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Old 02-15-2016, 09:39 PM   #21
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I have a rubber lobster and rat on my dash as navigation assistants. Neither as cute as a hula bobble!! What happened to it??
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:41 PM   #22
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I have a rubber lobster and rat on my dash as navigation assistants. Neither as cute as a hula bobble!! What happened to it??

I think she left him for a younger trawler. But don't say anything, he's taking it kinda hard. Act natural. Haha
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:17 PM   #23
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Dang it Al, how much more cr@p are you gonna hang between you and the windscreen??
Just two more things!

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Old 02-15-2016, 11:51 PM   #24
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It doesn't have to be expensive.

I don't see the need for anything but the most basic hold-a-steady-heading type. It seems to me that relying on an AP to do multiple course changes in a critical situation could be a bit risky.

The autopilot I have is a very basic wheel-lock type, Auto helm 4000. No high tech touch screen or NMEA compatibility, but it has been 100% reliable as long as I am doing 3 knots or more, even in high winds and big seas. It does occasionally lose the plot when sailing in very light winds, but notifies me with an alarm when this occurs.

It even has a remote on a lead, allowing me to make course changes while lying in a hammock on the bow.

I recently bought a another complete second hand unit for $60 to have as a backup. I wish all my boat accessories were this cheap and effective.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:17 AM   #25
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I had an Autohelm 3000 on my Monk - loved it.


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Old 02-16-2016, 07:36 AM   #26
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Dang Al, that looks cool. You have to be a pilot to understand.
Do you have a loran C or a A-N radio range receiver in there somewhere? Maybe an ADF??


To much information?
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:32 PM   #27
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That's a great looking helm, Tim.

No, it's more modern than that, but it's been put together piecemeal. I'm waiting for the last component for the helm makeover. I have an overhead panel with my engine gages, stereo, fuel gages, etc that's made of mahogany that has cracked. I took the PO out for a day cruise a few weeks ago and he has a replacement piece of mahogany that he never got around to installing. He's going to give it to me and then I can start the big job of rearranging all the components into 2-3 stations on the overhead, port glareshield and stbd helm.

The rest of the boat is more entertainment based...wifi extender, HDTV with HDMI (and ER camera feeds), 8 speaker Bose/Sony stereo system with Bluetooth, streaming internet music, Wifi hotspot, helm-mounted tablet for internet access, backup navigation & email and redundant fridges for the IPA. Numerous charging ports are available throughout the vessel.

I'm never bored aboard!
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:41 PM   #28
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Dang it Al, how much more cr@p are you gonna hang between you and the windscreen??
Jeebers...Reminds me of:

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Old 02-16-2016, 02:21 PM   #29
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With a little DIY...

With a little DIY, you can do it for a lot less.

A NAVIO2 board is $168; see www.emlid.com. 9-axis MPU9250 sensor, NEO-M8N GNSS, 14 PWM output channels.
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:43 PM   #30
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With a little DIY, you can do it for a lot less.

A NAVIO2 board is $168; see www.emlid.com. 9-axis MPU9250 sensor, NEO-M8N GNSS, 14 PWM output channels.
I think you just made my point. Take the same hardware, very similar software, call it "Marine" and somehow you're allowed to add a zero to the end of the price.

I wish I had the time, it would be a fun DIY project! Although, to be honest, the drone seems like even more fun.

Anyway, my questions have been answered, so let's please get back to the thread drift. Those posts are a lot more entertaining!
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:03 PM   #31
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I have an old Autohelm 4000, not fancy, but it works to give the pilot a break.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:01 AM   #32
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I read this thread with some interest since I am engaged in a similar project currently.


My project involves automating a Benmar 16B by connecting it to a FURUNO NAVNET. I've already developed and prototyped the controller board that interfaces with the BENMAR and connects to an Arduino Mega2560 Processor that listens to NMEA from the FURUNO via RS232. With the hardware and communication code worked out I'm currently writing the navigation code for the Arduino.


I've read about several similar projects, some successful, and it seems the first idea that comes to mind is to use the XTE information provided by NMEA. The problem is the precision provided by XTE over NMEA in Nautical Miles is rounded to two decimal places or +- 30 feet so you'd be wandering a 60 foot path. My solution is to pass the position data to the Arduino and let it do all the math in order to gain precision of about +- 2 feet.


