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Sep
06

Autopilot repaired!

When we’re sailing on passages we always use our hydrovane to steer the boat. ‘Wayne Vaney’ is a simple mechanical device that steers the boat with a little auxiliary rudder just by keeping the wind angle on its vane in the angle we set.

We also have an electric autopilot, which we only use when we’re motoring, so only sometimes in lagoons and when we’re becalmed for a longer time on passages. This autopilot quit on the way up to Tongareva. Christian found out that the steering mechanism was fine, only the control unit had a loose contact, but as the whole box is moulded he couldn’t just repair the button that was suddenly randomly switching between modes. Searching the internet we found that the control unit is no longer produced…

Christian found a solution for our dilemma. We don’t use any of the fancy functions the control unit offers (sailing according to wind angle, etc.), we just want the autopilot to hold a given compass bearing. He therefore replaced the unit with an on/off button and we can still correct the course with the remote control (also self-built) in the cockpit. Today we tried it out while crossing the lagoon and voila–we have a working autopilot again :-)

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