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


Almost always we are sailing as a "Ma and Pa" team and auto steering is pretty high on our list.  We are most concerned about lightning.  A lightning strike could easily take out both of 2 installed units even if one unit is turned off.
For that reason while we carry spares for each AP component, none of the spares are installed.  So we carry matching components for our autopilot--control head, fluxgate compass, course computer, rudder feedback and linear drive (we do not carry a backup for our switchable rotary drive). Each is sealed in ziplock storage bag with dessicant and the linear drive is well wrapped.  They are stored in lockers away from other wires and rigging attachments.  Determining which component has failed is not hard to do and swapping components is not difficult.  It is helpful to label each wire, especially to the course computer/power source.  We have not done it but the best thing might be to replace all the replacement components and store your existing components.  That way you know the replacements work and you have experience installing them and doing any initiation.  We also have some provisions for power if the batteries get zapped but I won't go into those details,
Bob and Suzanne, KAIMI SM429

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