If anyone is interested in the math behind the GPS calculations, I've found the following site to be very informative: Calculate distance and bearing between two Latitude/Longitude points using haversine formula in JavaScript


I guess the point is that it's certainly do-able and for a fraction of the cost of a commercial unit, minus the time of course.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:41 PM   #33
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does anyone have personal experience with the raymarine ev-100? I believe it was referred to in a couple of posts based on the brand and price but not identified by model number. The unit is billed as ideal for a single outboard powerboat with hydraulic steering but the specs indicate that it would (just) handle the steering ram we have. The boat is a mainship 34III which has a small rudder for its size and the helm has never felt heavy. I understand there is a degree of risk when spec'ing a piece of gear that is just big enough. The next larger unit is three times as expensive so it would either be another brand or just not getting one. The mainship's helm offers no more effort than any outboard with hydraulic or I/O with power steering that I have ever driven so I don't see pressure as an issue but I can see where the rate of correction would be critical with a following or quartering sea.
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:28 PM   #34
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ComNav with solid state compass.

My ComNav works better with the SS compass.

And the worse the seas, the more important that it works well.

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Old 02-17-2016, 07:15 PM   #35
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does anyone have personal experience with the raymarine ev-100? I believe it was referred to in a couple of posts based on the brand and price but not identified by model number. The unit is billed as ideal for a single outboard powerboat with hydraulic steering but the specs indicate that it would (just) handle the steering ram we have. The boat is a mainship 34III which has a small rudder for its size and the helm has never felt heavy. I understand there is a degree of risk when spec'ing a piece of gear that is just big enough. The next larger unit is three times as expensive so it would either be another brand or just not getting one. The mainship's helm offers no more effort than any outboard with hydraulic or I/O with power steering that I have ever driven so I don't see pressure as an issue but I can see where the rate of correction would be critical with a following or quartering sea.

There is a 38' Bayliner owner (same boat as mine) on the Bayliner owners forum who has the Raymarine evo 100 on his boat. He indicated that it works fine and it was on the edge of being suitable according to the specs. The 38s are twin engine, 18,500.00 lbs. have small rudders, Hynautic steering with a balanced ram. If I remember correctly he boats on the west coast. A place you might get some answers is on The Hull Truth forum, there are some electronic dealers on there who would answer you're questions and have the experience to be really helpful.


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Old 02-18-2016, 10:38 AM   #36
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There is a 38' Bayliner owner (same boat as mine) on the Bayliner owners forum who has the Raymarine evo 100 on his boat. He indicated that it works fine and it was on the edge of being suitable according to the specs. The 38s are twin engine, 18,500.00 lbs. have small rudders, Hynautic steering with a balanced ram. If I remember correctly he boats on the west coast. A place you might get some answers is on The Hull Truth forum, there are some electronic dealers on there who would answer you're questions and have the experience to be really helpful.


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Thank you, it is good to hear some real world experience. I haven't been on THT in forever but will drop in.
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:05 AM   #37
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Needs a remote forward looking camera and the hula bobble!
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:49 AM   #38
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Minimum Autopilot

I replaced my auto pilot last year. I had a Cetrek system with hydraulic pump that worked great until the motherboard died. A complete Raymarine EV-400 (largest version, required by the electrical requirements for a large hydraulic pump) was $2500, and I got a $400 credit for the Cetrek take out parts. Utilizing the existing hydraulic pump and wiring it was a super easy install.

It was more than I wanted to invest to retain what was - for me - point and hold course control with rudder angle display. But I got a state of the art position controller, a NMEA 2000 network (though with RM connectors). So adding a small MFD was plug-and-play. And adding course control from my laptop with Coastal Explorer was as simple as adding a $100-ish adapter. And I think I'm set for as long as I'll own this vessel.

Edit: whoops, forgot the $300 RayMarine rebate! My net cost was $1800, but - again - I already had the pump.


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Old 03-04-2016, 11:42 AM   #39
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Sorry to dredge this up again, but I have a question:

I like the looks of the ComNav, and the Raymarine EVO series.

How do I know how many cubic inches my hydraulic steering system is?

I have a Hynautic system with two pumps at the helms, a ram and a relief valve. I suspect the pumps are H25s, which according to one spec sheet I have are 2.75 cu in.

Does that mean I can use an EVO-100, good for up to 6.7 cu. in.?

Or do I have to add in the relieve valve, ram, and all the tubing?
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:20 PM   #40
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Minimum Autopilot

It's all about the ram, or rams if there are two depending on configuration. You have to move that fluid in the ram to move the rudder(s).

The next variable is how fast you want to move the rudder, usually expressed from hard over to hard over.

The ram capacity is not that hard to calculate even if you do not know its specifications. You can measure the travel by going lock to lock and finding the delta of the extension. The you need the inside cylinder diameter which corresponds to the outside diameter minus cylinder wall thickness.

The helm doesn't move during AP use, but has similar considerations in terms of how many cubic inches it moves per turn of the wheel times the number of turns.


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