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Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby fouz » Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:36 pm

Does the tiller pilot have a hard time turning the wheel, motor and rudders at the same time. Do you leave it all hooked up?

I want to do this on my :macx: but i think i will need a new cable as it is very hard to turn the motor/rudders while connected to the wheel.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby BOAT » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:04 am

The piston has no trouble with the system at all as long as you have the tiller arm at the right length. The length of the tiller arm is the key to giving the system enough leverage to move the rudders easily. If you get a good tiller on your rudders that is a good 14 to 16 inches long or so you can very easily turn the rudders back and forth with that much leverage. It feels like when your in a tiller boat with your hand about midway on the tiller - it's firm, but still easy to maneuver.

My trip to LOWES was a complete bust last night guys - I could not find the ball I used. I did post info in the beginning of this post and that's still good but just know that I think a 3/4 inch ball system would work just fine.

Heck, if your really precise in your piston guide you could even use a pin and eye set up as long as the pin is tapered so it takes up the slop as it falls into the eye hole. The only reason I did not go that way was because I was afraid the piston arm would rotate and make the pin miss the eye. Now that I have used the system for a while I have not noticed any rod rotation so a pin just might work.

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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby RobertB » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:59 am

The install using a remote disconnect is one of two distinct methods. The other is to leave the mechanism connected all the time.
Disconnect Method: PRO easily disconnected to completely remove from the steering - enables steering with the pinky finger while holding your martini :) . CON: not available immediately in an emergency situation - rudders must be positioned to a specific angle to engage.
Fixed Method: PRO always immediately available. CON more wear on the autopilot actuator (not sure if I will ever see a failure or not) and more resistance on the steering.

Personally, we have not found the added resistance of the permanent installation on the wheel an issue, after a few times, we really do not notice it. Also note, should there be a real issue, the mechanism is easily disconnected below deck by pulling a quick release pin - a pull cord could even be fitted to make this possible without going to the back of the berth. The immediate availability means a lot to me in that the AP can immediately take over control with a single press or a button should I need to immediately respond to an emergency. Needing to turn the wheel for a easily disconnected system may not be possible or desirable in such a situation (the entire process would be to turn the wheel to neutral, engage the linkage, activate the AP, steer to the desired heading, then react to whatever is happening)

All in the priorities. Mine was to make the boat easier to control normally and with a reduced crew (of one if I want).
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby BOAT » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:47 am

Yeah, the deal with autopilots is always that situation with the engagement of the system. I know Luna has his always attached and you guys can do that - it's no problem - BUT if that's the way you want to do it you really don't need this post, right? I am assuming that this info is because you guys were interested in a way to disconnect - so that is why I am posting it - if you are not interested in a disconnect then this post is a waste of time for you folks. I'm not here to make anyone upset about not removing their pilot - but since there is interest I will proceed as if others are wanting my opinion. I hope no one is offended:

If you get the exact same RayMarine system with a wheel drive instead of a Tiller drive it has a clutch to disengage the pilot. The tiller pilot does not need a clutch because it's designed to just be lifted off a tiller that RayMarine correctly presumes is right there in your cockpit. RayMarine did not design the tiller pilot for a tiller that is un-accessible to the helmsman under the cockpit. They told me that on the phone.

Both the wheel pilot AND the tiller pilot are designed to be disengaged from the steering! That's why the wheel drive has a clutch and the tiller drive is not permanently affixed to the tiller. The manufacture clearly designed something that is supposed to be removed. And for good reason:

1. if you install the tiller drive at the correct 14 inches from the rudder as specified by RayMarine it will limit the scope of your turn radius because the rudders swing 40 degrees but the piston only allows the rudders to turn 30 degrees. This can be a real problem trying to tack in light winds and getting caught in irons.

2. If you install the tiller drive at the correct 14 inches from the rudder as specified by RayMarine it makes the wheel a lot HARDER to turn because at that tiller length your do not have the leverage against the piston that you would have if the piston were 12 inches from the fulcrum. At 12 inches from the rudder axle the piston is fairly easy to move and you also have more than 30 degrees of swing, but at 14 inches it's a lot harder to turn the wheel and the swing is reduced to 30 degrees.

3. The piston is very quiet on my boat - it just makes short small adjustments when underway and there is very little noise - you need to pay attention to even hear it above deck, but when i turn the wheel with the drive engaged it makes a loud whirring noise that tells me I am really pushing on the mechanism as speeds it's really not supposed to be moving. It gets really loud when I am forcing it about.

RayMarine designed the system so that you can overpower it anytime so that emergencies are a non issue - if you need to take control you just grab the wheel and take control - it's not strong enough to over power you so staying connected as Luna does works just fine.

