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RE: Autopilots




A trip through the locks would be fun sometime - never done that.  Almost
made it last weekend in July when attending an event at the Center for
Wooden Boats, but stayed at Bell Harbor Marina instead.  Being the impatient
type (plus taking advantage of a 20% off online special at West Marine) I
probably will not make it through the rest of today without buying a tiller
pilot, however.  When I make it into Lake Union, though, I'll look you up! I
have been keeping Saffron in Olympia during the cruising season, but am
keeping an eye out for more northerly moorage.

Robert Curry

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-sanjuan23@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:owner-sanjuan23@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Eric Johnson
Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2004 3:50 PM
To: sanjuan23@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: Autopilots

I bought an ANCIENT autohelm (with orange casing!) for my West Wight Potter
19 at a boater's swap meet. After a paint job and some mounting tweaks, I
now use it ALL the time. Definitely put it in the "how did i live without
this?" category. And this unit has got to be 20+ years old.

Even a simple autopilot takes SO much of the fatigue out of sailing. This
spring my wife and I used it extensively in the San Juans and it really
helped. The WWP19 has very little directional stability, so it is especially
helpful there. I would think that even the smallest, cheapest ones would do
fine on a light boat like the SJ23.

I keep my WWP19 on Lake Union if you even want to see/try my autopilot
setup. But I'll make you give me a tour of your SJ23 in return :)

-EJ 1988 WWP 19  "Victoria", Bothell, WA http://www.erictjohnson.com


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert Curry [mailto:macmhuirich@xxxxxxxxx]
> Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2004 3:13 PM
> To: sanjuan23@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: RE: Autopilots
>
>
> Thanks Bob!  Good bit of information.  I originally was looking at the
> Raymarine product but started eyeballing the Simrad choices for the very
> reasons you noted.  The Raymarine tiller pilots do come with a "free"
> remote, which makes them tempting.  I have pretty well decided to buy an
> autopilot - 90 percent of my outings are single-handing
> adventures (on Puget
> Sound) and I do get weary of hanging on to the tiller during an extended
> trip. Lots of other things I could be doing.  Mostly interested in having
> one for motoring, rather than sailing.  My Davis Tiller Tamer just doesn't
> allow me to get away from the helm for long.  Thanks again -
> guess now I get
> to make a decision.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-sanjuan23@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:owner-sanjuan23@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Bob Schimmel
> Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2004 2:28 PM
> To: sanjuan23@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: Autopilots
>
> Robert:
>
> I recently went through this process last winter . Here are my findings.
>
> To begin with, Autohelm was the original electric autopilot and there
> was no competition to the product for many years. Then Autohelm was
> bought out by Raymarine. Raymarine renamed the models from Autohelm 300
> to ST1000 without doing any changes to insides. The difference between
> the ST1000 and the 2000 is that the 2000 has heavier duty drive gears
> which will make the unit last longer. This is a real issue with the
> offshore bunch and the reason why many still use wind vanes or carry 3
> backups.  From what I'm told, the electronics is identical between the
> two model numbers. I'm sure that Raymarine must have added some upgrades
> to the product by now. The ST1000 is adequate for a SJ23 but I recommend
> the 2000 for long life. A friend of mine motors with an Autohelm 300 on
> his SJ28. Motoring is easier on the drive train than sailing as sailing
> requires way more tweak adjustments to stay on course. It's cool to
> watch it work.
>
> Some time ago Simrad bought Navico. I have no idea how the new Simrad
> model numbers compare to Navico numbers, but the R&D required to build
> an electric autopilot is huge. Therefore I suggest that the Simrad guts
> are the same as the Navico. After all, why buy a company if you intend
> to redesign the product? However, with time I'm sure they would have
> done some improvements. The Simrad series are heavier duty units, react
> a bit quicker, and draw less power. These are the reasons why a friend
> of mine bought Simrad over a Raymarine.  He bought a TP20 to control a
> Chrysler 25.
>
> So have I not bought one. As much as I can justify it for solo sailing,
> I find it difficult to part with the cash for sailing on a lake, but it
> sure is tempting. Maybe I'll find a used on so I can also buy a
> 135% genoa.
>
> --
>
>
> Kind Regards
>
> Bob Schimmel
> (Always stay curious)
>
>
> bpschim@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>
>
>
>
>
>
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