Self introduction and question about autopilot redundancy and solo sailing


Stéphane Meyer
 

Hello,

Please just le me introduce myself quickly,

When I was 16 years old my father's best friend bought a SM brand new from the factory. I was stocked and we sailed onboard his SM around Toulon area in the 90's. Sadly he passed away before he could realize his dream to sail around the world.
I've been playing myself a lot with the idea and for me there is only one brand I would ever consider ...Amel. I just love so many things about these boats and I think you have to really love a boat considering what it takes to maintain it.
I'm not boat shopping yet, but will be within the next five years.

One question I always ask myself. Please forgive me being so clueless but I never owned myself a boat equipped with an autopilot system.

As an airline pilot I want redundancy for all the critical systems. On a boat especially solo, I guess the critical systems are the rudder, the AP system, at least one sail, water and food.

Could someone explain me properly how to achieve REAL redundancy in the AP system ? 

How does that work on a SM ?
Is the dual AP installed really fully redundant and would you go solo across an ocean on a standard equipped SM ? What about total electrical failure ?
Same question for the SN. How is it equipped ? Single or dual AP ?

What about the wind vane installation or another backup directly on the wheel ?

Thank you for sharing what you know about it.


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi, just remember that unlike an aircraft a boat wont fall out of the sky if the auto pilot fails, manual steering remains which I guess, while inconvenient, is the fail safe fall back redundancy.

Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 08 July 2021 at 08:25 "Stéphane Meyer via groups.io" <fredolo@...> wrote:

Hello,

Please just le me introduce myself quickly,

When I was 16 years old my father's best friend bought a SM brand new from the factory. I was stocked and we sailed onboard his SM around Toulon area in the 90's. Sadly he passed away before he could realize his dream to sail around the world.
I've been playing myself a lot with the idea and for me there is only one brand I would ever consider ...Amel. I just love so many things about these boats and I think you have to really love a boat considering what it takes to maintain it.
I'm not boat shopping yet, but will be within the next five years.

One question I always ask myself. Please forgive me being so clueless but I never owned myself a boat equipped with an autopilot system.

As an airline pilot I want redundancy for all the critical systems. On a boat especially solo, I guess the critical systems are the rudder, the AP system, at least one sail, water and food.

Could someone explain me properly how to achieve REAL redundancy in the AP system ? 

How does that work on a SM ?
Is the dual AP installed really fully redundant and would you go solo across an ocean on a standard equipped SM ? What about total electrical failure ?
Same question for the SN. How is it equipped ? Single or dual AP ?

What about the wind vane installation or another backup directly on the wheel ?

Thank you for sharing what you know about it.


Justin Maguire
 

My .02 - YMMV 😉


True redundancy means two completely independent systems…

How this is done on a boat with one rudder is different than one with two. 

The SM and A54 (one rudder) have redundancy by placing one on the backside of the helm and one at the rudder stock. 

I don’t know how the 55 does it. 

The 50 and 60 each have two rudders and each has its own completely independent system all the way to two different breaker switches and discreet head units at the helm. 

Nothing is completely failure proof…
- get hit by lightning and you can assume all electronics are out 
- all AP systems use power… lose power and assume all auto pilots out 
- on a single rudder boat, lose the rudder and you’re steering with sails.. one benefit of a ketch rig is that this is MUCH easier to do than on a sloop/cutter rig
- on a duel rudder setup (50/60) you can actually lose a rudder and still have one complete AP setup but lose them both and steering with sails will require lots of skill 

3rd only to water and sails/standing rigging (for me) would be not losing power. The completely dry bilge of the Amel’s is fantastic as it ensures you’re batteries won’t be destroyed by water ingress. 

The generator is a redundant system for power… put enough solar on so that this remains true. 





On Jul 7, 2021, at 16:25, Stéphane Meyer via groups.io <fredolo@...> wrote:

Hello,

Please just le me introduce myself quickly,

When I was 16 years old my father's best friend bought a SM brand new from the factory. I was stocked and we sailed onboard his SM around Toulon area in the 90's. Sadly he passed away before he could realize his dream to sail around the world.
I've been playing myself a lot with the idea and for me there is only one brand I would ever consider ...Amel. I just love so many things about these boats and I think you have to really love a boat considering what it takes to maintain it.
I'm not boat shopping yet, but will be within the next five years.

One question I always ask myself. Please forgive me being so clueless but I never owned myself a boat equipped with an autopilot system.

As an airline pilot I want redundancy for all the critical systems. On a boat especially solo, I guess the critical systems are the rudder, the AP system, at least one sail, water and food.

