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Autopilots for P31

 
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tjsava



Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 1:51 am    Post subject: Autopilots for P31 Reply with quote

Does anyone have experience with autopilots for the P31? I am considering the Raymarine ST4000+ or the Simrad WP32, and was wondering if anyone has experience with these or others.

Thanks,

Tom Savage
"Talisman" #262
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amos



Joined: 27 May 2003
Posts: 32
Location: Edgewater, MD

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:53 pm    Post subject: re: autopilots Reply with quote

Tom,
I have used a Simrad WP30 since Sept 2001. It looks pretty much like the WP32 except the WP32 has added the 'Simnet' buss. The 30 just has the NEMA input.. Here are my comments on the wp30:
- the remote control is very nice, particularly for single handing
- installation was easy. all three compontents (compass, drive, and control) are in a single unit mounted on the pedestal
- controls the boat fine execpt large following seas, etc
- i have shipped back to simrad twice with belt problems. first time broken belt, second time functioning but frayed belt. they upgraded the clutch with the first belt. (after the second service, I installed a plug on the pedestal for the wiring for easier removal of the autopilot)
- sending the unit in for service comes with a 1 yr warranty the same as a new warranty
- customer service has been good. i had good telephone access to the technician who did the work on my unit. turnaround time for repairs was less than a week
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Bill Lawler
'Capella', Pearson 31-II #128
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tjsava



Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill-

Thanks for the info. How did you route the wiring for power (or NMEA if you have it linked to your GPS)? Also, since you managed to install it, I assume that the autopilot doesn't interfere with the throttle or transmission lever?

Thanks again,

Tom
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amos



Joined: 27 May 2003
Posts: 32
Location: Edgewater, MD

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom,
I ran the 6-wire cable into the pedestal and sealed with a grommet. The cable runs down the pedestal and terminates above the false-ceiling panel in the qberth. There it connects to power and the GPS or remote.

Good that you asked about clearance. There is a clearance issue with the clutch control lever. The solution was a new lever that is sort of 's' shaped and creates the needed clearance. I don't remember if I got it from Simrad or Edson, probably Simrad. It was not expensive. The throttle lever was not a problem.
Feel free to probe further, i will help if i can.
When you make your decision let us know which autopilot you go with...
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Bill Lawler
'Capella', Pearson 31-II #128
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tjsava



Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill-

It looks like I've settled on the Simrad. One last question- How much friction does the autopilot add to the steering when the autopilot is disengaged? I plan to use the autopilot when I go up and down the coast, but not when I'm in SF bay (which is most of the time). Does the autopilot impede manual steering much when it isn't in use, i.e. would it be worth it to uninstall it if I know I won't be using it for 6 months or so?

Thanks again,

Tom
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amos



Joined: 27 May 2003
Posts: 32
Location: Edgewater, MD

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom,
I have only sailed the boat once without the autopilot installed, during the pre-purchase sea trial. is not a problem when not engaged. You may end up using it more than you anticipate, particularly when under power.
One more thing to consider, if you have a cockpit table or other such accessories mounted on or near the pedestal you may have to check for clearance and adjust, etc.
I recommend installing a connector to simplify removal of the unit. I think Simrad has one, although it may be for designed for flat bulkhead mounting. I don't have a part number for the one that I used, but may be able to find it. Its just an inline circular connector I bought from Digikey (www.digikey.com). I used shrink tubing and caulk to seal it.
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Bill Lawler
'Capella', Pearson 31-II #128
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amos



Joined: 27 May 2003
Posts: 32
Location: Edgewater, MD

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom,
FYI the connectors that i used are made by Switchcraft, part numbers EN3C6F and EN3C6M, digikey part numbers SC1162-ND and SC1163-ND.
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Bill Lawler
'Capella', Pearson 31-II #128
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billC



Joined: 27 May 2003
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:17 pm    Post subject: ST4000 on P31 Reply with quote

Bill, I installed a Raymarine ST4000 on my P31-II. It works perfectly. I located the fluxgate compass head in the locker at the base of the mast. This fits the requirements per Raymarine. I had to splice in wire between it and the control unit but it did not affect the operation.

I have the control unit on a NavPod at the helm. I can send pictures if you want.

Bill Crane "Talaria"
P31-II #268
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tjsava



Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:45 am    Post subject: Simrad Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for the information. I ended up getting and installing the Simrad WP32. I purchased it from Go2Marine, primarily because they had the modified clutch lever in stock, and the order and shipment went smoothly. The "1 hour installation" took me a day and a half by the time I ran all the wiring, but everything seems to be working well, including the interface to my Standard-Horizon CP160 GPS.

Bill, now I understand what you mean by using it more than I might have anticipated - it sure is handy! It lets me relax and look around more. I had it on last week while beating between Alcatraz and Angel Island and saw a grey whale - the first one I've seen in the bay.

-Tom

"Talisman"
#262
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amos



Joined: 27 May 2003
Posts: 32
Location: Edgewater, MD

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:32 pm    Post subject: autopilots Reply with quote

Wow, new autopilots, people sailing and seeing whales, and I just took the winter cover off of Capella. I need to get busy !
Bill C, I would love to see photos of your install.
Tom, good job with the install. What idiot said the install was easy?? Smile
Any whale photos to share?
Bill
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