26X Auto Pilot

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

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davera20023
Just Enlisted
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:13 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

26X Auto Pilot

Post by davera20023 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:21 am

I have to admit that I was very skeptical about using a bungee cord as an auto pilot for my 02 26X. I jokingly tried it. I am here to report, it worked! I have used it on three sails now. I have to make small adjustments every 15 minutes (sometimes longer). I can solo sail now leaving the helm for 10 minutes with no worries. No maintenance!

Once I was very skeptical, now I am not! Thanking the fellow bloggers for the advice.

Don

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opie
Captain
Posts: 670
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 8:40 am
Location: Wilmington NC, BF50A Honda, 1999 MacX, "Marin"

Re: 26X Auto Pilot

Post by opie » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:32 pm

A few more details please......
8) Congratulations on enjoying your Mac. So many sailboats just sit in slips or on trailers all the time, so anything that makes it safer and easier contributes to more water time.

davera20023
Just Enlisted
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:13 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

Re: 26X Auto Pilot

Post by davera20023 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:06 am

Hi Opie,
It is quite simple. Just set your sails and maintain the boat in the desired direction (wind permitting). My bungee cord has a hook on each end. I hook one hook on the steering wheel and the other on my canopy pole. I just verify everything once every 10 minutes or so. When I adjusted the sails, I had to reset the cord. After that, I just check my heading about every 10 minutes.

I was very surprised at the effectiveness of something so simple. If I were planning a multi day trip over a vast area of sea, I would probably opt for an electronic auto pilot. For day trips in the Gulf, I chose to save the money and the maintenance.

Yesterday, I had seas of 2 to 3 feet and the bungee cord kept me on track for more than 15 minutes. My wife calls me a redneck, but that is okay.

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opie
Captain
Posts: 670
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 8:40 am
Location: Wilmington NC, BF50A Honda, 1999 MacX, "Marin"

Re: 26X Auto Pilot

Post by opie » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:02 pm

Try sunscreen back there. ;-)

jim nolan
Chief Steward
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 9:25 pm
Location: sayre pa. 1999 26 X joey-boy

Re: 26X Auto Pilot

Post by jim nolan » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:46 pm

I use a bungee too. But I backed out a bolt on the pedestal. and hook it there. Its out of the way.

SENCMac26x
First Officer
Posts: 272
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:44 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Carolina Beach, NC

Re: 26X Auto Pilot

Post by SENCMac26x » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:59 pm

We sailed down the Cape Fear to Southport last weekend, Mr. Bungee worked like a charm while under sail letting us kick back and only make small adjustments from time to time.

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