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S&S Swan General - Autopilot for Swan 40
26 October 2020 - 20:17
#1
Join Date: 14 May 2017
Posts: 64

Autopilot for Swan 40

Hi Swan friends,

The winter is coming soon now. Yesterday the last time sailing this year. Next week the Becca, a Swan 40 #22, will be hauled out. Of course this winter there is some time to do a (big) project again. It is time now for a good working autopilot system. We have plans to visit some Scandinavian countries next summer!
I did some research already in this beautful forum. For know I have the following ideas:
- Am very attemted to an electrical drive. Jefa seems to offer good options to me
- Arm will be connected to the rudder-stock by a (jefa)tiller arm
- I asume the diameter of the rudder stock is 40mm
- I consider making a inspection/installation hatch behind the steering wheel to get good access
- Thinking about a suitable control-unit is next step

Now my questions:
1) Is the diameter of 40mm rudder stock correct?
2) Is this https://www.jefa.com/ftp/steering/forms/Tillerarm_spec_form_v2-2.pdf a suitable tiller arm?
3) Can a tiller-arm be installed without a key, by using the specified locking-bolts?
4) Which Jefa drive unit is preferrable for the Swan 40?https://www.jefa.com/steering/steering.htm

Hope to get some advise.

Kind regards,

Jolling Lodema, Swan 40 #22

27 October 2020 - 06:19
#2
Join Date: 03 March 2007
Posts: 214

Hi Jolling,

We installed a hydralic ram coupled to a NAvman brain on Stormsvale our 40 back about 10 years ago. I debated JEFA at the time but I think I went to hydraulics due to the reduced power draw. Not an easy installation but works great. I made a custom stainless steel frame to mount it to the hull. You will probably have to do the same either way. Not fun working in what we call the Houdini hole! As for cutting a hatch.... I leave this to Lars to comment on. I personally would not do it, Anyway, our primary self steering when offshore is a Windpilot Pacific plus. No power and In big winds these wind vanes are the way to go. The power draw from An epilot will drain your batteries pretty fast. 
we are coming out of the water next week...this years big jobs are Coppercoat and new chain plates. We had planned to do a 2 year sabbatical to the Pacific but COVID may delay this. If we do go I am going to redo the standing rigging.  I can hear the comments now... Dyneema. Yes not original. I have optimized her rather than keep her strictly original. 
anyway, if we do go we are leaving mid July.  Hope you can drop by Svendborg DK on your trip! Missed you last time...we were sailing. It would be nice to see both boats together.  There is a chance that three 40s could raft together. 
Fair winds 

Mike from Stormsvale

27 October 2020 - 20:29
#3
Join Date: 14 May 2017
Posts: 64

Hi Mike,

Good to hear from you and good you seem to be doing well! a pitty you could not realize your plans due to Covid. Staying healthy is the main thing now!

Here everything is fine. Lots of sailing on te North-Sea. We see it as good practicing and we learn to understand the Swan better and better. Really happy with the upgrades we made last year. We replaced all the stays of the rig and made a reinforcement of the chain-plates and last but least; we installed a new shaft with a Flexofold prop. Much better performance of the original Perkins 4.108 with the original reduction box. Really good upgrades. I think a good autopilot will expend our range a little. Thinking of sailing from the Netherlands to Thyboron and from there start a holiday tour. And yes we go around mid july. Would be really nice to meet!

Some considertions why I think I will prefer a good performing elctrical drive:

+ Better feeling in steering when drive not engaged (very important to me)
+ Noise?
+ No possible leaking
- Power draw will be higher but with clver Jefa design maybe less than an avarage electrical drive

About the installation of the drive:
- I might find someone with sufficient skills that fits in de houdine hole. I am too tall to go in there myself (1.91m and 100kg)
- Installation hatch is escape plan!
- Sailing Uma shows how the glassed in a suitable construction. They use a Hydrolic Ram B&G T1. Might be an option... (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZZjt04daro)

Ok Mike, thanks! We keep in touch!

Jolling

 

 

28 October 2020 - 10:25
#4
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1449

Dear Jolling

It is suggested you start with considering how strong your autopilot should be, by comparing the torque yourself develop in the rudder stock with the autopilot rating.
If you put for example 30kg on the wheel rim, this gives 87 kgm of torque.
If you want the autopilot to steer also in big waves, it needs to produce more torque than that, if steering only in nice weather is sufficient, less torque would be sufficient.
 
