Tiller Pilots??

C

Chrusty 1

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Howdo folks,


This question has probably been asked nauseatingly often, but I need to buy a tiller pilot, and I am not sure which way to go. I have found both the Simrad TP10 and the Raymarine ST 1000+ at good prices, but price isn't my main criteria, reliability and longevity is. I should add that I sail single handed most of the time, so which ever I buy will like as not get used a lot.

I know a good wind vane would be the best option, but I just can't afford one.

I look forward to your comments with interest.

Ray.
 

VicMallows

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The big vulnerability of all-in-one tiller pilots is water getting into the elctronics which is more likely than not eventually, and most likely when you get caught out in really bad conditions one day.

Personally I will only entertain units where the electronics are safely down below and only the actuator arm is exposed to the elements. Trouble is you are now up in £700+ market unless you can find something secondhand.

Vic
 

pvb

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I should add that I sail single handed most of the time, so which ever I buy will like as not get used a lot.

In that case, it might be worth getting one which can accept NMEA data from your GPS or wind instrument. The TP10 won't, I believe, but the TP22 will.
 

snooks

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Your boat will be the deciding factor on the model of tiller pilot you should get.

If you know the (fully loaded) displacement, you can work out which model you should get. If the displacement is at the top of one model, it's better to get the next model up. the last thing you want is the tiller pilot blacking out when you need it the most.

You have 3 choices in 2 parts...Raymarine v Simrad is the first choice.

If you go for Simrad your decision making is over.

If you go for Raymarine, you can choose a installed unit, or an all in one unit. An installed unit had the electrickery permanently installed in the boat. and all in one unit has everything contained in the tiller pilot.

If you go for an installed system, next time you should only have to replace the ram, on the all in one units you have to replace the electronics including the ram.

How long are you planning on keeping the boat? what elecronics do you have on board already are a questions that might help you decide which unit to go for.
 

simonfraser

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keep it dry, make it a spray jacket / cover

i day sail, have not had an ST1000 go bust on me for over 10 years . . . .
 
C

Chrusty 1

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Tiller Pilots

Thanks gents, for all your input and the link to the previous thread. I have no need of NMEA facilities, my boat has very low energy requirements, all lighting is by LEDs or oil, solar panel for charging two 33 ah Gel. batteries, only instruments are sounder, compass, H/H chart plotter, H/H VHF. I may add a speed/log at some time. Her all up displacement is around 1800kg, so I reckon a TP10 will cope alright.

I think that the idea of making a waterproof "jacket" to fit over it has a great deal of merit, and will be looking at that.:)

Once again, many thanks!

Ray.








keep it dry, make it a spray jacket / cover

i day sail, have not had an ST1000 go bust on me for over 10 years . . . .
 

Spuddy

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After doing much the same as you I eventually decided on the Raymarine St 2000 because someone explained it had better quality Meccano inside. Also possible to link up to plotters etc but that may never happen. Improvised a sleeve for it from clear plastic sheet stuck together with pretty red insulation tape which keeps rain and spay off but not tested with worse.
 

Tintin

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Re waterproof jacket, the simplest and cheapest way is to just to use cling film or pallet wrap, and some PVC tape in the right places.
 
C

Chrusty 1

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Yes it's an idea, but I think I would be worried about it not being able to breath, condensation?

Ray.




Re waterproof jacket, the simplest and cheapest way is to just to use cling film or pallet wrap, and some PVC tape in the right places.
 

SAWDOC

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Yes it's an idea, but I think I would be worried about it not being able to breath, condensation?

Ray.

No breathing involved!
My thinking was that water ingress was due to the arm moving in and out of the housing bringing moisture into the innards. I consider the TP's i have had pretty well sealed apart from that -certainly from the effects of rain - havent tried total immersion yet!
So I don't think clingfilm would be ideal - a loose fitted clear plastic sleeve would suit better.
 

PeterGibbs

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The big vulnerability of all-in-one tiller pilots is water getting into the elctronics which is more likely than not eventually, and most likely when you get caught out in really bad conditions one day.

Personally I will only entertain units where the electronics are safely down below and only the actuator arm is exposed to the elements. Trouble is you are now up in £700+ market unless you can find something secondhand.

Vic

Spot on. My deck-mounted gear ratted out on me in the N sea with crew laid low, me on watch and Mr Weather letting me know who's in charge. PCB fused in the rain - nice one. Never again.

Went out and bought a Simrad hydraulic pilot, attached to the quadrant, all electrics below.

Not cheap but 12 years later - still going faultlessly. Often on the job for 12-18 hours non-stop - that's my boy!

You only need look at a wind vane if you're going intercontinental.

PWG
 
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C

Chrusty 1

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Yes that's great, and I am very pleased for you, anyway back down here with us lowly mortals, I just want a simple tiller pilot, I neither want, nor can afford the kind of gear you are waxing lyrical over.

Putting it in simple terms, small boat, small wallet, low energy requirements, and no NMEA or other jiggery pokery.

Ray.