As for emergencies - in my case that's exactly why I want to be able to disconnect from the helm:

The approach to my home harbor is dangerous - just as I get to the mouth where all the traffic is there are ground swells and wind changes that can suddenly stop you or turn the boat unexpectedly or something gets in your way. I wanted to be able to yank a rope and get unhooked asap so I could have all the rudder swing and freedom on the wheel that I enjoy when there is no AP attached. Getting unhooked is fast and easy - The quick turn the wheel to north and pull the rope is so fast in a pinch that I have done it under stressful situations where i was so stressed i forgot to put the AP in standby. I was glad I did not need to remember to push another button to get free of the piston in that situation. The AP was still trying to steer even though i was disconnected - after a few seconds the AP will course alarm when it realizes it does not have control of the rudders and will automatically go into standby and sound an alarm. Of course - now that the pilot has been thrashing about disconnected while you were steering it's no longer in the center position ready to be dropped back down on the system - that is the major drawback. You really need to put the AP in standby FIRST, THEN disengage so that the piston is right there in the center position ready to drop onto the centered wheel when your ready to re-engage. That is the only drawback I have seen so far (aside from the more complicated installation). But the instillation is a one time only hassle, once it's done it's done and now you can disconnect and reconnect all day long without leaving the wheelhouse.

In my opinion it's better to have a way to disconnect AND RECONNECT from the wheel - but that is just my opinion. Mine opinion is not better than anyone else but my opinion of course is the one I am going to express. Other wise, luna is right - you could just go below decks to move the piston or rudder in position to hook up the piston and pin it. Even I have to do that in those rare occasions that I forget to put the pilot in Standby before disengaging it. It takes 20 seconds to crawl to the back and hook up the tiller pilot - it's pretty fast, but it only takes 2 seconds to do it from the cockpit with a release system.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby RobertB » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:50 am

So Boat, are you saying you do not like martinis :?:
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby BOAT » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:08 pm

My mom and dad were huge martini fans and I remember as a kid back in the 60's I always got to eat the olive from their martinis. It's a kid memory now for me now that olives from martini's taste the best.
I was not a fan of vodka until this San Diego family came to our little town and built a restaurant by the pier ( https://www.cohnrestaurants.com/333pacific ) My town was always a sort of blue collar beer town with a lot of military so we were not very cultured about drinks like martinis and high balls and stuff (still don't even know what a high ball is? :? ) Anyways, that family from San Diego brought a little bit of big city class to our little backwater and now vodka martinis are all the rage her on Thursday nights. All the locals jam into the place on Thursdays to have a martini!

They call the place 333 Pacific (that's also the address so it makes it easy for us Oceanside people to find it) and they have a vodka bar that is crazy!

Image

over 300 vodkas from all over the world and many flavors and now we like martinis. We go there to drink a martini because they have all kinds of different ones. I don't think I could make a martini myself.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby Tomfoolery » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:25 pm

BOAT wrote:My town was always a sort of blue collar beer town with a lot of military so we were not very cultured about drinks like martinis and high balls and stuff (still don't even know what a high ball is? :? )

It's just spirits with a larger proportion of mixer, served on the rocks in a tall straight-sided glass. Like scotch and soda. Gin and tonic. (Seagrams) Seven and Seven (Up). The easiest mixed drinks to make. I believe whisky (of some sort) and soda water was the first thing referred to as a 'highball', but it now comprises a variety of combos.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby BOAT » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:35 pm

That's interesting Tom, I know a lot of the people on this site are long time "yachtsmen" types who have had many sailboats of various sizes in their past and are very familiar with the yacht club polo shirt crowd. Not that I have anything against them - I enjoy their company when they are willing to tolerate me but I usually don't run into those folks much here at home - I see them when I am up in Newport or Dana Point or down in San Diego (S.D. where MAC's are hated) I must admit I'm no where near as versed on all these mixed spirits as the big city guys. Here all we say is "gimme a beer". (Oceanside has more beer breweries than gas stations!)

Thanks to Highlander i have sort of found out what good scotch is supposed to taste like (did't know the difference before) and now I think I am getting better at vodka martini, but all the rest is still a big mystery.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby Tomfoolery » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:44 pm

Highballs are (in my estimation) the lowest form of mixed drink. Virtually no skill involved, and may be all that's available at a minimalist bar (like at some informal outdoor event with a 'bar'), along with beer. Anyone can mix a highball, as you just splash a shot or two of spirits over ice, and fill the glass with mixer. Add a twist or wedge, depending on the liquor (wedge of lime for a G&T, my personal fav). You may not be able to mix a good martini, but you certainly can 'mix' a highball.

And if Highlander isn't our group expert on Scotch, then I'm drifting aimlessly on the subject, rudderless, with a lee shore. :|



From a Star Trek episode:

Mr. Spock: [about theragen being a deadly Klingon nerve gas] If I remember correctly, it caused fatality only when used in pure form.

Dr. McCoy: That's right. And in this derivative, mixed with alcohol, it merely deadens certain nerve inputs to the brain.

Scott: Oh, well, any decent brand o' Scotch'll do that.

Dr. McCoy: Oh? Well, one good slug of this, and you could hit a man with phaser stun and he'd never feel it, or even know it.

Scott: Does it make a good mix with Scotch?

Dr. McCoy: It should.

