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Thread: Tiller pilots - 'anything that I need to look out for?

  1. #1
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    Default Tiller pilots - 'anything that I need to look out for?

    I’ve never owned or fitted a tiller pilot before, I’ve used them on OPB’s (others peoples boats), but otherwise don’t know much about them so would appreciate any advice or experiences with buying, fitting and using them.

    I had been setting up to to just wire the cockpit of my H28 refit in readiness for one to be fitted at a later date but am now thinking it may be better to go the whole hog and buy and set one up from the outset so that I can also fit the correct plug (rather than just have a bundle of terminated wiring in readiness).

    I’m considering the Simrad TP10 or TP22 and the plug for power and NMEA2000 comes with the unit, rather than being sold separately. Simrad because I have all B&G equipment otherwise.

    Going on on-line spec’s the TP10 should suffice but for the extra $360(AUD) I wonder if there’s any extra peace of mind achieved by going up to the larger unit might be a better investment??
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tiller pilots - 'anything that I need to look out for?

    the smallest ,cheapest , and usually used old tp's i can find.
    hook it to the monitor,(aries). lenny and bruce,..one is strong but dumb, the other is weak but smart.so, the "larger unit" IS the servo pendulum
    wouldn't know a thing about trick plugs

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tiller pilots - 'anything that I need to look out for?

    Hey Greg,
    i have had nothing but trouble with Raymarine tiller pilots, rust, randomly stop working etc.
    I have never owned a Simrad but have heard they are better. (Smarter and tougher).
    One problem with the raymarine is they dont have a max tiller switch. This means if the boat is slower to come back on coarse the tiller pilot motor keeps running but the tiller is fully extended. This leads to slipping belts, stress on motor etc. The fella that told me about this, wired in his own stop switches for use on a trailor sailor. I believe Simrad dont suffer this problem.

    You have an external rudder, you could do a trim tab steering as seen here. https://youtu.be/ixkAeYejn_w
    Starts at about the 5:30 mark.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tiller pilots - 'anything that I need to look out for?

    Thanks Steve, really good to know about the Raymarine v the Simrad - that was one of my original questions in terms of how they compared but the compatibility of the Simrad with the B&G setup kinda put that question aside.

    The trim tab arrangements looks “interesting”, but not really suitable for what I’m trying to achieve with the H28 setup. If I was setting it up to cruise long distance it would be a great thing to have (along with solar panels and all the other gaff that you hang off of every available bit of space) but I want this one kept simple and clean with as little as possible cluttering her lines.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tiller pilots - 'anything that I need to look out for?

    I get that.
    edit to add, you will probably find she steers beautifully with sheet to tiller, and can use the pilot for engine and difficult angles.
    Last edited by Geftb; 09-15-2022 at 06:10 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tiller pilots - 'anything that I need to look out for?

    I've got a Raymarine ST1000 which I use on a 30' fin keeler. It came with the boat and, per its specs, is undersized for the boat.

    It seems to go through some form of mood swings.

    Sometimes it will happily steer all day without any problems. Other days it shows a darker, more belligerent side.

    Things that annoy it seem to be too much sunshine, which in fairness we get a lot of out here; humidity; over attention (i.e. steering to wind shifts by changing the course on the tiller pilot by a few degrees) and also a general lack of attention where it will steer happily for hours then decide to gently drift off course.

    It's only really been used in occasional light-wind spinnaker runs or motoring on glassy flat seas with no wind at all, so it's never been overstretched.

    Like you I also have NMEA 2000 B&G instruments. I've never bothered to try to link the ST1000 largely as I don't have a lot of faith in it but also in part because the B&G stuff all gets on with its job just fine and I don't want it to start picking up unhelpful habits from the rather grumpy tillerpilot.

    If I was to buy another tillerpilot I'd go for the Simrad which, with NMEA 2000, I could then wire in to the B&G to take its steering directions from the masthead wind indicator.

    I'd say that your boat is well within the TP10s capabilities. As Geftb says above, its probably going to be most useful when motoring on long, windless passages. I'd expect your boat will track pretty well by herself under sail.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tiller pilots - 'anything that I need to look out for?

