Intend to do a bit of solo sailing around Port Phillip this summer, and am seeking advice on effective self steering arrangements for H25s. I have tried the rope on the tiller trick, but because H25s have a sensitive tiller, it doesn't work very well - especially down wind. Has anyone come up with a viable alternative?
Ive also gone down the mainsheet attached to the tiller, counter balanced with an okkie strap system, but found when it fails I could'nt reach the esky from the helm..... dammit.
So a couple of years ago I bought a secondhand Autohelm ST-1000 and find it excellant when singlehanded. Its designed to hold a compass heading undersail or motor, will even tack the boat for you, all I have to do trim the sails. You do need to keep an eye on it over 15knts as it can be a bit slow to react to a gust.
It works well, simple to use and install. Listed at Whitworths for around $640 or direct from Autohelm.
Did find I needed to buy an extension arm from Autohelm to fit the holland for around $30 and fit a waterproof 12v power socket in the thingypit.
The ST-1000 is fine, but if you intend go offshore or choppy conditions, id recomend going up a model if budget permits.
Happy sailing Tony
My model is quite old
My greatest fear after death, is my wife will sell the boat for what I said I paid for it.
I have just bought a 2nd hand autohelm ST-1000 for my H25. Does anyone have any recommendations as to the best location to mount the tiller pilot? Do you have the ram connected underneath or on top of the tiller? Any tips or words of advice/photos of other people's set up before I go to the tiller and thingypit with a drill would be much appreciated!!
Hi Julian, You may find the ram arm on the ST1000 is too short and won't work correctly, what you might need is a small ram extension piece, it simply crews on the end of the ram. You can get this at Raymarine for a couple of bucks. Two ways of mounting, one is a small knob on top of the tiller or I picked up from Raymarine a proper S shaped bracket designed to mount under the tiller away from snagging ropes and clothing. To mount the unit on the seat you drill a 1/2 hole and epoxy in a brass thimble for strength, this is a must do, you'll get the thimble from Raymarine on 02 9479 4800. Run a 2 core Tinned Annealed Copper wire from your fuse box to where the unit is mounted and a water proof power plug, I put an additional switch & fuse in this line for safety. If youre unit doesn't power up, Ive sometimes found a power plug to the internal circuit board loose, simply remove the backing screws and check the contacts, grease the ram while its open. Highly recommend you download the user manual from www.Raymarine.com this explains installing in great detail and most importantly how to use the controls. Happy sailing Tony