Astarte Autopilot installation
(Simrad Robertson AP300X)



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The components are mounted separately in and inside of the port sail trap.  The hydraulic cylinder is mounted on a board glassed to the hull on the left side of this photo, aft (left) of the steering cable block.  The board is mounted exactly perpendicular to the rudder post so that the cylinder can pivot on the same plane as the quadrant.  The cylinder is Hynautic HLDX K2.

The can with a pressure gauge on it is a reservalve for the hydraulic fluid. The electric hydraulic pump is at the forward (right) side of the cockpit, near the bulkhead.  It is protected by this wooden cover from splashes of water or dripping from the exhaust pipe above it. 

Both the reservoir and the hydraulic pump and its cover are inside the grating of the sail trap, and take no space from the sail trap.

Looking aft, the cylinder and its hydraulic hoses are well protected in the sail trap. 

The black object touching the cover on the right side is the end of the emergency tiller.

Here is a better photo of the protection cover for the hydraulic pump.  They hydraulic hoses to the reservoir are covered inside the wooden protection cover by a plastic bag, for even more protection.  The pump can be damaged by just a few drops of water, we unfortunately discovered. 

The hose coming out on the left side is the hand bilge pump outlet.  This hose on the bottom is the drain from the back port corner.

 

(View from port side)
The electrically controlled bypass valve (made by Hydraforce) is located on the lazarett bulkhead, just behind the aft port corner of the cockpit.  It is mounted on an aluminum plate to help dissipate heat.

Note that the cockpit drain was relocated to the side, so it would not interfere with the hydraulic cylinder.  Maybe it would have been just as well to have closed the hole in the cockpit and not had a drain here.  That would have made things more accessible.

Also note that the lazarett bulkhead has been reinforced to absorb the compression of the mizzen mast.
 

(View from port side)
Carefully fitted pieces of plywood are on the top and bottom of the quadrant, and are bolted together with a stainless steel plate and bolt welded on top.  The piston rod end drops onto the bolt and is secured by a nut. 

The piece of plywood in the foreground is a bracket epoxied onto the hull.  If the hydraulic system fails, the piston can be detached from the quadrant by unscrewing the large nut and lifting the piston up and then placing it on this wooden bracket.  This will ensure the piston would not interfere with the quadrant.

(View from port side) 
Here is the bottom of the quadrant, showing the plywood and nuts securing the bolts.  The plywood was bedded in place with 5200.  The end of the cylinder and the piston rod are visible here.

The rod going off to the left of this picture (to starboard) actuates the rudder position sensor.

With hydraulic drives, there is a precise relationship between the piston's extension, the radius defined by the location of the bolt on the quadrant, and how far the rudder can swing.  In this installation, I had to put spacers in the quadrant stops (the starboard one is visible on the right edge of this photo) to reduce the extreme swings of the rudder.

Note that I put a hose clamp on the rudder post to prevent the quadrant from slipping down during installation and in the event of loosening of the nuts that clamp it into place.

(View from starboard side)
This photo shows the rudder position sensor.  It is attached to a wooden bracket that is secured to the starboard side of the cockpit.
The control head (Robertson AP300PX) for the autopilot is "handheld" but is normally mounted on a special wooden holder that is mounted just in front of the binnacle.  When it is swung up, it is safe and secure, not an obstruction in the cockpit, and relatively protected. (left photo)

When it is let down about 30 degrees, it is easily controlled from the helm position but not an obstruction.  (right photo)

The bracket and control unit can be easily taken off the binnacle and stored in the starboard sail trap or down below.
 

The computer for the autopilot (Robertson AP300X) is mounted on the side of the aft starboard bunk. Forward of the computer is an AC panel, AC outlet, and DC outlet for the laptop power supply.  Behind the autopilot computer is a bright finished access panel to an engine compartment blower.  The board below the computer can be slid forward to serve as a bed board for sleeping on starboard tack.

On the back wall, the EPRIB is stowed at the skipper's feet.  The oval hole (with bright cover) allows the autopilot hand held control unit to be taken down below, where there is a holder in the nav station.  Even the ceiling is used for stowage, a valve cover gasket.

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