I would suggest the Jefa tiller should not be used without a keyway. The recommendation is to use the existing quadrant hub bolts for attaching a tiller, and it should preferably be transverse. This will avoid adding side loads to the bearings, which are already fairly highly loaded by the rudder loads.
Kind regard
Lars

28 October 2020 - 16:16
#5
Join Date: 03 March 2007
Posts: 214

Hi Jolling

If all goes well I should be exiting the Elbe around July 15th-- We could maybe try for Helgoland? 

RE: Some considertions why I think I will prefer a good performing elctrical drive:

+ Better feeling in steering when drive not engaged (very important to me)

The feeling is a bit lighter without the hydralics but still very sensitive. 


+ Noise?

Can't comment on this, the noise on ours is due to the pump which can be heard in the starboard aft bunk.


+ No possible leaking.

Never had an issue.. The lines were pre filled  and it was just a matter of tightening them up. 


- Power draw will be higher but with clver Jefa design maybe less than an avarage electrical drive.  

Power is not really an issue depending on your battery bank (we have 480 amps) for coastal stuff presumably you will  be avoiding nasty weather, more of an offshore issue 

About the installation of the drive:
- I might find someone with sufficient skills that fits in de houdine hole. I am too tall to go in there myself (1.91m and 100kg)

Don't even try!!! I am 175m and 83 kilos.. and have gotten stuck!! Another story.. of many!!  I have owned her since 97 and have spread blood sweat and tears on most of her so lots of stories to tell.

 
- Installation hatch is escape plan!
- Sailing Uma shows how the glassed in a suitable construction. They use a Hydrolic Ram B&G T1. Might be an option... (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZZjt04daro)

DAN is amazing..  

as for Lars's comment about power needed..I installed a Hypro 40Plus marine hydraulic ram. https://www.hypro.co.uk/products/hydraulic-pumps-and-steering/steering-systems/ Max thrust 732 Kg Probably over kill but glad of it. It has steered in some pretty big winds and not complained. Used a lot of juice though!!!

What steering head/brain  are you thinking of??? This is key!! 

Fair winds

 

Mike

 

28 October 2020 - 21:26
#6
Join Date: 14 May 2017
Posts: 64

Dear Mike and dear Lars,

Thank you both. First my respons to lars his advice. Lets start with some structuring in the approach and focus first on the thrust. Some considerations from my point of few:

Start with some calculations:
-Lets assume 60 kg at the wheel maximum
-gives a torque of 87*2=174Nm
-assume of max 0,25m => thrust is 175/0,25 = 175*4 = 700Kg

Very close to what Mike is using! Nice. I think from Mike's experiences that will do for my purpose!

When I look at this specs: http://info-mediawinkel.nl/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/RAM-T1-T2_UM_EN_988-12093-001_w.pdf it ssems to fit. However between de T1 and T2 drive considerably speed differences. What do you think about this? Or would the Hypro 40Plus be the better option. 

Or should I go with the higher spec Jefa pump. Somehow their approach attacts me (you should know I am an electronics engineer, and less familiair with hydrolics)

About the brain, as you call it Mike. I would like to follow the B&G/Simrad/navico way (same as Dan uses, by the way I met them in real life). It suits all very well to my (new) Simrad 3G radar and Simrad NSS9 display. This is what I am considering. (https://www.bandg.com/en-gb/bg/type/autopilots/autopilot-computers/nac-3-core-pack/) I assume a modern compass (https://www.simrad-yachting.com/en-eu/simrad/type/compasses/precision-9-compass/) and clever brain reduces power-use and reduces forces on the system by earlier anticipation to the waves. It will not be a seemless integration with the Simrad NSS8 plotter which is of the previous generation. But because all equipment is N2K based there will at least be the major communication possible.

This recommendation from Lars is not totally clear to me.: recommendation is to use the existing quadrant hub bolts for attaching a tiller, and it should preferably be transverse. 

I will take some pics next weekend and maybe Lars can point where these bolts are. I think what you mean wit the transverse installation Lars, but am not sure. Do you have some example?

About Helgoland in july 2021. Good idea Mike. Will try to get there. No promise however. I am not alone you to decide (not a bad thing..)

