I don't know if that is logical. I have an Alfa autopilot with an underdeck ram that is very efficient, drawing less than 2 amps when working hard. I don't think a wheel pilot is necessarily more efficient.
If you are interested in a DIY approach then look at pypilot.org It can integrate...
My mistake. It wasn't Rod Collins, it was Don Casey in Sail Magazine.
DIY: Replacing Fixed Portlights
This is the updated version without the pictures :(.
I have a PDF of the original version.
Pay attention to the blackout paint type and procedure!
I'm using the linear drive unit from the Alpha. It uses very little current. Rumour has it that it is the same actuator Boeing used somewhere on the 747. I suspect there may be more compact versions available now. Mine was installed in the stbd lazarette and they cut through the corner of...
My boat came with an Alpha 4404. It is a linear drive and the arm is simply clamped with a set screw to locate it. No keyway needed.
Mine quit working and I've decided to replace everything except the drive unit and arm with electronics from pypilot.org.
Take a look at it to see if you are...
You should be able to find cast acrylic at a local plastics shop. I found that to be a lot cheaper than Hatch Masters. I've done a couple of my smaller hatches but the large 2 had to be replaced because the frames had cracked under the hinge where they were welded. Take a good look at that...
Take a look at PYpilot. Could save you a bundle. You only need to buy a tiller arm and electric ram. The tinypilot computer and motor controller are less than $200 and include very sophisticated electronics.
Our O'Day 40 came with a 155 genoa. It was a lot bigger than we wanted for casual cruising. We replaced it with a 135 and are much happier.
Our boat had an Alpha 44 autopilot. Below deck electric ram that only draws .5 amps average. The electronics have gone flaky so I've bought a new...
I'd go with wool because it is comfortable hot and cold, wears extremely well and doesn't "puddle" like the Brisa has done.
The original fabric certainly wore well but a DPO had butchered 1 cushion and the buttons had rusted and damaged the fabric.
Our '86 O'Day 40 had the same fabric and it does wear like iron.
We replaced it with Brisa a couple of years ago and really like it. Easy to care for, the cat can't hurt it, for and breathes somewhat.
If I were to do it again, without a cat, I'd use wool.