Scott: [heading out with the beaker of theragen derivative] I'll let ya know.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby Tomfoolery » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:58 pm

But on the topic of tiller pilots, is that actuator hydraulic?

And why use a tiller pilot instead of a wheel pilot? It's easy to flip the lever on the wheel drive to disengage it, after all.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby BOAT » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:10 pm

Tomfoolery wrote:But on the topic of tiller pilots, is that actuator hydraulic?

And why use a tiller pilot instead of a wheel pilot? It's easy to flip the lever on the wheel drive to disengage it, after all.


EXACTLY! The real way to do a pilot on the MAC is to use a wheel pilot because the MAC has a wheel!! EXACTLY!

This whole thing was a non issue problem that I created because I insisted I did not want a bagel on my wheel. I just hated the idea of having a bagel on my wheel, but all the other guys like Mastreb and Highlander and everyone else that wanted an AP just installed the wheel pilot and thought I was just crazy - AND THEY WERE RIGHT! They are accustomed to my insanity and just accept it (bless them) so it was no big deal.

That's not even a topic of debate anymore - we all know that I am crazy and that it's my own brainless hatred for the dreaded "wheel bagel" that prevented me from just installing a wheel pilot on boat in the first place!

It was a NON ISSUE (A problem that was all in my head).

So I created my system because of my crazy brain. I don't know why people want to do it, really but if they do I'm willing to tell them how I did it. I'm just trying to be the good guy.
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby RobertB » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:16 pm

The tiller pilot has a electro-mechanical linear actuator.

I used the tiller version to avoid the size and the sound of the wheel pilot. When sailing, at least my boat needs a lot of constant rudder input (do we hear any ideas for a MacYawl?) and that results in constant noise from the wheel pilot. Also, the small size of the Mac wheel is not such a good fit for the wheel pilot, where to put fingers seems to become an issue.

The perfect setup would be a tiller type with a disconnect solenoid (normal disconnected).

Just noticed someone put hydraulic steering on a Mac- that would work well with an AP - but probably drive it into a higher cost range with the hydraulic actuator.

As far as vodka goes, those around Delaware, suggest trying the new vodka from Dogfish Head. They brew a special beer to flavor it with, kind of tastes sweet like tequila. Hey Boat, think of it, a beer vodka :D
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby Jimmyt » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:22 pm

Boat; I really like the clean wheel look (and enjoy your crazy troll rants). I particularly enjoy the ingenuity involved in adapting the tiller control to your M. Being a bit of a backyard mechanic myself, I know "art" when I see it.

Tom; you really hit a soft spot with the segue from high balls to that scene from Star Trek. A true classic, that Mr. Scott... Reminds me alot of a certain Mac owner with multiple head sails...
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby BOAT » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:23 pm

RobertB wrote:The tiller pilot has a electro-mechanical linear actuator.

I used the tiller version to avoid the size and the sound of the wheel pilot. When sailing, at least my boat needs a lot of constant rudder input (do we hear any ideas for a MacYawl?) and that results in constant noise from the wheel pilot. Also, the small size of the Mac wheel is not such a good fit for the wheel pilot, where to put fingers seems to become an issue.

The perfect setup would be a tiller type with a disconnect solenoid (normal disconnected).

Just noticed someone put hydraulic steering on a Mac- that would work well with an AP - but probably drive it into a higher cost range with the hydraulic actuator.

As far as vodka goes, those around Delaware, suggest trying the new vodka from Dogfish Head. They brew a special beer to flavor it with, kind of tastes sweet like tequila. Hey Boat, think of it, a beer vodka :D


That might have been the answer to my beer tongue the first time I tried to eat those martini's at the airport terminal waiting for a flight to Timbuk-too (ugh, never ordered a martini again after that) but had I been in the first class lounge getting the good stuff I would not have had such a bad reaction perhaps.

Thank goodness the Cohn family from San Diego came up here and brought some high quality vodka and some patient bartenders to fix our ignorance. Now I like the martinis! I can be just like Luna and have a martini at the yacht club and be just like the rest of the guys! (until I open my mouth).
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Re: Installing a Ray Marine Tiller Pilot below decks

Postby kurz » Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:03 pm

The piston has no trouble with the system at all as long as you have the tiller arm at the right length. The length of the tiller arm is the key to giving the system enough leverage to move the rudders easily. If you get a good tiller on your rudders that is a good 14 to 16 inches long or so you can very easily turn the rudders back and forth with that much leverage. It feels like when your in a tiller boat with your hand about midway on the tiller - it's firm, but still easy to maneuver.


I just do not understand why the ev 100 tiller pilot does have the 14 inch mount restriction an a Mac26.
Raymarine sell it for yachts up to 6 tons and 11 meter lengths. So this 3 time more than we have on the mac. Why not mount it shorter to the rudder arm and have full range for steering?

I just checked befor: You can turn the rudder arm below deck even with the motor on without any force just with your hands, so maybe some kg, maybe 5kg. Raymarine givs 84kg power.

The ev 100 anyway would not "realize" how long the rudder arm is but just would work a little harder. Am I wrong?
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