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Autopilot

Discussion in 'Catalina 22' started by Hardhead, Sep 6, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Hardhead

    Hardhead

    Joined Apr 11, 2017
    66 posts, 21 likes
    Catalina Catalina 22
    US Southern MD Solomon's Island
    I'm thinking of wintertime projects, and considering adding an autopilot - for longer trips and single handing. Has anyone had any experience with the Raymarine ST2000 tiller pilot, or any other brands?

    I was reading a 2005 post by Chip Ford, and he eventually upgraded from the Raymarine ST1000 to the ST2000, due to repeated warranty issues he had, at that time, with the smaller ST1000. Really going by the specs, the smaller ST1000 is rated for up to 6,000 lb displacement - which should cover the C22.

    The cost between the two is fairly small, but I assume the power draw is somewhat more on the larger autopilot. I've added 2 group 27 batteries for the boat, so hopefully I wouldn't have a large issue there, but you never know.

    Has anyone been down this road, and have any practical experience between the brands and models? Thanks for any insight at all-
     


    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  2. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy

    Joined Feb 20, 2011
    5,638 posts, 520 likes
    MacGregor, Island Packet 35
    US Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
    These forums are rife with this info. Use the search function.
     


  3. Gene Neill

    Gene Neill

    Joined Sep 30, 2013
    2,010 posts, 497 likes
    C-22, Albin Vega
    US central Florida
    I have read several reports here from people who upgraded from the ST1000; all of them agreed the ST2000 performs noticeably better and is beefier internally.

    For this reason, we started with the ST2000. We absolutely LOVE it and recommend it 100%. Admittedly, there are times (especially broad reaching or running) when conditions can build up to a point that you will want to steer manually. But even then, you will find yourself patting the autotiller as you disconnect it and saying "thanks buddy, good job". ;)
     


  4. Hardhead

    Hardhead

    Joined Apr 11, 2017
    66 posts, 21 likes
    Catalina Catalina 22
    US Southern MD Solomon's Island
    Thanks Gene - good to know.

    I think I'm going to go with the ST2000-
     


  5. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    1,978 posts, 121 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westborough Westport, MA
    Considering that the C22 displacement is 2490 lb., that is the understatement of the week. :)
     


  6. greg_m

    greg_m

    Joined May 23, 2017
    198 posts, 48 likes
    Catalina Jaguar 22
    ZA Cape Town, South Africa Simons Town
    Or an overstatement by said manufacturer!
     


    Gene Neill likes this.
  7. CaptDon01

    CaptDon01

    Joined Nov 19, 2008
    2,123 posts, 147 likes
    Catalina C-22 MK-II
    US Parrish, FL Parrish, FL
    Hardhead, Gene's recommendation is spot on. Having extensive experience with both the ST1000 and the ST2000, my real world experience has been that either autopilot will steer the boat nicely, however what I found was the ST1000 could not keep up with the boat in a following sea condition. We sailed a lot on the Pacific when we lived in San Diego. One has to look at all the spec's to make an intelligent conclusion, unlike the comment made by jviss. The ST2000 speed lock to lock is roughly twice as fast as the ST1000. So in a following sea condition, the quicker speed of the ST2000 is able to keep up and control the boat. I found the ST1000 speed was just too slow to respond and soon the autopilot was slamming in and out and the boat was out of control. I've also installed a wireless remote to interface with our ST2000 autopilot which allows me to steer the boat from anywhere. Our ST2000 has performed flawlessly for going on 8 years and literally probably a couple thousand miles while cruising on the Pacific, the Gulf, and on the Great Lakes. We are normally on autopilot 95% or greater of the time, it's just that reliable and makes the journey so much more enjoyable.
    My Autohelm experience and installation recommendations is well covered in previous postings on this forum, the MainBrace magazine, and in the C-22 Tech Manual.
    Seems like some of the other discussions on the "big boat" forums must be slow, because unfortunately they seem to come onto this forum and are quick to give useless or misinformation to the C-22 Skippers.

    Don
    001.jpg
    Here we are on autopilot crossing to Catalina Island

    WING and WING.JPG

    Here I am fitting up forward using my wireless remote to steer the boat as we run out on Lake Michigan

    ABANDON RAILROAD BRIDGE ON THE ICW.jpg

    Here we are on autopilot as we motor among the ICW on our way to Apalachicola Florida

    2014 CATALINA 080.jpg

    Again on autopilot in the early morning as we leave Catalina Island heading back to San Pedro
     


    greg_m and Gene Neill like this.
  8. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    1,978 posts, 121 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westborough Westport, MA
    You have no sense of humor.
     


    justsomeguy likes this.
  9. Gene Neill

    Gene Neill

    Joined Sep 30, 2013
    2,010 posts, 497 likes
    C-22, Albin Vega
    US central Florida
    @CaptDon01 ... you were the biggest reason we chose the ST2000. Thank you!!