Could someone explain me properly how to achieve REAL redundancy in the AP system ? 

How does that work on a SM ?
Is the dual AP installed really fully redundant and would you go solo across an ocean on a standard equipped SM ? What about total electrical failure ?
Same question for the SN. How is it equipped ? Single or dual AP ?

What about the wind vane installation or another backup directly on the wheel ?

Thank you for sharing what you know about it.


Alain Blanchard <akdf85@...>
 

Hello Stéphane 

The concept of dual auto-pilot on my personal point of view is that For long haul trip I am more confortable with a back up. Agree that there is only one rudder but as a former twin engine helicopter Pilot I was more than challenged that there was only one gear box. Anyway never had serious issues with the gear box but some with the engines. Never heard in my humble Amel SM expérience of a rudder loss.
Alain
SM 146/Koriolys 

Envoyé de mon iPhone

Le 7 juil. 2021 à 23:04, Justin Maguire <justin_maguire@...> a écrit :

 My .02 - YMMV 😉


True redundancy means two completely independent systems…

How this is done on a boat with one rudder is different than one with two. 

The SM and A54 (one rudder) have redundancy by placing one on the backside of the helm and one at the rudder stock. 

I don’t know how the 55 does it. 

The 50 and 60 each have two rudders and each has its own completely independent system all the way to two different breaker switches and discreet head units at the helm. 

Nothing is completely failure proof…
- get hit by lightning and you can assume all electronics are out 
- all AP systems use power… lose power and assume all auto pilots out 
- on a single rudder boat, lose the rudder and you’re steering with sails.. one benefit of a ketch rig is that this is MUCH easier to do than on a sloop/cutter rig
- on a duel rudder setup (50/60) you can actually lose a rudder and still have one complete AP setup but lose them both and steering with sails will require lots of skill 

3rd only to water and sails/standing rigging (for me) would be not losing power. The completely dry bilge of the Amel’s is fantastic as it ensures you’re batteries won’t be destroyed by water ingress. 

The generator is a redundant system for power… put enough solar on so that this remains true. 





On Jul 7, 2021, at 16:25, Stéphane Meyer via groups.io <fredolo@...> wrote:

Hello,

Please just le me introduce myself quickly,

When I was 16 years old my father's best friend bought a SM brand new from the factory. I was stocked and we sailed onboard his SM around Toulon area in the 90's. Sadly he passed away before he could realize his dream to sail around the world.
I've been playing myself a lot with the idea and for me there is only one brand I would ever consider ...Amel. I just love so many things about these boats and I think you have to really love a boat considering what it takes to maintain it.
I'm not boat shopping yet, but will be within the next five years.

One question I always ask myself. Please forgive me being so clueless but I never owned myself a boat equipped with an autopilot system.

As an airline pilot I want redundancy for all the critical systems. On a boat especially solo, I guess the critical systems are the rudder, the AP system, at least one sail, water and food.

Could someone explain me properly how to achieve REAL redundancy in the AP system ? 

How does that work on a SM ?
Is the dual AP installed really fully redundant and would you go solo across an ocean on a standard equipped SM ? What about total electrical failure ?
Same question for the SN. How is it equipped ? Single or dual AP ?

What about the wind vane installation or another backup directly on the wheel ?

Thank you for sharing what you know about it.


Eric Freedman
 

Please remember that the boat can be steered by aft autopilot if the cables snap or the rack and pinion lock up.

 

If all else fails, you still have the enormous emergency tiller which some people have used to steer hundreds if not a thousand miles.

 

I was once told that you could stand a super Maramu up on the rudder. I don’t know if that is true- based upon the angle of the ruder stock, however the rudder stock is a beast.

 

Off the Canaries in 2002 we bounced a very big whale off our ruder with no damage to Kimberlite.

It first hit the keel and somehow hit the rudder as the wheel spun crazily as it broke the heim joint at the end of the linear autopilot.

 

Fair Winds

Eric

Kimberlite Amel Super Maramu #376

 

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io On Behalf Of Alain Blanchard
Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 2021 5:29 PM
To: main@amelyachtowners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Self introduction and question about autopilot redundancy and solo sailing

 

Hello Stéphane 

 

The concept of dual auto-pilot on my personal point of view is that For long haul trip I am more confortable with a back up. Agree that there is only one rudder but as a former twin engine helicopter Pilot I was more than challenged that there was only one gear box. Anyway never had serious issues with the gear box but some with the engines. Never heard in my humble Amel SM expérience of a rudder loss.