Spot on. My deck-mounted gear ratted out on me in the N sea with crew laid low, me on watch and Mr Weather letting me know who's in charge. PCB fused in the rain - nice one. Never again.

Went out and bought a Simrad hydraulic pilot, attached to the quadrant, all electrics below.

Not cheap but 12 years later - still going faultlessly. Often on the job for 12-18 hours non-stop - that's my boy!

You only need look at a wind vane if you're going intercontinental.

PWG
 

Tintin

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Yes it's an idea, but I think I would be worried about it not being able to breath, condensation?

Ray.

It doesn't need to breath or vent hot air. Longest continuous run with it on has been 55 hours so I'm sure I would have had problems if there were going to be any.

I haven't had any issues with condensation at all. Two years in so far. Have had to change the cling film 3 times due to scrapes.

If you're cockpit gets wet so will your pilot, and the cheap tiller pilots leak, the circuit board goes wrong, and you have a huge repair bill or have to throw it away.

Like many things yachtie there are simple cheap solutions and expensive pretty solutions. Cling film is in the former category.

Go with whatever suits your wallet,

fair winds, chris
 
C

Chrusty 1

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Well I likes the idea of cheap, and it would almost certainly be easier to operate the buttons with the cling film around it than if it had a nice tailored sunbrella or whatever cover.

I had an older version of the Raymarine job back along, and I found that in the sun it used to get very warm, so I just used to throw a jacket or something over it, that cured that problem. No, I like the cling film idea, like I said I was just a bit concerned about condensation, but if as you say that doesn't seem to be a problem, then I will give it a go:) Thanks for the tip Chris.

Ray.
 

Tintin

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Well I likes the idea of cheap, and it would almost certainly be easier to operate the buttons with the cling film around it than if it had a nice tailored sunbrella or whatever cover.

I had an older version of the Raymarine job back along, and I found that in the sun it used to get very warm, so I just used to throw a jacket or something over it, that cured that problem. No, I like the cling film idea, like I said I was just a bit concerned about condensation, but if as you say that doesn't seem to be a problem, then I will give it a go:) Thanks for the tip Chris.

Ray.

And one other thing - work out a way to attach a lanyard to it so it don't get lost overboard, either due to waves or (more likely) someone knocking it with their foot as they lurch around the cockpit.
 
C

Chrusty 1

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Well the only person who will likely kick it overboard is me, as I sail on me own most of the time, yep, the lanyard is a good idea too!

Any more good ideas? Just make up a list and send it to me:D

Cheers, Ray.
 

Seajet

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Chrusty,

I had an early Autohelm 1000, worked very well on a well balanced 22 footer.

Then I upgraded to a modern 2000.

The first one lasted 30 seconds, so I'd suggest trying the thing out as soon as getting hold of it is a good idea.

The 2000 I have now is great, while the 1000 was completely fine, this will handle the boat in breaking quartering seas, I've had my boat for 32 years and started with the first model Mini Seacourse, frankly wouldn't have believed a tiller pilot could be so capable !

I don't bother with NMEA at all, I'm quite capable of cocking things up for myself without having all the kit start ganging up on me...
 
C

Chrusty 1

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Ah yes! Autohelm that was what I had, and it was very good, except that like I said, it did used to get very warm in the sun. I appreciate your input, I think on balance it may well be true that the Raymarine jobbies are a little better built regarding the "Mechano inside" as somebody put it. Bottom line is it will be what I can afford when I come to buy one.

I am with you on the NMEA gubbins, my boat is just a wee 22 footer, that I am re-fitting as we speak / type? She is a totally clean slate, and has never even been fitted with a battery or wiring of any kind, she has never even been fitted with a compass. It seems she was just used as a family day sailor by her previous owners. I am taking the opportunity to follow a path that has interested me for some time, and that is to make her a very low energy boat. All lighting is by LEDs, she has no toys other than an echo sounder, and the soon to be tiller pilot, I suppose you could call the solar panel that I will be using to charge the two 33AH gel batteries a toy if you were of a minds to?

As far as it's possible to do so, I am following the KISS principal, and her wiring and everything else will be as simple and straight forward as I can make it. No gas on board, I use an Origo. I have a 6watt H/H VHF set, and a H/H chart plotter.I have paper charts for most places I want to go, and am old fashioned enough to enjoy using them, I see the chart plotter as a back up to the paper nav, not the other way around, as seems to be the case with a lot of yachtsmen these days. I think I might be tempted into buying a speed and distance log one of these days though, handy to have as it does allow one to compare STTW against SOG, hence get getting a pretty good idea of what the tide is up to, and it's a bit of fun to twitch the strings now and then and see what responses one gets.

I am hopeful that the toys I do have will last me a long time, as I switch things off if I am not using them, so I work on the principal that if they are not switched on much, I shouldn't wear them out very quickly:) Back to the tiller pilot, it's probably true to say that it will almost be the most important piece of kit on board, as I said before, I sail single handed most of the time, so it will need to be very well looked after, I will make sure it gets it's daily tot, and that there are no weevils in it's biscuits!

Humph! seem to have waffled on a bit, sorry about that.

Regards, Ray.
 
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