A nice sail from King Harbor to San Pedro

Alan Gomes

Contributing Partner
Yesterday, a friend of mine and I sailed my boat from King Harbor (Redondo Beach) back to my slip in San Pedro. I had taken my boat up to King Harbor to get the bottom done at King Harbor Marine Center.

Here are a couple of video clips as we were sailing past Pt. Fermin. I was flying just my 135% jib and the main was furled. I was still making 5-6 kts., with occasionally higher bursts.

The wind was continuing to build and by the time we got to Angel's Gate (Los Angeles Light) it was blowing 18, gusting to 22. The swell also increased as the water got shallower. It was a fairly short interval swell--I'd guess maybe 10 seconds?

Anyway, lots of fun. Take a peek at these few short clips. You can hear the Pelagic autopilot doing its thing in the background. (The Pelagic is a great little autopilot, by the way.) In one of the clips you can also see Catalina off to starboard.
 
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p.gazibara

Member III
I’m considering a pelagic autopilot. Haven’t had an electric pilot since 2018 when our raymarine died three days out from Costa Rica on our Pacific crossing.

Sounds like you are a fan.

-P
 

Alan Gomes

Contributing Partner
I’m considering a pelagic autopilot. Haven’t had an electric pilot since 2018 when our raymarine died three days out from Costa Rica on our Pacific crossing.

Sounds like you are a fan.

-P
Yes, I do like it. Quite a bit.

I initially had some issues with it, though. It would work great and then, out of nowhere, it would effect wild course swings. I sent it back a few times to Brian Boschma, the designer and builder of these (who *is* Pelagic), and he couldn't get it to misbehave on the bench no matter what he'd do. So he'd try tweaking settings and applying sofware patches, etc. and then send it back. I'd reinstall it and it would seem to be good for a time, but then, out of nowhere, it would go berserk again.

Well, the last time I sent it back he finally decided to install it on his boat and tested the heck out of it. It seemed to work just fine for him for a while, but then, all of a sudden, he caught it in the act! He traced it to a bad, intermittent sensor on the board, and so he just swapped in a new board and all has been fine ever since.

The actuator is much more robust than my old ST2000, which I regard to be more of a toy than a serious autopilot. I believe he now sells an even more robust actuator than the one I have, which I regard as plenty beefy for anything I'll ever do with it. The Pelagic steers the boat with authority, keeping it on course in conditions that the Raymarine unit couldn't touch. The software is very intelligent, and the steering approximates a human helmsman surprisingly well.

Brian is continually tweaking the software for even more enhanced course holding. The nice thing is that this is something Brian uses himself, being an avid offshore racer. (He sails an Olson 34.) Plus, it's his baby, so he has a keen personal interest in making it work right.

Scanmar has taken over distribution of it, but I bought mine well before they were in the picture, and so nearly all of my interactions have been with Brian and not Scanmar. The few times I did call Scanmar with minor questions they seemed to be really nice folks and attentive.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Alan, I am curious.... Where is your AP drive mounted?
i.e. tiller or wheel?
 

Alan Gomes

Contributing Partner
Thanks. I wonder if Brian has adapted this for wheel steered boats?
His control head (i.e., the brains) and his motor control box will drive a Raymarine wheelpilot motor without modification. He also sells some hydraulic actuators for below decks installations.
 
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