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Old 08-23-2011, 07:33 AM   #1
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Somewhat of a Wild Ride!

Yesterday, my wife and I were cruising off the coast of San Diego and having a wonderful time. The weather was windy, the swells were about 4 feet with wind waves atop. We had the hatch above the helmsman's seat open & experienced for the first time, water hitting the helmsman.* Although we got bounced around alot, we were impressed with our little boat and how she handled the sea. Can't say the same for the auto pilot though as I turned it off and hand steered all the way back to the harbor.

This pic was taken in the UK (I think!) years ago & was described as a "Gourmet Cruiser" in rough water. (Not our boat) Our experience yesterday puts this pic to shame.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:48 AM   #2
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RE: Somewhat of a Wild Ride!

Walt, it looks like the spray rails do thier job.* A spray rail above the waterline can be a good choice as water tends to slap against chines at anchor.* If a little spray is not a problem, boats like Erics Nomad are very quiet at anchor.* Everything is a trade off.

After running off shore from the Savannah River, we entered Forida at the St. Mary's River.* It was ebbing muddy water at full flow with an on shore wind.* We ran in the Channel in steep chop (read slop) at 23 knots throwing muddy water over the top of the cabin and into the cockpit---a muddy mess.* I spent the next day cleaning the boat at Fernandina Beach.

Sometimes it's fun throwing a little spray.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:51 AM   #3
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RE: Somewhat of a Wild Ride!

IF you could steer the boat , but the AP could not , what was the problem?

Of course you can anticipate (in daylight) and the AP cant .

Whats up?
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:02 AM   #4
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RE: Somewhat of a Wild Ride!

Quote:
FF wrote:
IF you could steer the boat , but the AP could not , what was the problem?
* * * * Seas were too rough and the AP could't keep up. As you have noted, by hand steering I could anticipate* what the next wave would do to my heading.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:42 AM   #5
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RE: Somewhat of a Wild Ride!

Time for a better AP with more authority and quicker response.

IT can be done , for a price.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:18 AM   #6
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RE: Somewhat of a Wild Ride!

Does your autopilot allow you to change the rudder reponse? In mine, I can adjust the quickness and agressiveness of the steering to compensate for errors in heading.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:21 AM   #7
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RE: Somewhat of a Wild Ride!

Quote:
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Does your autopilot allow you to change the rudder reponse?
Yes.......It is set for the quickest response. I would challenge almost any AP to hold course in the seas we experienced.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:41 AM   #8
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RE: Somewhat of a Wild Ride!

Quote:
FF wrote:
Time for a better AP with more authority and quicker response.
******* I have a Simrad AP 16 that has been working quite well. I've thought about changing it out but then my rudder size (small) is now on my mind. While at sea, I watched the rudder indicator moving quite a bit but never holding a relatively straight course. (I expect some deviation in a seaway but not to the extent I experienced.)

Only pics I have of the rudder:

*
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:43 AM   #9
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RE: Somewhat of a Wild Ride!

Wow!!* I'm not a naval architect, but it doesn't seem like enough rudder for the boat.*
Your rudder looks like about the same size as mine, but I have twins?* Pictures can be deceiving but doesn't appear to be deep enough to affect the prop thrust adequately either.* I guess the question is, how does the boat handle at slow speeds, quick and responsive to wheel input or slow to affect the boats course?
Given your AP wandering problem, I would at least ask for some professional advise on your rudder concerns?
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:29 PM   #10
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RE: Somewhat of a Wild Ride!

Quote:
SeaHorse II wrote:FF wrote:
Time for a better AP with more authority and quicker response.
******* I have a Simrad AP 16 that has been working quite well. I've thought about changing it out but then my rudder size (small) is now on my mind. While at sea, I watched the rudder indicator moving quite a bit but never holding a relatively straight course. (I expect some deviation in a seaway but not to the extent I experienced.)

Only pics I have of the rudder:

*

**CAUTION!!!!* THIS IS NOT A PROFESSIONAL OPINION.* USE AT YOUR OWN RISK"

The rudder looks plenty big enough for a boat running at semi displacement speeds.* If you were in a quartering or following sea, the second picture seams to tell the story.* the square transom and flat sections of the bottom aft portion would be too much for the keel and rudder to hold on track.* In other words the stern would get pushed around quite abit.* It looks like a great boat in a head sea with the spray rails and flared bow.* When the wind from the side is blowing spray back on the boat, nothing seams to work.* Looks to me like the usual type handling for a boat with fine sections forward and flat sections aft.* Some sophisticated auto pilots have the ability to learn and thus do a little anticipating, but quartering seas can be a problem for most any auto pilot.* A good deep V hull with gobs of power can probably handle those type situations best.

If you have tabs you can try to take all tabs off to raise the bow out of the water.* That can help on bow steer and shearing.
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