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Old 05-13-2019, 01:12 PM   #1
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Snaking Raymarine autopilot

Just bought a '02 Mainship 30 with 2017 A series raymarine hooked with 2017 EVO autopilot. works ok at low speed but with any kind of "seaway"j, like 1 foot chop it wanders 5-10 degrees with noticeable snake wake. it is set on cruise mode and is worse on performance mode
I had a Raymarine tech guy come out and redo all the settings. He notice that the installation does not have a mechanical rudder position indicator but said it doesnt need one with new Raymarine setup.

He wants to sell me a new Garmin autopilot.
What to do?
would a manual rudder indicator help?
is it something about the mainship instability?
get a new tech guy?

bruce adornato
sausalito california
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by adornato View Post
Just bought a '02 Mainship 30 with 2017 A series raymarine hooked with 2017 EVO autopilot. works ok at low speed but with any kind of "seaway"j, like 1 foot chop it wanders 5-10 degrees with noticeable snake wake. it is set on cruise mode and is worse on performance mode
I had a Raymarine tech guy come out and redo all the settings. He notice that the installation does not have a mechanical rudder position indicator but said it doesnt need one with new Raymarine setup.

He wants to sell me a new Garmin autopilot.
What to do?
would a manual rudder indicator help?
is it something about the mainship instability?
get a new tech guy?

bruce adornato
sausalito california
Sounds like a setting thing to me, such as "Yaw" setting to loose. If this tech couldn't adjust the settings and wants to sell you another AP, I would suggest getting another tech to look at.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:21 PM   #3
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Does this happen at all points of sail or just going downwind. If downwind then it is probably due to seas pushing the stern around. Common on many trawlers. Don't know about that model, does it come with a gyro feature or only fluxgate compass heading. On my Mainship 34T I added the gyro feature, at the time it was a black box add on and that tamed the S turns nicely.


Maybe a rudder sensor would help. It provides positive data to the autopilot's algorithm of where the rudder is rather than infering it from past movements.


If the RAYMARINE tech guy wanted to sell you a new Garmin autopilot, he clearly wasn't trying to fix your problem. I would find someone else.


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Old 05-13-2019, 02:48 PM   #4
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I believe all the Raymarine EVO pilots are gyro corrected. I've not had one without the rudder sensor, but with one I get no yawing upwind or down on either my trawler or my sailboat. I'd tweak the settings (there are many in the advanced section) and perhaps add the rudder sensor.

What is the exact model of autopilot course computer?
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:10 PM   #5
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First off, which Evo autopilot is it? I would hope not the EV100 and type .5 pump. The EV150 with a type 1 pump would be the minimum autopilot for your boat.
Secondly, yes , a rudder feedback transducer would help immensely but it's not imperative to make it steer satisfactorily.
What do you mean by he redid the settings? He should've checked for and adjusted the hardover to hardover time in the pump settings. That would make the biggest difference in the boats wandering since it doesn't have a feedback.
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:19 PM   #6
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I am not an expert on autopilots -- or anything for that matter.

I will note, however, that I chartered a Mainship from Club Nautique in Sausalito (where you appear to be located) on a couple of occasions and found it VERY difficult to maintain a straight course in manual steering with a moderate chop. My assumption was that the relatively light weight of the boat and the shallow draft made for a hard-to-maintain course.

Good luck in getting that figured out. I hope there's an easy fix with the AP.
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:28 PM   #7
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I installed an Evolution AP a couple years ago. Night-and-day compared to the previous Raymarine AP I had (circa 2006, but I am convinced that unit had an underlying hardware problem I never located). The new Evo is fantastic in comparison. No snaking.

I do have a rudder sensor. (One comes with the AP, but I simply reused the one from my old AP rather than run new cables).

The Evo APs have very few setting compared to previous generations. Basically run it through the learning process and that's that. I don't know that there are many settings to "redo", and coupled with the fact he wanted to sell you a new AP suggests he is not someone I would count on for help here.

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Old 05-13-2019, 07:38 PM   #8
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The Raymarine forum is very good at solving problems.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:35 PM   #9
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In the autopilot drive settings you can set: Rudder damping, rudder limit, rudder offset, response level, and hard over time. The rudder damping and response level are the most likely ones to play with, assuming hard over time is set correctly.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:41 PM   #10
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You didn't get a Raymarine tech. He was a Garmin tech. Settings need to be tweaked underway. Can't be done at the dock. You don't give enough info about your system to be specific but if you installed the EV-1 gyro with an ACU-200 autopilot and a p70 controller as an example you would need to fiddle with several settings.

