OCC Forums

Using a Tiller pilot Hydrovane Self Steering


By zuluwarrior - 4 Mar 2018

On a previous boat I used a tiller pilot connected to the emergency tiller on the Hydrovane self steering as a second steering alternative. This worked well as a low current draw alternative to the main autopilot in light conditions when there wasn't enough apparent wind for the Hydrovane etc. The tiller pilot was a Raymarine ST4000 which was a bit of overkill for driving the relatively small Hydrovane rudder.

I am planning to set up my current boat with a similar arrangement and was wondering if anyone had experience of using such a setup with a smallish tiller pilot as I would like to limit the current draw as much as possible without compromising performance. Would for instance a ST1000 be man enough for the job?

The boat is a 40' longish keel cruiser around 10 tonnes displacement.

Colin Campbell
By simoncurrin - 5 Mar 2018

Colin I have never done this but would be really interested in any replies as I have been thinking of doing the same for some time.
By Dick - 7 Mar 2018

Hi Colin,
The following url (http://www.selfsteer.com/products/monitor/autoPilot.php) is for a set-up similar to what you wish information about, but for a Monitor wind vane. I thought it might be helpful anyway.
Let us know what you do and how it works out.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
By simoncurrin - 9 Mar 2018

I really like the idea of placing the tiller drive in the lazarette and connecting to the windvane via a morse cable. I hadn’t heard of that before and it keeps all the electrics out of the elements. Great idea.

As the power required to move the vane is miniscule I presume the smallest tiller drive would do the trick?
By zuluwarrior - 9 Mar 2018

Dick, Simon,

Thanks for your input and ideas. I see the Hydrovane website has a mass of different tiller pilot setups in the picture gallery if you search on 'tiller pilot' with plenty of examples of different installations and fabrication ideas. There seems to be enough examples of ST1000 units in use on boats of a similar displacement to mine to make me think its worth going for that model and see how it goes.

By John.Willis - 31 Aug 2021

I have just purchased a Raymarine ST2000+ to fit to my Hydrovane.  I am undecided as to whether to install it as a complete stand alone, or to connect it to my Raymarine MFD - I am inclining towards the latter.

I will be very happy to share experiences once I have installed and started using it.