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Old 04-07-2016, 10:08 PM   #21
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Can someone describe exactly what each of those systems actually do? I am used to the Raymarine APs where I can dial in a course change and the AP will change the heading of the boat to that course. It only indirectly dictates rudder position. Is that how these work?
I can tell you how the jog levers on my Simrad AP work. First, if AP is engaged, they are ineffective unless the AP is first disengaged -- exactly like the wheel: turning it is immediately corrected by the AP, unless the AP is disengaged. When the AP is not engaged, the rudders can be in any position, but regardless of their position, the jog lever will move the rudders in the direction the job lever is moved. The further the jog lever is moved, the faster the rudders turn in that direction. Letting go of the jog lever centers the jog lever but not the rudders. That is where a rudder angle indicator comes in -- again just like a wheel. If you want the boat to go straight, you have to center the rudders (or engage the AP). The only difference with Follow Up systems is that the rudders center when the jog lever is released and (since it is spring loaded) returns to center. I have come to prefer the no follow up.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:14 PM   #22
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... The only difference with Follow Up systems is that the rudders center when the jog lever is released and (since it is spring loaded) returns to center. I have come to prefer the no follow up.
Interesting - the Simrad FU80 manual states (emphasis is mine)

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The FU lever can be rotated 70į to port and starboard from mid-
position. The lever will remain in set position, and the commanded
rudder angle/heading change maintained until the lever is returned
to mid-position


Has that not been your experience?

I think I want an FU system but would not want the center spring loading.

Richard
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:24 PM   #23
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Interesting - the Simrad FU80 manual states (emphasis is mine)



Has that not been your experience?

I think I want an FU system but would not want the center spring loading.

Richard
Not my experience. That is exactly what I had before and what I wanted when I commissioned my boat. At the time, my AP system was the latest offering by Simrad (sorry, I don't remember the model number) and that type of jog lever was not available (per my escalated conversations with their tech support), and would not be offered since Simrad considered the non-FU to be superior. As I recall, my previous system (prior boat) was also spring loaded, which I liked, but I suspect I could have hacked the spring.



I just checked out Simrad's site. I do not believe that the FU 80 was available when I purchased my equipment, but I probably would have purchased it, instead of the S35 (which looks like what I have), if it had been.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:42 PM   #24
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...
I just checked out Simrad's site. I do not believe that the FU 80 was available when I purchased my equipment, but I probably would have purchased it, instead of the S35 (which looks like what I have), if it had been.
Interesting - well maybe they listened to you? That's the one I think I'll get when I upgrade.

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Old 04-07-2016, 11:01 PM   #25
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The wheel makes an excellent handle for both hands while it is rough. You can steady yourself and make steering corrections at the same time. Can't see hanging onto a joystick to steady yourself without giving steering inputs. No such problem with a wheel.
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:00 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by MYTraveler View Post
Not my experience. That is exactly what I had before and what I wanted when I commissioned my boat. At the time, my AP system was the latest offering by Simrad (sorry, I don't remember the model number) and that type of jog lever was not available (per my escalated conversations with their tech support), and would not be offered since Simrad considered the non-FU to be superior. As I recall, my previous system (prior boat) was also spring loaded, which I liked, but I suspect I could have hacked the spring.



I just checked out Simrad's site. I do not believe that the FU 80 was available when I purchased my equipment, but I probably would have purchased it, instead of the S35 (which looks like what I have), if it had been.
It would appear both types exist. Until this discussion, I was only away of follow up controls that stay in whatever position you leave them in, i.e. no spring back to center. The Simrad FU80, all the Furuno FU controls, Jastram, and Kobalt all hold their position. The idea with a FU is that the rudder follows the controls position. Wherever you place the control, the rudder follows to that position. It's essentially a power assisted tiller.

Personally I love the FU controls for maneuvering. The AP pump can swing the rudder MUCH faster than I can with the wheel.

But I'm also not ready to give up a wheel. When steering down a tight fairway or channel, for example, I find I can hold my desired course better with the wheel. The FU control is too sensitive. I'm sure I'd get used to it, but I still find myself grabbing the wheel.

That said, I do know a couple of people who have removed their wheels. They still have them and they could be reinstalled in an emergency, but they are never used in normal operation. I'm not there yet.
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:25 AM   #27
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I have used both Simrad FU50 and FU25 follow-up steering levers and neither are spring loaded. I use the lever almost exclusively when hand steering. I find it much easier than 5-1/2 turns on the wheel, but it did take some getting used to.

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Old 04-08-2016, 12:31 AM   #28
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Pretty soon fully computerized navigation devices will be usual equip on pleasure boats. They will get so sophisticated, so intensely in tuned with AP, engines, trans, fuel lines and the like that all needed by the captain is to sleep strapped in bunk... till robot aboard wakes him/her after "putter" docks boat at chosen destination.


