Rant - Raymarine ST1000 Tiller Pilot

Flica

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The autohelm you had way back then wasn't the present ST1000/2000. Raymarine have had years to come up with something better, it should easily be doable for the money they are charging. The washers inside breaking and the broken bits lodging under the gyro is a common problem as is water ingress but they just keep pumping out the same model with the same design flaws. Spending around £500 on a unit is not being miserly.
Thanks, I am aware it was quite different - it had a compass-rose you turned, no buttons.
If you only want to spend £500 on a keypad tiller-pilot you have to accept it leaks water and is unfit for all-weather use. I did with my Autohelm 2000.
If you want an all-weather pilot you have to put up x3 the price so it has separate control-head, actuator and compass.
If you do that it lasts for ever.
I'm sure your, outstanding design abilities could improve on the ST1000. But would anyone be able to afford it?
Or you can put a plastic bag over it to try and keep the water out.
Just don't complain that your Chopper won't compete with a Harley Davidson.
 

alahol2

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If you only want to spend £500 on a keypad tiller-pilot you have to accept it leaks water and is unfit for all-weather use.
That's not really true... the Simrad offering, at a similar price, is fully waterproof and is quite happy to live outside. I'm not sure why anybody buys the Raymarine when even the manufacturers say that, in effect, it is unfit for purpose.
 

Elbows

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If you only want to spend £500 on a keypad tiller-pilot you have to accept it leaks water and is unfit for all-weather use. I did with my Autohelm 2000.
If you want an all-weather pilot you have to put up x3 the price so it has separate control-head, actuator and compass.
If you do that it lasts for ever.
I'm sure your, outstanding design abilities could improve on the ST1000. But would anyone be able to afford it?
Or you can put a plastic bag over it to try and keep the water out.
Just don't complain that your Chopper won't compete with a Harley Davidson.
You didn't actually read what I wrote, did you? Try actually reading the thread properly and then try again. If you can't be bothered to do even that much then I don't know why you think your comment has any value.

Also, "wanting" to spend "only" £500 shows that you haven't got much of clue about the average person's disposable income. I realise it's probably just pocket money to you, but I'm doing the whole buying and running a yacht thing on my basic state pension, and that's on top of all my normal living expenses. It's most of a month's gross income for me. If I spend £500 on something then I expect it to at least be fit for purpose. I'd love to be able to spend a £1000+ on something which didn't try to destroy itself the moment you turn it on, but that's not an option. Unless you want to buy me one of course, seeing as you've got so much spare cash to throw around.

Part of the reason for posting the OP was to alert other people to the shoddy design of the ST1000/2000. I did some research before I bought it but at the time didn't come across any particularly negative reviews.

I'm not quite sure what point you're trying to make, but it seems that you're upset that I should make public my honest findings about this product. Why do you object to me doing that? Don't you think it will be useful to anybody else thinking of buying one?

And why the snarky comment about my "outstanding design abilities"? Do you have some objection to people attempting to overcome the shortcomings of the devices they've bought? When you go back and read the thread properly you'll notice that I've already outlined a way that most of the flaws could be fixed at the manufacturing stage very cheaply with a minimum of redesign.
 
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weustace

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Interesting and saddening to see such dismal engineering in this product. Hope the corrections work out. I suspect that, if there are actual vents and so forth, it might not be up to the job, but this is a very interesting product for some marine applications (I have not yet used, no connection etc). https://www.micro-dehumidifier.com

Solid state dehumidifier designed for use in electronics enclosures. Their website suggests you can get one of the small ones for about £17, probably + vat and carriage. If I were building any serious 'pure' electronics to go on a boat (e.g. nav station) I would be seriously tempted to include one, but given the nature of a tiller-pilot (long periods without power, lots of water ingress through mechanical components etc) I suspect it might not be up to the job.
 

Spyro

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I think the snarky comment was aimed at me, it was my post he was quoting. But I'm with you on everything you say.
Flica is just coming over as an arse.
 

zulloboy

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I just came across this thread, and I agree whole-heartedly with the criticisms of the Raymarine ST's. I fitted limit switches with bypass diodes and RC snubbers to my ST2000+ and it now works really well: no more grinding its guts out when there's a bit of weather helm. The published displacement ratings are irrelevant compared with the horrendous stall loads caused by the lack of end-travel protection.

