Re: Self introduction and question about autopilot redundancy and solo sailing

ngtnewington Newington

I agree with  Garulfo.  I have sailed from U.K. to Brazil  alone in 1990. Not on an Amel, no autopilot but a servo pendulum system wind vane. Similar to an Aries. 
There are various components in such a system many of which could break and and render it worthless. The fall back is hand steering. I accepted this risk.
You could go  for a Hydrovane. 
I suspect it would not  work very well on bigger Amels, but it would work and get you there. The thing is, you bolt on this expensive monstrosity and never use it.

My perspective; is that I think the best solution is have two electric aitopilots installed, but failing that a spare in the box ready to  go. I am afraid you have to just hope 
1. That the batteries do not fail
2. That they can be charged by either the engine or generator and /or solar. 
Amelia AML 54-019 

On 8 Jul 2021, at 17:21, Sv Garulfo <svgarulfo@...> wrote:

In our experience there are points of sail where our boat can sail itself for a remarkable long time (upward of 45m) with the helm completely free, and that despite of confused seas.
We’ve done it for fun in the Caribbean and again in French Polynesia, in between islands, with AWA between 60° and 40° and AWS of 12kn to 18kn. 

I can’t really say why it works so beautifully but once the sails are trimmed properly (the mizzen being the final touch to perfectly balance the boat), the sea state is absorbed by the free rudder. The helm turns a fair amount as the boat rides up and down the waves, but it behaves better than when driven by the autopilot. It’s a smoother ride, more natural (and very satisfying!).
It usually stops when an odd wave pushes the boat out of equilibrium and the AWA start drifting one way or another. 

I don’t know about other points of sail. I’d say it’s more difficult to achieve as the sea is more likely to knock the boat off balance. 

I would imagine drifting/heaving to is a way for solo sailors to rest.

Having said that, I think the redundancy you are looking for here is crew. 
Solo sailing such a big boat requires reasonable confidence that redundancy of technical equipment will cover 99% of situations. The remaining 1% is a leap of faith. If that is not acceptable, a smaller boat with a wind-vane may be a better choice. 



On 7 Jul 2021, at 23:04, Stéphane Meyer via <fredolo@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

All valid comments and thank you for your inputs.

How is it humanly possible to manually steer a boat for 15 or 20 days if you're on your own and for exemple having to deal with a complete electrical failure ? 
I'd like a fail operational system but I know this isn't an airliner and event they sometime fail despite all what is done to achieve redundancy.

However I'd like to do my best not being on my own in the middle of the Pacific Ocean having to manually steer the boat ....

So here we are :
1/ How can we have a backup automatic steering in case of total electrical failure ? I was of course thinking of a wind vane system but I've heard this is not achievable on a SM/SN is that true ?
2/ How can you reasonnably deal with the said situation if you don't have such a backup ? Can you still setup a bungee system which would "steer the boat" while your'e having the little sleep you need not to kill yourself ?

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