• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

Best Auto-pilot for the Capri 22

letlmt

.
Oct 21, 2018
151
Catalina Capri 22 Lake George
I am debating whether to add an auto-pilot to my Capri 22.

A Simrad Tillerpilot TP10 or Simrad Tillerpilot 22 have been suggested. Does anyone use either of these?

Do any of you suggest a different make/model?
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,884
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
I'm sure you'll get a more legitimate opinion from the Catalina 22 folks. I just wonder if a tiller tamer or even a tiller extension wouldn't be enough.
 

letlmt

.
Oct 21, 2018
151
Catalina Capri 22 Lake George
From what I am reading an auto-pilot is critical if you are going to leave the helm for more than a few seconds. I plan on sailing the boat alone and if I want to fly a spinnaker I will need an auto-pilot (or so I read).

My original thought was to have a tiller tamer, but the more I read, the more useful and important an auto-pilot is in many situations. I thought it was overkill in the beginning as well, but several members of the forum suggested it and the book I am reading on single handed sailing says that it is the most important option a single handed sailor can add to his boat.

They are surprisingly inexpensive as well. The 2 units that I mentioned are only $500-$600.
 
Jan 19, 2010
9,899
Hunter 26 Charleston
I am debating whether to add an auto-pilot to my Capri 22.

A Simrad Tillerpilot TP10 or Simrad Tillerpilot 22 have been suggested. Does anyone use either of these?

Do any of you suggest a different make/model?
I got a TP10 off of eBay for about $100 and put it on my Hunter 26. It was not a hard job. Here is a pic of the installed unit. It is very simple and intuitive to use.
Keep your eye on eBay and you can find a used tiller pilot for a good price.
IMG_2417.JPG
 
  • Like
Likes: Daveinet
Jul 31, 2010
35
Catalina Capri 22 39 Seneca, SC
From what I am reading an auto-pilot is critical if you are going to leave the helm for more than a few seconds. I plan on sailing the boat alone and if I want to fly a spinnaker I will need an auto-pilot (or so I read).

My original thought was to have a tiller tamer, but the more I read, the more useful and important an auto-pilot is in many situations. I thought it was overkill in the beginning as well, but several members of the forum suggested it and the book I am reading on single handed sailing says that it is the most important option a single handed sailor can add to his boat.
Many of us are living proof that an auto-pilot is not necessary for single handed sailing, even launching and retrieving a spinnaker. But it totally depends on conditions. Stronger winds, variable wind direction, limited leeway, necessity to maintain a heading all increase the value of an auto-pilot. Spend some time single handed sailing and then decide what you need.
 
  • Like
Likes: jssailem
Oct 22, 2014
15,695
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
It is all about the type of sailing you are planning to do.
I sailed with a "tiller clutch" on a 15ft trailer sailboat with an asymmetrical spinnaker.
It is all about sail balance. Once I trimmed the sails for a balanced state, I could ride for 15-20 minutes (depending on puffs and wind strengths) with out touching the tiller.
But in a small boat half the fun is holding the tiller. If not with my hand then between my knees and the main sheet in one hand and the jib sheet in the other riding a gust.
When your solo sailing you may only sail on one sail.
If you are thinking of racing, then more than not an auto-pilot is not allowed.

Now I sail a larger boat and the forces with the bigger sails require two hands to control. I have an auto pilot and find it a needed tool. But I still trim the sails to balance the boat only now so the auto pilot does not have to work so much.
 
Sep 30, 2013
3,278
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
I am debating whether to add an auto-pilot to my Capri 22.

A Simrad Tillerpilot TP10 or Simrad Tillerpilot 22 have been suggested. Does anyone use either of these?

Do any of you suggest a different make/model?

A lot of people like the Raymarine ST1000, or ST2000. The ST2000 is supposedly overkill on a C22, so that's the one I use on mine. ;)

If you decide to go cheap, get the tiller clutch, not the tiller tamer.
 

letlmt

.
Oct 21, 2018
151
Catalina Capri 22 Lake George
I have B&G (Navico) instruments on the boat. I am a little worried about mixing brands, I have read that there can be issues.

Has anybody mixed brands?
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,695
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I have B&G (Navico) instruments on the boat. I am a little worried about mixing brands,
What are you considering? An auto pilot integrated with a chart plotter so you can set a course and have the autopilot tack the boat automatically as the wind shifts or you round an marker while you make lunch?

If not then the autopilot will not speak to the rest of your instruments, it will follow your command: "This is the course, follow this bearing, till I tell you different."

Your other instruments will be talking to you telling you:
  1. "Hey look at me the wind is coming from the north!"
  2. 'Hey look at me your doing 3 knots through the water."
  3. "NO LOOK AT ME THERE IS ONLY 75 FEET OF WATER BENEATH THE BOAT"...
or something like that. None of the information is critical to keeping the boat on the specific bearing you told the autopilot.
 
  • Like
Likes: Gene Neill
Sep 30, 2013
3,278
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
It will only matter if you want your auto pilot to "talk" to your GPS, so that it will steer you to a specific point on the chart rather than just steering a certain compass heading.

