Thursday, 15 May 2014

Restringing Autohelm 1000

Last year I aqcuired an Autohelm 1000.  It worked lovely for a while then made some clunking noises and stopped working.  On removing the cover the string had dropped off the pulleys so I restrung it, with out instructions or knowing what I was doing, and slung it back together.  From then on would not hold a course... In fact it would steer hard to port then hard to starboard.. very off putting and enough to spill the G&T. It was then consigned to a locker for the rest of the season.
Last night I decided to have a look at it.  I searched the internet and was rewarded with step by step instructions.  On investigation the string hadn't just dropped off but had snapped, the free end had got jambed so it looked/felt like it was still in place.   I nipped out to get some whipping twine and made up a new string.  I measured the old string which would have been approx 34" (86.5cm for the youth).
Replacing String In Autohelm
Below are the instructions which I lifted from the Yachting and Boating world forum

Thanks to Geoff, not sure who Geoff is but thanks anyway, I would never have figured it out on my own.

Easy, but then I did it for a living for a few years.
1. Put the ram right in.
2. Orientate the unit so the compass is on the RHS and the motor etc on
the LHS
2. Undo the end of the feedback cord with the spring on it and lay the
string out towards you.
3. If you look at the pulley, there is a big bit and a little bit, on the
big bit there is a notch, aim that down toward the compass.
Now comes the fun bit!
4. From where the string is attached at the end of the guide on the ram,
take teh cord to the LHS of the pulley and start laying in in the lowest
groove of the big bit of the pulley.
5. Keep winding round the pulley anticlockwise for about 3.5 turns until
all the big grooves are full.
6. The string should now be brought out of the groove.
7. Still winding anticlokwise, take half a turn round the lowest point on
the small bit of the pulley.
8. Now take the cord around the compass half a turn again anticlockwise.
9. Secure the spring end back onto the gearbox.
And that's it.
Except if your unit is mounted on the port side, then you doe all the way up
to 8, the go CLOCKWISE round the compass and finish off on top of the
Finally, when you come to put the top case back on, sit it on but do not
press it home, If you look up inside the gap, you will see the cord is over
the case bosses, just push it in so it goes inside and the case will then
drop all the way down.
Have fun!

There is one addition to these instructions, the string needs to be hooked over a peg on the ram,  I have included a picture below, also from the YBW forum.. This one posted by 'Dipper'

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