, do that.  

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Pelagic can steer to wind with appropriate input, they also have below deck units. 

Once you start to use the remote you will hardly ever touch the control head. 

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Weird, my Ev-100 experience has been excellent. It drives my Columbia 30-2 very well, especially off the wind in true wind mode. I've been blasting down buzzards bay in 20 knots under kite at 13+ knots. It has driven me from maine to boston with no issues, and has held the boat under good control on a close reach with the code up. the only time I get frustrated with the pilot is that under about 2 knots of boat speed, it gets cranky and can give alarms. I surely don't have experience tuning an autopilot for ocean crossings but at least for my level of sailing the response and helm settings are good enough to sail the boat efficiently.

My only complaint about the ram is the end cap is ridiculously weak. I replaced it once and it broke again so I made my own and it's held for around 500 miles so far.

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My first ev ram on an Express 27 is still going strong after 3000+ miles (East coast racing/trekking and Hawaii/coastal/SF bay shorthanding). We keep it covered with a shower curtain slip over thingy my wife made and rinse it after every use - I guess it's ok to pull the rod out manually?
 If it fails there's another one below ready to go. A Pelagic drive is on the list to quiet things down and maybe press a bit more? 
During 2018 Pac Cup the ev drove 3/4 of the trip. The first few days were fairly gnarly and sloppy with 25 -35kts. Very few if any issues that I remember.
All that said I trust it only so far. It spun me out hard on the solo Farallons race this year. To its defense I did ask it to gybe under the shadow of the South Tower in 25kts and maybe didn't get the main over early enough.
If Singlehanded TPac happens in June I expect to be shifting down to twins some evenings (over 20 true maybe?) later in the run to reduce drama and maybe not sleep in my foulies. Ha.
 

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So, 33feet boat, If not Pelagic, I would go with NKE with mechanical RAM which does not have to be below deck,  and less price than their hydrauric ram.

 

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We started out with a EV-100 tiller pilot (interfaced on the Seatalk-NG network with wind speed/direction/rudder reference/hull speed) on our Farrier F36/39 trimaran in the Pacific Northwest, installed it in 2016 as I sailed north to the Octopus group, easy and fairly cheep. After several 45 day trips, the Actuator (read ram) started to act manky, bought a couple of spare Ray actuators including a GP headed unit. Left in 2017 on a long off-shore trip... and oh my... are those Raymarine actuators a total piece of shit for long distance work. Forget ever using one off-shore. After running thru 3-1/2 Raymarine drives....  We switched to a Pelagic actuator in 2018 and it wound up sailing further than the other four Rayfully inadequate drives combined.  The Pelagic finally gave up the ghost as we approached New Zealand last November in a three day gale with winds mostly/continuously above 40 knots gusting well above 65 kn and rather spectacular seas, we were driven 400 miles directly east in these gales in less than 48 hours sailing to windward at about a 50 AWA;... we switched the old Pelagic drive out for one of the spare Pelagics and the boat sails flawlessly well in near storm force conditions. Pelagic is awesome we are very satisfied. 

If I had it to do all over.... I would have set up a B&G or nke system happily using the Pelagic Drive, (but we are married to the Seatalk Network and EV-100 with all the other instruments being Ray..... )

Smaller IMG_2101.JPG

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On 12/2/2020 at 9:28 PM, BOI Guy said:

Surfs my boat happily all day, spinnaker or gennaker. 

What boat do you have?   I find that my Pelagic can't handle my Olson 30 with the spinnaker in either wind or compass mode above 20 knots winds speed.  And it can't handle my spinnaker in any wind using the wind mode.  I've got a Raymarine wind guage and needed an adapter to convert.   I do use the Pelagic upwind in wind mode, and it works well. 

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I have a Marauder 8.4, common enough here but probably unheard of in US. I have linked some videos in some old posts of it driving before. 

I don't think wind mode would be a good idea for downwind, apparent wind not very helpful. 

I did spend quite a bit of time working on the settings for downwind driving and had a software update about a year ago. Might pay to check. 

My boats pretty responsive /lively. Does not plane as such but will surf easily for extended bursts 9 - 12 knots.

I have reprofiled the rudder and would suggest the boat is pretty well balanced, so may be a factor. I can get slightly more out of the boat hand steering most of the time but averages are still pretty good under pilot.

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9 hours ago, Foolish said:

What boat do you have?   I find that my Pelagic can't handle my Olson 30 with the spinnaker in either wind or compass mode above 20 knots winds speed.  And it can't handle my spinnaker in any wind using the wind mode.  I've got a Raymarine wind guage and needed an adapter to convert.   I do use the Pelagic upwind in wind mode, and it works well. 

Trying to message you- get Foolish cannot receive messages.

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2016 Marauder 8.4 Class Championship - Action about to begin...

yeah, I can imagine *any* pilot having trouble with a Marauder. very skinny rudder, less than 5' draft on a 28' boat... looks nice but looks easily overpowered. But you said you've re-profiled the rudder so maybe that helps.

Also, wind vane mode works very well downwind, but you need to switch from apparent to true wind mode to keep the boat on its feet has been my experience.