    Side note ... we passed through that very same swing bridge in June, en route from Port St. Joe to Carrabelle. :)
     


    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
    CaptDon01 likes this.
  10. Hardhead

    Hardhead

    Joined Apr 11, 2017
    66 posts, 21 likes
    Catalina Catalina 22
    US Southern MD Solomon's Island
    Thanks Don - really great photos.

    I'm definitely going to go with the ST2000, and I might have made a mistake with the smaller autopilot without everyone chiming in.

    I'm an attorney - so I'm used to hearing a bunch of sideways crap. I really do appreciate all the help I've gotten here in the C22 forum. Good people all.
     


  11. CaptDon01

    CaptDon01

    Joined Nov 19, 2008
    2,123 posts, 147 likes
    Catalina C-22 MK-II
    US Parrish, FL Parrish, FL
    Hardhead, one thing I forgot to mention is the mounting hardware. On a couple C-22's that I've refurbished. the owners somehow believed that the mounting hardware was available in the plumbing section of Home Depot or Lowes. The autopilot will not be ready to mount right out of the box. Check eBay for better prices on Raymarine Autohelm mounting hardware. Depending on which version C-22 you have will determine what mounting hardware you'll need. I like to keep it simple, so keep in mind the two important installation items are the unit needs to be level, and square to the tiller. I also hate to drill holes in my boat, and as much as I like the Autohelm, I believe the cockpit electrical connection is a weak point. So rather than drill a 1" hole in my cockpit to mount the electrical socket, I simply used some scrape fiberglass stock and mounted the connection in the starboard cockpit lazarette as shown in the photo.

    AUTOHELM 002.jpg
    The electrical connection is mounted to a scrape of fiberglass angle stock and epoxied into the lazerette

    AUTOHELM 005.jpg
    A simple sanding with a sanding wheel on my Dremel Tool and I have a nice clean and weather proof connection. Many times I leave the autopilot connected and simply open the the lazarette and lift off the autopilot and store it below.
     


  12. Gene Neill

    Gene Neill

    Joined Sep 30, 2013
    2,010 posts, 497 likes
    C-22, Albin Vega
    US central Florida


  13. Hardhead

    Hardhead

    Joined Apr 11, 2017
    66 posts, 21 likes
    Catalina Catalina 22
    US Southern MD Solomon's Island
    Clever idea - Thanks Gene & Capt Don. I was a little leery of drilling a hole that size in the cockpit combing.

    I really enjoy setting up the boat and working through all the issues. I wouldn't take 10 times what the boat cost - my wife might though...
     


  14. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy

    Joined Feb 20, 2011
    5,638 posts, 520 likes
    MacGregor, Island Packet 35
    US Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
    I'm going to call you on that claim. o_O
     


  15. CaptDon01

    CaptDon01

    Joined Nov 19, 2008
    2,123 posts, 147 likes
    Catalina C-22 MK-II
    US Parrish, FL Parrish, FL
    See guys, this is exactly what I'm talking about. Things are slow on the Packet 35 Forum so they have to go to the C-22 Forum.

    Good grief!

    Don
     


    justsomeguy likes this.
  16. EditorC22NSA

    EditorC22NSA

    Joined Apr 21, 2015
    75 posts, 14 likes
    Catalina 22 Sport #15582
    US Indianapolis
    Don...some have a very high number of posts...most of them probably on the C22 forum. Probably regret they got rid of their C22 decades ago.
     


    pclarksurf and Gene Neill like this.
  17. Gene Neill

    Gene Neill

    Joined Sep 30, 2013
    2,010 posts, 497 likes
    C-22, Albin Vega
    US central Florida
  18. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    1,978 posts, 121 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westborough Westport, MA
    If you want to have a forum for C22 owners only, then feel free to set it up and allow only C22 owners to join. Your attitude it obnoxious. One needn't be a C22 owner to know something, or have an opinion, on these topics.
     


  19. Hardhead

    Hardhead

    Joined Apr 11, 2017
    66 posts, 21 likes
    Catalina Catalina 22
    US Southern MD Solomon's Island
    Gene -- Thanks for the ST2000 manual, good to have around as a PDF.

    Capt Don - where did you find the nice fiberglass angle stock you used? I've never come across it before-
     


  20. pclarksurf

    pclarksurf

    Joined Jul 13, 2015
    396 posts, 149 likes
    Catalina 22 #2552
    US Kennewick, WA
    [QUOTE="Your attitude it obnoxious. One needn't be a C22 owner to know something, or have an opinion, on these topics.[/QUOTE]
    Lighten up Francis....
    Happy to have all comers, but you have to hang long enough to understand that @CaptDon01 is the least obnoxious member on the entire forum and has a good sense of humor. @Gene Neill on the otherhand.... Ha:)
     


    Gene Neill likes this.

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