Alain

SM 146/Koriolys 

Envoyé de mon iPhone



Le 7 juil. 2021 à 23:04, Justin Maguire <justin_maguire@...> a écrit :

 My .02 - YMMV 😉

 

 

True redundancy means two completely independent systems…

 

How this is done on a boat with one rudder is different than one with two. 

 

The SM and A54 (one rudder) have redundancy by placing one on the backside of the helm and one at the rudder stock. 

 

I don’t know how the 55 does it. 

 

The 50 and 60 each have two rudders and each has its own completely independent system all the way to two different breaker switches and discreet head units at the helm. 

 

Nothing is completely failure proof…

- get hit by lightning and you can assume all electronics are out 

- all AP systems use power… lose power and assume all auto pilots out 

- on a single rudder boat, lose the rudder and you’re steering with sails.. one benefit of a ketch rig is that this is MUCH easier to do than on a sloop/cutter rig

- on a duel rudder setup (50/60) you can actually lose a rudder and still have one complete AP setup but lose them both and steering with sails will require lots of skill 

 

3rd only to water and sails/standing rigging (for me) would be not losing power. The completely dry bilge of the Amel’s is fantastic as it ensures you’re batteries won’t be destroyed by water ingress. 

 

The generator is a redundant system for power… put enough solar on so that this remains true. 

 

 

 

 



On Jul 7, 2021, at 16:25, Stéphane Meyer via groups.io <fredolo@...> wrote:

Hello,

Please just le me introduce myself quickly,

When I was 16 years old my father's best friend bought a SM brand new from the factory. I was stocked and we sailed onboard his SM around Toulon area in the 90's. Sadly he passed away before he could realize his dream to sail around the world.
I've been playing myself a lot with the idea and for me there is only one brand I would ever consider ...Amel. I just love so many things about these boats and I think you have to really love a boat considering what it takes to maintain it.
I'm not boat shopping yet, but will be within the next five years.

One question I always ask myself. Please forgive me being so clueless but I never owned myself a boat equipped with an autopilot system.

As an airline pilot I want redundancy for all the critical systems. On a boat especially solo, I guess the critical systems are the rudder, the AP system, at least one sail, water and food.

Could someone explain me properly how to achieve REAL redundancy in the AP system ? 

How does that work on a SM ?
Is the dual AP installed really fully redundant and would you go solo across an ocean on a standard equipped SM ? What about total electrical failure ?
Same question for the SN. How is it equipped ? Single or dual AP ?

What about the wind vane installation or another backup directly on the wheel ?

Thank you for sharing what you know about it.


Stéphane Meyer
 
Edited

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 ?


Ann-Sofie, S/Y Lady Annila
 

If you have to hand steer due to electrical problems, the hand steering is the minor problem.


Regards
Ann-Sofie
S/Y Lady Annila, SM 232
Present in Fuengirola, Spain


Skickat från min iPhone

08/07/2021 kl. 11:13 skrev Stéphane Meyer via groups.io <fredolo@...>:



[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 ?


Sv Garulfo
 


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. 


Best,

Thomas
GARULFO 
A54-122
Tahiti 

On 7 Jul 2021, at 23:04, Stéphane Meyer via groups.io <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 ?


Ian Park
 

I had a Hydrovane on my Santorin. When it worked it worked beautifully.
I took it off and sold it. Occasionally it would not quite hold the boat and I had to release he locking on the wheel to put it back on course. When we encountered Sargasso weed it gathered on a the vertical rudder and prevented it working - the weed slid off the keel and main rudder because they are not vertical enough n the water. There is significant wear on the gel coat on the stern from the pressure of the Hydrovane mounting.
My decision was to carry a second motor for the rotary drive. My Santorin generates enough electricity with he shaft alternator to steer the boat plus the sun extra fuel solar panels. I do check the stiffness of the steering cables and an play in the steering rack following Aloha’s and experience.
The Santorin may well benefit from engineering systems from the SM on a boat which is smaller and not so heavy - almost over- engineered, but no complaints there.
Steve’s experience on Aloha is the only occasion I have heard of about a steering breakdown on an Amel.
I trust my 27 year old boat more than many new boats out there. When I bought ‘Ocean Hobo’ an old French gentleman passed by on the pontoon and said ‘M’sieu, you ‘ave bought the Rolls Royce of yachts!’
How right he has proven to be.
Good luck in your search.

