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Tiller Pilot options?


Tyson0317

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I have a Simrad TP-32 on my J/35. The thing does wonderfully well when under engine, but the built-in compass is not gimbaling and does very unpredictable shit when the boat heals under wind pressure. The issue is compounded when heel causes it to steer, it often gets itself into more trouble. Usually it over-steers due to heel, but at times we've had it come 60+ degrees up into the wind and snap-tack the boat... What idiot made a self-steering device meant specifically for sail boats that is utterly incapable of working on a heeling boat, is beyond me!! 

That said, the instrumentation on my boat is all Garmin (a few years old) and has a NMEA 2000 back end. I read in the Simrad manual that it does NMEA 0183. Im sure there is some translation box I could get to tap the thing into my plotter, which would hopefully get it to ignore its own internal compass and use what Garmin tells it.That said, Garmin's compass comes from GPS, which is a rather delayed method of getting your course. For tacking and such it might not be a great idea.

I guess the question here is: are there any better tiller pilot options out there? 

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Hello? :-)

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Very short review: there are Raymarine systems where all the brains (and a much better compass) are installed belowdecks, only the drive is out in the cockpit. Connecting your unit to NMEA will not make it better, compass sensor is used in all modes, so if current compass sensor is shit  just throw it away.

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I'm going with Scanmar's Pelagic Autopilot.

Mines a little different in that I'm using their brains to drive a ram on a quadrant, but they have a (from all the reviews)pretty reliable tillerpilot setup.

 

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If you're not using a OG TillerMaster by Moonlight Marine, you're just going through the motions! Remember to bring along a couple dozen main circuit boards as they burn out after about ten hours of operation.

tillermaster.thumb.jpg.15d1a7ce046b2b014c7cd16d89a613f6.jpg

I have had good luck with the Simrad tiller pilots. Always get the size up from what they say you need. It is far better to take it easy on the hardware as opposed to push it to its limits.

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On 5/6/2019 at 1:41 PM, Tyson0317 said:

I have a Simrad TP-32 on my J/35. The thing does wonderfully well when under engine, but the built-in compass is not gimbaling and does very unpredictable shit when the boat heals under wind pressure. The issue is compounded when heel causes it to steer, it often gets itself into more trouble. Usually it over-steers due to heel, but at times we've had it come 60+ degrees up into the wind and snap-tack the boat... What idiot made a self-steering device meant specifically for sail boats that is utterly incapable of working on a heeling boat, is beyond me!! 

That said, the instrumentation on my boat is all Garmin (a few years old) and has a NMEA 2000 back end. I read in the Simrad manual that it does NMEA 0183. Im sure there is some translation box I could get to tap the thing into my plotter, which would hopefully get it to ignore its own internal compass and use what Garmin tells it.That said, Garmin's compass comes from GPS, which is a rather delayed method of getting your course. For tacking and such it might not be a great idea.

I guess the question here is: are there any better tiller pilot options out there? 

Raymarine EV-100 Tiller pilot.  6 axis brain, can be tied easily into n2k with a conversion box, add the wireless option. Make sure you get someone to upgrade the firmware for you and bob's your uncle.

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I use the EV-100 on my Express 37, it's great.  I've also used the all-in-one tiller pilots and the EV-100 is much more responsive and handles changing sea state a lot better.

You don't need a conversion box, it is natively N2K and Raymarine sells conversion cables to go from their plugs to N2K plugs (or it's easy to make your own).

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28 minutes ago, Alex W said:

I use the EV-100 on my Express 37, it's great.  I've also used the all-in-one tiller pilots and the EV-100 is much more responsive and handles changing sea state a lot better.

You don't need a conversion box, it is natively N2K and Raymarine sells conversion cables to go from their plugs to N2K plugs (or it's easy to make your own).

Alex, you're right. I was thinking about the N2K to Raymarine for my wireless remote, which it does need. but yes you're absolutely right you can either buy the conversion cable or a field installable n2k connector, cut off the Raymarine one and put on the n2k.

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I've been happy with the Raymarine EV-100 as well. It's a good tiller pilot solution. It is pretty adjustable as far as response time and dampening too. I'll emphasize what ryley noted though. Get it updated, either by a local retailer or installer, or buy a Raymarine MFD to do it yourself. Ours was unusable without an update. After the update, it's been great. 

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I was about to hit "Buy" on Pelagic's site, but then decided to email them with some questions. The email address bounced. That's not a good sign....

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1 hour ago, Tyson0317 said:

I was about to hit "Buy" on Pelagic's site, but then decided to email them with some questions. The email address bounced. That's not a good sign....

No, they’re good. Scanmar bought them so it’s probably the old email.

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How is something like Pelagic compared to the gold standard of NKE/B&G? 

Some time ago I posted the question on the SFBaySSS forum if the Pelagic could manage my Olson 30 (a very twitchy boat) down wind, with the spinnaker up, in 20-25 knots wind.  The response, from actual, experienced users, was pretty well universal that yes, it could handle it.   That's enough of a reference for me.

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35 minutes ago, Foolish said:

Some time ago I posted the question on the SFBaySSS forum if the Pelagic could manage my Olson 30 (a very twitchy boat) down wind, with the spinnaker up, in 20-25 knots wind.  The response, from actual, experienced users, was pretty well universal that yes, it could handle it.   That's enough of a reference for me.

That does sound exactly like what I need!

Quick question though. Can the tacking and gybing angles be adjusted, or does it tack to the apparent wind (wherever that may lie at the moment one presses "tack")?

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Push the STBD button 8 or 9 or 10 times very quickly. :).

I had one of their actuators. Very durable. I like that a new bare bones actuator without the fancy bracket or plug is a dirt cheap $149. If I was doing a Solo Transpac I'd have at least 1 spare.

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Just got my Pelagic up and running last week, very happy. Stand alone unit, no wind input yet. Auto Tack works brilliant too.

Course keeping in light incredible, +/- 2deg straight out of the box, sit on rail using remote following the wind.

Have started experimenting with settings, takes a bit to get your head around but its got lot of ability for the price.

2 day run down coast beam / tight reach to good spinnaker reach, struggled to settle it down in a very washing machine seaway, would try reducing yaw response more next time. Once sea settled down had a brilliant spinnaker reach for a few hours with pilot doing everything I could have wished for. Bit of trimming when wind piped up, getting close to broach but could easily keep under control with pilot doing all the right things. Definitely lets me push a bit harder on my own, can't wait to get another go at it, you could easily spend 10x as much on the NKE or B&G, pretty hard to believe they would be 10x better.

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Hello all,

I have a Simrad TP22 connected to my NMEA 2000 Bus. I also have the ZG100 Antenna from B&G and the Zeus Touch display. You can choose which compass is to be used by the system. You can also control the TP22 with the B&G Zeus. Setting course, engage and disengage it. I connected the cables directly to the NMEA2000 Bus. You don´t need other hardware, it is a CAN Bus after all. But my boat is not heeling that much, it is a Trimaran and I am really happy with the TP22. Only thing I am missing is a remote control. I had vague hopes that my Garmin Quatix can do that but apparently it only works with Garmin Pilots.

Ulf

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