I did the mod’s after the warranty expired – following three warranty returns for a stripped belt and unscrewed drive rod (twice). I also burnt out a motor (out of warranty) and procured some ultra-cheap prototyped Chinese more-or-less-equivalents through AliBaba. Four of them posted to Oz were a quarter the cost of a new OEM one, and I still have three spares left! They are not as robust as the originals, but I spec’d lower stall torque for less stress on the mechanicals, so I reckon they might outlast the OEM’s, and heck they are cheap so if you want one for a budget almost-as-good-as-new repair, pm me.

I also have a Simrad TP22 in which I replaced the fluxgate (from a cheap burnt-out TP10). It indeed does have stall protection provided by those little magnets in the large gear, and hence all other things being equal should greatly outlast a Raymarine if we're just talking about the mechanicals.

I agree that Raymarine’s failure to update this product after decades on the market is a disgrace, and I think we do our fellow sailors a service by alerting them to these shortcomings. Good heavens, simply adding a bit of code to time-limit the stroke, so it can only stall for a defined period before shutting off, would help enormously at miniscule cost. The timer would reset on initiation of the reverse-stroke. Their service tech agreed with me on this, but said that of course he can’t do anything about that.

Cheers, Graeme
 

Daydream believer

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.
If you want an all-weather pilot you have to put up x3 the price so it has separate control-head, actuator and compass.
If you do that it lasts for ever.
Well after 3 ST 2000's i did that with the Av100 set & it is still F...g useless !!!

I might add that original price did not include the £ 287-00 to have an engineer visit the boat & update the the software because it did not work at all correctly . Now it just suddenly gybes the boat when I am down below without warning then shuts down with the tiller locked over.

Fortunately I also have an Aeries & the more I read this thread the happier I am that I have it

Incidentally the Simrad TP 32 lasted 11 years before it gave up the ghost & i only got the Raymarine because the Simrad was not available. 2 of the ST 2000's were on warranty & both times I was told that the problems were " most unusual". I suspect some fault in the gyros as the unit would suddenly veer off course. Clearly the complaints listed by forumites above must be "isolated" ones in the eyes of the management:confused::confused::confused:
 
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Flica

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I never thought my comments would rouse such excitement - for which I'm duly grateful.

Whether or not the Autohelm 1000/2000, is not fit for purpose is a point for discussion, but one first I'd discuss with the manufacturers, bwfore creeping up behind the board, management and workforce and giving them a mighty kick from behind.
I've sailed, single-handed, since 1972 covered more than 2x the world's circumference in two boats. Both have had tillerpilots, Navico and Autohelm, about 7 model's in total. I've also had a Navik, used an Aries (on someone-else's boat) and have found that employing common-sense and some simple engineering makes all of them reliable (except wind vanes for coastal cruising)
So I've had some experience of self-steering gear - since 1975 in fact, when I bought a tillerpilot from the Autohelm stand at the 1974 London boatshow.
A couple of times I took the unit over, to be repaired, once for new brushes and once when the Tufnol main gearbox cog collapsed. Both times on a Friday, before crossing to Port Chanteryne.
The unit was turned round in both cases in less than 20'. That Mark II was in use, first in the Channel and subsequently in the Irish Sea.
In 1990, with the prototype Parker 31, I first fitted an Autohelm 2000. That died from seeping rain in a wet overnight to the Scillies.
Autohelm, on a Saturday morning, arranged my current 4000ST to arrive at St Mary's on the BA helicopter, to be fitten by me and a Scillonian friend, on Sunday. The charge was less the failed ST2000.
That same ST 4000 after 26,000nm is still working - admittedly I have had a spare actuator (only needed once, brushes replaced evey 3 seasons) and had the LED in the control unit was replaced in 2010, when first the illumination died and then the numbers disjointed (but the unit still worked).

My experience with Nautech Raymarine has been uniformly positive - they've learnt from me and me from them. The only dodgy period was when they were American owned and Raytheon appeared to be trying to "skim"

So for those who glory in their victimhood - just enjoy Life's continuous slaps on the face - those of us with a better adjusted view of life, first treat with the manufacturer, only then expose their shortcomings in public if they (the manufacturer) do not respond.
The OP, IMHO is a skulking scoundrel (-; to share his dissatisfaction with the consumer base and not the supplier).

