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1987 C36 - Auto Pilot recommendations

Aug 15, 2014
114
Catalina 36 Deale, MD
Please share your experiences and suggestions on what auto pilot systems are worth a look on a C36 MK1.

For electronics, assume that I am starting with nothing. For Nav/Charting, I am considering the Garmin 741xs, but nothing has been purchased. I would be interested in your thoughts if the nav/charting and auto pilot should be of the same manufacture or if most just select the best (regardless of the mfr) for their requirements and budget. My budget is I don't need the latest and greatest, just something reliable and easy to use cruising the Chesapeake Bay even during SCA.

For house power, I will upgrade to two 12v batteries (not sure of the group #, but as big as I can get in a C36 without significant modifications (ideas welcomed here as well).

My helm looks to be the original Edson pedestal steerer installed on the C36. The Edison "steering data sheet" that came with my boat mentions the tiller arm is designed to be used with the auto helm liner drive auto pilots, either the type I or type II. Not sure of the pros/cons of this type of system over the pedestal mounted belt driven systems (which my boat had at one time, but is not functioning), such as the Raymarine Evolution EV-100.

Thanks for your feedback and suggestions.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,586
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
. The Edison "steering data sheet" that came with my boat mentions the tiller arm is designed to be used with the auto helm liner drive auto pilots, either the type I or type II. Not sure of the pros/cons of this type of system over the pedestal mounted belt driven systems (which my boat had at one time, but is not functioning), such as the Raymarine Evolution EV-100.

Thanks for your feedback and suggestions.
If you can swing the cost delta, the linear drives are the only way to go. Faster, stronger, and many more times reliable.
 
Feb 26, 2004
20,736
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
C36

Good and almost overwhelming questions. Many of them are specific to C36s and have been addressed over on the C36 forum:

https://www.catalina36.org/forums/c36375ia-forums

They, like the skippers here, are very helpful, and they even have links to photos of installations you probably won't find anywhere else for your specific boat.

Good luck.
 
Aug 15, 2014
114
Catalina 36 Deale, MD
Thanks Stu. I searched and posted a few queries over there as well. Now I am leaning towards the Raymarine EV-200 for ... gulp ... $3000 and a self install.
Suggestions, tips and words of wisdom are still welcomed.
 
Aug 8, 2006
340
Catalina 34 Naples FL
I have the raymarine x5 autopilot on my c34. It works fine for me with no major issues and about half the cost. Self installed too. Mine is about 5 yrs old.,FWIW..Terry
 
Aug 15, 2014
114
Catalina 36 Deale, MD
I have the raymarine x5 autopilot on my c34. It works fine for me with no major issues and about half the cost. Self installed too. Mine is about 5 yrs old.,FWIW..Terry
Is there much of a difference between the Raymarine X5 (or what low looks to be the SPX-5) and the EV-100? It appears the EV-100 is just Raymarine's latest wheel drive with about the same suggested maximum tonnage.
 
Jan 19, 2014
8
catalina 36 Oceanside
Please share your experiences and suggestions on what auto pilot systems are worth a look on a C36 MK1.

For electronics, assume that I am starting with nothing. For Nav/Charting, I am considering the Garmin 741xs, but nothing has been purchased. I would be interested in your thoughts if the nav/charting and auto pilot should be of the same manufacture or if most just select the best (regardless of the mfr) for their requirements and budget. My budget is I don't need the latest and greatest, just something reliable and easy to use cruising the Chesapeake Bay even during SCA.

For house power, I will upgrade to two 12v batteries (not sure of the group #, but as big as I can get in a C36 without significant modifications (ideas welcomed here as well).

My helm looks to be the original Edson pedestal steerer installed on the C36. The Edison "steering data sheet" that came with my boat mentions the tiller arm is designed to be used with the auto helm liner drive auto pilots, either the type I or type II. Not sure of the pros/cons of this type of system over the pedestal mounted belt driven systems (which my boat had at one time, but is not functioning), such as the Raymarine Evolution EV-100.

Thanks for your feedback and suggestions.
Battery recommendation
I have an 89, under the forward starboard settee there is room for two 55amp yellow top Ultima AGM batteries. A little pricey but the only way to go.
 
Feb 26, 2004
20,736
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
AGMs are not the "right" solution for everybody.

AGM Battery Issues (from Maine Sail)
http://forums.sbo.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=124973

AGM Battery Issues and the Blue Seas Dual Circuit Switch (from Maine Sail) "DARN AGM Batteries"
http://forums.catalina.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?p=848465&highlight=darn%20agm

A friend installed 6 golf cart batteries just forward of the galley under the settee. The C36 forum and website has many photos of different battery installations. Trimming the enclosure under the starboard seat also opens up a lot of battery space.
 
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Aug 15, 2014
114
Catalina 36 Deale, MD
For an update on my battey plans, for housepower, a pair of group 31 batteries will fit under the rear starboard settee provided I build the subfloor up a few inches to increase its projected area. A small amount of trimming of the opening might be required, but this would have no impact to supporting the wooden cover. This will increase my house capacity by 4 to 5 times over that anemic group 22 in there now. My start battery is a newer group 34 with a few years left. That will be relcated to under the front starboard settee. A subfloor will be required. No transponders here so there is more than adequate clearance. I didn't measure if a third group 31 would fit here as well, but thinking it would. I will double check and not preclude that option in a future phase should it be necessary. The extra ~ 100 lbs of the two group 31 batteries on the starboard side will help level out the boat as well.

