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Tiller Pilots

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Richard Ritchie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Richard Ritchie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Tiller Pilots
    Posted: 08 Mar 2010 at 9:19am
We have the Raymarine ST4000 which is excellent. 
Richard Ritchie
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GNGILPIN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GNGILPIN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2010 at 10:11pm
I am looking at the Raymarine SPX-5 ( not the GP ) to replace my auto tiller which failed last year. According to the  Raymarine catalogue  is it sufficient  up to 6000kg    ( contessa 32 ...  4310kg in balast   add 20% as suggested  by Raymarine to figure out the correct tiller .....5100kg approx ) .
 
 Should I  go up to the GP version ( for up to 7500kg vessels ) : they are both 'speced' the same in the catalogues and the electrical demands 2 - 6 AMPS ...according to the Raymarine technical  chap ....is much the same ....which is difficult to understand if there is a difference in the power of the motor to run the 'arm' . The price difference is about £500!
 
I want the thing to steer when there is a sea running and not just in flat water. I realise the boat has to be balanced for best results...that is taken as read.
 
Any thoughts  please.
 
George Gilpin
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davidmacdonald View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidmacdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2010 at 6:52pm
Originally posted by GNGILPIN

I am looking at the Raymarine SPX-5 ( not the GP ) to replace my auto tiller

We installed an SPX5 tiller pilot (not the GP) over the winter.  Very good so far, but not tested in more than 22 knots of wind we had on Sunday.  We went for the SPX rather than the all-in-one units partly on the back of the comments in this thread.   I thought that the GP was more than we needed as the C32 is well within the specs of the standard version, but I guess that downwind in a rough sea more power will always be a good thing.  

I am also confused by the specs though, the Raymarine website quotes 84kg of thrust for both the standard and GP versions which presumably can't be right as the thrust is, I think, the only difference.

David

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George Isted View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote George Isted Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2010 at 8:49pm
Does the GP version have a more advanced Gyro-stabilised course computer.  I believe that may the difference?

 

From reading the literature some time ago I can to the conclusion that...

 

ST2000 - ok for light duty use but try not to get it too wet

SPX5 - Good for general and long-distance/offshore long term use

SPX5 GP - Gyro stabilised therefore the course computer better to racing applications.

 
 
 
For what it's worth I have an ST2000+ and a Windpilot Pacific.
George Isted
Contessa 32 "Concerto"
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davidmacdonald View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidmacdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Apr 2010 at 7:21pm
Originally posted by George Isted

Does the GP version have a more advanced Gyro-stabilised course computer.  I believe that may the difference?


The rate gyro is now part of the SPX computer so is the same for both the standard SPX5 and the GP version.  I think previously it was an option on the S1 (I think that's what the SPX5's precurser was called) but standard on the more powerful S1G.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GNGILPIN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2010 at 8:34pm
I purchased an SPX-5 GP in June 2010 but cannot comment on its suitability for a contessa 32 as it has not functioned correctly from the moment it was installed ( to the letter of the instructions ) in June. It has been returned to Raymarine for their consideration ( three weeks ago this week ). The autotiller  fails to 'auto learn' and the compass takes minutes not seconds to change heading....Shocked. Anyone else had this experience?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote George Isted Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2013 at 10:03am

Hi All,

Reviving an old thread here….

 

The biggest problem I find with the ST2000 A/P is that due to the shape of the tiller you have to fit the pin (for the A/P arm to clip on to) further forward than the recommended distance from the rudder stock, this results in limiting the tiller movement and the pilot regularly hitting it’s end stops.   The only answer appears to be making a larger (higher) bracket for the fixing pin and then fit this lower and aft of its present position (that is in line with the seat top).

 

If anyone can offer advice or pictures of their autopilot arm installation that solved this I would appreciate it.

 

I will most likely go out and buy the larger SPX5 pilot as the ST is a little underrated for a Co32, but I would like to solve the problem above first so the tiller has a full range of movement (or at least pushing the tiller over as far as the seat sides).

 

All the best

George Isted
Contessa 32 "Concerto"
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Tazling View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tazling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 2013 at 9:19pm
Just my $0.02 having a little experience with tiller and wheel pilots on 30-foot class sloops, various... 

I sail solo, mostly low-stress coastal cruising, and find the autopilot is most useful under two circs:

1) raising or lowering the main under way (I have roller furling on the genny).  If you are shorthanded it's nice to have "Mike" (as we call 'em around here) steer up into the wind for you.  On some boats I have used the auto-tack feature, but the CO32 is so easy to singlehand that I don't feel a need for it with this one.

2) long boring motoring spells (yaaaawn) in flat calm

Outside those two scenarios I doubt I would use a cheapie (and they all are cheapies until you go for below-decks ram and all that jazz) while under sail.   My CO32 is so sweet-natured on the wind -- from close hauled to beam reach -- that I can just trim the sails, lash the helm slightly to weather, and go take a walk;  I can be gone for minutes.  No problem, she just keeps loping along (which makes me very careful about "one hand for the ship"!).  So no real need for autopilot.  Off the wind, with squirrelly seas, I have not found most of the smaller units to steer all that well really;  they claim they "learn" and compensate for sea state etc, but in my experience there is no real substitute for a knowledgeable hand on the helm, anticipating the next move.  Wing-n-wing (w/o pole and preventer), fuhgeddaboudit... hand steering becomes a delicate art.

My conclusion:  I'll be buying a low-cost unit -- TP22 most likely -- for the light-duty uses listed above.  If I have to reach or run in any sea state I'll be hand steering.  If I were planning to go offshore I would re-install the big Monitor vane that came with the boat :-)  rather than shell out for the "pro grade" serious below-decks autopilot mechanism.  That's just one person's opinion of course:  some folks have crossed oceans using a series of Simrad tillerpilots (bringing spares 'cos they knew they would use 'em up).  YMMV.
..... Bound is boatless (wo)man .....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote admin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2013 at 10:49am
For info, it appears that Raymarine have killed off the SPX-5 tillerpilot and this will be replaced by a new system to be launched in the next month or so.  I'm told that the model suitable for the Co32 is the entry level EV100, looks like a completely new course computer, new style of compass/yaw/heel/etc sensor.   looks good on paper at least, no idea on price.
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