Your problem daydream believer was probably a piece of iron close to the fluxgate compass, as I found out from a beer-can pull 82mm from the unit.

As with cars, it's the nut holding the steering who is the most important.
 
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Elbows

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One last response to Flica -

The OP, IMHO is a skulking scoundrel (-; to share his dissatisfaction with the consumer base and not the supplier).
That one genuinely made me laugh out loud :D Where does one even start when presented with that sort of logic?
 

Spyro

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One last response to Flica -



That one genuinely made me laugh out loud :D Where does one even start when presented with that sort of logic?
After all these years Raymarine are well aware of the problems yet they keep churning them out and charging handsomely for them. I think that's the main annoyance with the consumer. Having said that most of the trouble is caused with water ingress. I've had my st2000 for 10 years. And never had water in it. I keep a cover on it if it's likely to get wet. It has had the odd dowsing when I've not expected it but maybe I've just been lucky.
 

oldharry

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Are you really that thick, or just trying a wind up, because its working.
Interested in the fault you describe of sudden veering off course. Mine has been back many times, and still does the same. Some days it works perfectly for hours, then veers off, usually slowly. Other times its quite incapable of holding a course. Nowadays I dont even bother to put it aboard. My old AH 800 works perfectly except that its not powerful enough in anything over F3 -4. Other borrowed units work fine, but mine never has. As I am single handed 95% of the time this is not much help. Did they come up with any explanation for the 'unusual' fault? Mine simply comes back with a hefty bill, works for a bit then starts wandering again.
 

hpeer

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I’ve bought a Pelagic tiller pilot. I’ve fitted it but have not had a chance to test it. The FEEL is of superior quality, it’s a huge difference. I’m hopeful.
 

fredrussell

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I’ve bought a Pelagic tiller pilot. I’ve fitted it but have not had a chance to test it. The FEEL is of superior quality, it’s a huge difference. I’m hopeful.
We await a full review as soon as its used please. Are there any dealers in the UK for servive/parts etc?
 

Daydream believer

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Extract from a letter received from raymarine by a friend having returned his ST 2000 twice. problems including ring stuck in gyro, water in electrics, & faulty plugs

Capture.PNG

Sorry about the size hope you can read it
But there you have it folks- an excellent piece of --- shall we say--- kit
 

Daydream believer

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Interested in the fault you describe of sudden veering off course. Mine has been back many times, and still does the same. Some days it works perfectly for hours, then veers off, usually slowly. Other times its quite incapable of holding a course. Nowadays I dont even bother to put it aboard. My old AH 800 works perfectly except that its not powerful enough in anything over F3 -4. Other borrowed units work fine, but mine never has. As I am single handed 95% of the time this is not much help. Did they come up with any explanation for the 'unusual' fault? Mine simply comes back with a hefty bill, works for a bit then starts wandering again.
Well according to FLICA in post #48 I had a ring pull 82 mm from the unit. However, I know for certain that was not so, because when it happened i was measuring the distance to the ring pull with a good quality steel ruler & it was definitely 90 mm:encouragement:

I think there is damp in the electrics. When not in use I stored mine in a bag down below but the sudden change in course ( as opposed to the occasional wandering which was possibly damp) was probably the rubber ring from the ram or thread from the drive belt caught in the gimbals of the compass.

When it happened to me I was in shallow water & within seconds I was aground & the result was I lost my rudder. Fortunately the RNLI were on exercise only 1.5 miles away & were alongside in minutes of my call to the CG to assist.
 

mbroom

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Extract from a letter received from raymarine by a friend having returned his ST 2000 twice. problems including ring stuck in gyro, water in electrics, & faulty plugs

View attachment 75057

Quite a arrogant letter to a well known problem. I had a ST 1000 many years ago... It leaked drops of water onto the control board which was totally unprotected. I opened it up and bedded everything electronic in silicone and got a couple more years out of it. A badly designed piece of kit... look at Webb Chillies articles on his circumnavigation, I think he has used 5 Autohelms, but was totally pleased with his Pelagic.

Sorry about the size hope you can read it
But there you have it folks- an excellent piece of --- shall we say--- kit
 
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