I've owned Arriba for over 3 years now and I've lost count of the number of times I've wished I'd had an autopilot - and not just for long trips. When sailing single handed even simple pleasures, like making coffee, or going to the loo, are nigh impossible without an autopilot. Well, as of this week, with the installation of Arriba's autopilot, I am no longer a prisoner to the helm!
Autopilots consist of three main components: a course computer (the "brains"), the control head (the "face", a.k.a., user interface), and a drive unit (the "brawns"). Since Arriba has Raymarine instruments and a Raymarine chart plotter, I chose a Raymarine autopilot too, specifically a SmartPilot X-10 course computer, a p70 control head and a rotary drive unit. I did the entire installation myself, which I've documented in the following photos (with more photos here):
|Some of the many tools required for the installation|
|Where the autopilot course computer is going to go - directly under the nav station behind a cupboard.|
SeaTalk NG network extended and relocated.
|Fuse panel relocated to the left to make way for the course computer..|
|The fluxgate compass is going here on the opposite (starboard) side, |
to maximize separation from other electronics and the drive unit.
|Checking the compass is perfectly level.|
|Positioning the control head.|
|The scariest part of the installation - cutting a hole for the control head. |
The existing wind instrument (below) was temporarily removed for better access.
|Control head installation complete.|
|Rotary drive unit connected via 3/8" chain to steering shaft.|
|Motoring from Hove to Blanche Pt.|
No more deprivations when sailing single handed for me :-)