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Old 02-15-2014, 09:20 AM   #1
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New Autopilot Installation in an Old Boat

Last year I bought a Golden Star 35 with Capilano hydraulic steering. I plan to install a Garmin GHP20 w/SmartPump autopilot when the weather improves. The hydraulic lines are all o.d. copper tubing, except for 2 short flexible hoses connecting the Uniflow valve with the ram. The technical team at Garmin tells me they dont recommend plumbing the SmartPump in to the system using copper tubing simply because theyve never done it. They also say that the built-in technology of the SmartPump, however, will compensate for any problem encountered within the system, once properly plumbed. Does anyone have experience with steering hydraulics who could weigh-in on this subject?
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:10 AM   #2
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Talk to a good installer and have him look the current system over and advise on a new. If you're going to the time and trouble for a new AP a few extra bucks may be helpful.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:22 AM   #3
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Go with a great deal of caution. As you may know that univalve is no longer made and if it stops working can only be repaired. This can be very problomatic. At any rate you must pipe the pilot pump in at least 3 feet in front of it. If you didn't know this you would end up with a install that doesn't work or as a minimum tries to lock up when reversing turns. If you try to do away with that univalve you must purchase new helms. Anyway I installed my autopilot on my system with 1/2 inch tubes and an octopus pump. It works great. However, Garmin has an extra device that releases the autopilot when you try to manually steer and also puts the ruder refrence magic in thier pump. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:57 PM   #4
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New Autopilot Installation in an Old Boat

Many thanks obthomas. I plan to do the install and with care it may turn out for me as yours did for you. I rarely opened a "can of worms" as full as this one, but as they say, "welcome to boat ownership"
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:44 PM   #5
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Our ComNav autopilot is using the original Wagner autopilot pump. This pump is mounted on the command bridge under the dash and plumbed into the upper Capilano helm pump.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:54 PM   #6
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New Autopilot Installation in an Old Boat

Your pic of the plumbing detail gave my some more ideas rochepoint...many thanks
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:57 PM   #7
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Use a short length, 2 ft, of hydraulic hose to bridge between the pump and the copper lines. Use the appropriate JIC fittings to adapt. Any good hydraulic shop should be able to help you OR a A/P service person.

These pumps CAN produce up to 1,000 psi so the hose and fittings must be capable. They normally won't unless the system is working hard such as in a rough sea or a fast turn.
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