Combining autopilot and windvane steering systems

Today autopilots are often standard equipment on a boat. They are a good option for everyday use in weekend and holiday sailing, but the case in favour of a windvane steering system grows with the length of the planned voyage, especially when sailing with a small crew, and is virtually irresistible for ocean crossings. There can be no doubt, in the end, that the best self-steering solution for blue water sailing is to carry both an autopilot and a windvane gear.

There is one remarkably ingenious method of combining the advantages of the two systems which, despite having been described in detail at various times in just about all the major sailing publications, has still failed to get through to the majority of sailors. If a small push rod autopilot (e.g. Autohelm 800) is connected to the counterweight of a servo-pendulum gear, it can be used to supply the steering impulse in place of the windvane. Amplification and transmission of the steering force take place as before. The autopilot can now steer the boat on a compass course with extremely low power consumption because the only force it has to supply is that normally supplied by the windvane (i.e. that needed to rotate the pendulum rudder). Multiplying the steering force of the small Autohelm 800 autopilot by the servo force of the pendulum rudder produces enough steering force at the main rudder to steer a boat of 25 tonnes. This combination is particularly useful in long following seas and a very light following breeze when the wind strength is insufficient to produce a proper signal from the vane but there is enough boat-speed to drive the servo- pendulum arrangement.

Synthesis of autopilot and A combination of Autohelm and windvane steering system with Windpilot Pacific Plus on a remote control is ideal when Nicholson 48. cruising shorthanded

Synthesis of autopilot and A combination of Autohelm and windvane steering system with Windpilot Pacific Plus on a remote control is ideal when Nicholson 48. cruising shorthanded

The autopilot/windvane gear synthesis manages in a practical sense to overcome the physical constants between input/output and electrical power/steering force outlined in the Autopilots Chapter 3.

An autopilot can be coupled as described to almost any windvane steering system.

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How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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