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17 minutes ago, ryley said:

wind vane mode works very well downwind, but you need to switch from apparent to true wind mode

Pelagic doesn't have true wind mode so compass becomes the preferred option.

Nice picture, Southern Rebel has quite a reputation, was pretty carefully setup to win and puts many much larger boats to shame.

Not sure I agree with the easily overpowered bit, they are actually a bit under rigged for the light. Not particularly brilliant up wind but acceptable, more modern keel would be better with lower down weight, but off the wind they go pretty well considering their vintage. Very capable in heavy weather too. 

Wrote the following for foolish but he doesn't get messages so now you all get to see it:

Couple of links, cant seem to post pictures or videos to SA using Ubuntu so use links to Drive

This one under small spinnaker, dead down wind and by the lee a bit, not big swell yet but dropped kite later at about 25knots with the sea rising quite a bit and starting to head wrong way.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Nwsb8jjvWRSzbnLsGAi1Ns9GPi2OYRR0/view?usp=sharing

This one with gennaker, early in day, wind eventually built to 20+ and I had to sail a bit deeper so dropped it as was heading for Tonga which wasn't the plan, well under control with plenty of action in the 9's which isn't bad for an old 28 fully loaded for cruising and towing a dinghy.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16BwepVGxU8pWqMlqHNyLN-TFVCdJnWfw/view?usp=sharing

feel free to message me about the setup etc.

I have done a lot of sailing and racing in the past on crewed boats but your book was a massive guide to me as I learnt to sail my boat single handed, thank you.

From past experience I don't believe my boat is inclined to roll downwind under spinnaker too badly, and doesn't broach badly unless you are really pushing and not concentrating, its an old design but quite beamy and flatish through the stern.

Having the first reef in once the wind gets up makes it much more manageable with spinnaker or gennaker and not much slower.

2 sail reaching is faster with full main but much harder to control.

Completely un-related but teaching my boy how to drive the spinnaker for the first time was pretty cool.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1z0kNKAGgJ7nUepHmRxApScPX5whFRPpY/view?usp=sharing

The videos are from before the rudder was re-profiled, keels been done now too. Pelagic easily keeping it all going the right way, there is much less rudder movement now with better rudder shape.

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Quote

 those Raymarine actuators a total piece of shit for long distance work. Forget ever using one off-shore.

I know of plenty of failures of rams over the years but of course it will happen more if you sell 10x more APs than anyone else.    I know plenty of people including myself who have never had a failure including Singlehanded Transpacs, Longpacs, etc.   A ram I used since 1999 is still going strong on that boat with a new owner.  Of course I carry more than a few spares including a separate brain (an X5 and EVO) and if I were to go to Hawaii again I would bring a Pelagic drive as well.

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43 minutes ago, BOI Guy said:

Pelagic doesn't have true wind mode so compass becomes the preferred option.

This is why I'm considering switching to the pelagic ram but keeping my AP computer. At least for my asym-driven boat downwind, not being able to switch to true wind mode would be a deal breaker.

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This ^^^  It wasn't apparent (no pun intended) in my earlier posts but that's what I did on the J/92 = Ray system with Pelagic drive.  You get all the inputs via SeaTalk, both TW and AW, the benefits of Autolearn, etc.  That said, the later Ray computers have been dumbed down to the point where the old S1G and X-5 (w/early software) drove the boat better than the current EV-100/200.

Meanwhile Pelagic keeps improving their software so it may be time to try their system (not just the drive) on lighter boats - it always appeared to work okay on heavier, more directionally-stable boats.

I have a bigger boat now with B&G stuff, belowdecks hydraulic drive etc. so I'm only using my old Pelagic drive as a backup.

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On 12/3/2020 at 6:30 PM, BobJ said:

Did Bruce have an autopilot on that boat?  I have a lot of respect for his experience/choices.  I considered buying his Frers Swan 36 as he began to reduce his fleet.

The Shadow is just across from me at RYC.

The boat did not have one aboard. Bruce and I have been friends for a while. Covid and life has kept us from getting together over these months. On Sunday my wife and I are going over to have afternoon tea if rain stops and we are all safe to spend time socializing on their patio. Bruce says he has a few more things that belong to PP.  Almost like christmas - I have tried to be good all year too!

 That is a nice row of boats there in Richmond.  nearly all would be a pleasure and dream to own.

 

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On 12/8/2020 at 2:28 PM, ryley said:

This is why I'm considering switching to the pelagic ram but keeping my AP computer. At least for my asym-driven boat downwind, not being able to switch to true wind mode would be a deal breaker.

Excuse my lack of knowledge on this, but why does your ap need to know true wind? Aren’t we always sailing to apparent?

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1 hour ago, inneedofadvice said:

Excuse my lack of knowledge on this, but why does your ap need to know true wind? Aren’t we always sailing to apparent?

Absolutely correct that we are sailing in apparent, but downwind you don't really want your pilot steering to apparent.

