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Autopilot tiller drives


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Looking at upgrading the drive on my Raymarine x5 soon and was wondering what options were out there.

 

So far it's the Raymarine tiller drive ram ($1200) or the Pelagic ram ($320 USD).

 

I'm planning to take the boat offshore so they Autopilot will get a fair bit of use under sail.

 

Questions:

 

How do they compare performance wise?

 

Will they both work with a B and G NAC system as I plan to upgrade to a NAC controller?

 

How easy is it to install a below deck system? I have loads of room back where the rudder tube is but there's no quadrant installed.

 

Just after ideas and options. 

 

Current drive is fine for now but getting old.

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Our boat is quite similar to your's. Unless you spend moonbeams, don't expect a regular off the shelf tiller pilot system to be able to steer a nz style racer/cruiser for more than a few moments. Our style boats with wide flat bums need active steering (particularly off the wind) in any seaway. The pilots just can't keep up with the fast alterations needed, as the boat slews around on the waves. Well thats our experience - and we have pretty much hand steered to Tonga and over to Fiji. Otto is great when motoring or sailing in the light.

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Why not a B&G drive then - TP 32. Will properly interface with the B&G computer units, control from mfd, display on instruments, wifi on tablets and phones etc. Steer to compass course, wind angles, routes, no drift mode etc.

Other units will work, but not integrate fully.

IMO an under deck ram is better than Any tiller pilot though.

Oh, and if you want the best steering from the tiller pilot, make certain to install a decent compass as well - like the precision 9.

Im an authorised B&G installer, one of only 2 in Auckland.

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I installed a type 1 Raymarine linear drive below deck.
Wasn't too bad but you need room to work. Bit of a tight fit.I
put a packet gland around rudder shaft that I got on eBay.Cut the rudder tube to make room for the gland and lever, put extra athwartship bracing in carbon/ply. Seems to do the biz. 

Got a lever laser cut and welded ss pipe to it in two halves with 10mm socket screws.No probs so far.

All the rest is B&G/simrad/Airmar.

AC12/42,  RF300N, Airmar GH2183, PB200 wind. Pilot.

I'd have to be pretty bored to do it again.

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arm.jpgarm.jpgram.jpgram2.jpgram3.jpgtube.jpgtube1.jpgFYI

How I did mine

 

carbon rudder shaft

made template of shaft and what I wanted outside shape

I got a block of ally from Ullrich and gave the lot to really good machinist in kumeu total cost with anodising for arm $650

Cut the tube cast the arm onto shaft, built shelf bit more work and all good....the ram was mounted above deck connected to tiller years ago by someone but that in my mind is just wrong for a ram not designed for it.

We also did a test piece of the shaft and cannot remember exactly how much to break it but it was definitely above 2.5 tons for my piece of mind.

this arm is about 500mm above water line so I have not bothered with a boot to seal it as yet although haven't seen any massive speeds yet to see if water pumps up.

 

A bit of work but all doable DYI with a bit of advice from FNG who built the rudder and modified old shaft.

 

At this point I had not installed stops but have done now.

 

Stainless or ally shaft you would probably find a tiller arm off the shelf maybe.

 

Under floor pilot best way to go if you can IMO

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Why not a B&G drive then - TP 32. Will properly interface with the B&G computer units, control from mfd, display on instruments, wifi on tablets and phones etc. Steer to compass course, wind angles, routes, no drift mode etc.

Other units will work, but not integrate fully.

IMO an under deck ram is better than Any tiller pilot though.

Oh, and if you want the best steering from the tiller pilot, make certain to install a decent compass as well - like the precision 9.

Im an authorised B&G installer, one of only 2 in Auckland.

The TP32 works very well. Ours comes up on the NSS7 EVO2 and is dead accurate under N2K from the GPS. Sails to wind too but a little slow on some changes. I think it's due to the NASA unit is only putting out the old 0183 sentences. When in light winds, about 15kts, works very well as the slow reaction dampens lots of unessary course changes. I would stay away from raymarine. Our experience is not good. Cheap and nasty.

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