Ok for now!

Thnx so far,
jolling 

 

 

29 October 2020 - 09:13
#7
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1449

Dear Jolling

Thank you for the information
Referring to the required speed HO to HO of the autopilot pls read for example the Jefa recommendations.
Your quadrant is bolted to the rudder stock using a split hub, and there is a keyway on the shaft. The appended photo does not show your quadrant, but it has similar attachment.
TIller arm transversely requires that the ram to be longitudinal.
Would you have a wheel steering system drawing? I can find only tiller steering.
You asked about better access, drawing and photos required for a recommendation.
Kind regards

 

Lars

29 October 2020 - 18:28
#8
Join Date: 14 May 2017
Posts: 64

Dear Lars,

Thnx! I got it about the transversal and longetudal! And I take a look at the Jefa site to get some more understanding about HO to HO time.

As soon as i good some usable pictures I come back here!.

Thnx so far!

@mike: Dan is Canadian like you are?

Kind regards, Jolling

30 October 2020 - 18:19
#9
Join Date: 03 March 2007
Posts: 214

Hi Jolling,

 

I looked up the specs on the B&G ram and it is more or less the same as my HYPRO40 so if you choose to go this way, it should work.  I have installed the 9 second response unit thinking 13 seconds is too slow.. 

I suggest you ask the JEFA dealer about noise levels with their unit.  From what I have heard many Danish commercial fish boats use these units...so they must be robust. 

Anyway, you know that the hydraulic system can be installed ... not easily but it works.. maybe your JEFA dealer has an installer who could give some ideas on how to mount their system. 

RE the brain.  I have NAVMAN which was a NZ company which was bought out by Navico which was bought out by Simrad... I am not sure if the have updated the neural net brain or not.  It steers well adapting to single wave patterns.  It does not do well in confused seas or in systems with two or more wave fields. It does a nice job steering by the wind...

I have gone away from B&G to Maretron... I have two DSM 410 Panels  in the cockpit, fuel tank sensor and depth speed temperature unit. At the mast head I have a LCJ capteur ultrasonic wind sensor.  These are all combined on a NMEA 2000 backbone and linked to the pilot. 

Re: mounting the steering arm.. I need to refresh my memory... I.e take a picture.  I think I used to the bolts on the steering it quadrant to mount it...I will take the picture on Sunday.  I will not take a picture of the ram mounting system.One of those fixing things with what you have in far distant places...Dan would not approve (;-)

Hope this is of use,

 

mike

31 October 2020 - 16:20
#10
Join Date: 31 October 2020
Posts: 1

S/y Hanhi (Swan 40, 040) will have B&G T2 working unit (700kg max thrust) and H5000 Autopilot CPU. I'll share some details as soon as I get to the installation phase.  

01 November 2020 - 04:33
#11
Join Date: 03 March 2007
Posts: 214

Hi Jolling,

 

Off to the boat today and will take some pictures.

Yes, l am a Canuck.  Born on the east coast and migrated to Vancouver before moving to Denmark where I have applied for dual citizenship. 

like Dan I enjoy projects and solving problems both on the boat and professionally.

Ciao

 

mike

 

01 November 2020 - 15:21
#12
Join Date: 03 March 2007
Posts: 214

Hi Jolling

 

Here is a photo of the attachment of the ram to the arm on the quadrant as well as the rudder sensor. 

Not easy to describe this.. SKYPE me at stormsvale.. this my SKYPE name and <i will go through it with you. 

Dusty down there, I was griniding some fiberglass earlier... 

Ciao

 

Mike

 

Quadrant hydraulic RAM Attachment

02 November 2020 - 21:16
#13
Join Date: 14 May 2017
Posts: 64

Dear Lars,

I managed to make a picture from the backside of the boat. I will make another picture from inside later this week.
And unfortunately I don't have any drawings and other history of my swan. he previous owner was able to findt the documentation. A real pitty.

Kind regards,

Jolling

02 November 2020 - 21:18
#14
Join Date: 14 May 2017
Posts: 64

S/y Hanhi (Swan 40, 040) ,

Very nice!

 Jolling

02 November 2020 - 21:32
#15
Join Date: 14 May 2017
Posts: 64

Dear Mike,

As you can see I posted a photot too. No arm yest. Is studied your phote but did not manage to understand what I see. I will hgive it another try tomorrow.

