Author Topic: Autopilot  (Read 1004 times)

Merrily

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
  • Boat Type: CSY 44 WO
  • Boat Name: Merrily
Autopilot
« on: March 07, 2017, 09:34:46 PM »
Hi, I have just acquired Merrily located in Antigua, my question is what autopilot system is recommended for CSY 44's. Merrily has cable steering in very good condition.

Soggy Geek

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 508
    • View Profile
    • Cruise Around the World with Soggy Paws
  • Boat Type: CSY 44 WT
  • Boat Name: Soggy Paws
Re: Autopilot
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 11:28:05 PM »
Hi and welcome to our forum!

We owned s/v Soggy Paws, a CSY 44 WT up until early 2016, when we traded out for a catamaran.  Our autopilot was a CPT.

Many CSY's had them.  But the guy who made them kinda went out of business and quit servicing them, so people had bad things to say when theirs didn't work.  Around that time, my husband Dave was able to acquire a couple of them at a very low price (one was free), as people changed out to other autopilots.  He ended up with 3 usable units, and set things up so he could "hot swap" out one or both of the two parts, while at sea.  So if we ran into a problem, we just swapped out and fixed it later.

He figured out how to diagnose and replace the relays that are the usual point of failure, and has posted this info on our website.

CPT since has been acquired by someone else and is now back in business again.  They are a good low-cost alternative to the high-cost, overly dependent on electronics, modern autopilots.

Here's our website page on the CPT:  http://svsoggypaws.com/steering.htm#CPT

And here's the current CPT web page.  I see that the unit there looks different than my unit, so they may have redesigned it... hopefully without messing up the simple design that worked well for us for so long!

http://cptautopilot.com/

Now lets hear from others that used a different approach...

Sherry
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 12:34:46 AM by Soggy Geek »
Soggy Paws the CSY has been sold but not forgotten!
http://svsoggypaws.com/CSY/

deLight

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
  • Boat Type: CSY 33
  • Boat Name: deLight
Re: Autopilot
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2017, 02:47:47 PM »
Hi Merrily,

I have a 33 so it might not be relevant. 15 years ago, when I went to buy an autopilot and the cost of a below decks autopilot was $3,000. The cost of a wheel autopilot was $800. So, I bought 2 wheel autopilots. They are definitely undersized for a 33 with a severe weather helm. But like Soggy Paws I learned one thing.

If you have a backup and spare parts you have no problems. When the autopilot starts to fail, I swap it out with the spare, fix it and set it aside for the next time.  Essential systems need a back up. I would not have dreamed of crossing the North Atlantic single handed without an autopilot (and a spare).

That's my 2 cents. Welcome,
Max
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 02:51:42 PM by deLight »

Chip

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
  • Boat Type: CSY 44 WO
  • Boat Name: Chip
Re: Autopilot
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 09:21:29 AM »
My 44wo came with a pre-raymarine autohelm which worked well but had a tendency to unsoulder the transistors when the batteries got low. I replaced the control with a raymarine x30. I was not impressed with its performance so when a lightning strike burned it out, I put in a garmin controller. All still with the original autohelm type 1 linear drive attached to the quadrant. The garmin moves a bit more but steers a straighter course than the previous units. My biggest complaint with it is that accessing the setup requires a rather convoluted process of disconnecting the power and repowering while holding 3 buttons. I recently replaced the linear drive just to have a spare. The new version has a different bolt pattern for the mounting bracket and required retuning the control but otherwise works well.

Merrily

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
  • Boat Type: CSY 44 WO
  • Boat Name: Merrily
Re: Autopilot
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 08:22:31 PM »
Thanks to Soggy Paws and the other replies.
I bit the bullet and purchased a new CourseMaster 950 Autopilot System with reversing pump and linear hyd drive. Total cost in AUD was $3800. Will advise after sea trials in June 2017 on its performance.