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Date Posted: - Wednesday - 10/29/08 - 4:20pm
Author: Jake
Subject: Auto Pilot?

Has anyone installed an auto pilot in their 32'mariner, and if what kind? I'm thinking of installing one and trying to figure out which one is the best out there. I just need it for the short trips to the islands around home. Thanks, Jake.

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[> Auto pilot -- Craig M31-25 Hibou, - Thursday - 10/30/08 - 12:09pm

I installed a Raymarine auto pilot on Hibou. I don't remember the model number and it isn't listed on the Raymarine website. I should have spent the extra bucks and got the model with a gyro compass that can "learn" how the boat responds to the helm. As it is the one I have works....sometimes...when the stars and planets are aligned. ;-)

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[> funny you should mention that -- Jared Kibele, - Monday - 11/10/08 - 3:59pm

I just installed a Raymarine autopilot on my mariner 31. I got the rotary drive unit model. I have a ton of pictures and more details that I've been meaning to post. Now that you've asked, I'll really do it.

I got the unit without the gyro. I required a bit of messing around to find the right settings but now that I have, it works great. It steers like a champ even in choppy following seas.

I'll try to post more details in the next few days.

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[> [> auto helm -- Craig M31-25 Hibou, - Tuesday - 11/11/08 - 8:44am

Would you care to share your settings for your auto-helm?

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[> [> [> Autopilot settings -- Jared, - Tuesday - 11/11/08 - 4:03pm

Hi Craig,

I can't remember all of the settings off the top of my head but I do remember that the rudder gain setting seemed to make the biggest difference. I ended up with it near the top of the range. I think it goes to 9 and I think mine is now set to 8. Before I did that it wouldn't stay on course with following seas. After I made that change we went around Point Conception with short period, eight foot following seas in 20 - 25 knot winds and the autopilot steered great. We motored through that but also sailed down wind on auto during other parts of the trip.

I think I also significantly increased the level of the autotrim. That lets the pilot apply more standing helm and seemed to make a big difference while we were under sail.

I won't get a chance to get down to the boat until next weekend. If you'd like, I can try to get the exact settings for you but I suspect they'll be a little different on everyone's boat and that you'll need to adjust them for different conditions. In that respect, the gyro-compass model would be nice but with enough manual tweaking mine seems to do pretty good.

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[> auto pilot -- Buzz Hall, - Monday - 11/10/08 - 5:49pm

I am trying to set up my 31 with the rotary drive unit and would love to see how you adapted the drive to your worm drive stearing. can you forward your pictures or tell me wher you posted them.

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[> Autopilot intallation pictures -- Jared, - Tuesday - 11/11/08 - 3:52pm

I put up a bunch of pictures of my autopilot installation. The pictures have descriptions that should explain most of it. I'll try to come up with a more detailed account at some point. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. The photos can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kibele/sets/72157608829826444/


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[> [> Great Series! -- John & Jan, - Tuesday - 11/11/08 - 6:41pm

Thank you so much for sharing! The series is wonderfully put together.

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