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[CA] [CA11] Dockside setup requirement underway?
07-18-18, 05:35 PM (This post was last modified: 07-19-18 03:11 PM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #1
[CA11] Dockside setup requirement underway?

I have a ACU 400 Autopilot 2.23 ((RSCP V1 L4)) with the P70 controller (3.07) and EV1 sensor (2.18 (RSCP V1 L4)). Our boat is a 46', monohull that is about 40,000#

I also carry a complete spare autopilot system "in the box" that have also been updated to the above noted software versions.

Scenario; I am 2000 miles from shore (Panama to the Marquesas Islands) and the autopilot quits and I need to change it out.

How do I set it up if I need to the "dockside wizard"? A few weeks ago on this crossing (I am now in the Marquesas) my Linear Drive did malfunction. I was able to change it out quickly but this got me to thinking what would I need to do if it were the ACU 400? We are continuing on a world circumnavigation so it would be nice to know.

Additionally, in a related matter, if I were to change the Autopilot settings to "another boat type" as the manual suggests while at sea, the manual also calls for a Dockside wizard calibration. While the latest version of the software HAS improved the autopilot handling in heavy "following seas" it is still not able to handle our boat correctly in this scenario. (I note that the Rudder Gain is no longer available to me with this software version) Could you please advise a boat setting that may work as well? BTW, we are still 800 NM from the nearest "dock".

Kind regards,

Robert Mackie
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07-19-18, 01:50 PM (This post was last modified: 10-21-19 10:10 AM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #2
RE: [CA11] Dockside setup requirement underway?
Welcome to the Raymarine Forum Robert,

With respect to the spare autopilot components, care should be taken to ensure that the software within these component have also been updated with the latest available Raymarine product software updates.

There's no necessity for the vessel to be at the dock when performing the Dockside Wizard (MENU->SET-UP->COMMISSIONING). However, it is not recommended that the vessel be under propulsion, under sail, or other operating conditions which may prohibit the Dockside Wizard from being safely executed. In order to run the Dockside Wizard, the Calibration Lock (MENU->SET-UP->VESSEL SETTINGS->CALIBRATION LOCK) will need to be configured OFF.

The sea states which you are experiencing problems with may be exceeding the design for the Evolution autopilot, particularly for following seas.

There is very little you can do with an Evolution autopilot in way of adjustment. The only settings available to improve such performance would be Response, Rudder Damping and Vessel Hull type (configure Calibration Lock Off to access these items).

The important thing is to make sure the boat has the correct pilot and drive unit at the start and the pilot is set up correctly with regard to the drive type, vessel type and undertake the Dockside wizard. This will set the autopilot up for the boat type and steering characteristics. The pilot then knows the speed and up to what angle it can turn the helm. The set hard over time is important and is automatically set by the drive type and the helm angle.

The hard over time should be around 10 seconds or quicker. Too quick can cause helm instability and over activity. Too slow can cause under-steering and wandering. So with this boat it may be too slow. What is the hard over to hard over time for your autopilot? While slower response time may be alright in calmer weather, the helm needs to respond more quickly to the boat being pushed off course by the waves. Accordingly, should the hard over to hard over time be too slow, then the autopilot may not be capable of applying helm or counter rudder.

In actuality, the hard over time is defaulted to ten seconds and rarely needs to be changed. However, should one desire to determine hard over time then while the vessel is tied to the dock, turn the wheel hard over in one direction. Next, drive it to the other stop by applying 12VDC or 24VDC (depending on the model of drive) to the drive's motor leads while monitoring the amount of time required to reach hard over.

The vessel Hull type will make a difference as this sets the pilots characteristics to one of three boat models, for a mono sail boat this is only really two, Sail slow turn and Sail. You could try changing this setting to Sail as it will have an effect on the Gain and Counter rudder response.

Rudder Damping would help to stop over activity or s-ing ... I don't believe that this applicable.

The Pilot Response is the only adjustment you have while you are in Auto and it acts like a dead band. Leisure will open up the dead band and make the pilot less active and responsive to being off the auto course. If the sea is pushing the boat around you may not notice any difference in this setting. In Performance it will tighten up the response so should steer better but could make it too twitchy and have the adverse effect especially if the hard over to hard over time is too slow to keep up.

Again, performance under such sea states may exceed the design of the autopilot, but the above may help.
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08-20-18, 06:59 PM (This post was last modified: 08-21-18 09:07 AM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #3
RE: [TG11] Dockside setup requirement underway?
Thanks. I see now that I can access the rudder gain and what I need to do if I have problems.

BTW, we have had this Outbound 46 since new (2005) and it came with a Raymarine autopilot with this drive. It was only after 2014 when we upgraded to the Evolution pilot did we start to have problems with a following sea.

The linear drive is still the same model.

That said though, we just changed out the linear drive from our spare unit as the drive pin sheared off on the crossing. I changed it out quickly (the pin) and then changed out the drive when we arrived in the Marquesas as I noted that there was "play" in the hinge of the mounting bracket for the drive.

I am also changing out the rod ends in the steering (Lewmar) as I note a bit of play as well.

Is it possible to have the "old" linear drive serviced? I see that the the hinge on the unit would need to be reamed and have a bushing installed. The unit itself is still working fine but should probably be serviced after 26,000 miles.

Seeing that I will be in Papette, French Polynesia shortly is there a service center anywhere in the Pacific region? I would like to keep it running as a "spare".

May be a few days before I can WiFI available most times.


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09-10-18, 11:04 PM
Post: #4
RE: [CA11] Dockside setup requirement underway?
Hello Bob,

The older pilot models' very rigid, detailed calibration setup allowed these pilots to work sometimes on steering/drive systems that weren't within the recommend hard-over time range. The Evolution pilots essentially dispose of all of this fixed calibration and make their own course change decisions in more fluid way that's much more like a human helmsperson would, but as a result they do depend more heavily on a reasonable drive hard-over time (approx. 8 - 12s.)

Yes, older mechanical linear drives can be serviced, most of the spares are common with the modern drives. We don't have a service centre in French Polynesia, but our French office are in discussion with a company there about their becoming a Raymarine dealer, so they may be able to help. is the dealer.

Alternatively, products can be serviced either here in Australia or by our distributor in New Zealand, Lusty and Blundell based in Auckland.


Raymarine since 1999.
Interests: Diagnosis of problems in sonar/fishfinders, NMEA2000, ethernet comms, autopilots, thermal cameras
Location: Sydney, Australia.

Please don't PM me asking for direct support, please ask a public question instead so that others can see the question and answer. Forum posts will always be answered before PM requests.
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09-11-18, 12:43 AM (This post was last modified: 09-11-18 07:55 AM by Chuck - Raymarine - Moderator.)
Post: #5
RE: [CA11] Dockside setup requirement underway?
Thanks. I have arrived in Papeete and will look them up.

Kind Regards,

Robert Mackie
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09-11-18, 07:55 AM
Post: #6
RE: [CA11] Dockside setup requirement underway?
You're welcome.
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