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Our Leisure 17 'Poppet' will have a hybrid steering system that consists of

  • A wooden laminated tiller

  • A Hydrovane self-steering windvane

  • A Raymarine Autopilot system (EV-100 Tiller Pilot System)

The Tiller

We took a pattern of our original fifty-year-old tiller and made a template to form a new laminated tiller from ash and hardwood.

The new tiller is stronger than the original and up to the stresses that it will injure during our Atlantic crossing.

We'll also carry a spare unit, and hardware should the worst happen.

We'll soon write a feature demonstrating how we made our new tiller... watch this space


Hydrovane self-steering windvane

We located a used VXA1 Hydrovane, and with the help of the manufacturers, we are in the process of having it refurbished and modified for use on board Poppet.

The unit does not require its own power supply and, once set up and trimmed, will steer the boat on our chosen course.​ It can also function as an auxiliary rudder should our main one be lost or become inoperable

As our third crewmate, we need to give it a name. Any suggestions?

We'll soon write a feature about our refurbished Hydrovane... watch this space

Raymarine EV-100 Tiller Pilot

With the help of Raymarine UK, we are going to install an EV-100 Autopilot system. 

This electronic system can be used while motoring or in low winds where the Hydrovane is less effective. It can even be used in conjunction, i.e., the Autohelm can be set to assist the Hydrovane if the course deviation is +/- 10 degrees.

At the heart of the system as a ACU-100 computer, a p70s display, EV-1 Sensor Core (9-axis heading sensor), and a Tiller Drive. The drive can be connected to our main tiller or to the Hydrovane.

We also have a spare refurbished Tiller Drive.

We'll soon write a feature about our installation... watch this space

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