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Tiller Pilot - The Autopilot for Sailboats
Aligning the tiller, adjusting the sails and trimming the weight - when steering a sailboat there is usually no hand free. Often it is not even possible to take a break in a light breeze. If you want a little assistance with single-handed sailing, want to simplify your long trips or just want to have a coffee in peace, you can get a tiller pilot. These autopilots for boats master currents, waves and wind without deviating from the desired course.
When is a tiller pilot worthwhile?
Both small and large boats benefit from the little helper in windy and calm conditions. While tiller pilots are mainly used in light conditions, many also like to use them for long-distance cruising or single-handed sailing. Especially for the latter, autopilots are indispensable. They assist the sailor during maneuvers and take over steering in emergencies such as seasickness. Autopilots allow the sailor to adjust sail position with both hands if the wind is consistently changing. Also, an anchoring or other activities are easily possible thanks to tiller pilots. Autopilots for boats also never get tired or lose concentration. They can steer so precisely that time and, consequently, fuel are saved. There are even "self-learning" tiller pilots that can learn the rudder positions needed to stay on course and prevent oversteering. Here, parameters such as a rudder gain or counter rudder are automatically adjusted to optimize performance.
What to look for when buying
The most important criterion when choosing a tiller pilot is thrust in relation to the size or displacement of the boat. For example, tiller pilots with a maximum thrust of 65 kilograms are suitable for boats with a maximum length of 10 meters or a maximum displacement of tons. If the tiller pilot has low power consumption at the same time, it can be used for longer periods of time. The autopilot should allow maximum thrust with minimum power consumption. Given the performance of the tiller pilot, quiet operation is also advantageous. Of course, to ensure weather-independent use, the housing should also be waterproof. Tiller pilots usually have built-in compass control and GPS. With a remote control, the tiller pilot can be set even more comfortable.