Viva, our 1975 Tartan 44 test boat, has, like most fiberglass boats, a hollow fiberglass rudder and skeg. The rudderstock is solid stainless steel,...
In a nutshell, autopilots have one main function: to assume control of a vessels steering and control its heading, be it a specific course or on a selected route or to a waypoint. As with any crucial piece of gear (anchors being a great example), cost should not be the primary consideration in the selection process. Its crucial to select a unit that has both the power and ability to steer your boat effectively in all sea conditions youre likely to encounter.
Multifunction display manufacturers have pushed their products through a dramatic evolution in the last five years as they try to keep pace with technology that we take for granted in our other electronics. Better interfaces, screen resolution, and the ability to download useful software apps (beyond navigation) are just some of the improvements. Most of the major vendors are on their third generation of touchscreen interfaces, higher resolution displays, downloadable software, remote music control, and other functions far afield of what MFDs performed five years ago.
Of four models tested, the Simrad TP10 lags behind the others, while the TP30 outpoints the Autohelm ST2000.û
Inflatable vs. Hard DinghyI have recently bought a nice, old 38' Shannon ketch, and she has dinghy davits. I have no dinghy, but am...
Rudder LeaksI read your rudder-rebuild article (February 1, 2000) with interest since I own a 1972 Ranger 33 with an original rudder. I have...
A sailboat is no place for unnecessary complexity, which was the direction PS contributor Dan Corcoran was headed on his Beneteau 393, when it came to how data was passed between various marine electronics. The worst offender was a spaghetti network of point-to-point wiring that utilized the familiar National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) 0183 standard. A few years ago, he embarked on a gradual replacement of NMEA 0183 wiring and components with the new standard, NMEA 2000. Here he offers his account of the upgrade and answers the oft-asked refit question: Was it worth it?
Offshore sailor Skip Allan tested two entry-level tillerpilots, the Simrad TP10 and Raymarine ST1000, aboard his 27-foot sloop during last years Singlehanded Trans-Pac race. The autopilots were used during varying weather conditions and sea states, including gale conditions. The review considers characteristics of the Raymarine tillerpilot and Simrad tillerpilot, including price, power supply, drive thrust, installation ease, user friendliness, construction, and performance.
After the roller-furling jib, the most valued piece of gear aboard for many sailors is the autopilot. So fond of autopilots are skippers and first mates, many even name their units-Otto the autopilot, Joshua (after infamous sailor Joshua Slocum), Amelia (after historic female pilot Amelia Earhart), and WTF are a few that weve met during our cruises.
Autopilots are one piece of electronics gear that truly has something to offer every sailor-from gunkholer to bluewater cruiser. Having this extra crewmember onboard not only eases the burden of shorthanded sailing, but also helps prevent helm fatigue. An autopilot allows solo sailors to use the head, more easily raise sails, or grab a bite to eat. Crewmembers can enjoy a passage, passing the time reading a book or watching the scenery without being a slave to the helm.