I would start with Response Level. A higher number will give you better tracking but the pump will be running a lot more. Rudder Gain should also be tweaked. I would use a rudder indicator in any installation as a standard feature.

You should get an actual experienced Raymarine tech onboard and as tiltrider mentioned, browse Raymarine forum. (And I would start at the beginning and calibrate your EV-1)
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:30 AM   #11
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Don't think you get rudder gain as a parameter on a EV autopilot. But I agree that the tech was a Garmin salesman.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:57 AM   #12
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Agree that the Raymarine should not be giving you problems if the correct size package is installed and all components working as needed.
The snaking is probably a setting issue as Raymarine autopilots have had a good rep for at least 20 years.
Lots of techs are not all that good...the easy way out or a new sale is a bigger feather in their cap rather than just doing what they should.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:13 AM   #13
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I have Raymarine system on my boat. The best help you will get is from factory tech support team. I was brave enough to install everything by myself, but all the settings was advised by tech support worked to my satisfaction.
Good luck.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:55 AM   #14
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Just got back up to the boat. The boat has a EV200 P70R powerboat pack and EV 200 hydraulic pack and ACU 200 processor installed in 2016. There is a pre existing rudder control indicator in the stern but not hooked up. The fluxgate compass in installed in the main salon in a cabinet not near any motors or pumps.
I am going to see if i can find another Raymarine tech if i cant fiddle with it more this week. What kind of hardover time do I want on it?
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:41 AM   #15
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The boat has a EV200 P70R ....
I am going to see if I can find another Raymarine tech..
For what it's worth, I had exactly the same model AP installed 2.5 years ago and all settings were done by the Tech in the slip! The EV200 has been working flawlessly with no additional tweeking. The boat is a 42' Ocean Alexander. Suggest you get another tech who has installed the EV200 in the past.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:59 AM   #16
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Codger,
do you have a rudder position indicator on your alexander?
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Old 05-20-2019, 12:03 PM   #17
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There is a pre existing rudder control indicator in the stern but not hooked up.
IIRC Raymarine has said in the past that a rudder indicator isn't required but is desirable. Having one reduces the settings that can (or need to) be tweaked in the AP setup process.
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Old 05-20-2019, 12:16 PM   #18
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Just got back up to the boat. The boat has a EV200 P70R powerboat pack and EV 200 hydraulic pack and ACU 200 processor installed in 2016. There is a pre existing rudder control indicator in the stern but not hooked up. The fluxgate compass in installed in the main salon in a cabinet not near any motors or pumps.
I think you mean the white EV-1 sensor unit is installed in the cabinet. The black fluxgate compass is no longer used. It's a solid system. An experienced "real" raymarine tech can do the setup at the dock. Anyone else I would expect tweaking during sea trial to make sure snaking is gone.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:01 PM   #19
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I installed an Evolution AP a couple years ago. Night-and-day compared to the previous Raymarine AP I had (circa 2006, but I am convinced that unit had an underlying hardware problem I never located). The new Evo is fantastic in comparison. No snaking.

I do have a rudder sensor. (One comes with the AP, but I simply reused the one from my old AP rather than run new cables).

The Evo APs have very few setting compared to previous generations. Basically run it through the learning process and that's that. I don't know that there are many settings to "redo", and coupled with the fact he wanted to sell you a new AP suggests he is not someone I would count on for help here.

Ask Raymarine tech support: Raymarine forum
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
The Raymarine forum is very good at solving problems.
Agree, Give them a call and/or post on the Raymarine Forum......
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:52 AM   #20
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I think you mean the white EV-1 sensor unit is installed in the cabinet. The black fluxgate compass is no longer used. It's a solid system. An experienced "real" raymarine tech can do the setup at the dock. Anyone else I would expect tweaking during sea trial to make sure snaking is gone.
If there is an unused rudder sensor from a prior install, there may also be an unused flux gate from a prior install. If the EV-1 was installed in a very wrong place it might cause snaking. So is it the EV-1 (about 4" diameter white disk) or a flux gate (about 2.5" diameter black dome) that you see?

I'd hook up the rudder sensor. It's useful to see the rudder position when maneuvering, even when not on autopilot.
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