Ian ‘Ocean Hobo’ SN 96


Dennis Johns
 

For solo sailing, definitely consider a windvane.  Hydrovane is a good choice because it has a completely separate rudder and can work if the boat's rudder is disabled for whatever reason (I used one to cross the Pacific -not solo).  The issue with a windvane is it needs to have a sail of some sort and if you have davits and a dinghy hanging off the stern, that will be difficult to engineer.  All windvanes have a learning curve to understand how to balance the boat and adjust the windvane and it takes longer for some than for others.  The suggestion for a second drive unit is a good one as well as drive units can lose their clutch and that is easily remedied with a second unit.  The emergency tiller noted is more redundancy but rest from that would require heaving to or drifting as also noted.

Dennis Johns
Libertad
Maramu #121

On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 7:46 AM Ian Park <parkianj@...> wrote:
I had a Hydrovane on my Santorin. When it worked it worked beautifully.
I took it off and sold it. Occasionally it would not quite hold the boat and I had to release he locking on the wheel to put it back on course. When we encountered Sargasso weed it gathered on a the vertical rudder and prevented it working - the weed slid off the keel and main rudder because they are not vertical enough n the water. There is significant wear on the gel coat on the stern from the pressure of the Hydrovane mounting.
My decision was to carry a second motor for the rotary drive. My Santorin generates enough electricity with he shaft alternator to steer the boat plus the sun extra fuel solar panels. I do check the stiffness of the steering cables and an play in the steering rack following Aloha’s and experience.
The Santorin may well benefit from engineering systems from the SM on a boat which is smaller and not so heavy - almost over- engineered, but no complaints there.
Steve’s experience on Aloha is the only occasion I have heard of about a steering breakdown on an Amel.
I trust my 27 year old boat more than many new boats out there. When I bought ‘Ocean Hobo’ an old French gentleman passed by on the pontoon and said ‘M’sieu, you ‘ave bought the Rolls Royce of yachts!’
How right he has proven to be.
Good luck in your search.

Ian ‘Ocean Hobo’ SN 96






Bill Kinney
 

I do not believe it is reasonable to expect one (or even two!) people to hand steer a boat for a thousand miles.  It just gets mentally and physically exhasuting, depending on point of sail and weather.  BUT>>> there is an alternative as Thomas of GARULFO suggests.  A well balanced sailboat (and a SM is pretty good at this) can sail on it's own for a good long time, holding a more or less constant angle to the wind.  It is very effective upwind, moderately so on a shallow reach, and is difficult to impossible as you come further downwind. You can not go anywhere you want to go, but you are not helplessly drifting either.

There are a few tricks.  To get a SM holding a steady course you must trim the sails so there is a bit of weather helm.  If there is even a bit of lee helm the boat just will not balance. In light winds, sometimes the mizzen traveler needs to be cocked to windward a bit to get the rudder turned the right way. The boat needs to head up in a gust, not bear away.  Off the wind, sheeting the jib in a bit loose, and having the mizzen just a bit tight can help.  The boat won't hold a dead straight line, but it will find its own way.  

When sailing close hauled, the rudder needs to be locked in place, as you bear away, there comes a point where the boat will usually behave better with the rudder left free to find its own angle. in both cases, if the need existed, this could be handled by the emergency tiller.

Minor course adjustments are made by tweaking the angle of the mizzen.

On our old boat (a 40 foot ketch) we broke our wind vane 1/3 of the way from California to Hawaii.  We managed 650 miles back upwind to California just trimming sails.  Once the boat was in the groove, we made course adjustments with the mizzen sheet.  We hardly touched the wheel at all until we were back in the variable coastal winds.

Each boat, and each set of sails, has its own sweet spot.  The only way to really know is to practice it. Having a powerful, reliable electric autopilot covers up a lot of sail trimming sins. Learning how to balance the boat so she can take care of herself will make anybody a better sailor.

We have the linear drive installed on our rudder, the chain drive on the wheel, either one can be driven by either of the two autopilot computers, and we have a backup linear drive that drops in place easily.  But of course all those do depend on the constant supply of electricity.

Bill Kinney
s/v Harmonie
Brunswick, GA, USA


Justin Maguire
 

What bill said 👆🏼


On Jul 8, 2021, at 12:19, Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...> wrote:

I do not believe it is reasonable to expect one (or even two!) people to hand steer a boat for a thousand miles.  It just gets mentally and physically exhasuting, depending on point of sail and weather.  BUT>>> there is an alternative as Thomas of GARULFO suggests.  A well balanced sailboat (and a SM is pretty good at this) can sail on it's own for a good long time, holding a more or less constant angle to the wind.  It is very effective upwind, moderately so on a shallow reach, and is difficult to impossible as you come further downwind. You can not go anywhere you want to go, but you are not helplessly drifting either.

