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Below deck autopilots

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
I have a question. My below deck autopilot has been giving me a bit of a problem. My drive unit is a Jefa DD1 electro mechanical driver. My controller is a Simrad AC42 computer. The computer works flawlessly. Years ago when it was installed I looked at everything on the market, looked at the room there is in the wheel locker, and looked at who has had success with what units that were available. Because the space available, or lack there of, the Jefa was the obvious choice. Recently on an overnight ocean voyage the unit failed unexpectedly. I am now looking to repair or replace what I have. My question, actually two questions, to the board are: which below deck drive units do you have on board and how did you make them fit the space. Thank you for helping me out.

Jim Cleary
 
I know you don't like Raymarine so I won't plug it too hard. But FWIW our Raymarine linear mechanical drive has worked beautifully and the unit fits nicely on a mounting block to starboard of the quadrant.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Keefer
How did your winter travels go? Did the Kids enjoy the Bahamas?
This spring my friend and I installed a completely new electronics package on his Catalina 42. It was all B&G. Except for the autopilot where the Raymarine linear drive unit was kept. It is the only piece of Raymarine equipment that our electronics guru believes in. The unit worked fine for the previous 17 years and is still doing well today. I would much appreciate a couple of photos of your installation. If the Jefa drive can't be repaired I will be looking to replace it. The B&G type 2 unit needs a space of 37" overall and I just can't see how it could be made to fit.

Jim
 
The trip was great, everyone enjoyed the Bahamas very much :) Hopefully we can get together and tell stories sometime. Are you coming to the boat show this year? I've been thinking of starting a thread to see if we can plan another Morganeer get together.

Next time I'm down at the marina I'll try to remember to take a couple pics of the drive installation.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Keefer
We are happy you and your family enjoyed your time in the Bahamas. Hearing your stories helps us relive ours. We plan to do the show this year by car. I don't know the dates yet but I'll check that out. I'm hoping that Mark Pearson will be coming East from Oregon this year. Start the thread and lets see if we get any interest.

I'll look forward to seeing your install photos.

Jim
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Eureka!!

I went out today to troubleshoot and remove our faulty autopilot driver. First thing I checked was the voltage to the clutch and the driver, both good. That meant the in-line fuse at the terminal block was still good and the problem was in the unit itself. Not good! I began disassembling the driver by removing the wiring. Much to my surprise, where the wiring enters the driver I found a second in-line fuse holder that I didn't know was there. In it was a blown 15 amp fuse. Replaced the fuse and the machine began working again. HooRaw!!! After reassembling everything and taking her for a spin and a resetting of the computer, I'm back in business. That just saved me Big $$$$.

Jim
 

Tim Eichel

Member
Hi Jim, I went with the Garmin 40 Reactor with the Garmin B Compact Linear drive. Total cost was around $3500. I mounted it in the under helm seat locker area, port side. So far I like it, have not put many hours on it yet.

 

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Tim Eichel

Member
A few additional pics
 

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