Status of below deck autopilot installation
- Hi Jamie, Allison, and Julles:
Just thought I would drop you a line on the status of my below deck autopilot installation. I bought the Raymarine X-10 course computer, Type 1 Linear Drive Unit, and the P70 controller. I want to see how the X-10 tracks without a rudder position sensor first before spending another few bucks to install it.
Installing the mounting board for the linear drive unit was really hard especially where it is located. I used 1" x 7" x approx. 2ft mahogany board. I had to cut the board to the shape of the hull since it needed to be mounted just like Jamie and Allison's boat where Sabre installed it as an option. I first wetted the board and mounting area with West System epoxy and hardner, then mixed up the epoxy, hardner and a filler to get the mixture to a mayonaise consistency. I then applied the mixture to the mounting board and the area where it mounts to. I used two screws to secure the board while the expoxy cured. I then glassed in the board using fiberglass tape and epoxy. It is really secured.
I then mounted the linear drive unit to the board so that the actuator could go to just about its travel limit but not the end of the limit. I then drilled the edson tiller arm on the rudder post (I used the third hole from the end and not the end of the tiller arm like Jamie and Allison did.) I needed to do that so the rudder stops hit before the actuator reached it's travel limit. I also used the mounting pin that Raymarine supplied with the actuator and not the Edson pin that was supplied with the tiller arm. I feel the Raymarine pin is more secure and I used two locking nuts to secure the pin to the tiller arm. My installation is like Allison's except my pin is on the top of the tiller arm and not on the bottom. My linear drive unit is higher than Allison's so that I could use the pin on the top. Raymarine recommends the pin to be facing up.
I then had to relocate the exhaust hose since it was in the way of the linear drive unit. What a job that was. The hose did not come off the stainless steel exhaust outlet flange easily. I had to cut if off and then cut the hose about 1 ft shorter so that the hose lies on the mounting board just like shown in the pictures that Jamie posted on this site.
I installed the P70 today in the cockpit and ran the wires from the Linear Drive Unit to the course computer. Tomorrow I will run the backbone, install the fluxgate compass, and provide power to the course computer.
What a job but it is coming out very well. I will post pictures shortly.
1993 Sabre 362