Locating Autohelm 1000 tiller pilot

bobg

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I am about to fit an old Autohelm 1000 tiller pilot bought off YBW bits for sale. There are two critical measurements according to instructions. One is starboard gunwhale to centre of tiller and the other centre of tiller stock to tiller pilot locating pin on the tiller handle. I can meet the measurement of gunwhale to tiller, but because of the shape of the inclining gunwhale and stanchions, I will have to locate the centre of rudder stock to tiller pin an extra nine inches to avoid major boat rebuilding. I have rung Ray Direct, which I think may be connected with Raymarine and ordered some bits I need. The man on the end of the phone said that the distance between centre of rudderstock to tiller pin was not that crucial and for local day sailing with this old unit would not matter greatly. Is this so?
 

misterg

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From memory, the pin should be fitted 18" from the rudder pivot - sounds like you will be fitting it 27" from the rudder pivot.

Not sure what the travel the AP has, but if it was (say) 4" either way, this gives you over 12 degrees of helm at 18", but just over 8 degrees at 27". Is this enough to control your boat?

I would re-think if I were you, and try to get the pin within a inch, or so, of the right place. Remember the AP can be above, or below the tiller; on top of the coaming, inside the coaming, or on top of the seat/locker; the whole thing can probably be reversed to fit on the port side if necessary (but it is marginally less intuitive to use).

0.02p

Andy
 

Phoenix of Hamble

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I'd be surprised if it were a problem for anything other than heavy weather, where frankly tiller pilots are not that great anyway.....

It may mean you having to pay a bit more attention than normal to balancing the boat with your sails to avoid excessive rudder movement being needed, but then thats a good practice anyway....

As an alternative, is it not possible to raise the tiller pilot a way off the deck with the use of a spacer block on the outboard mount, and one of the 'cranked arms' that are used for the tiller end..... and thus get the positions closer to recommended?
 

bobg

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Re: Locating tiller pilot plus global warming inside info

Mucho thanko for advice. Morecambe Bay is not quite the same as sailing in the Southern Ocean. But talked to a chappie in our club this afternoon who works on the UK Antarctic Survey project. He said tiller pilots need to be a wee bit stronger in the Ross Sea and South Georgia. I asked him if global warming was all bx and he said they were monitoring melting glaciers that were just collapsing. But I do like the lovely weather of late.
 

Pye_End

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I think it really is a matter of how well you want it to work and under what conditions. If you want it to steer on a beam reach in a fresh breeze then you may want to get it a bit closer. I've just finished moving mine back (similar problem as you describe), and have had to make a wooden bracket to take the arm further outboard (double ender), and so far it looks to be rather more responsive and should cope with more difficult conditions.
 
G

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I think the ray-Direct guy has given a poor answer personally ... I have both the 1000 and 800 TP's and I would recc'd that you fit as detailed in the manual.
Posts here talk about balancing the boat and heavy weather etc. - you can do all that and just the act of you walking along the side deck altering the boats sit in water - bingo - the TP is at it's stop trying to get back on course.
The dimensions are NOT crucial - but are designed to give good leverage vs arc of movement. Shorten the stock to pin distance and rudder force could damage the TP as it doesn't then have the "beam" advantage .... lengthen the stock to pin distance and TP has excellent overkill leverage against rudder force - but not enough arc. It doesn't matter whether its old, new or whatever - its same for ALL tillerpilots - why he said for the old one etc. ????

There are various fittings available to fit your TP correctly ... mine has a stand of tube about 5" tall that screws into a socket on the cockpit bench .... the TP pin then drops into that. There are offset brackets to fit the tiller pin to so that it brings the tillerpin off-boat centreline etc.

Seriously IMHO - if you fit properly - you will be better of. (Tillerpilots do not go hard over to hard over anyway ... so doing as you suggest reduces it even more .....)

best_pal_onboard.jpg


As you can see there - arc of movement is a lot less than I can do by hand !! And that TP is fitted ~ correctly.
 
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