To me that ain't boating. Steering wheel with throttle and shift handle is!
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Old 04-08-2016, 02:15 AM   #29
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...
To me that ain't boating. Steering wheel with throttle and shift handle is!
So you don't have an autopilot? I find no pleasure in hand steering for hours on end. Might as well just stand out in the rain, cold and wind and still have my sailboat
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Old 04-08-2016, 06:51 AM   #30
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To be clear, a jog lever is for a temporary operation, like a dodge. It's real simple - basically a "bang/bang" lever for left or right rudder.

A FFU (full follow up) lever is a proportional steering control - move the lever (for example) 10 degrees and leave it there, and the rudder goes to 10 degrees...and stays there.

You cannot "steer" a boat with a jog lever.


Keith
Jog levers are standard equipment on commercial boats. I haven't been on a tug with a wheel in at least 25 years. I have also never steered with Full follow up, only use non follow up. You most certainly can "steer" a boat with a jog lever, or else I have been doing it wrong for 30 plus years.
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:01 AM   #31
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I'd have no issue using one of the modern steering systems, such as the one Will Ham provided the Dashews as well as one of his auto-pilots. Or like the commercial boats use. I used the little wheel on my AP remote to steer 90% of the time, usually with the AP on and it just adjusting the heading. But also as a "power steering" unit.

On a twin engine boat, if the steering fails, you steer with the engines.

Personally, I have spent plenty of my life using a steering wheel, so it's not a "joy of boating" requirement. I liked being able to sit back and take in the surroundings, or moving around with the "wheel" still in one hand.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:19 AM   #32
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So you don't have an autopilot? I find no pleasure in hand steering for hours on end. Might as well just stand out in the rain, cold and wind and still have my sailboat
Aw heck, don't you really miss it after all?

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Old 04-08-2016, 09:38 AM   #33
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So you don't have an autopilot? I find no pleasure in hand steering for hours on end. Might as well just stand out in the rain, cold and wind and still have my sailboat
No need to chastise! - LOL Just the fact that you boated too long and too often... while... "stand[ing] out in the rain, cold and wind and still have[ing] my [your] sailboat"... shows your latter year needs to now often use AP!!

Kidding aside. If I get to where we B taken long jaunts, ya know... multi week/month coastal trips... AP would be my choice too. Currently in the small-stream realm of SF Delta, for cruising and swimming and anchoring... I really enjoy playing Captain with wheel in hand. In the Delta... course corrections to follow sloughs, rivers, canals, dock at different marinas and restaurants and the like preclude AP use. Part of my fun in Delta waters is close-up boat handling. With twin screws it's a blast.

BTW - Shat can happen... with electronic controls. Can with mechanical controls too... but I'd rather have...........

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Old 04-08-2016, 09:44 AM   #34
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At Great Harbour, we installed the Simrad FFU system in most of the GH47s that we built. Several of these boats went to owners with little or no big boat experience. However, I found that training these owners with the FFU lever (tiller) was much easier than training other new owners on a traditional wheel helm. All of them found the FFU lever very intuitive - basically, point it in the direction you want to go.

We also left the full hydraulic system in place with a steering shaft hidden in the center of the helm station and an "emergency" wheel stored underneath. It all worked pretty flawlessly and our owners loved the system. MUCH easier to go lock to lock on the rudder during docking maneuvers - while also handling twin engine controls and thruster.

In the picture, you can see the Simrad FU lever on the right, in front of the Mathers controls - and the stub of the steering shaft in the center of the cabinet door.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:46 AM   #35
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Lee Simpson built Sonata with joystick controls and no wheel. He built it as a PNW boat and also added a tethered remote control for docking. I don't know who is running this boat now, but it looked nice!
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:08 AM   #36
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Cars that drive and park themselves... boats that pilot and dock themselves... where's the fun in it all??


Give me a good ol' loud exhaust muscle car that can leave a 150 strip of rubber and a boat that can continually test my handling capabilities! Other wise - I'm taking my wife into the bedroom and we ain't cummen out till big grins are on our faces! That's a promise!!
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:16 AM   #37
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Greetings,
Mr. A. Sorry, wrong joystick and WAY too much information....

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Old 04-08-2016, 10:22 AM   #38
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Greetings,
Mr. A. Sorry, wrong joystick and WAY too much information....

I know... sometimes what I say scares me too!
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:22 AM   #39
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...another GH47 helm/pilothouse - this one "East Passage". Just had to post because it's such a cool shot...
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:38 AM   #40
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While there are many kinds of joysticks from those simply designed to bump the AP course to those designed for docking to those designed to replace wheels. We still have wheels and often use them. But we also have joysticks. Joysticks hold a couple of very significant advantages. They can take you directly to the direction of your choice. You want to move to the side, you go to the side. With a wheel, you have to go through other stages to get there and still have to use other controls. Also, a joystick can include and use all your means of steering and propulsion, not just your rudder. It includes your engines and your thrusters. To accomplish what you can with a single joystick conventionally you need to use your steering wheel, both engine throttles and gears, and your controls for your bow thrusters. Last, joysticks allow easy replication in multiple areas of the boat and even portable. Someone mentioned six sets of controls. Can you imagine if those all had to have steering wheels, gear controls, throttle controls, and thruster controls? Instead they are simple and compact.
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