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Full Version: [CA11] EV-100 on a powerboat?
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Hello everyone,

I've got myself in a bit of a jam, and I'm hoping someone can tell me all is not lost.

As a background, I'm relatively new to boat ownership (2 years), and I have 0 experience with autopilots. I had purchased a 32' Trojan for fishing on Lake Michigan. I now have a 34' Sea Ray.

Last year, I spent some time doing research on autopilots to try to find something that would work on my boat. I was looking for something that would just be able to hold a steady course, which would allow me to step away from the helm for a minute to help my buddy with rigging or maybe even reel a fish in. I'm not necessarily looking for something that can follow a pre-programmed course or anything (although that would be nice). Some have suggested that tying down the helm wheel would perform the same function, but in my experience I've had to be at the helm constantly to maintain a course. I had seen another old boat with some type of wheel autopilot, so I figured the EV-100 Wheel might work. Although I knew the EV-100 Wheel was designed for sailboats, I didn't see why this might not work for a power boat. Something I read at the time must have made me think it would, so I ordered one.

Well, the Trojan ended up laid up for upgrades all last year. It was a fixer-upper to begin with, and we were frustrated at the lost fishing season, so we decided to sell it and buy something else. Now I'm finally looking at installing the autopilot on the Sea Ray, and I don't know what it was that convinced me the EV-100 was a good idea. It looks like, physically, it will fit on the helm wheel. The steering is hydraulic, so I don't think it will be too hard for the motor to turn it. But the installation instructions say it's designed for a wheel with 1-3.5 turns from lock to lock (mine's a bit more than that). I'd also have to cut a [censored] in the dash for the motor, I think.

So, all that being said... Am I just boned here with this autopilot? Or, even though this isn't the application for which it was designed, would it work for the limited purpose I'm looking for?

I appreciate any helpful input (don't just call me a dumbass, that's not helpful)!

Welcome to the Raymarine Forum aequitas1916,

Unfortunately, the EV-100 Wheel Pilot is not designed for powerboats. The good news is that the EV-1 CCU, p70R Autopilot Control Head, and possibly the ACU-100 may be used with an autopilot hydraulic pump. Raymarine offers autopilot hydraulic pumps which may be applied to vessels having hydraulic steering systems. The type of autopilot pump required is dependent upon two variables ... 1) the capacity of the vessel's steering ram and 2) the type of power distributions system (12V or 24V) which are installed onboard the vessel. Upon determining the type of autopilot hydraulic pump required, it would then be possible to determine the correct model of ACU for the application. If supplied with this information, we would be able to advise accordingly.
Thanks for your response! It took me a while to get to the boat (which is in storage) and find the specs for my hydraulic system. I have a SeaStar steering cylinder marked "BA125-7BJ". The nearest equivalent I can find on the SeaStar site shows that it has 7.2 cubic inch volume. I have two SeaStar I helms, which have 1.7 cubic inch displacement each. I'm not sure if these are the specs you would need. Installed power on the boat is 12V.

Hope to hear back from you!

You may want to give the support team at SeaStar a call to verify the cubic capacity. If it is indeed 7.2 cu. in., then a Type 1 Hydraulic Pump would be required. The Type 1 Hydraulic Pump should not be used with an ACU-100. If the vessel features a 12V power distribution system, the Type 1 Pump may be interfaced to either an ACU-150 (T70330 EV-150 Hydraulic Pilot) or an ACU-200 (T70157 EV-200 Hydraulic Pilot). If the vessel features 24V power distribution system, then an ACU-200 must be installed.
Thanks for your help, Chuck. It's been a couple months and I'm finally getting back to this project.

I've confirmed with SeaStar, and the cylinder on my boat is indeed 7.2 cu. in.

Before I pull the trigger and potentially buy the wrong system again, could you tell me if the EV-150 will work for my application? 7.2 cu. in. steering cylinder, 34' length, 11,400 dry weight.

Based on the literature I can find, the steering cylinder I have is correct for this autopilot (EV-150), but I'm not sure what "small to medium sized" vessels means. I imagine the EV-200 would give me additional capability, but I'm really just looking for something to hold a course in relatively calm water. If the EV-150 will be adequate, I'd just as soon use that one and save some cash (you know how expensive boats can be).

Thanks again!

The ACU-150 (T70330 EV-150 Hydraulic Pilot) should perform quite satisfactorily for this application.
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