Imagine a TWD of 15 and a TWA of 135. In my boat that might be an AWA of around 101. So we get that puff to 20, the boat accelerates and I'm steering to AWA with the pilot. The boat maneuvers to stay on the AWA of 101 while accelerating by around 2-3 knots, but TWA changes from 135 to 130. So you've got more breeze, boat acceleration, and because you're on AWA your boat actually rounds UP 5 degrees, exactly the opposite of what you want especially in waves.

If you're on TWA of 135 and steering to TWA, the AWA changes from 101 at 15 to 106 at 20 knots. Yes you need to trim the sails, but the boat stays steady on its course instead of yawing all over the place in the puffs.

This even helps if the wind is oscillating direction but not as much on velocity because the boat will keep the trim right as the wind changes direction.

Using AWA upwind keeps you more in telltale mode. and doesn't have as much of an effect because boat acceleration is measured more in half to 3/4 knot increments and you *want* it to chase the oscillations.

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To further illustrate this, my B&G primary AP and Simrad backup are both set to "Auto" in wind mode.  That setting steers to AWA upwind and automatically switches to TWA off the wind.  BTW, using this setting requires that the AP's computation of TWS and TWA is at least in the ballpark.

This is especially important if you're using asymmetric spinnakers, since if you sail too deep they collapse behind the main.  As Ryley describes, as the boat begins to surf off the wind and speeds up, AWA moves forward.  If the AP was in Apparent mode (vs. True) it would have the boat bear away, at some point causing the ass'y to collapse.  In heavy conditions with a conventional symmetric kite, it could even steer you into a round-down.

But as Black Jack suggests above, you can do plenty of solo racing with a simpler, cheaper pilot.  It's when you have a higher-performance boat (and/or less directionally-stable) and you want to race in heavier conditions that you need to consider higher-end options.

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I probably should just heave a big sigh and buy another Pelagic.

The ST2000 made it about 160 miles out during my qualifier and then croaked.  It was reasonably windy with  moderately large-sort-of seas....windy and bouncy enough that I had the working jib and two reefs in, and that was fine, though I could have dropped the working jib and been a tich more comfy with the heavy-weather jib.  Raymarine repaired the ST2000, so i have it, and it works, but I don't think I can trust it for more than a day or two, maybe three, and no way with a spinnaker up for extended periods of time.

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21 hours ago, ryley said:

Absolutely correct that we are sailing in apparent, but downwind you don't really want your pilot steering to apparent.

Imagine a TWD of 15 and a TWA of 135. In my boat that might be an AWA of around 101. So we get that puff to 20, the boat accelerates and I'm steering to AWA with the pilot. The boat maneuvers to stay on the AWA of 101 while accelerating by around 2-3 knots, but TWA changes from 135 to 130. So you've got more breeze, boat acceleration, and because you're on AWA your boat actually rounds UP 5 degrees, exactly the opposite of what you want especially in waves.

If you're on TWA of 135 and steering to TWA, the AWA changes from 101 at 15 to 106 at 20 knots. Yes you need to trim the sails, but the boat stays steady on its course instead of yawing all over the place in the puffs.

This even helps if the wind is oscillating direction but not as much on velocity because the boat will keep the trim right as the wind changes direction.

Using AWA upwind keeps you more in telltale mode. and doesn't have as much of an effect because boat acceleration is measured more in half to 3/4 knot increments and you *want* it to chase the oscillations.

So to continue to display my ignorance, why wouldn’t I take it off steer to wind mode downwind and choose a compass setting? 

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So to continue to display my ignorance, why wouldn’t I take it off steer to wind mode downwind and choose a compass setting? 

That will work for a while with a poled out jib but not a spinnaker.

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5 hours ago, inneedofadvice said:

So to continue to display my ignorance, why wouldn’t I take it off steer to wind mode downwind and choose a compass setting? 

That is what I do. But only in cruise mode in light breezes (<20kts) on relatively flat sheltered water. Which is rare. Other than that it is a white reaching sail to leeward.

For cruising my Raymarine in wind mode is an utter failure. It can indeed steer for a while without mishap but the non-sailing morons at Raymarine hard-coded an alarm for 10 degree wind shift. Which happens every few minutes. Kinda like DUH! That's why we are steering to the wind.

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10 hours ago, inneedofadvice said:

So to continue to display my ignorance, why wouldn’t I take it off steer to wind mode downwind and choose a compass setting? 

because in most parts of the world, a velocity change comes with a direction change. And if you're sailing long enough in a persistent shift, your compass mode is not going to react to the shift.

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On 12/13/2020 at 5:13 PM, ryley said:

So to continue to display my ignorance, why wouldn’t I take it off steer to wind mode downwind and choose a compass setting? 

Yes, you can do this. 

That's what I do, BUT (very big but) I have a remote in my hand so I can change the heading every couple of minutes... So I don't have to constantly steer every second, but more like every couple of minutes. 

But It depends how you want your relationship with your autopilot to be. Are you looking for a one night stand? Do you want to have deep conversations? Are you looking for it to take care of you through thick and thin?

My TP22 is great, at only $400, for what I need. Mainly used while hoisting a sail, opening a beer, or to auto-follow waypoints back to the bar under motor. 

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