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Tiller pilot help

Dec 12, 2018
11
Catalina 30 Philadelphia
I'm looking for some thoughts on selecting a tiller pilot for my Catalina 30.

The old tiller pilot that came with the boat needs to be replaced, it can only marginally hold a course and more often than I am comfortable with goes haywire and puts the boats into a circle. I have been looking at replacements and believe the RayMarine EV-100 is the way to go. It is rated for 13,200 lbs which gives me some margin above my 10,200 lb displacement. Anyone have stories good or bad about the EV-100, or suggestions on a different solution to look into?
 
Nov 22, 2011
641
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
I'm looking for some thoughts on selecting a tiller pilot for my Catalina 30.

The old tiller pilot that came with the boat needs to be replaced, it can only marginally hold a course and more often than I am comfortable with goes haywire and puts the boats into a circle. I have been looking at replacements and believe the RayMarine EV-100 is the way to go. It is rated for 13,200 lbs which gives me some margin above my 10,200 lb displacement. Anyone have stories good or bad about the EV-100, or suggestions on a different solution to look into?
If your boat is actually tiller steered (as the subject line implies) then I highly recommend you consider the Pelagic. This is a reasonably priced, serious piece of gear used by offshore racers and cruisers. Tech support is also superb. Go to pelagicautopilot.com.
 
Last edited:
Jun 2, 2018
11
Catalina 310 Port Orchard
I have a EV-100 wheel pilot on my Catalina 28 mk II, which is slightly smaller than your boat. It is a great autopilot, a huge improvement over the raymarine S-1 wheel pilot that I used to have. Does a wonderful job of tracking the wind on gusty days in "wind trim" mode, and tacking is a true joy. Money well spent.

If you need the tiller-pilot version, the electronics are the same, so it should work as well. One thing to look at is I don't think raymarine actually changed the tiller actuator between the older S-1 autopilots and the newer versions, so perhaps you could upgrade the controller for less money and keep the actuator.
 
Last edited:
Dec 12, 2018
11
Catalina 30 Philadelphia
If your boat is actually tiller steered (as the subject line implies) then I highly recommend you consider the Pelagic. This is a reasonably priced, serious piece of gear used by offshore racers and cruisers. Tech support is also superb. Go to pelagicautopilot.com.
Hi Alan, thanks for suggesting the Pelagic option. I had never heard of them before, do you have experience using it? I've been reviewing their material online and like what I see so far from a technical standpoint. The product does look a little "raw" which I don't mind so long as it works well and I can rely on it.
 
Dec 12, 2018
11
Catalina 30 Philadelphia
I have a EV-100 wheel pilot on my Catalina 28 mk II, which is slightly smaller than your boat. It is a great autopilot, a huge improvement over the raymarine S-1 wheel pilot that I used to have. Does a wonderful job of tracking the wind on gusty days in "wind trim" mode, and tacking is a true joy. Money well spent.

If you need the tiller-pilot version, the electronics are the same, so it should work as well. One thing to look at is I don't think raymarine actually changed the tiller actuator between the older S-1 autopilots and the newer versions, so perhaps you could upgrade the controller for less money and keep the actuator.
My current tiller pilot is a Nautech which if I have my company buy outs correct became Autohelm, than Raytheon Marine, than the current Raymarine. I am not sure what if anything remained compatible over that period. Everything I have been able to get my hands on (which isn't much) points to my current Nautech being from the 80's or early 90's. But I will certainly keep the actuator as it seems to work fine, I assume it is the head that has gone off the deep end.
 
Nov 22, 2011
641
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
Hi Alan, thanks for suggesting the Pelagic option. I had never heard of them before, do you have experience using it? I've been reviewing their material online and like what I see so far from a technical standpoint. The product does look a little "raw" which I don't mind so long as it works well and I can rely on it.
Yes. I have it and I love it.