Go Back   Cruiser Log World Cruising & Sailing Forums > Cruising Forums > General Cruising Forum
Cruiser Wiki Click Here to Login

Join Cruiser Log Today

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-19-2007, 04:25 PM   #1
Retired Mod
Lighthouse's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Home Port: Durban
Posts: 2,984
Red face

A really good article by Sven Donaldson on autopilots:

Self-steering is a cornerstone of blue-water travel, and it's safe to say that quite a few long-term sailors would not be voyaging at all if manual helming were the only option. Mechanical wind-vane self-steering systems are traditionally favored for ocean sailing because they operate independently of the vessel's electrical system and have a reputation for reliability......


What autopilot does everyone here use and how have you found it to be?



The World Cruising & Sailing Wiki

Help to build this free, online World Cruising Guide.

"Built by cruisers, for cruisers''

I've Contributed to the Cruisers Wiki: Most sections
Lighthouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2007, 07:20 AM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 41

Good overview. I fully agree with his thoughts for a hybrid system; there must be someone somewhere to design a bullet-proof system like that?

We have an Raymarine 6000 autopilot, with an electric actuater for the small hops. For passagemaking we used the Windpilot Pacific. Both served us OK. Halfway we modified the windpilot so we could mount a little tiller pilot (raymarine st1000) instead of the windvane. That just worked great!!! Almost no amps and very fast response, both in light weather and when is was really blowing.

For a picture: http://www.pinical.nl/images/dag-tot-dag-2...automaat680.JPG

The most comforting of the Windpilot is the knowledge that there is hardly anything that can break down on you. Kiss-pinciple. We just spoke a little to much people handsteering for 2000 miles or so due to broken autopilots. And though I love sailing, i hate the idea to handsteer day and night. And I also hate the unnessecary dependency on electronics. We had it all to make things easy, but we could do without easily.

So, next time we set sail, I hope there is that little transom-mounted hybrid device, consuming only 0.5 amps, being remote controlled and with incredible speeddepending powering.


Jan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2007, 07:36 AM   #3
Nausikaa's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,619


Neat arrangement. Thanks for sharing this with us. I am sure many of us will be adapting your idea to their wind vanes.


Yacht NAUSIKAA | Call Sign: 2AJH2



= Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania
Nausikaa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2007, 03:02 PM   #4
Rear Admiral
Aquaria's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Home Port: Hamburg
Vessel Name: Aquaria
Posts: 281

Thanks for the hint; A very inforative article!

So far we got along well with the light-duty self contained tiller pilot - even unter constand use. Was it luck?

We started out with a very old (used) AUTOHELM ?? (the one with the compass card and knob for the course adjustment on the top) and it never failed on 10.000 miles of ocean and offshore sailing and after that on many more years of occational use in coastal sailing. It finally passed away during the winter in the wardrobe at home.

But obeying Murpys Law (everything that can break breaks), we installed an AUTOHELM 4000 tillerpilot with an additional windvane, but hardly ever used it, because it draws alot more energy than the above. (A Rutland 910 wind generator and a 60w solar panel produced the necessary energy under all conditions.)

Our Faith left after a new RAYMARINE ST2000plus gave up after 3 weeks of normal use right in the middle of the Biscay - so we now seriously think about installing a WINDPILOT pacific, but we are not yet ready to take the wind generator off the stern...


If you have the time, you alwas have the right winds.

More on my Centurion 32:
I've Contributed to the Cruisers Wiki: Germany, Background, Cruising/Sailing the German Bight
Aquaria is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Autopilot Recommendations delatbabel Power & Electronics 7 09-04-2010 08:57 AM
Autopilot Combination pisces General Cruising Forum 2 09-23-2009 03:51 PM
Alpha 4404 Autopilot Seafarer Power & Electronics 1 02-25-2009 08:42 PM
Autopilot And Mechanical Steering? Gallivanters General Cruising Forum 12 11-13-2007 03:07 AM
Raymarine autopilot Andy Copeland General Cruising Forum 8 11-19-2006 04:38 AM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

All times are GMT. The time now is 06:20 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0