Does size really matter when you’re single handed?

Buck Turgidson

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10 Apr 2012
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Zürich
No, I use weather forecasts to avoid the need to go upwind into 40kts :)

(Though I am sure the boat would be fine, I would prefer not to - and generally upwind is a dawdle for an autopilot)
Weather forecasts don't predict morning squalls 3 days out. ;-) Sometimes you just get what you get and make the best of it. ;-)
 

Babylon

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7 Jan 2008
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Solent
A functioning and reliable auto pilot is without doubt an essential piece of kit. It would also appear that not every pilot works with every type of boat.
[...]
Istrongly suspect that not every pilot is suitable for every type of boat; unfortunately it is a rather expensive process of trial and error.
We have a [...] The autopilot can steer the boat in any weather over canvased, with poor sail balance, steering to compass or wind regardless. The boat never rounds up or misbehaves. Maybe more about the boat than the autopilot🙂
I suspect this is strongly the case - so many different factors of boat types, points of sail, sail-plans, particular sea-states etc.

Of course my own boat, being cutter-rigged, has the mast stepped further aft than an equivalent sloop - so downwind sailing with the main in use (unless significantly reefed - and prevented over plus maybe the yankee poled out) is going to be less stable still.

A lot to ask then of an ageing ST1000 !
 

Nom de plume

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As a little aside - it might be worth mentioning to those who have experienced 'steering jam' (which may manifest itself as electronic even when it is actually mechanical / geometrical in origin) that one of the first things to check is that your steering ram arm (or tiller arm) is not being subjected to 'fold-over' (as the Americans call it) or 'Dead-heading' as we used to refer to it.
I.e. That the ram / arm is not caught out trying to push at exactly 90 Deg axis to the extent that it can be trying to go 'over-centre' and hence dead-head itself (not know whether to pivot left or right).

Sorry if that is teaching egg-sucking but if anyone still doesn't know what I'm talking about I'll look for a link diagram to explain.
Basically, the arm(ram) has gone 'over centre' trying to stop the turn (apply more rudder) but now it (or the computer controlling it) needs to pull back to get back on the correct side of centre but cannot do so because that would mean pulling when the boat course needs to to push (or vice-versa).
 
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jaydee1976

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29 Jul 2020
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woodbridge
I have a 21 foot sailing boat and thats easy on my own.. but i just got a kingfisher 30 and that was even easier to get on my swingmooring on my own, actually got on it first time when i brought the boat home more than likely luck then... but i just motor up slowly to my bouy i prefer it on my right side i have a line from the front of the boat which i keep at the cockpit and just lean over and with a snap ring i attach it to my mooring bouy.. i let the boat stop and go up front and reel the boat into the mooring and never had a problem with this . and i only sail alone..
 

Stemar

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12 Sep 2001
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Home - Southampton, Boat - Gosport
I normally just trundle up to the buoy and go forward with the boat hook, aiming so the wind will blow the bow onto the buoy, but I have a line like that lead aft for when it's too windy to do that. One time it was a bit breezy, so I used the line and the wind was so strong, I couldn't put the line in. I tried the winch on the mast and stopped because I didn't like the way the mast was bending. Took me half an hour to get the mooring chain onto the Samson post, getting a foot or two at a time in the lulls. This on a 24 footer! These days, it's sod it, I'll stay on the club pontoon and try again tomorrow.
 

Daydream believer

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Southminster, essex
I normally just trundle up to the buoy and go forward with the boat hook, aiming so the wind will blow the bow onto the buoy, but I have a line like that lead aft for when it's too windy to do that. One time it was a bit breezy, so I used the line and the wind was so strong, I couldn't put the line in. I tried the winch on the mast and stopped because I didn't like the way the mast was bending. Took me half an hour to get the mooring chain onto the Samson post, getting a foot or two at a time in the lulls. This on a 24 footer! These days, it's sod it, I'll stay on the club pontoon and try again tomorrow.
Why not take the line back to the cockpit sheet winch? which is where you are when you hook on. :confused:
then you should be able to tweak the engine revs & tiller at the same time
 

ashtead

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17 Jun 2008
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I have moored a 50footer to a buoy in Sardinia using the sheet winch as described. It was a Bavaria charter so not that heavy but worked and had lines back to the stern cleats initially.
 

pandos

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15 Oct 2004
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Ireland, (Crosshaven)
I normally just trundle up to the buoy and go forward with the boat hook, aiming so the wind will blow the bow onto the buoy, but I have a line like that lead aft for when it's too windy to do that. One time it was a bit breezy, so I used the line and the wind was so strong, I couldn't put the line in. I tried the winch on the mast and stopped because I didn't like the way the mast was bending. Took me half an hour to get the mooring chain onto the Samson post, getting a foot or two at a time in the lulls. This on a 24 footer! These days, it's sod it, I'll stay on the club pontoon and try again tomorrow.
Why not just put a pickup buoy on a handy length of floating lineattacjed to the mooring. Come up stream to it..in neutral or idling depending on current...pick it up with the boat hook and wrap it on a cleat...then relax...
 

