F33 Autopilot under cockpit grate

Engines, Drive trains, Propellers, Steering, Ground Tackle and other mechanical system

F33 Autopilot under cockpit grate

Postby whimsy » Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:51 pm

I'm looking at adding an autopilot to my Freedom 33, and one thing is going to make it interesting: The quadrant underneath the cockpit grate in a shallow well.

I'm sure that somebody else has installed an autopilot on a Freedom 33. And for that matter, I think most of the cat ketches have a similar cockpit grate with the quadrant located in a similar space. I've seen it on an F44, and don't remember looking at other models.

What kind of drive unit have you used, and where did you mount it? I'm not sure that an electrical drive motor in a place that can easily be awash with salt water is a good idea. For that matter, I'm not even sure that the unit will fit into that space without some either creative work or dubious work on my part. If anybody has a successful install I'd love to see pix of it too!

Thanks,
Barry
s/v Flutterby, Freedom 33 cat ketch, now junk rigged
whimsy
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:00 am

Re: F33 Autopilot under cockpit grate

Postby rds » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:18 am

I got raymarine sprocket rotary drive unit , type 2, 12V installed inside starboard cockpit locker on my F-44 . ( I think it was the original factory installation and quite complicated one. The metal frame secured under the bench and accessible via the locker , with drive unit and ~ 1:3 chain drive to intermediate sprocket , and two sleeved cables going from big sprocket to each side to the quadrant under the cockpit and via holes in cockpit sump. These are ‘special’ cables , thick in diameter , with oiler on each cable and have special plastic threaded ends going thru holes which appear to be sealed by means of these plastic ends. The only possible water intrusion is into cables themselves. The quadrant has second groove for the autopilot cable. I never seen cables like that for sale and can’ t even comment on what the brand is or where to get them. In addition to that there are really long and fat, probably gauge 4-6 (for 32+ Amps for type 2 ) and about 14-15 ft long , electrical wires going from autopilot (SPX 30 ) to drive unit, which is quite important. This 'legacy' drive fits SPX30 well. I think going with linear drive ram would be less work… but I agree, the proper installation is a head ache. I am not sure about hydrolic pump type drive unit.. probably more expensive overall.
Last edited by rds on Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
rds
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:32 pm

Re: F33 Autopilot under cockpit grate

Postby Castaway » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:40 pm

A local boat has a platform on the transom, on which the steering ram and position sensor are mounted. It is quite substantial, well out of the water, and provides useful storage. Sorry the photo is not very good; the boat is on a cradle and I was not tall enough to reach above it!

steering.jpg
Transom platform with mounting for autopilot and rudder position sensor
steering.jpg (222.13 KiB) Viewed 1423 times


The ram has been removed for storage, but runs horizontally from the Stbd end of the platform to the lower projection on the rudder stock. The owner says it works quite well.

I have an Autohelm 4000 motor attached to the wheel; it's easy to engage and use under power, but cannot cope with sailing in any sort of a sea. Then, we get the Windpilot servo pendulum out, but that is a large and fragile item to have hung over the transom when trying to berth, although it works very well for longer crossings.

I don't think there is enough room under the cockpit grating to mount any useful sort of mechanism, and it is going to spend a lot of time wet with rain or sea. Do you have any type in mind?

Gerald
Gerald Freshwater,
s/y 'Castaway', (UK F35 cat ketch)
Lerwick Boating Club
Shetland Isles, Scotland
User avatar
Castaway
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:40 pm
Location: Lerwick, Shetland Isles

Re: F33 Autopilot under cockpit grate

Postby whimsy » Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:42 pm

Gerald, thank you for that report of both your solution (wheel pilot) and the ram mounted on the transom.

Do you know if the ram that is currently off the boat you pictured is electrical or hydraulic?
s/v Flutterby, Freedom 33 cat ketch, now junk rigged
whimsy
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:00 am

Re: F33 Autopilot under cockpit grate

Postby Castaway » Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:18 pm

Sorry for late reply: I've been abroad for a couple of months. The ram was(is) electrical, I believe. I don't know the make, but I shall ask when I have the opportunity.

regards,

Gerald
Gerald Freshwater,
s/y 'Castaway', (UK F35 cat ketch)
Lerwick Boating Club
Shetland Isles, Scotland
User avatar
Castaway
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:40 pm
Location: Lerwick, Shetland Isles


Return to Engines and Mechanical Systems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest