Author Topic: Tiller pilot  (Read 349 times)

Offline Betterdays

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Tiller pilot
« on: January 03, 2017, 06:46:20 PM »
I had a random winter, boat out of water idea.  I would like an auto pilot for the boat, but cant justify the cost.  I mostly daysail, a lot of it singlehanded, I need an extra hand for keeping the boat on course for raising the mainsail and the asymmetrical, whisker pole, using the head, etc.   My thought was to fabricate an emergency tiller to attach to the rudder post through the access port with an arm that faced towards stern.  I could attach tiller pilot to pushpit and to rudder arm.   My only concern is leverage on the tiller arm, havn,t measured yet  but guessing 30 inches on the stock and the arm i can make adjustable.  I will need a spare access port with a hole in it with a rubber sleeve to keep water out of bilge. Doesn't have to be water tight, but keep most of the heavy stuff out.  I saw couple tiller pilots for sale for 150 bucks in good shape and could fabricate the tiller at a friends shop.  Looking for reasons why this wont work? hat am I missing?

Stephen

Offline rogerschwake

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Re: Tiller pilot
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2017, 10:12:17 PM »
  I installed a Simrad Wheel Pilot 30 on the 27 I owned. It worked great and as  remember about 10 or more years ago was under $800. Went to the Simrad sight and found out they no longer make this model or anything like it. If you could find a used one it might be the way to go. It fastened wright to the wheel and pedestal with everything in one unit and all you had to do was run power to it. I know I don't like to buy used electronic equipment, but it's the only way to get this unit. GOOD LUCK!!!

ROGER

Offline Jeff S

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Re: Tiller pilot
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2017, 04:05:53 PM »
If you really only need a temporary extra hand when single-handed sailing, perhaps an Edson Pedestal Wheel Brake would be more appropriate.  Remember, tiller pilots require an electrical supply which would further complicate the installation and add to the project budget.  An even cheaper alternative could be a simple bungee attached to the wheel and wrapped around the pedestal.

Offline cdflan

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Re: Tiller pilot
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 11:01:43 AM »
This sounded like a great challenge!  Haven't tried this but something like an autopilot pulley on the wheel, a Davis Tiller Tamer mounted on the pedestal below the wheel and a loop of mil-spec (to get double braiding) 1/4" bungee cord would seem to be a compact solution.  Tensioning the cord (loop diameter) and getting a good splice would be the challenges.  A link to making a clean splice  -  http://www.kayakforum.com/cgi-bin/Building/archive.pl/bid/12/md/read/id/54933/
Having to crunch down to adjust tension is a bit inconvenient but the neatness of the installation seems a good trade off.

Offline deisher6

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Re: Tiller pilot
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2017, 06:02:17 PM »
Hey Stephen:
There are emergency rudders made for C-27's.  And you are absolutely correct there is very little leverage available because of the location of the rudder post and the pedestal.  There were some pictures posted on the C-27 threads, but they no longer exist. 

I would be glad to repost them if you are interested.

There is a pretty good response to a search on this site for 'emergency rudder'.

I single hand most of the time and have found no better way, or anything that consistently allows some control when not at the helm, than a auto pilot.  I use a Raymarine it is worth the $ to me.

regards charlie

Offline Shawn

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Re: Tiller pilot
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 07:28:05 PM »
First... a wheel brake is very handy if you don't have one. A brake and a well balanced boat will keep a course pretty well. I use mine a lot, I also have a wheel pilot that I still haven't gotten around to installing yet. Hopefully this off season.

If you are building a tiller just for the sake of using a tiller pilot then keep in mind it doesn't really matter what direction the tiller points. Just that it is in a direction that gives you room for the tiller pilot to connect to it and to be able to move it to steer. You would also want it out of the way and easy to connect when needed. If it is complicated to setup you will be less likely to bother with it.

If you are only looking for short term use and can deal with limited steering ability I would consider using a tiller pilot vertically in parallel with the steering pedestal with it connected to a point near the floor and to a point near the center of the wheel. You would probably only get a quarter of a turn in either direction but if the boat is moving decently that should be enough to keep you on a heading.  You would need to make it easy to detach from the wheel to give you back steering but that shouldn't be very hard. In a setup like this the biggest thing to watch out for would be a tiller pilot at the end of its throw. I don't think they have limiters in them so when they reach either end they keep trying to move further and can damage themselves. The Raymarines have a little over 9" of stroke total so figure 4" of movement of the wheel up or down to see how much steering that would give you.

Shawn

Offline Betterdays

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Re: Tiller pilot
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2017, 09:16:43 AM »
Thanks for the ideas.  Boats out of the water. I will go down and measure how far the rudder moves with incremental turns of the wheel.  I like the vertical installation idea of a tiller pilot, simple, easy to install, inexpensive, suits my needs, and simple.