A Photo & Discussion Forum for Wharram Design Enthusiasts
i have looked at some pics on the web about installing a tiller pilot on a tiki.I must admit most of the solutions seem to get in the way of entrance into the hulls.I read somewhere that a bloke installed the unit inside the hull,with a stainless tube going thru the rear wall of the cabin to the tiller.A right angle from the tube to the tiller finishes this mounting set up.I like this idea as the unit is out of the weather and easily accessible without being in the way.Any thoughts/pics would be most welcome.
I saw a pic of the unit mounted aft of the entrance to the hull that looked like it would work fine, but it was outside.
Use outside the cabin, it is better to control, and when not in use, you can store. Only the electrical connection is out, but is waterprof. And remember to connect the GPS in ST1000, through network nmea 183, it is easy to connect two wires behind the socket of the autopilot. The ST1000 has a fluxgate compass which gives you the magnetic or true direction, while the GPS only gives you direction on the bottom, their difference (direction) is the sea current.
In out 16 I will do the test for Capitain . You will know the results.
i use the same on wakataitea as backup. i instal it in the middle of the tiller-bar on my bench but is then 2m away from the axis centre not 480mm like recommended. the pilot has then a easy job because of the long tillers but is limited in the movement. i have 3 different positions ( mounting socket) to attach it. for this it all depends on the trim of the boat.
i don't understand how you can instal this pilot inside the . all the controls are on this unit. so you will jump in and out the every time you change the course????
hanneke recommends to cut two big plastic bottles in half and make a cover out of it against sea and rain water.
I've got the ST 1000 on Zest, and it's mounted fore and aft rather than across the boat. I sent a sketch to Raymarine to ask if they thought it would work like that (before I bought it), and they said it should be ok. I've uploaded the sketch so you can see what I mean. There might be problems if you networked it to other instruments because it would be pointing 90 degrees from where it thinks it is, but I didn't do that. Also you can't just key in a compass course but in practice I don't do that anyway - You trim the boat then adjust the autopilot to keep it like that.
The potential problem with connecting the autopilot to the tiller bar on a Tiki is that it's designed to be connected 18 inches from the rudder hinge axis, and the Tiki's tillers are much longer than that. You might not get enough travel, although I never tried it that way.
I deviated a bit from what's in the sketch. At the end connected to the auxiliary tiller I just used the normal tiller pin that comes with the autopilot, it didn't need a UJ. I didn't use a sliding support either, just made a very long extension for the arm on the autopilot. To do that I bought the longest extension you can get, which I think was about 6 inches. I cut it in half and extended it using aluminium tube. The autopilot itself is mounted on the main crossbeam and is well out the the way.
In practice it works ok, but I've not tried it in heavy weather. One problem is connecting the outer end of the pushrod onto the auxiliary tiller when you're under way, and I've got to find a way around that. What I'm thinking of doing is making a quick-release coupling near the inner end, then leaving most of the pushrod semi-permanently attached to the auxiliary tiller, with the inner end clipped to the bottom of the normal tiller when not in use.
One tip for when you're setting something like this up. Watch out for the strange way angles change as the rudders move on a Tiki! This is because of the highly-raked sterns, and it can make it difficult connecting anything like a tiller pilot to the tiller.
And one tip for sailing with an autopilot. Trim the boat first and get it balanced and sailing nicely before you connect the autopilot. If you make a significant course change trim again helming by hand, before you hand it back to the autopilot. If you just steer by pushing buttons it's too easy to over-stress something, and you won't get the best out of the boat if it's not well trimmed anyway. I once crossed the Indian Ocean on a Pahi 52, and half way up the Red Sea the main drive in the autopilot broke for that very reason.
The waterproofing on the Raymarine pilots is meant to be pretty good, but I'd agree with Hanneke about making some sort of cover to keep the worst of the weather off it if you're doing long passages. I had that problem many years ago on a little Seafarer autohelm on a Frances 26.
Gentlemen,why thank you for all your responses,the time taken to reply thoughtfully is most appreciated.I spent most of yesterday going from one engineering shop to another to source some 316 tubing with an i.d. of around 18.5mm.Six workshops later i finally found some flat bar and tubing.One memorable response to my inquiries was''Can you wait, while Jim Bob is having his lunch'' Needless to say i let him enjoy his lunch without bothering him any further.I plan to use the ss tubing as the push rod extension. Robert a quick release mechanism is definitely on the cards,i wonder if a hole drilled thru the tiller pilot pushrod and thru the stainless tube would be the go with a split pin to secure it all?
That might work. Just make sure it's easy to put in and to take out. Everything's moving when you're trying to connect the pilot so it can't be fiddly! You need to be sure you can disconnect it in an instant, say if you see something in the water ahead. Maybe put a loop of cord on the pin so you can grab it easily.