Autohelm ST50 Wind

At the time of survey the instruments were turned on and the Autohelm ST50 Wind showed readings which were assumed OK. Wrong! Ideally should have been checked against another instrument with known accuracy.

On the delivery voyage the instrument was giving readings inconsistent with prevailing conditions. Later in Dartmouth a close inspection of the vane revealed some damage to the fin. At layup in November 2005 the masthead unit was removed and sent off to Raymarine for repair.

Although they sent back a standard "10 year letter" to the effect that parts were becoming scarce their service was excellent. Turned out that the rubber vane was torn and perished and the bearing was seized. Repaired unit was back 10 days later at a cost of around £45. Not a major blow.

En route to Recife in March 2008 it failed again. This time I simply removed the unit, cleaned it and put it back. It worked just fine.