Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Auto-pilots??"
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Thread: "Auto-pilots??"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Brian Smith

what auto pilots are people using effectively with the W32?
this ancient 'tiller master' that came with the boat is just about on its last legs.. thinking of installing a ($30) 'tiller tamer' for the rest of this season.. save those pennies up towards...??

Brian Smith

thanks terry- just back from westmarine with tiller tamer plus a couple of cam cleats, assorted SS screws, etc- will try it out, what the heck- the price was right~ all i need it for really is a minute or two at a time while i go forward to work sails, and when i tack/gybe as i'm winching in sheets.
i'm a singlehander~

still would really like to hear some feedback here re. what auto pilots people are succesfully using with with the W32...


Terry Shoup

I tried a "tiller tamer" on Inalla, my 32 -- that's the one with a nylon line and a little pulley system on the tiller, right? Wasn't worth a dime! It would barely hold the boat straight for two minutes in calm water.

Stephen and Lu Ann Yoder

Brian - We just finished a trip down the Washington coast and part of the Oregon coast in our new-to-us W28. We had good success with our Autohelm 8000. I'm sure it's not big enough for a W32 but maybe they make a larger size. RE: taming the tiller: The socket for our Autohelm came adrift early in the trip (all 3 bolts had rotted off). Before I could fix it I had to find some way to free myself from the tyranny of the tiller. I had pretty good luck with a bungee cord hooked to the port aft mooring cleat, one turn around the tiller and then hooked to the starboard cleat. I could adjust tension on one side or the other as needed. It certainly wasn't an autopilot but it did a pretty good job of holding course for more than a few minutes at a time.

s/v Siempre Sabado

Brian Smith

thanks s steve- this is what i also do- maybe i just need a heavier piece of shock-cord...

Don and Margaret Lacoste

My vessel has an older autohelm 4000. For most situations, it can do the job. It struggles going to wind when it's blowing over 20 and the sails have not been reefed. Of course I struggle under the same circumstances!!

Norm Rhines

If all you are looking for is way to steer while at the mast base look under the Yahoo group (files/improvements/mast based steering) sp+/- work better than the tiller tamer as you can adjust for sail imbalance while reefing.

I us a TP32 from Simerad but it is far forward on the tiller = 1/2 full rudder movement and 1/2 the load. works ok under power in 4 to 6 foot seas and on the bay. It looks real nice in its bag as well.

I use a wind vane, and say "No single hander should do a long (more than a day) passage without a wind vane" I use a Monitor with great success 99.8% of the time. Hand steering is something fun to do on the weekends and in the marina but not on a passage.

If you question this, I personally would go without lunch for a year to save up for a wind vane, In my opinion it is the second most important thing on a boat, the rudder being the first. On the other hand, if you are only day sailing you don't need one at all. Just put a little aside each month for the day you do want to go for the long passages.

Best of luck.

Bud Taplin

Check out my Westsail Service Manual for installation location for the Simrad TP32 tillerpilot. It does work well in this location.

Gerald Astrella and Cathy Calisch

Steve and Lu Ann - "part way down the Oregon coast" is that your 28 moored in Newport? I haven't gotten over to read the name yet. Glorious, our 32 is parked on G. Hope to get together and discuss the joys of up and down the NW coast. I know it wouldn't have been so joyous without the Monitor or Autohelm.
Jerry and Cathy

Stephen and Lu Ann Yoder

Jerry & Cathy: Yes, the W28 (Siempre Sabado) tied up on E dock is ours. We've wandered over and checked out Glorious a couple times. Just got back from spending the weekend at the boat. Lu Ann is stil there. She's spending the week getting our teak looking good - lots of sanding and Watco Teak oil. I spent the weekend yanking the old holding tank and waste lines out, working on de-stinking the boat. We plan to be over there lots of weekends. Wander over and say hello.

Rich Morpurgo

tillerpilot photos: this is a photo of where bud suggests.


J. Bruce Payette

I have the Simrad the Bud mentioned and as a single-hander, I would never be without it. I do have both solar panels and a KISS wind generator, so power is not an issue. I also have a windvane, but still am not as comfortable with it. I can even use the Simrad to navigate through the lobster traps in the Florida Keys. This past Spring, on my trip to the Bahamas, I touched the Simrad two or three times on the Gulfstream crossing, each way, and crossing the Banks, I set it and didn't move it until I got to the "Window". Again, I wouldn't sail without it!

David and Jill Alberson

Regarding the Simrad TP32: Simrad website mentions the TP32 uses Simrad's proprietary 'Simnet.' Does anyone know if the TP32 will interface with a handheld Garmin 76CS Plus?

Michael Dougan

The instructions on my TP32 say that it is NMEA compatible, so, I believe that they will interface just fine. I haven't wired the plug for the handheld GPS cord yet.


Our TP32 worked well with Garmin 45/48

David and Jill Alberson

Thank you for the info.

Brian Smith

OK, ready to jump in here and buy the TP32- Suggestions on a reliable and decent (priced) source? Understand I also need a 5" - 6" drive rod extension??

Norm Rhines


you might just wait for the posted sales event from?
West Marin, Pyacht, defender, etc etc.

So you know, I have not had as much luck with mine as Bruce and I also have mine mounted about the same place on the tiller as Ricks photo.

Also for mounting, you will need the longest extension they sell.

For my mount to the rail I used a 1/2" Pipe flang with a 2" nipple with a 1/2" to 3/8" reducer (all bronze), then drilled the reducer for the pocket the TP 32 comes with. And as you guessed Mine is on top of the tiller and runs level.

I agian would note; I only use the tiller pilot when motoring, it is just not the salor my Monitor wind vane is. But under motor it is a workable solution.

All new ones should be NEMA 2000 compliant so should interface with most new GPS's it also has the old NEMA output as well.

Best of luck, and fair motoring to you.

Gerald Astrella and Cathy Calisch

Check out Puget Sound Instrument in Washington State. At the time I purchased our TP-32 (3 months ago)they were very competitive. They are on the web and I believe their phone # is 253-922-7890.

Norm Rhines

I was asked about the mounting of the fixed end of the simmerad tiller pilot Below I will attempt to attach a picture of it.Simmarad post


Tiller Master Operation

I just purchased my W 32 #605 and was trying out the Tiller Master auto pilot. I can get the autopilot to steer using the remote switch and it responds to the sensitivity level. However, I have no idea where to turn the arrow on the compass dial on top of the unit. The directions say, "set it to the same postion as your compass on board" however, they don't say where the arrow should point.

Thank you.



I'm looking for belt for my Raytheon ST 2000+ autopilot. If someone knows where I could buy one online please let me know.
Thank you.

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