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Old 05-13-2016, 12:35 PM   #101
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PS.

I could be totally wrong about that and maybe that's exactly your point, but I can't see trusting it to ever make course changes on it's own.

At least at this moment in time. But never say never!
Well they do in aviation. The autopilot will fly a preprogrammed route consisting of many legs. The technology is there of course.

But for safety sake, let's not allow that for marina use. Aviation is a carefully controlled radar environment where everybody knows where everybody is.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:00 PM   #102
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Wxx3 That is what I am trying to say. I am what takes drift into account because I am constantly scanning the path ahead. To me the AP is there to alleviate the constant grip on the wheel, not to replace my judgment. My son, who manages a marina that does a lot of insurance work, says the "new" accidents are often due to AP being so precise that it doesn't take you between the buoys but into them. That is the kind of pilot I never want to be but see far too often.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:33 PM   #103
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There is NO difference between using an autopilot on auto or track...other than if you are standing there seeing you being carried off track by wind or current and manually adjust a few degrees.

Using the "tack" function does nothing more than adjust ever so slightly, even imperceptibly, for you.

Either you guys just have never used it in that capacity or don't understand the simple difference.

There is no more relying on the AP between those two functions than anything.

I am not saying let it make turns for you, just use it the same way but now you don't have to make those small eyeball adjustments all the time.

Otherwise...just hand steer....because one is just a tiny difference to the operators needed attention but huge in what the device is designed to do.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:51 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by jtbedell View Post
Wxx3 That is what I am trying to say. I am what takes drift into account because I am constantly scanning the path ahead. To me the AP is there to alleviate the constant grip on the wheel, not to replace my judgment. My son, who manages a marina that does a lot of insurance work, says the "new" accidents are often due to AP being so precise that it doesn't take you between the buoys but into them. That is the kind of pilot I never want to be but see far too often.
The autopilot is indeed "precise" in that it will take you to precisely where you set the waypoint. If you set it on top of a marker or buoy, that's where it will take you! When setting a WP, zoom in and position it exactly where you would like to go or pass in relation to the obstruction.

As for accuracy, an older AP on NMEA0183 should be able to stay within 60' of a track or WP, newer systems this will be more like 6', so there is absolutely NO excuse for running into anything. Further, every AP owners manual I have ever seen always warns the operator to monitor the AP and disengage when in congested or dangerous conditions. These kinds of accidents are almost always operator error. RTFM!
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Old 05-21-2016, 01:46 AM   #105
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This thread is timely for me as my CHB has no pilot. I wont really need one to toodle around the San Juans but should I want to travel farther north, an AP will be fitted. My experience with AP's has been on tugs and salmon trollers, and the ones on the tugs were large expensive units and had knobs for changing course. Of course we didn't mostly use any of the capabilities of the units, other than setting a course and keeping an eye on things. Someone was always at the helm. No steering wheel on most modern tugs either, just a pilot and jog sticks for maneuvering. Rudder angle indicators of course. I found about 3 RAI's in boxes on this CHB just bought, and one is mounted in a hole in the dash but not hooked up to anything! Not much good that way. Years ago on my dads last tug, I remember an old Wood Freeman unit, that you kicked in and out with a big lever. Stone age stuff now. I seem to remember a Benmar on one of his trollers too.
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:10 AM   #106
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"That is the kind of pilot I never want to be but see far too often.'

Back in the day , ships would ask the radioman for a DF steer to the Ambrose Light Ship , anchored outside NYC.

In heavy fog more than one actually collided with Ambrose , even tho there was a human helmsman steering.

" I remember an old Wood Freeman unit, that you kicked in and out with a big lever. Stone age stuff now"

Probably would still be operating.

Today folks prefer to never make repairs of equipment , just replace it with this weeks newest gadget.

Repairable under way is sadly not a selling point.
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:41 PM   #107
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auto pilot question

any have a suggestion on what I should purchase for a 34 mainship mk1 for auto pilot? I m on a buget and cant decide. I dont care about using it for anything but going in a staight line.
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:13 PM   #108
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Do you have cable or hydraulic steering?
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:15 PM   #109
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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??
The PO of my boat left behind a cute little plastic Jesus in his carpenter outfit. I put him to work keeping an eye on the oil and temp gauges.
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:07 PM   #110
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Now I do not mean to have my contribution taken out of context. Having a small boat with limited space, having a professional auto pilot is near non existent.
That is to say, the bundgee cord that is attached at a point that allows enough time to hit the piddle pot is ample enough.
'KISS' in principle and practice.

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