And take a look at this: https://hudsonmarine.co.uk/products/b-g-hydraulic-ram-t1-12v-ram-t1-12v . When you go to the manual section here:https://hudsonmarine.co.uk/uploads/B&G/VHF/T1%20T2%20Hydraulic%20Linear%20Drive%20Manual.pdf we see that the T1 drive B&G/Simrad is the Hypro ML+40 drive. So Hy-pro is the manafacturer of the B&G drives. 

I am getting slowly more and more possitive about the T1 or T2 drive. I think I will find a way to connect it to the rudder. 

Try to take some extra pictures from inside the boat on port and starboard side.

See you later!

Picture is today! Just hauled out!

 

05 November 2020 - 14:34
#16
Join Date: 03 March 2007
Posts: 214

Hi Jolling ,

 

The boat comes out tomorrow so a bit overloaded.. Anyway, the battery on my phone battery was low. Hence no extra / good pictures ... the flash would not function.  Anyway, an explanation. Look at your lower picture. You can see the two bolts holding the Quadrant on the rudder post.  Now look at my picture. You can see the plate ( actually two arms but in hind site a plate would be stronger ) bolted to the aft face of the quadrant using one of those bolts. I of course used both bolts one on each arm.  On the top edge of that plate (arms) I welded a second plate which created the arm which the hydraulic ram was attached. The distance between the bolts and the arm is critical in this setup as the hydraulic ram needs to go over a stringer. Below the arm for the hydraulic ram was another small arm which the rudder sensor arm was attached to.. 

There was a lot of fitting to get the installation correct.. 

Anyway, looking at the message from Lars this is exactly the attachment setup that he suggested... 

A little clearer?? 

 

If you need measurements, I will when you have made a decision regarding hydraulics or JEFA crawl into the Houdini hole and get better pictures and take some measurements. 

All the best

 

Mike

 

07 November 2020 - 19:14
#17
Join Date: 14 May 2017
Posts: 64

Thnx Mike,

Things are becoming more clear now. I will do some measurements in my boat an try to make a wooden model. A friend that has a small stainless steel workshop/company that can help me with making the arm in steel.

Next weekend i will do also some extra measurements to estimate the ruther travel. That with the specs of the arm that will be used will give me the lengt of the tiller-arm.

For now, by bending over very far I can almost can get to rudder-quadrant (long arms)

I keep you informed and post pictures asap!

Thnx so far Mike, Lars and s/y hanhi!

Jolling

08 November 2020 - 08:06
#18
Join Date: 03 March 2007
Posts: 214

Hi Jolling,

 

Glad I could be of some help!! making a wooden model is a good idea! Have you decided on the JEFA or the hydraulic system?  

All the best

 

Mike

08 November 2020 - 14:16
#19
Join Date: 07 October 2014
Posts: 63

  Hello jolling, did you already decided which system you will use?

I had same situation with choosing hydraulic or electric autopilot for my swan 411.

Thought of going with a hydraulic system, because i realy dont't like the raymarine - it just does not look so reliable for me with the plastik gears.

Until a friend showed me his jefa drive dd1

That looks verry strong to me.

I found a used one, not to old and took it.

Now i am verry happy with it - think it takes les space than a hydraulic one. Super quiet too. It draws about 4 amps.

On your pictures i could not see verry well if that kombination would fit in your boat too.

I have some pitures of my installation, i mounted the drive upside down.

You can also see, how i connected the system to the ruder quadrand.

May that will help you to find the best solution for your setup / space you have.

Stefan "world traveler"  411#02

 

Ps: to mike and jolling, will be on elbe river too around that time. Sailng in mai from the carribean to my home port Glückstadt (elbe river) - may see you there!

09 November 2020 - 06:27
#20
Join Date: 03 March 2007
Posts: 214

Hi Stefan,

That is a nice clean installation! So you are in the Caribe now? Must be some interesting experiences! I hope COVID is not limiting your adventure!  Seems everything is now dependent on the COVID SITUATION!

Hope to see you... maybe we could meet up in Brunsbutel.

 

Fair Winds

 

Mike

09 November 2020 - 11:10
#21
Join Date: 07 October 2014
Posts: 63

Hi mike,

thank you for your positive comment.

I send you a message about meeting, to your inbox.

Fair winds, stefan

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