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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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