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auto helm
Hi all,
I mostly sail single handed, ( me and all me mates) and have just been given a Raymarine st1000 auto pilot!!!! any tips on installation on my '24 ???? Its brand new and I do have the manual, just wondering about mounting points on the boat?
Martyn13-Oct-2011    Edit    Delete 
Re: auto helm
Martyn,

These are reasonably simple to install, on an RL28 at least. I made a mounting tower from a short PVC pipe 50 or 60 mm in diameter in a piece of timber to raise the mounting point so it was level with the tiller. The top of the pipe was filled with a round piece of timber and the mounting tube was epoxy-glued into this. It has lasted for many years.
You must also make a support for the unit when it has been lifted off the tiller. Do not let it just hang from its mounting point or too much strain will be placed on the plastic case and it will crack. I just had a notched piece of timber screwed to the side of the well that the drive shaft of the unit could be rested in after it was swung around to clear the tiller.

These units are great for single handing; they make it so much safer when you must attend to some disaster, while leaving the helm in safe "hands", and for nipping below to pour a quick coffee.

When single handing, I would also recommend an inflatable lifejacket that is fastened securely to the boat, especially when using an autopilot. You might feel like a fool wearing it until the boat lurches from a wind gust and you are deposited in the sea watching your boat sail away from you under the perfect control of the autopilot. They are just $55 at Bias, Tingalpa, this week - I don't know about other stores though.
Keith Merkley13-Oct-2011    Edit    Delete 
Re: auto helm
The auto helm mounting tube on my RL28 is at deck level (hole drilled through deck with block of wood epoxy'd underneath). The auto helm connects to a bracket (or elbow) attached under the tiller which keeps it level.
Michael15-Oct-2011    Edit    Delete 
Re: auto helm
Hey Kieth would you be able to post any pics of that set up?
Andy16-Oct-2011    Edit    Delete 
Re: auto helm
The boat has been sold and these are the only pictures I can find of the autopilot mounting. See also my previous post for a closeup of the mounting post.
There also has to be a pin fitted to the tiller. This is just glued with epoxy resin into a hole drilled in the top of the tiller. The positioning of this pin is the most critical part of the installation. You need to find the outer-most point where the autopilot can move the tiller as far as you need under normal sailing. It does not need to push it so that the rudder is almost flat against the transom. The best way is to note, when sailing, how far you need to push the tiller - probably the most extreme is with a following sea. You want it at the outer-most point where this angle can be achieved because that gives the autopilot the most leverage, but this is probably less of an issue with the RL24 than the 28.
Keith Merkley16-Oct-2011    Edit    Delete 
Re: auto helm
DID IT!!!, Brass ferral that supports the anchor end fitted in the staboard side just! along side the spinnikar turning block, bought a underslung bracket (raymarine part) bolted to tiller and bobs your prime minister. thing works an absolute treat would heartly recomend one. Mine is a raymarine ST1000 bought from Bias boating tingalpa $589.00 for unit, $80.00 for bracket. Steered 272 deg from red at top of Peel Island to Huybers beacon arrived spot on. If you want further info e mail me or ph 0406259652.
Cheers Martyn
martyn19-Nov-2011    Edit    Delete 

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