Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Installation second autopilot

Stephen Davis

Hello Niklas,

I’m a little surprised you do not have a rotary drive, as I’ve seen many SMs, and they all had one. I’d be curious to know how many of you out there do not have a rotary drive. I own hull #72 (1992), and at that time the boats only came with a rotary drive, and at a later hull number Amel re-designed the rudder quadrant to accept a linear drive. 

If you decide to add a Rotary drive, you need to find a Raymarine type II 24 volt drive. The 12 volt drives are usually in stock here in the USA, but a 24 volt version is hard to find. I purchased a new 24v drive from Raymarine USA about a year and a half ago, and it was the last on they had to sell at that time. I suspect if you talk to the right person at Raymarine they can find you one, but you may have to wait a bit. 

With regards to the sprockets, on my boat the drive sprocket on the rotary drive is 19 teeth, and on the steering shaft it is 38 teeth. No guarantees the newer boats are the same, but I suspect they are. I just purchased a new steering shaft and sprocket for the shaft from Maude, and she was surprised to find they still had the shaft 38 tooth sprocket on the shelf. It sounded like I got the last sprocket, but you would have to ask Maude to be sure. Amel does not have the rotary drive sprocket or the chain. Raymarine actually has a part number for the drive sprocket, but when I spoke to them, they said they no longer sell them. I’m sure the drive sprocket could be found from some industrial supply place, but so far, all the ones I’ve found have a keyway slightly to wide for the shaft. I’m also looking for a new chain as a spare, but have not found one yet. If anyone has a source or the exact specs on the chain, please let me know. 

I’m assuming since your boat did not come with a rotary drive, your steering shaft does not have a keyway machined in it to hold the sprocket. If that is the case, you will have to completely disassemble the steering system, take the steering shaft to a machine shop, and have a keyway machined into it. You can’t do this until you have the new drive mounted, and can check the exact alignment of the the sprocket on the drive to the shaft. I just purchased a new steering shaft and steering racks from Amel, and was surprised the new shaft did not come with the keyway machined into it, and I had to have a machine shop do it for me.

As you can see, to add a rotary drive now will require some effort and expense. If it were me, I’d probably purchase a spare Linear drive which you should be able to change out in a half hour. 

Best of luck with your project. 


Steve Davis
Aloha SM 72
KoOlina, Hawaii

Steve Davis
S/V Aloha

On Mar 28, 2018, at 10:12 PM, gloggler@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:



Im going to install Raymarine rotary drive type 2 24v as a second autopilot and wonder if anybody knows the size on steering sprocket, drive sprocket and chain and were i can it? Have been in contact with Amel but they did not know.

Regards Niklas Glöggler SY Nipe SM2K #333

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