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Jefa autopilot

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JBHokie508 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 November 2021 at 12:53
Hey all,
Taking our first cruise down south with the new 508. While anchoring on our first night last night the 50 hour old yanmar started knocking pretty badly.  Our dealer said not to turn it on again.  So we are currently sailing back to our home port and the autopilot just died. I have a great video of what it sounds like. To me it sounds like the gears were stripped inside the box. I can text that video to anyone that can help.  Seconds after I took the video, it died and said no auto pilot computer.  The 30 amp fuse under the starboard locker is still good. 

Any advice on either?  Sounds like the autopilot is a total loss. Or maybe it wasnít engaging all the way and the gears were just rubbing.  

This may be related: sometimes when I put the pilot on standby, it would take a few seconds to release the wheel. 

Thanks!
Justin
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SVZara View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SVZara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2021 at 22:19
Originally posted by JBHokie508 JBHokie508 wrote:

This may be related: sometimes when I put the pilot on standby, it would take a few seconds to release the wheel. 

I think this is normal behavior.  On my 505, when I switch to standby and try to steer immediately, it feels like the gears are still engaged for the first few seconds, and then is free.  I now try to maintain course a bit before I change direction to ensure the gears and not engaged as I am worried I may break something.

Sorry to hear about all the problems you are having.  What a disappointment.  I know all new boats have some issues that need to be resolved and is somewhat normal, but, your situation seems a bit extreme.  I think seeing stories like this makes me want to take a year in local waters getting things sorted before taking off for a grand adventure on a new from the factory boat.

Please keep us posted on your progress and resolutions.  Hang in there.


Edited by SVZara - 15 November 2021 at 22:22
Marc
S/V Zara
2016 Hanse 505, Hull #129
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JBHokie508 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JBHokie508 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2021 at 22:49
the mechanics were here and couldnít replicate the noise.  They were pretty frustrated, especially after spending all weekend listening to the video I took. We hauled the boat to take an oil sample from the sail drive and they gave us a clean bill of health. 

We had a blown fuse on the 12v panel. The electrician was with me with we took it to the marina and back. On the way back the fuse blew again. So they are ordering me a new auto pilot to pop in.  I have a bucket of fuses and we head back out tomorrow. Since it never blows a fuse or gives me rudder control errors while sailing, Iím hoping that remains true and if we end up hand steering, itís under motor only. 


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ohthetrees View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ohthetrees Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 December 2021 at 05:16
Very sorry to hear of your troubles. I canít help with the Yanmar stuff, but I have lots of experience with the DD1 autopilo, and had the exact same failure you did, with the same conditions. Many others have as well. You can see more in this very long thread:


The short story is that Hanse has specified an autopilot which is too small for the boat in all but the most benign conditions. Shame on them for carrying it forward to the 508.


My history:
  • When I purchased the boat, the previous owner informed me that heíd had to rebuild the DD1 autopilot (stripped gears), and not to use it in more than 20kn wind!
  • During post-purchase delivery to Hawaii by professional crew, the DD1 failed, and they had to hand steer the rest of the way.
  • I personally rebuilt the DD1 in Hawaii with new Jefa parts. Found stripped gears.
  • I sailed the boat from Hawaii to Seattle, and was very gentle on the AP because I feared failure. Made sure to reduce sail if we ever got going more than 8kn.
  • During sail from Seattle to California, DD1 failed again in moderate conditions, and I decided to upgrade to a different unit. 
  • I upgraded to a DD2. No problems since, with 2000nm of sailing, and no fears of problems. 


This problem is really Hanseís fault. I believe the DD1 is a good product for a smaller boat. I must also criticize Jefa a little for aiding Hanse with this choice. When I complained to Jefa about my repeated problems, they said it was undersized, and was the builderís fault. Yes, but Jefa made build-cards, and engineered the whole installation. They should have refused to aid in the installation of an undersized drive, as it hurts their reputation when they fail over and over. But still, more Hanseís fault than Jefaís. 

The solution is to install the DD2, which I have done. You can read about my installation here:


Best of luck!

(All in all, my Hanse 505 has been treating me very well, cruising and living aboard with my family full time,  and Iím happy with the purchase. Hopefully you will find the same after these problems are resolved). 
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SVZara View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SVZara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 December 2021 at 01:13
I would love to do that for my 505 but I feel so out of my league to even consider it.  I am not very handy, more of a computer nerd.
Marc
S/V Zara
2016 Hanse 505, Hull #129
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tobo2 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tobo2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 December 2021 at 09:58
We so far only got some feedbacks of 505 owners with DD1 troubles. I wonder if 508 owners do have similar issues. So far I couldn't read any comments. We own a 508 #48 of 2020 and have sailed 3800 nm so far. This season we sailed from Greifswald to Portugal all along the coast. We used the AP more than intended as very often there wasn't enough wind but considerable waves ( no nice Atlantic swell!). So when motoring and about 30% of sailing, let's say 60% of the itinery, the DD1 was about 2000 nm or 300 hours in use without any issues although it had to work hard to compensate the Atlantic waves. In reaching conditions with more than 20 kn TW we did self steering to avoid overloading of the AP. (It was also more fun than sitting around!)  I also talked to Stig Jensen of Jefa and he confirmed what othetrees said.
In the end of our trip the AP started to produce funny noises and I asked the German main dealer for advice. He sent me a manual (uploads/4558/Motor_and_clutch_test_for_DD1.pdf ) how to test if the drive (motor/clutch) itself or the surrounding gear cause the noise. The shipyard in Lagos will do the testing as it is all a warranty job. I will inform you about the result.


Edited by tobo2 - 06 December 2021 at 10:08
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OptiMystic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OptiMystic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2022 at 16:44
I just had my jefa autopilot fail on our 445. The clutch would not disengage. After checking the computer and depowering everything the clutch would still not release. I removed the unit yesterday and will take it in and try and get it serviced next week. When I opened the floor it was quite dirty. Lots of black in the compartment,no obvious signs of water intrusion but it made me wonder is this area weather tight? If it is why is it so dirty. When we bought the boat last year during our inspection I opened the floor to check the steering and it was filthy. It was cleaned up again and 12 months later with light use itís dirty again. Does anyone have a solution to this problem? My assumption is that if dirt can collect so can water and a rebuilt drive unit will fail again. Thoughts?
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kipwrite View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kipwrite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2022 at 16:09
The clutch pins are sticking, and it's also possible the clutch magnets have gotten wet and are rusted. I had both conditions on my DD1. I've had my unit apart a few times and addressed this issue. 

The pins sit in the bottom of the unit and any moisture in there will wreak havoc with their free movement, resulting in sticking and slow engagement/release. 

Fortunately, parts are relatively inexpensive, and the servicing is not complex. 

Just make sure you waterproof the unit as best you can when you reassemble. 

If you want to tackle this yourself work with Jeffa on parts and approach. They are quite helpful. 
Kipwrite
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