I was gonna go on, but @jssailem beat me to it. :mad:
 
  • Like
Likes: jssailem
Oct 22, 2014
15,695
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Ok Gene... I can take a hint... I'll just lurk here in the dark and watch...
 
Jan 19, 2010
9,899
Hunter 26 Charleston
@letlmt have you ever played with sheet to tiller self steering? I have used it on a MacGregor 22 and sailed a 5 hour course across the Pamlico sound without touching the tiller. My daughters and I spent the time fishing and reading. Here is a pic (sort of). Actually all you can see in the pic is my daughter NOT holding the tiller but you can see part of the counter balance line that leads from the leeward rail back to the tiller.

If you have a spare block lying about, some bungees and some light line, it costs nothing to set one up. If you are interested, do the google thing for (sheet to tiller self steering). You will find all kinds of diagrams and video clips. It is very easy and kind of fun to play with.
Fishing.jpg


SAM_1383.JPG
 

letlmt

.
Oct 21, 2018
151
Catalina Capri 22 Lake George
I was hoping for the AP to talk to my instruments for the wind input. I was hoping to be able to steer to the true wind so the boat would stay trimmed while I was away from the tiller for a few minutes
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,695
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
For a few minutes, unless you are in a brutal squall, you should have no problem even with out an autopilot.
Tie a line around the tiller to keep it centered in the boat. (That is what the tiller clutch does.)
Trim the sails to balance the boat - Main sail and jib.
Then go about your business. If the boat gets out of trim, adjust the trim and back to what is needed.
You boat will not misbehave that much to put you at risk. It just takes a minute or two to get the balance and then your good.

Have you tried trimming the boat to balance the sails then lettign go of the tiller to see if you can get the boat to sail a straight line?

It is the wind instrument that tells the autopilot computer the wind change. The AP computer then needs to calculate and make the change to the tiller to adjust keeping the input angle designated to the wind. This is not done with the simple tiller Simrad autopilots that you mentioned. The ones you mentioned were in the $500 range. To get a fully automated system they start at $1500 for the autopilot then you have to have the wind transducer on the mast and the network to have everything communicate. That would be about another $1000 plus. Then were talking the chart plotter...

It can be done, but not practical on a 22 foot boat.

Which B&G Navico instruments do your have?
 

letlmt

.
Oct 21, 2018
151
Catalina Capri 22 Lake George
I have a B&G Vulcan 9" chart plotter with wireless wind vane and a depth sounder.

I am reading the book Singlehanded Sailing by Andrew Evans and he is describing how one can fly a spinnaker singlehanded, but it requires an AP.

I believe the Simrad Tillerpilot 22 (~$600) will integrate with my Vulcan system to provide the wind input to allow the AP to steer to certain true wind angles while I set and douse the spinnaker.
 
Sep 20, 2014
1,273
Rob Legg RL24 Chain O'Lakes
Even though in the right conditions you can sail for miles with the tiller clamped, or rigged to the sail, what the tiller pilot does is hold course when you are trying to raise or lower your sails. I've had the wind and the waves from passing boats throw my boat totally off course. Attaching a line from your main sheet to your tiller does nothing when the sail is being lowered.
Before I got the tiller pilot and the Lazy Jacks, I always had to drop my sails early, so I would have plenty of time and space to recover from the boat getting thrown off course. Those 2 items made a huge difference in sailing solo. Not only that, but it allows me to completely unhank my jib, fold it up and stow it while I'm still under sail, but heading in. Sometimes I even get my main removed and stowed as well.

Soo, the best autopilot is the one you buy used on Ebay. I bought one for 83 bucks. Its older but does the trick.
 
Last edited:

Jimmy

.
Jan 28, 2018
176
Hunter 26 lake Powell lake mead
I have raymarine st2000 haven’t completed install yet I decided to get it after an early morning motor everyone sleeping and man did I want some coffee Hunter H26
 
  • Like
Likes: JimInPB
Sep 25, 2018
243
Catalina Capri 22 Capri EXPO 14.2 1282 Stony Point
I used a tp-10 on my Hunter 23.5 for 12 years. the problem is the severe weather helm on the Hunter burned up the motor 3 times, about 3 years use before burn out. One unit never calibrated properly so I replaced it out of frustration. It was difficult to balance the 23.5 with very little sail controls. I will try one on my Capri 22 when It arrives in NJ in December (next spring as it is not an ice boat).
When it worked, it was a pleasure to be able to eat lunch without keeping one hand on the tiller, go forward to drop the main, and to go below for relief. This last year I did not use the last burnt out unit. Just put her in irons for most needs. I guess after 12 years I figured out how to live without it. I use the tiller post to hold the tiller neutral so she doesn't start sailing while I am busy elsewhere. I also go have a beer rather than take her out in more that 12 mph wind. Get a different pleasure while watching others struggle in the high wind.
 
Feb 16, 2017
164
259
Here is what you can use with B&G systems. If your system is NMEA 0183 then you need any autopilot that reads NMEA 0183 sentence. The same goes for NMEA 2000, there is the Raymarine autopilot that read both, but had issues.
I have a B&G Triton 2 w/Zeus 3 I have had both the Raymarine and the Simrad (Navico) they all work.