Autopilot troubles!

Well Saturday 10/10/2020 continues to dish out surprises. To improve my mood after the not so great morning, I disengaged the autopilot to handsteer, you know have a bit of fun! Surprise, the autopilot stopped steering but I couldn’t move the tiller. Somehow it was locked. I tried a few things but ultimately had to disconnect the hydraulics from the rudder shaft so that I could use the backup autopilot: the old trusty B&G, which is paired with used hydraulics I got off eBay. The NKE hydraulics are supposedly fairly recent (2017 I think). I tried to move the rod by hand but couldn’t. I made a call to Brian to discuss options. There is oil in the lazarette where the hydraulics are, so there’s a leak. With a hammer and tap tapping I was able to get the rod to move again. I also topped up the oil reservoir. I’m not supposed to mix oils, so I’m hoping it’s the same oil that’s in there! I reconnected everything and the NKE is driving again. I’ll check in an hour to see how bad the leak is. We are under mainsail only, which is not comfortable! And obviously slow …

Author: Skipper

Wannabe circumnavigator.

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