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I'm considering getting an electronic autopilot for our Pahi 42, as we often find ourselves doing long passages under power in the summer with little or no wind (so wind vane would be of no use!) I had originally been thinking the only option would be a model that fits to the wheel, but then started thinking that maybe it would be cheaper and better to use one fo the tiller-attaching models. I use Teleflex cables from the wheel run to both tillers, so there is already built-in redundancy there - if one breaks the other would still steer the boat and both rudders via the connecting rod between the tillers. But does a tiller-model autopilot have enough torque to turn our rudders? Godzilla is fitted with rear-facing tillers that are not so long, about 50cm total.

Anyone with some experience of using these autopilots, either on the wheel or tiller? Thanks for any advice!

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thanks Andy, happy to part with it for half new price plus postage to you. can you wait until late Jan? that's when I return to LF.

Certainly interested and no rush - boat is laid up till May. I presume B&G is same as Simrad? Which model?

BTW your website is really nice, looking forward to seeing more photos! And you seem to be living the James Wharram philosophy with an all female crew ;-p From Mongolia....had they even seen the sea or ocean before? Must be an amazing experience for all!

I cannot be certain, but a wind vane should still be able to steer in no wind conditions. This is because apparent wind is generated by motoring. It is when you have 4-7 knots of wind from astern that that one needs an auto pilot, because the apparent wind drops to zero while motoring away from the wind.

Andy Best-Dunkley said:

Stewart - your boat looks beautiful, and thanks for the video, very nice to see these things in action and clearly presented - I think you'll have a hit series before long! ;-) Seems I'll have to order those plans from Hanneke after all! But my original "problem" isn't solved by this, we need the autopilot for motoring in flat calm conditions. How much is the B&G?!

Hi Andy,

Its a Simrad TP22. Please send me an email when convenient and we can exchange details. I paid US$625 for it so whatever half of that is. It's new in box as they say, but not in the box as it traveled in a suitcase once. Thanks for the comments re the boat (full credit due to Dan Hardwicke the builder) and our youtube channel, I do hope ppl find it entertaining. Occasionally we will even have some content, cheers!

hi bb don,t think a vane will work in no wind as it relies on a change in apparent wind to correct the boat if it goes off course. Motoring in no wind the apparent will always be ahead so the boat could wander off in any direction and the wind vane will not correct it.

I fitted initially a Raymarine Wheelpilot (smallest version) to my Tiki 38, it works very well and was pretty easy to install behind the wheel. Critical for the size of the pilot is the force you need to steer and the force that can bexerted on the wheel, on the fairly well balanced Tiki 38 this is not really an issue.
The only sligth drawback is the power consumption, therefore a Windpilot Pacfic was added (see http://wharrambuilders.ning.com/video/windpilot-steering-maughidhoo-3). I opted for it against the Wharram vind vane since it is much easier to install and does not clutter up cabin roof space. Additionally, I think the servo pendulum action can bring more power on the steering. It is alot of fun sailing with it, since having it installed the WP is only used when motoring.

Thanks Björn, nice video! Good to see these things in action. Of course one of the big advantages of Hanneke's design is that you can build it yourself ;-) Also, fo us, I would not want a vane mounted over the rear beam as we are often using the stern anchor or mooring buoy astern, so for us having the vane mounted on the cabin top would be prefered. I see I have some projects to work on this spring...!

That makes sense. I never tried it because my first two boats had self-steering, but no engines. All subsequent boats had engines, AP, and no self-steering.

dave tomlinson said:

hi bb don,t think a vane will work in no wind as it relies on a change in apparent wind to correct the boat if it goes off course. Motoring in no wind the apparent will always be ahead so the boat could wander off in any direction and the wind vane will not correct it.

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