There are a few tricks.  To get a SM holding a steady course you must trim the sails so there is a bit of weather helm.  If there is even a bit of lee helm the boat just will not balance. In light winds, sometimes the mizzen traveler needs to be cocked to windward a bit to get the rudder turned the right way. The boat needs to head up in a gust, not bear away.  Off the wind, sheeting the jib in a bit loose, and having the mizzen just a bit tight can help.  The boat won't hold a dead straight line, but it will find its own way.  

When sailing close hauled, the rudder needs to be locked in place, as you bear away, there comes a point where the boat will usually behave better with the rudder left free to find its own angle. in both cases, if the need existed, this could be handled by the emergency tiller.

Minor course adjustments are made by tweaking the angle of the mizzen.

On our old boat (a 40 foot ketch) we broke our wind vane 1/3 of the way from California to Hawaii.  We managed 650 miles back upwind to California just trimming sails.  Once the boat was in the groove, we made course adjustments with the mizzen sheet.  We hardly touched the wheel at all until we were back in the variable coastal winds.

Each boat, and each set of sails, has its own sweet spot.  The only way to really know is to practice it. Having a powerful, reliable electric autopilot covers up a lot of sail trimming sins. Learning how to balance the boat so she can take care of herself will make anybody a better sailor.

We have the linear drive installed on our rudder, the chain drive on the wheel, either one can be driven by either of the two autopilot computers, and we have a backup linear drive that drops in place easily.  But of course all those do depend on the constant supply of electricity.

Bill Kinney
s/v Harmonie
Brunswick, GA, USA


Paul Harries
 

Never having sailed a ketch I was hoping someone could elaborate on how the mizzen is used to steer. 
I understand that first the other sails have to be adjusted to give slight weather helm but what is the secret with the mizzen?


On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 11:24, Justin Maguire
<justin_maguire@...> wrote:
What bill said 👆🏼


On Jul 8, 2021, at 12:19, Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...> wrote:

I do not believe it is reasonable to expect one (or even two!) people to hand steer a boat for a thousand miles.  It just gets mentally and physically exhasuting, depending on point of sail and weather.  BUT>>> there is an alternative as Thomas of GARULFO suggests.  A well balanced sailboat (and a SM is pretty good at this) can sail on it's own for a good long time, holding a more or less constant angle to the wind.  It is very effective upwind, moderately so on a shallow reach, and is difficult to impossible as you come further downwind. You can not go anywhere you want to go, but you are not helplessly drifting either.

There are a few tricks.  To get a SM holding a steady course you must trim the sails so there is a bit of weather helm.  If there is even a bit of lee helm the boat just will not balance. In light winds, sometimes the mizzen traveler needs to be cocked to windward a bit to get the rudder turned the right way. The boat needs to head up in a gust, not bear away.  Off the wind, sheeting the jib in a bit loose, and having the mizzen just a bit tight can help.  The boat won't hold a dead straight line, but it will find its own way.  

When sailing close hauled, the rudder needs to be locked in place, as you bear away, there comes a point where the boat will usually behave better with the rudder left free to find its own angle. in both cases, if the need existed, this could be handled by the emergency tiller.

Minor course adjustments are made by tweaking the angle of the mizzen.

On our old boat (a 40 foot ketch) we broke our wind vane 1/3 of the way from California to Hawaii.  We managed 650 miles back upwind to California just trimming sails.  Once the boat was in the groove, we made course adjustments with the mizzen sheet.  We hardly touched the wheel at all until we were back in the variable coastal winds.

Each boat, and each set of sails, has its own sweet spot.  The only way to really know is to practice it. Having a powerful, reliable electric autopilot covers up a lot of sail trimming sins. Learning how to balance the boat so she can take care of herself will make anybody a better sailor.

We have the linear drive installed on our rudder, the chain drive on the wheel, either one can be driven by either of the two autopilot computers, and we have a backup linear drive that drops in place easily.  But of course all those do depend on the constant supply of electricity.

Bill Kinney
s/v Harmonie
Brunswick, GA, USA

--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


Justin Maguire
 

It simple provides better balancing between fore and aft making it easier to trim to a point of sail where you don’t need to steer. 

One of the things I was taught when I was very young at a sailing school was how to sail and steer only with the sales… It’s actually a useful exercise. 

Head out for a sail. Put up your sails… trim to your pint of sail. Put your Helm at the center position and tie it off..

Now.. as you adjust the trim on tour sails, they will naturally point the boat to their most efficient airfoil shape relative to their position from the centerline of the boat. 