    Watching with interest. I've been thinking about one for my Santana and have looked at the usual suspects. My system (in process) will all be NMEA2000 so anything compatible should work. I did some research on the Pelagic, which looks strong and reliable, but I can't afford it since it'll only get used a few times. Ultimately, I'll probably end up with a sheet-to-tiller arrangement or a cross line and shockcord.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tiller pilots - 'anything that I need to look out for?

    That’s pretty much what I’d planned as well Hugh, as Steve and Ed recognised she does hold and balance well with just a sheet to tiller setup (on most angles). So I’d never gotten particularly serious about the tiller pilot - other than to allow for one as I mentioned above but my thought is, as you all suggest, to have it mostly for when motoring.

    I had expected them to be quite a bit more expensive than they are (shopping around on line last night I found them for $715AUD for the T10 and $1015AUD for the T22) so they’re kinda more in the affordable luxury item bracket than I’d thought.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tiller pilots - 'anything that I need to look out for?

    Quote Originally Posted by AndanteEd View Post
    I've got a Raymarine ST1000 which I use on a 30' fin keeler. It came with the boat and, per its specs, is undersized for the boat.

    It seems to go through some form of mood swings.

    Sometimes it will happily steer all day without any problems. Other days it shows a darker, more belligerent side.

    Things that annoy it seem to be too much sunshine, which in fairness we get a lot of out here; humidity; over attention (i.e. steering to wind shifts by changing the course on the tiller pilot by a few degrees) and also a general lack of attention where it will steer happily for hours then decide to gently drift off course.

    It's only really been used in occasional light-wind spinnaker runs or motoring on glassy flat seas with no wind at all, so it's never been overstretched.

    Like you I also have NMEA 2000 B&G instruments. I've never bothered to try to link the ST1000 largely as I don't have a lot of faith in it but also in part because the B&G stuff all gets on with its job just fine and I don't want it to start picking up unhelpful habits from the rather grumpy tillerpilot.

    If I was to buy another tillerpilot I'd go for the Simrad which, with NMEA 2000, I could then wire in to the B&G to take its steering directions from the masthead wind indicator.

    I'd say that your boat is well within the TP10s capabilities. As Geftb says above, its probably going to be most useful when motoring on long, windless passages. I'd expect your boat will track pretty well by herself under sail.
    I think the Raymarine ST1000 and 2000 are awesome. The ST1000 is great if you balance out the sails - has worked out well on my 8800 lbs fin keeler as well as is good on the 1D35 we race. I went with the ST2000 for a little more ooumph for 100 dollars more on Amazon for the 30.7' sister boat. I find the Seatalk is ok and works well with the older cluster of perfectly fine displays but then again i am frugal. There is so much internet hype or discredit of the Raymarine units but in truth they are fine instruments, improved over they years with millions of hours on them. Many people use them to cross large expanses of ocean with them. B&G is more about flash and deeper pockets. Like everything, how much one spends and feels good about their purchases then they do their job.

    Pelagic Autopilot System for Tiller Steered Vessels are the gold standard. If i was going to solo across the Pacific I would use one of these with a ST2000 as a backup.
    https://pelagicautopilot.com/collect...iller-actuator



    Screen Shot 2022-09-15 at 2.36.31 PM.jpg
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 09-15-2022 at 04:55 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Tiller pilots - 'anything that I need to look out for?

    I had a Raymarine ST1000 on my 27' trimaran and it worked flawlessly for the seven years I had the boat.
    -Dave

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Tiller pilots - 'anything that I need to look out for?

    Thanks for the comments and advice everyone. I’ve bitten the bullet and picked up the Simrad TP22 so that I can get the cabling and socket run and mounted, putting me pretty much be in a position to finally get my cabinetry all buttoned up and (I think) get all of my electrical and electronics commissioned (at least as far as I can out of the water anyway).

    I got it from my preferred local electronics supplier who matched the best price in the country without having to add on postage costs, so a good deal. I went for the Simrad because of its compatibility with the rest of my B&G system (through NMEA2000 and a Simnet adapter) and for the slightly larger TP22 over the TP10 because of the additional function of “Steer to wind” and “Steer to GPS” modes that the TP10 doesn’t have.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Tiller pilots - 'anything that I need to look out for?

    Great choice, wise.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Tiller pilots - 'anything that I need to look out for?

    Thanks JB, 'makes me feel much better about spending the $$
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

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