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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Over here
    Posts
    652

    Default Autohelm 4000 + moody 34

    I sail on a moody 34 equipped with an ancient autohelm 4000 driving a belt on the wheel.

    The autohelm works great whilst motoring, but fails when sailing - boat heals over the slightest amount, an alarm in the autopilot sounds and the system stops trying to steer & the boat rounds up.

    Is this something which a newer (possibly quadrant driven) autohelm would cure?

    Am used to a folkboat plus navik servopendulum which worked a charm. This set up is proving irksome.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Grenoble
    Posts
    30,701

    Default Re: Autohelm 4000 + moody 34

    In answer to your question, would a below decks autopilot cure the problem, YES.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Mooring, Faro
    Posts
    1,486

    Default Re: Autohelm 4000 + moody 34

    Quote Originally Posted by Fr J Hackett View Post
    In answer to your question, would a below decks autopilot cure the problem, YES.
    On a 346 (same hull) it made it better but didn't cure it as these boats are directionally unstable. Our 346 came with a wheel pilot which was pretty useless except in the most benign conditions so replaced it with a linear drive on the quadrant. Much better and faster operation but, slightest change in wind speed and the boat would change course faster than the pilot could react and then when wind speed changed again, it would overcompensate, leaving the wake a lazy S. Not surprisingly, the PBO/YM 346 used boat test said something along the lines of "the boat would change direction for no apparent reason". Disliked performance enough to get rid of the boat.
    Last edited by Graham376; 02-07-19 at 23:45.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,384

    Default Re: Autohelm 4000 + moody 34

    Notwithstanding any

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,384

    Default Re: Autohelm 4000 + moody 34

    Peculiarities of the boat, I don't think the Autohelm performance should be that useless.

    I had a problem with my 2000 which has a similar box. It would randomly, it seemed, switch to standby. Turned out to be an intermittent power connection in the boat's switch panel.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,384

    Default Re: Autohelm 4000 + moody 34

    And we used to sail in company with a Moody 34 with the same set up. I don't remember the owners having similar complaints. And I helped deliver her across Lyme Bay with a 5 or 6 on our quarter and never noticed any undue problems handsteering.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,751

    Default Re: Autohelm 4000 + moody 34

    A good quadrant-ram autopilot is so much better than any wheelpilot. Re Moody 34/346 - I have sailed one and whilst I found it lacked "feel" on the helm, and didn't easily find a relaxing "groove" to windward, it wasn't that bad and actually sailed quite well. And the aft cabin was very comfortable indeed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Mooring, Faro
    Posts
    1,486

    Default Re: Autohelm 4000 + moody 34

    Quote Originally Posted by James_Calvert View Post
    And we used to sail in company with a Moody 34 with the same set up. I don't remember the owners having similar complaints. And I helped deliver her across Lyme Bay with a 5 or 6 on our quarter and never noticed any undue problems handsteering.
    Hand steering wasn't a problem as you can feel the boat tucking up or falling off a bit and easily correct as soon as it's felt. I find standing behind the wheel for long periods quite tedious so our Autohelm does 95% of the steering. The boat we have now has exactly the same system (now outdated ST5000) but behaves much better.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Belfast
    Posts
    1,467

    Default Re: Autohelm 4000 + moody 34

    It sounds as if you may have a power failure/reduction when you are sailing and the engine is off, so no charging to keep the voltage up.
    Check all your connections carefully especially where the wire goes into the end of the motor at the plug.
    Is the whole system fused? If so make sure the fuse contacts are clean too.

    I had one of those on my W33, which was very similar, and it worked a treat, but was susceptible to low voltage. They do require a basin full of amps to work satisfactorily.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Over here
    Posts
    652

    Default Re: Autohelm 4000 + moody 34

    Thanks all, I'll be honest and say I'm not sure I agree with the comments about the directional stability of the boat. We have decent sails and she tracks really well when manually helmed.

    The issue seems to be when she heals a few more degrees in a gust, the autohelm fails to react to the adjustment on the wheel nessesary to keep here on track and shuts down.

    I'll investigate power line continuity and battery voltage.

    Thanks

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