S100 Remote for Autopilot


As the years have gone by I find myself singlehanding more and more. Without the Raymarine Autopilot, singlehanded sailing would not be as simple and safe - clearly one of the best upgrades on Sea Dragon.

I sail in a fairly congested part of the Chesapeake Bay with a long and restricted entrance/exit to our marina. I like to spend the time motoring in and out of the marina either putting things away or preparing the boat to sail. My practice is to set the autopilot, go forward and work while keeping a careful watch. On more than one occasion I have been forced to stop what I am doing on deck, run back to the cockpit, and adjust my course or steer to avoid other boats or other watercraft.... Finally, I broke down and purchased a wireless remote for the autopilot that allows me to steer and change setting from anywhere on board. I am now able to remain on station and safely steer in 1degree or 10 degree increments.

I looked at both the S100 and the SmartController from Raymarine. While the SmartController provided a larger screen, more functions, and the ability display other information "running around" on the Seatalk network, I simply did not like the larger size and saw little need for the additional functions. So I purchased the smaller S100 - After two seasons of sailing with it, I am very happy with the choice.

S100 - Simple - Compact - Functional - It is the wireless remote of choice for me.

The S100 comes with remote, base station, 3-way connector block, lanyard, belt carrier, and all cables needed.
Installation and setup is wonderfully simple and straight forward:

Step 1. Mount the Base station and connect it to the Seatalk network.

Step 2. Follow the straight forward set up steps and you are off & sailing.
I decided to mount the base station with the other instruments on the bulk head above the galley sink. This location is high in the boat and about 1/3 of the way from the stern and 2/3 way from the bow. This provides a nice strong signal anywhere on board Sea Dragon.

I cut a piece of 1/2 inch marine plywood to fit the available space. Next I cleaned the fiberglass with acetone, mixed up West Systems epoxy thickened to the consistency of peanut butter, coated the back of the plywood then using scrap wood & visegrips pressed it into place.
The next day I mounted the Base Station, 3-way connector, and plugged the Seatalk cables per the instructions...

I energized the system and after a couple of minutes -Magic - It located the remote, the autopilot, and life is good. 

That simple!!!!!!!

Return to Projects Page

Copyright 2006 Garner Bennett. All Rights Reserved