Perrycas

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10 Jun 2019
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This model of Raymarine tiller pilot uses the same brains as the below-deck ones: Raymarine SPX/ SPX-5GP Removable Tiller Drive Autopilots
...

The Pelagic is just an industrial actuator arm, and it should be possible to get them more cheaply directly from the Chinese e-commerce sites. I'll be looking into this this week, with a view to getting a spare.

I read this series some months ago and am just revisiting them or more specifically your idea of looking for a back up from China.
Was wondering if you had had a chance to explore this yet?
I have an Evo 100 with a couple of drive units on a 10 m cat. I have had Autohelm in the past. Them and their 'impact resistant plastic drive cogs', indeed.
I have to move the boat from the Azores probably next year and probably on my own, so the idea of replacing the Raymarine drives with the Pelagic is pretty interesting.
 

Perrycas

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10 Jun 2019
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I've done exactly this myself - Evolution brains and Pelagic actuator.

Hi KK, I read this thread a while back but am now ready to do something about it. I have the Evo 1000 on the boat I bought and it has 2 actuators. I dont have a lot of faith in them, all of these things have problems. And I will mostly be solo. As its now a year from your original post I wonder if you'd care to share your experiences of the Pelagic in connection with the Raymarine. How do you connect it by the way, did you get another plug and wire the pelagic to suit the Raymarine outlet? I'd like to know what you meant by it needing the Control Head, does that mean replacing something in Evo system with a bit more Pelagic?
Cheers
Perry
 

Neil

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6 Apr 2004
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EU27
I single handed my Sadler 25 around Ireland and twice (effectively - wife and children no help) a 39'er and 46'er in the Med. Both successfully but the difference was conditions. It took me awhile to learn how to handle mooring, both in the marina and bouey, especially when the wind was blowing me off the pontoon. I'm not sure how easy that would be in a larger boat. While it has been mentioned that a centre cleat is really useful, if you can't reach it from the cockpit, then it's less useful.
 

oilybilge

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3 Nov 2017
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The Pelagic is just an industrial actuator arm, and it should be possible to get them more cheaply directly from the Chinese e-commerce sites. I'll be looking into this this week, with a view to getting a spare.
I could only find them on the manufacturer's website, and you had to buy four of them. Let us know if you have any luck elsewhere.

Perhaps a group buy?
 

KompetentKrew

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I could only find them on the manufacturer's website, and you had to buy four of them. Let us know if you have any luck elsewhere.

Perhaps a group buy?
Yeah, has to be a group buy. WX Honga's current minimum order is 8, but they come to less than $100 US each, including shipping, so definitely worth organising.

I made an order recently for delivery to me in EU, so will have some available, but I'm not really comfortable with shipping outside of the Single Market.
 

KompetentKrew

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Hi KK, I read this thread a while back but am now ready to do something about it. I have the Evo 1000 on the boat I bought and it has 2 actuators. I dont have a lot of faith in them, all of these things have problems. And I will mostly be solo. As its now a year from your original post I wonder if you'd care to share your experiences of the Pelagic in connection with the Raymarine. How do you connect it by the way, did you get another plug and wire the pelagic to suit the Raymarine outlet? I'd like to know what you meant by it needing the Control Head, does that mean replacing something in Evo system with a bit more Pelagic?
Cheers
Perry
Hi @Perrycas,

I'm not sure which one of my comments you're referring to, as I've now written about this a number of times, but the Pelagic is a drop-in replacement for the Raymarine Q047 tiller drive - you just wire on an appropriate plug and away you go. My boat was wired with a Bulgin Buccaneer plug (on the Q047) and socket (on the boat) so I just used one of those.

I may be mistaken but I don't think "control head" is a term I would use - I have the previous generation of Raymarine "brains" to the Evo, the SmartPilot (whereas you will have the ACU-100 or -150). I assume that the Pelagic will work equally well with either. I'm thinking to upgrade to Evo, but was very lazy last year.

Both the Q047 and the Pelagic arm are just 12v motors - apply a voltage and the arm moves in or out, depending (I assume) on the polarity. You don't need any more control unit than you already have.

On my boat this Pelagic / Raymarine combination will cope in excess of 30 knots. With it I crossed Biscay singlehanded, and it steered for a couple of days in force 6.

The Pelagic is a rebadged WX Hongba actuator arm, but Pelagic add a bracket - the drive can be sourced cheaper from Hongba, but you would need to have that holder fabricated, or find it from another supplier.

A couple of my previous comments:
 
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