Has the Raymarine autopilot thinking process improved?

Foolish

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The last Raymarine autopilot that I bought 18 years ago was pretty good, but couldn't handle my Olson 30 downwind above 20 knots.  I've always said that it is the thinking process, or decision process, that is much more important than some of the standard hard over criteria.

I'm looking for a new auto and I'm wondering if the Raymarine Evolution EV 1 has improved their decision process?  Does it steer better and keep a better track, regardless of wind and wave conditions?

 
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Zonker

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Yes. I had a ST4000 original version with a tiller pilot. The new replacement EV1 course computer had a rate gyro. Steered much better. The rate gyro would tell the instant the boat started to deviate off course. You could turn it up to 11 and lock in the course and the drive would do minute adjustments every second to really hold a course but that was a lot of wear and tear on the drive and burned power excessively.

I didn't have a wind input to it; it just steered a compass course. And catamarans are naturally course stable. But you could sure tell the difference.

 

BobJ

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Yes.  Over the years with the J/92 I went from an ST2000+ to ST4000 to S1G (w/rate gyro) to something in between I don't remember to EV1 w/Ray drive to EV1 w/Pelagic drive.  Got better each time.  Steering to apparent wind was good enough to sleep under spinnaker.  "Raymarine calibration" is an oxymoron so I was never able to have it steer to true wind.

 

Foolish

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Victoria, BC
e to EV1 w/Pelagic drive. 
I was going to ask about using the Pelagic drive.  Any issues with that?  I've got one on my boat.   And if you can use the EV1 successfully with a J92, I'm sure it would work with my O30.

 
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BobJ

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Compared to Ray's stock Q47 drive, the Pelagic is a bit noisier, takes a few more electrons, but is way stronger.  I bought one of Brian's prototype drives years ago and it still works fine - I use it as a backup cockpit drive on my 38' Alerion (12,400#).

The only issue is initial calibration.  The Ray drive is wimpy enough that you can push the piston in and out by hand, which helps for centering the helm when calibrating.  You have to move the Pelagic with the controller buttons and I recall this giving me some trouble until I figured it out.

For Hawaii, one Pelagic drive took the place of a drawer full of Ray drives.  Prior to that I broke drives in a variety of unique ways.

P.S.  I still regret leaving my #1 in the garage when we raced each other in 2006.  I might have kept up with you - at least getting off the coast!

 
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DDW

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I've had 5 generations of Raymarine autopilot computer and each one has steered better than its predecessor. First one I had could not be trusted downwind, or even reaching in sporty conditions. By about gen 3, it was vastly improved. Gen 4 has steered the sailboat DDW in sporty conditions at night single handed with complete confidence. Gen 5 (EV1) seems even better as the swinging flux gate is gone. It is the addition of gyros and predictive software that makes the difference. The newest ones will apply helm based on pitch, roll, and yaw accelerations before there is any deviation of heading at all, just as you would if you were steering. It's kind of hypnotizing watching the pitch, roll, and yaw numbers out of the EV1 if you have the display to do it. 

 

Foolish

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Victoria, BC
I still regret leaving my #1 in the garage when we raced each other in 2006.  I might have kept up with you - at least getting off the coast!
I've thought about your decision many times over the years.

It's kind of hypnotizing watching the pitch, roll, and yaw numbers out of the EV1 if you have the display to do it. 
thanks for all the advice. I'm placing my order today.

 

Foolish

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Victoria, BC
Already bought it! 

Autopilot.jpg

 

Foolish

Super Anarchist
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Victoria, BC
It's kind of hypnotizing watching the pitch, roll, and yaw numbers out of the EV1 if you have the display to do it. 
Is there an easier way to change the response level while sailing?  It seems like a lot of buttons to push for a simple change.   I want low response upwind and high response downwind.

 

DDW

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Unfortunately no. I normally set the gain to the minimum (1? I think?) and might set it to 2 downwind. It also does not retain that setting between power cycles which is a PITA. 

 

ryley

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Boston, MA
I have an EV1 on my Columbia 30-2. The wind input is from a WS320. This past weekend I let it drive overnight in the Beringer on true wind vane mode and it performed admirably, keeping our TWA around 130 through some wild fluctuations of wind direction. it's not only an improvement over my st4000 but it's been an improvement every time I update the firmware.

I've let it drive in 20 knots downwind in Buzzards bay with a 3' running sea and as long as I was actively trimming the main and kite it worked just fine.

 

Foolish

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Victoria, BC
The only issue is initial calibration.
Bob, I'm wondering about your settings.  Downwind in 20+ knots, I find that in Performance mode the boat swings back and forth wildly.  Could it be that I've set the ram movement level too high? I have it set at 10 so that it adjusts quickly.  But perhaps it's adjusting faster than the computer can recognize.  Rather than small adjustment tweaks it swings wildly.   What have you got your setting at?

 

BobJ

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Bob, I'm wondering about your settings.  Downwind in 20+ knots, I find that in Performance mode the boat swings back and forth wildly.  Could it be that I've set the ram movement level too high? I have it set at 10 so that it adjusts quickly.  But perhaps it's adjusting faster than the computer can recognize.  Rather than small adjustment tweaks it swings wildly.   What have you got your setting at?
Just saw this - I don't log in here very often.

It's becoming a blur - the Raymarines were on the J/92 that I sold in 2018.  But as I recall, I only set it as high as 7 when coming in the Gate under spinnaker - never 10 - and I'd be down to 2 or 3 in light air to keep the drive from sawing back and forth.  Flying your masthead symmetric kite in 20+ knots is asking more than it was intended to deliver.  It is just a Raymarine and was designed to be used on anything that floats.

It sounds like "ryley" has seen better performance and it may be his better wind sensor.  I just had the stock Ray wind wands.

 
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Foolish

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Victoria, BC
I only set it as high as 7 when coming in the Gate under spinnaker - never 10 - and I'd be down to 2 or 3 in light air to keep the drive from sawing back and forth. 
Thanks.  I'm just learning these settings so I'll try some lower numbers.  It would be good if Raymarine put out some videos with real world examples of these types of settings, with different types of boats.

Steering by wind.

 
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BobJ

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It would be good if Raymarine put out some videos with real world examples of these types of settings, with different types of boats.
Agreed - but even B&G doesn't do that.  After lots of searching I found an advanced user manual for my H5000 pilot with an IMOCA revision "for Vendee Globe 2016 teams."  That's the closest I've found to what we need.

Remember that probably 90% of Raymarine AP users are setting trolling patterns with them, not sailing downwind with spinnakers.

 

GWB

New member
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Thanks.  I'm just learning these settings so I'll try some lower numbers.  It would be good if Raymarine put out some videos with real world examples of these types of settings, with different types of boats.

Steering by wind.
Do you have speed to the pilot? Without a speed reference it will do as you describe

 

Foolish

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Victoria, BC
Do you have speed to the pilot? Without a speed reference it will do as you describe
Not yet, but soon.  I have to pull the boat and drill a hole to get the new, larger, speed transducer into my hull.  I'm hoping that this will give me steering by true wind and not just apparent wind.   Have you experienced that without speed it will get this result?  I can't see why.

 
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