This is generally a good practice to be in anyway even with an auto pilot… Your cell trim should require very little steering to hold course… If you nailed this, you will significantly reduce the wear and tear on your auto pilot motors




On Jul 8, 2021, at 13:24, Paul Harries <pharries@...> wrote:

Never having sailed a ketch I was hoping someone could elaborate on how the mizzen is used to steer. 
I understand that first the other sails have to be adjusted to give slight weather helm but what is the secret with the mizzen?


On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 11:24, Justin Maguire
<justin_maguire@...> wrote:
What bill said 👆🏼


On Jul 8, 2021, at 12:19, Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...> wrote:

I do not believe it is reasonable to expect one (or even two!) people to hand steer a boat for a thousand miles.  It just gets mentally and physically exhasuting, depending on point of sail and weather.  BUT>>> there is an alternative as Thomas of GARULFO suggests.  A well balanced sailboat (and a SM is pretty good at this) can sail on it's own for a good long time, holding a more or less constant angle to the wind.  It is very effective upwind, moderately so on a shallow reach, and is difficult to impossible as you come further downwind. You can not go anywhere you want to go, but you are not helplessly drifting either.

There are a few tricks.  To get a SM holding a steady course you must trim the sails so there is a bit of weather helm.  If there is even a bit of lee helm the boat just will not balance. In light winds, sometimes the mizzen traveler needs to be cocked to windward a bit to get the rudder turned the right way. The boat needs to head up in a gust, not bear away.  Off the wind, sheeting the jib in a bit loose, and having the mizzen just a bit tight can help.  The boat won't hold a dead straight line, but it will find its own way.  

When sailing close hauled, the rudder needs to be locked in place, as you bear away, there comes a point where the boat will usually behave better with the rudder left free to find its own angle. in both cases, if the need existed, this could be handled by the emergency tiller.

Minor course adjustments are made by tweaking the angle of the mizzen.

On our old boat (a 40 foot ketch) we broke our wind vane 1/3 of the way from California to Hawaii.  We managed 650 miles back upwind to California just trimming sails.  Once the boat was in the groove, we made course adjustments with the mizzen sheet.  We hardly touched the wheel at all until we were back in the variable coastal winds.

Each boat, and each set of sails, has its own sweet spot.  The only way to really know is to practice it. Having a powerful, reliable electric autopilot covers up a lot of sail trimming sins. Learning how to balance the boat so she can take care of herself will make anybody a better sailor.

We have the linear drive installed on our rudder, the chain drive on the wheel, either one can be driven by either of the two autopilot computers, and we have a backup linear drive that drops in place easily.  But of course all those do depend on the constant supply of electricity.

Bill Kinney
s/v Harmonie
Brunswick, GA, USA


Mark Erdos
 

Hi Paul,

 

I had never sailed a ketch prior to owning an Amel and the best advice I can give you is trial and error. Now, I would never want a sloop rig again.

 

One of our favorite sail combinations is what is called Jib and Jigger. When properly tuned, there is almost no need for the auto pilot. The mizzen sail acts as a sort of air rudder. Steering in heavy weather is a really light touch on the wheel and the boat sails a true straight course with no pull to windward with gusts. Here’s a good read: https://www.yachtingmonthly.com/cruising-life/ketch-sailing-jib-and-jigger-31436

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of Paul Harries via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, July 8, 2021 7:24 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io; Justin Maguire; main@amelyachtowners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Self introduction and question about autopilot redundancy and solo sailing

 

Never having sailed a ketch I was hoping someone could elaborate on how the mizzen is used to steer. 

I understand that first the other sails have to be adjusted to give slight weather helm but what is the secret with the mizzen?

 

On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 11:24, Justin Maguire

<justin_maguire@...> wrote:

What bill said 👆🏼



On Jul 8, 2021, at 12:19, Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...> wrote:

I do not believe it is reasonable to expect one (or even two!) people to hand steer a boat for a thousand miles.  It just gets mentally and physically exhasuting, depending on point of sail and weather.  BUT>>> there is an alternative as Thomas of GARULFO suggests.  A well balanced sailboat (and a SM is pretty good at this) can sail on it's own for a good long time, holding a more or less constant angle to the wind.  It is very effective upwind, moderately so on a shallow reach, and is difficult to impossible as you come further downwind. You can not go anywhere you want to go, but you are not helplessly drifting either.

There are a few tricks.  To get a SM holding a steady course you must trim the sails so there is a bit of weather helm.  If there is even a bit of lee helm the boat just will not balance. In light winds, sometimes the mizzen traveler needs to be cocked to windward a bit to get the rudder turned the right way. The boat needs to head up in a gust, not bear away.  Off the wind, sheeting the jib in a bit loose, and having the mizzen just a bit tight can help.  The boat won't hold a dead straight line, but it will find its own way.  