Any specific feedback on the EV-100 in 20-25 knot winds and 3'ft chop? I am interested in first hand experience if the EV-100 could be relied upon in these conditions. I am okay if the response is a no and will focus on the EV-200.
 
Aug 15, 2014
114
Catalina 36 Deale, MD
Ended up installing the EV-100 wheel pilot kit due to 1/2 the material cost and 1/4 the install time. It should be good for the bay and will to by best to stay on top of the sail trim to remove any weather helm. Also installed the Garmin 741sx, GMI 20, and P70 control head in a NavPod. The pod required the slightly taller and angled Edson rail guard for clearance. New transducers include the Garmin 600 50/200 kHz D&T and wired gWind. On the power side, the smaller Magnum MMS 1000w/50a with the remote control and info. Pair of Lifeline group 31XT for house and a single 25AGM start. A few boxes full of Blue Sea items (fuse blocks, auto CBs, charging relay, etc.), sheets of starboard, and all new wires and cables. Looking forward to installing the gWind and new LED mast head light when the boat is back in the water this spring.
 
Aug 15, 2019
1
Catalina 34 Wilo 2 Blue Water Bay Marina
Ended up installing the EV-100 wheel pilot kit due to 1/2 the material cost and 1/4 the install time. It should be good for the bay and will to by best to stay on top of the sail trim to remove any weather helm. Also installed the Garmin 741sx, GMI 20, and P70 control head in a NavPod. The pod required the slightly taller and angled Edson rail guard for clearance. New transducers include the Garmin 600 50/200 kHz D&T and wired gWind. On the power side, the smaller Magnum MMS 1000w/50a with the remote control and info. Pair of Lifeline group 31XT for house and a single 25AGM start. A few boxes full of Blue Sea items (fuse blocks, auto CBs, charging relay, etc.), sheets of starboard, and all new wires and cables. Looking forward to installing the gWind and new LED mast head light when the boat is back in the water this spring.
Does the EV 100 nav to a waypoint on your Garmin 741sx? Also, how long did it take you to instal the EV 100? Thanks
 
May 20, 2016
2,804
Catalina 36 MK1 Everett, WA
Ev100 should take 1-2 days depending. The EV200 took several weeks to build and fit. I think it is 100% more functional than the 100
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,209
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Depending on your planned sailing/cruising the EV100 or 150 will meet your boat capability. But there are limits to the auto pilot. As @LeslieTroyer has stated the 200 is a more robust system in the way it attaches to the rudder and the amount of power it had to steer the boat in larger sea states.

Les has penned it correctly. About a day to 2 is what it took to install the EV100 on my boat.
 
Aug 13, 2012
514
Catalina 270 Ottawa
Does the EV 100 nav to a waypoint on your Garmin 741sx? Also, how long did it take you to install the EV 100? Thanks
About 3 half days to install EV100. But i had it all pre-planed ahead of the time. Especially, the cables (measure how long SeatalkNG cables you need).
There is a Garmin to SeatalkNG cable available (I think it is part# A06045, DeviceNet female to SeatalkNG spur, 0.4 m) and once you make the connection, they do talk using NMEA 2000. If you have the Raymarine 5-way connector in the NavPod, that should be simple.
 
Jan 19, 2010
231
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
AGMs are not the "right" solution for everybody.

AGM Battery Issues (from Maine Sail)
AGM Batteries - Making The Choice

AGM Battery Issues and the Blue Seas Dual Circuit Switch (from Maine Sail) "DARN AGM Batteries"
Darn AGM Batteries

A friend installed 6 golf cart batteries just forward of the galley under the settee. The C36 forum and website has many photos of different battery installations. Trimming the enclosure under the starboard seat also opens up a lot of battery space.
I thought I knew.... Went with AGMs... worst mistake ever...
 
Feb 26, 2004
20,736
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
I thought I knew.... Went with AGMs... worst mistake ever...
Would you care to share with us why you feel that way? I think I know from my links, but others may inclined to learn from your experience. Thanks.
 
Jan 19, 2010
231
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
Would you care to share with us why you feel that way? I think I know from my links, but others may inclined to learn from your experience. Thanks.
Decided to go with AGMs for 3 batteries of my house bank. Starting bank is wet cell. Augmenting both banks are 2 100w solar panels dedicated to each bank and a 100 amp alternator. The system is segregated by 2 independent battery selector switches that do allow for crossover. An average day going aboard finds the (wet) starting bank displaying 13.4 volts and the AGM house bank at 12.2 -12.4 volts. Fast forward to the end of the day. When motoring back I will set the battery switches to allow for simultaneous charging. After shutting down, panel indicates 13.6ish volts stored in both banks. Back aboard the next time... 13.4 on the starting and 12.2ish on the house. These batteries were new in June of 2018. Brought all the AGMs to the dealer for check up.. They all passed because they showed greater than 12 v at 12.2. The tech indicated that these types of batteries don't like to charge/hold and operate like wet cells. I continually get low voltage warnings from the house side even though they have amp/h to give.
We have checked for and found no stray loss..