Autopilot drive for tillers


Furuno Fan
None of the existing "tillerpilots" are nearly adequate for moderate to heavy displacement cruising sailboats. The drives simply are not up to the task, and fail often. What I would like to see is a drive that is waterproof for use in the cockpit and powerful enough for a heavy full keel cruising boat with barn door rudder. It could be just a much beefier version of the drive on the RayMarine SP-X 5 GP, which is engaged by dropping the end of the drive shaft over a pin on the tiller and has no clutch or position sensor. A permanently installed drive with a clutch and position sensor would be a better solution however. If there is a clutch, it should be designed to use less current than the typical 1A-1.5A as that is a lot of current for a boat under sail, in addition to the drive current. If a rudder position sensor is needed it should be internal to the drive unit.

Note that I am only asking for a new drive unit; otherwise the current autopilots would work just fine. I realize that this might be a small market sector, but such a product would own it.