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Old 09-14-2018, 09:06 PM   #1
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Calmec and cable steered autopilots

I'm helping a friend to figure out what his "new to him" 1969 34' trawler needs to be functional. He has a Calmec auto pilot that is non-functional. I have never heard of this make and can find nothing online. Does anybody on the forum have any knowledge of this unit? Any recommendations on autopliot for a cable steered boat?

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Old 09-15-2018, 08:09 AM   #2
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If he will be tossing the AP, the units that mount on the wheel,(usually on sailboats) with a belt are inexpensive ., easy to install and easy to maintain.

To replace a cable unit , this MIGHT be strong enough.

https://www.wmjmarine.com/c66499.htm...SABEgLlEvD_BwE

Some have been mounted behind the steering wheel and are almost invisible.CPT is real good , or Raymarine has a few sizes.

CPT Autopilot Inc.

cptautopilot.com/


Still steering by hand? Get the CPT! The rugged CPT is a cost effective crew member that steers your vessel so that you can take your hands off the wheel, ...
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:10 AM   #3
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Meaning push/pull cable or cable with drum and pulleys?
Either way, most modern autopilots can be configured to do the job, but may involve some Mc Guyvering.
Changing to hydraulic steering would be a nice upgrade, and isn’t real expensive when compared to the cost and time required to keep an old school system up and running reliably, and it will be very compatible with autopilots.
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Old 09-22-2018, 01:04 AM   #4
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Here's info on Youtube:
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Old 09-26-2018, 03:15 PM   #5
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That thing is a dinosaur, likely invented by Rube Goldberg!
Might be fun to play with, but I would never be comfortable with relying on it as a primary course keeper.
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapnd View Post
That thing is a dinosaur, likely invented by Rube Goldberg!
Might be fun to play with, but I would never be comfortable with relying on it as a primary course keeper.
The primary course keeper is the owner It will be fun to see if I can figure out what is wrong. The mechanics seem well built.
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:04 PM   #7
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I have looked at various mechanical devices like the one FF noted above to use with an autopilot. I have always come back to just converting the boat's steering to hydraulic and use a hydraulic pump to work with the autopilot to actuate the steering.


Total extra cost to convert, about $500. Well worth it to get a smooth, reliable hydraulic system.


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Old 09-26-2018, 06:45 PM   #8
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Could you give me a break down of those costs? Sounds awfully cheap. I do love the hydraulic steering on my current boat as both of my previous GBs had cable. It seems like my friend would need a pump at the steering wheel for both steering stations, the plumbing connecting all of this to the ram in the lazerette, a mounting for the ram, and a rudder position indicator. I'm sure i'm missing something.
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