When sailing close hauled, the rudder needs to be locked in place, as you bear away, there comes a point where the boat will usually behave better with the rudder left free to find its own angle. in both cases, if the need existed, this could be handled by the emergency tiller.

Minor course adjustments are made by tweaking the angle of the mizzen.

On our old boat (a 40 foot ketch) we broke our wind vane 1/3 of the way from California to Hawaii.  We managed 650 miles back upwind to California just trimming sails.  Once the boat was in the groove, we made course adjustments with the mizzen sheet.  We hardly touched the wheel at all until we were back in the variable coastal winds.

Each boat, and each set of sails, has its own sweet spot.  The only way to really know is to practice it. Having a powerful, reliable electric autopilot covers up a lot of sail trimming sins. Learning how to balance the boat so she can take care of herself will make anybody a better sailor.

We have the linear drive installed on our rudder, the chain drive on the wheel, either one can be driven by either of the two autopilot computers, and we have a backup linear drive that drops in place easily.  But of course all those do depend on the constant supply of electricity.

Bill Kinney
s/v Harmonie
Brunswick, GA, USA


--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


Paul Harries
 

Balancing the sails along with Jib and Jigger I get, being so far behind the center of rotation I assumed the Mizzen would add weather helm. 
Is the concept of steering with Mizzen purely a matter of Lee vs Weather helm or is there something else?


On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 12:48, Mark Erdos
<mcerdos@...> wrote:

Hi Paul,

 

I had never sailed a ketch prior to owning an Amel and the best advice I can give you is trial and error. Now, I would never want a sloop rig again.

 

One of our favorite sail combinations is what is called Jib and Jigger. When properly tuned, there is almost no need for the auto pilot. The mizzen sail acts as a sort of air rudder. Steering in heavy weather is a really light touch on the wheel and the boat sails a true straight course with no pull to windward with gusts. Here’s a good read: https://www.yachtingmonthly.com/cruising-life/ketch-sailing-jib-and-jigger-31436

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of Paul Harries via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, July 8, 2021 7:24 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io; Justin Maguire; main@amelyachtowners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Self introduction and question about autopilot redundancy and solo sailing

 

Never having sailed a ketch I was hoping someone could elaborate on how the mizzen is used to steer. 

I understand that first the other sails have to be adjusted to give slight weather helm but what is the secret with the mizzen?

 

On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 11:24, Justin Maguire

<justin_maguire@...> wrote:

What bill said 👆🏼



On Jul 8, 2021, at 12:19, Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...> wrote:

I do not believe it is reasonable to expect one (or even two!) people to hand steer a boat for a thousand miles.  It just gets mentally and physically exhasuting, depending on point of sail and weather.  BUT>>> there is an alternative as Thomas of GARULFO suggests.  A well balanced sailboat (and a SM is pretty good at this) can sail on it's own for a good long time, holding a more or less constant angle to the wind.  It is very effective upwind, moderately so on a shallow reach, and is difficult to impossible as you come further downwind. You can not go anywhere you want to go, but you are not helplessly drifting either.

There are a few tricks.  To get a SM holding a steady course you must trim the sails so there is a bit of weather helm.  If there is even a bit of lee helm the boat just will not balance. In light winds, sometimes the mizzen traveler needs to be cocked to windward a bit to get the rudder turned the right way. The boat needs to head up in a gust, not bear away.  Off the wind, sheeting the jib in a bit loose, and having the mizzen just a bit tight can help.  The boat won't hold a dead straight line, but it will find its own way.  

When sailing close hauled, the rudder needs to be locked in place, as you bear away, there comes a point where the boat will usually behave better with the rudder left free to find its own angle. in both cases, if the need existed, this could be handled by the emergency tiller.

Minor course adjustments are made by tweaking the angle of the mizzen.

On our old boat (a 40 foot ketch) we broke our wind vane 1/3 of the way from California to Hawaii.  We managed 650 miles back upwind to California just trimming sails.  Once the boat was in the groove, we made course adjustments with the mizzen sheet.  We hardly touched the wheel at all until we were back in the variable coastal winds.

Each boat, and each set of sails, has its own sweet spot.  The only way to really know is to practice it. Having a powerful, reliable electric autopilot covers up a lot of sail trimming sins. Learning how to balance the boat so she can take care of herself will make anybody a better sailor.

We have the linear drive installed on our rudder, the chain drive on the wheel, either one can be driven by either of the two autopilot computers, and we have a backup linear drive that drops in place easily.  But of course all those do depend on the constant supply of electricity.

