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Thread: Pelagic Autopilot - any experiences?

  1. #1
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    Default Pelagic Autopilot - any experiences?

    I'm looking for a new autopilot for my Olson 30 after my 10 year old Raymarine finally died. I see California company Pelagic is claiming several users from our group (http://pelagicautopilot.com) including an Olson 30 and other boats of similar ilk. What are your experiences with it? Can it handle 20-25 knot winds with a spinnaker?

    From the website I can't figure out if they just sell the computer, or if they also have a ram, rudder sensor and control head. Comments are welcome.

  2. #2
    pogen's Avatar
    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    Over half the SHTP fleet this past year had Pelagic I think. The owner is an SSS member of some repute. What repute? Well, some!

    Superb bang for buck, excellent course keeping (including under spin at 25+), wind-steer mode available, actuator strong enough for an Olson 34 (or bigger) let alone an Olson 30.

    Very good customer service and support. Buy one before marketing catches up with product quality and they raise the prices!

  3. #3
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    Just don't wire the Pelagic's actuator (ram) in parallel with your Raymarine ACU (thinking you'll be able to switch between AP's on the fly). The owner - whose last name sounds a lot like that German dishwasher company - will have to rewire a smoking motor drive box. Ask me how I know this...

    Andy, I've had the Pelagic actuator for almost two years and it still runs as smoothly as when I installed it. I installed the Pelagic controller and motor drive box last weekend - well, sort of (see above).

    Yes, it's a complete system. There's no separate rudder reference (it doesn't seem to need it) and the heading sensor is inside the controller box. This means you need to be careful and strategic about how you install the controller box.

    Pelagic is the bees knees.
    Last edited by BobJ; 12-06-2016 at 04:38 PM.

  4. #4
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    Truth be told, my pelagic steered my entire SHTP this year, excepting perhaps an hour getting out the gate and about 45minutes of fluky transition around the Farallons.
    Never even turned the Alpha Pilot on.

    Appears to have worked out alright.

    DH

  5. #5
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    Dave, were you using the Pelagic controller as well, or did you have the ram interfaced to something else?
    Life is not a dress rehearsal.

    Bermuda 1-2 on a Schumacher 28

  6. #6
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    Didn't the first to finish Olson 30 use a Pelagic as well?
    Life is not a dress rehearsal.

    Bermuda 1-2 on a Schumacher 28

  7. #7
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    yes, using the Pelagic controller.
    Interfaced that to my B&G wind instruments via NMEA 0183 [you'd have to talk to Brian about that SeaTalk bullshit], which worked OK until I lost the windex after my 2nd or 3rd round down.
    after that in compass/gyro mode.

    DH

  8. #8
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    Thanks Guys. I had a long chat with Brian yesterday and I've decided that this is the way to go. I like the fact that he has integrated the course computer, compass and control head into one unit. I wonder why the others don't do that. I'll be placing my order soon. At this price I can't go wrong. The Olson 30 is a darned twitchy boat downwind in a blow. We'll see if it can handle it.

  9. #9
    pogen's Avatar
    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    In my case I already had a below-decks hydraulic Nexus A/P, interfaced to the main instrument bus. The Pelagic was a completely independent system in the cockpit, in part for redundancy. Also, the Pelagic has lower power consumption and is quieter when you are trying to sleep, compared to the below deck unit. I bought a spare Pelagic ram as well, as a backup, and it was needed on the return delivery.

    I'm pretty sure the whole Pelagic system with spare ram was less money than a backup Nexus hydraulic ram only.
    Last edited by pogen; 12-08-2016 at 09:03 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    yes, using the Pelagic controller.
    Interfaced that to my B&G wind instruments via NMEA 0183 [you'd have to talk to Brian about that SeaTalk bullshit], which worked OK until I lost the windex after my 2nd or 3rd round down.
    after that in compass/gyro mode.

    DH
    In anticipation of installing the Pelagic, I bought an Actisense NGW-1 STNG converter (my system is SeaTalkNG). But I think the Pelagic presently only accepts AWA (not TWA). Steering to AWA could certainly cause you to round down as AWA goes forward on a surf. I need to ask Brian about this.

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