a question: autopilots on small boats?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by boredman1, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. boredman1
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    boredman1 Junior Member

    hey guys, i am just wondering could a auto pilot be fitted to a Hartley 21?
     
  2. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Sure, but remember the power drain. FWIW, for small sailing boats going long distances, which is why you would consider an autopilot, suppling the power is going to take up a lot of space, even if it is just batteries and solar panels. Generally, small boats respond well to windvanes and sheet-to-tiller set-ups
     
  3. boredman1
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    boredman1 Junior Member

    what does FWIW mean?
     
  4. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    IIRC, For What Its Worth. ;)
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    You can install an auto pilot on anything, though as mentioned, power supply will be an issue (always is). Consider self steering with sheet routing or a windvane as a no power alternative. These are easy to rig and very effective.
     
  6. boredman1
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    boredman1 Junior Member

    alright what does iirc mean lol
     
  7. Tussock
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    Tussock Junior Member

    If I Recall Correctly.

    FWIW I used a tillerpilot continuously (24 hours/day) for an 8 day passage on a Coronet 20 (similarish size and displacement to your Hartley), with a 17 A/hr battery and a 5 watt solar panel. I had a considerbaly larger battery as a reserve, but didn't need it. If you stay aware of helm pressures the current drain on the sort of boat you're referring to should be quite manageable. I kept the main a little more free and the boat a little more upright than usual and was amazed at how low the current draw was.

    Having said all that, I'd much prefer a windvane, particularly when hard on the wind.
     
  8. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    "If I Recall Correctly"

    Or as I prefer;

    "Ignominious International Race of Champions"
     
  9. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    I know a lot of trailer sailers here use the small raymarine tiller pilot.
     
  10. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    1 person likes this.

  11. boredman1
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    boredman1 Junior Member

    thanks for the info
     
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