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March 23, 2009

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Hi from the U.K.
I'm thinking of fitting one of these.
I would be very interested in how you found this pilot in use. There are many various on-line opinions about pros and cons of the 2 main competitors items. How big is your boat, has the pilot taken much rain/seas over it, and what GPS item did you connect to it. Did you have to make up a special NMEA 'plug' yourself?

This a Raymarine ST 1000 which has proven to be an excellent unit. It has been out in the rain and sea and has never let me down. As for the special plug I had to make up a small loom as described but the connection to connect into the NMEA connections are straight forward and are easily followed using the directions that come with the unit.

I am installing the same unit on a 22 foot day sailer. Installation will be very similar to yours. Question: I have a wind vane, can the wind vane be connected via some control unit to drive the movement of the tiller pilot?
Thanks
Colin
Seattle

Yes it can. Providing the tiller pilot is connected to a suitable windvane. I have mine on the same bus as the chart plotter, flux gate compass and wind vane. In this way the pilot can steer to a way point that I have entered into the plotter, a compass course or to the wind. So in other words if the boat is a on a broad reach you can set up the tiller pilot to sail to the wind direction so if there is a wind shift the boat will alter course to maintain the boat sailing on the broad reach.

Some of these tiller pilots are a bit iffy and the usual problem is damp. I was asked to "look at" an old tiller pilot that had a clock dial some years ago and it was in a bit of a bad way. All of the plastic pillars that the self-tap screws go into had split. This meant that the X shaped sealing ring was not being clamped. Lengths of copper tube were glued over the split pillars and this improved matters. Whilst the device was apart I noticed that the motor wiring was bad. It looked as if it had been done by a non-technical wireman as there were two separate wires about an inch apart. (this will cause a magnetic field when the motor runs) The wires were replaced with a quick-helix twisted pair to reduce stray fields and a 0.1uF capacitor was soldered across the motor terminals. Later the owner said "I don't know what you did to it but it now works better than it ever did!" Well there you go, its just a case of getting the right staff. As to the damp issue, it is now possible to buy weather sleeves for these devices and considering the high cost of the machines Goretex might be a good idea. Material that sweats defeats the object of the exercise and can actually make the damp situation worse.

I own a 25 yr. old Tiller Master. Where can I find parts?

Karen

The short answer is I am not sure. I would check out ebay that sort of stuff comes up often.

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