|SJ23 Tech Tip E12a, (Updated 2022-07-18) Bob Schimmel, Jim Dalessandro.|
This Tech Tip expands on Tech Tip E12, "Install an Electric Autopilot" to describe the electronic control hardware for steering an SJ23 by the wind. The intent here is to describe this installation with sufficient detail to fabricate and configure the electronics yourself. I can foresee a new winter project with this! Stay tuned for updates.
A Raspberry Pi and associated hardware is probably the best option to steer an SJ23 by the wind since it is next to impossible to mount a mechanical wind vane on the narrow transom. It is quicker to enable or disable the electronic vane than a mechanical one. Compared to a full manufacturer installation, the Raspberry Pi and associated hardware is likely the least expensive system to control a Tiller Pilot. It consumes very little power which should be dear to the hearts of many SJ23 sailors whose boats have little or no battery charging capability. While it is feasible to operate the electronics on just a deep cycle battery, it is best to install a battery charging system as well. See Tech Tips E07, E04, & E01.
Use a RASPBERRY Pi to Steer an SJ23 to the Wind.
"I installed this electronic hardware onboard my SJ23 so it can sail by the wind. There is also a chart plotter and a lot of other functions too numerous to mention. With the autopilot functioning I can concentrate on sail trim or do whatever else I need to do onboard. The system makes smaller corrections than a person can, and more often. Two advantages of this system are much lower cost than a full manufacturer package and low power drain. I have yet to install a battery charging system since the electronics draws very little power and so far my charged battery can handle my daily floats. Notice the Raymarine vane at the masthead. That's where it all starts. For a video go to https://youtu.be/3zMjUs2X3qU." Jim Dalessandro.
Why pink sails? Email Jim for that answer. He says, "I love the pink reflection off the water. Everything on deck has a pink hue as well. Its like wearing rose coloured glasses."
I think these are all components required for the vane steering function. This list may change.
ADDITIONAL PARTS for CHART PLOTTER:
I think these are the additional components required for the chart plotter and other functions. This list may change.
The first objective is to assemble the components on a work bench and get them working.
The second objective is where to install this hardware on your SJ23. It has to be convenient to use.
The following is reference info to use during this construction, Tech Tip E12.
ELECTRICAL WIRING - The Raymarine ST1000+ or ST2000+ Tiller Pilots are capable of being controlled by an external NMEA 0183 compatible device (GPS navigation receiver, plotter, etc) so it can follow a programmed route over the ground. This is superior than using the, "hold this heading," switch when operating the boat through a cross current or cross wind. To this end I installed a voice grade (Cat 3) wiring harness from the cockpit connector to the GPS. The harness runs inside a cable tray along the top inside of the port locker, through the port cabin bulkhead (sealed with sealant), and across the cabin behind the companionway to a terminal strip below the VHF. This where it is cross connected to the GPS to operate using NMEA sentences. See Tech Tip E13 Instrument Interconnect, for further information. The power leads continue on to the power breaker panel on starboard.