Bill Kinney
s/v Harmonie
Brunswick, GA, USA


--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


Mark Erdos
 

We have also learned to heave to with same set up. Just come about and don’t release the jib. There is no need to go forward and no need to change sails.

 

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of Justin Maguire

Sent: Thursday, July 8, 2021 7:41 AM
To: Paul Harries
Cc: main@amelyachtowners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Self introduction and question about autopilot redundancy and solo sailing

 

It simple provides better balancing between fore and aft making it easier to trim to a point of sail where you don’t need to steer. 

 

One of the things I was taught when I was very young at a sailing school was how to sail and steer only with the sales… It’s actually a useful exercise. 

 

Head out for a sail. Put up your sails… trim to your pint of sail. Put your Helm at the center position and tie it off..

 

Now.. as you adjust the trim on tour sails, they will naturally point the boat to their most efficient airfoil shape relative to their position from the centerline of the boat. 

 

This is generally a good practice to be in anyway even with an auto pilot… Your cell trim should require very little steering to hold course… If you nailed this, you will significantly reduce the wear and tear on your auto pilot motors

 

 

 



On Jul 8, 2021, at 13:24, Paul Harries <pharries@...> wrote:

Never having sailed a ketch I was hoping someone could elaborate on how the mizzen is used to steer. 

I understand that first the other sails have to be adjusted to give slight weather helm but what is the secret with the mizzen?

 

On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 11:24, Justin Maguire

<justin_maguire@...> wrote:

What bill said 👆🏼



On Jul 8, 2021, at 12:19, Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...> wrote:

I do not believe it is reasonable to expect one (or even two!) people to hand steer a boat for a thousand miles.  It just gets mentally and physically exhasuting, depending on point of sail and weather.  BUT>>> there is an alternative as Thomas of GARULFO suggests.  A well balanced sailboat (and a SM is pretty good at this) can sail on it's own for a good long time, holding a more or less constant angle to the wind.  It is very effective upwind, moderately so on a shallow reach, and is difficult to impossible as you come further downwind. You can not go anywhere you want to go, but you are not helplessly drifting either.

There are a few tricks.  To get a SM holding a steady course you must trim the sails so there is a bit of weather helm.  If there is even a bit of lee helm the boat just will not balance. In light winds, sometimes the mizzen traveler needs to be cocked to windward a bit to get the rudder turned the right way. The boat needs to head up in a gust, not bear away.  Off the wind, sheeting the jib in a bit loose, and having the mizzen just a bit tight can help.  The boat won't hold a dead straight line, but it will find its own way.  

When sailing close hauled, the rudder needs to be locked in place, as you bear away, there comes a point where the boat will usually behave better with the rudder left free to find its own angle. in both cases, if the need existed, this could be handled by the emergency tiller.

Minor course adjustments are made by tweaking the angle of the mizzen.

On our old boat (a 40 foot ketch) we broke our wind vane 1/3 of the way from California to Hawaii.  We managed 650 miles back upwind to California just trimming sails.  Once the boat was in the groove, we made course adjustments with the mizzen sheet.  We hardly touched the wheel at all until we were back in the variable coastal winds.

Each boat, and each set of sails, has its own sweet spot.  The only way to really know is to practice it. Having a powerful, reliable electric autopilot covers up a lot of sail trimming sins. Learning how to balance the boat so she can take care of herself will make anybody a better sailor.

We have the linear drive installed on our rudder, the chain drive on the wheel, either one can be driven by either of the two autopilot computers, and we have a backup linear drive that drops in place easily.  But of course all those do depend on the constant supply of electricity.

Bill Kinney
s/v Harmonie
Brunswick, GA, USA


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. 
Nick
Amelia AML 54-019 
Samos


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. 


Best,

Thomas
GARULFO 
A54-122
Tahiti 

On 7 Jul 2021, at 23:04, Stéphane Meyer via groups.io <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 ?


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Unpleasant but possible. 

Not suggesting it as a choice but it can be done. Careful sail trim using skills we have forgotten or perhaps never known can make it a lot easier. 

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 08 July 2021 at 21:04 "Stéphane Meyer via groups.io" <fredolo@...> wrote:

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, like a wind vane system but I've heard this is not achievable on a SM/SN is thceat true ?


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi Thomas, I agree with you. Seamanship is something that has been forgotten in this age of electronics and perhaps we should relearn it.

Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 09 July 2021 at 02:21 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. 


Best,

Thomas
GARULFO 
A54-122
Tahiti 

On 7 Jul 2021, at 23:04, Stéphane Meyer via groups.io < 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 ?