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Having a tiller pilot fitted on board can be a real labour-saver and completely change your boating experience, freeing you up from the wheel or tiller so you can devote all your attention to sail trim, keep a logbook or relax and drink a coffee, while the steering system steadily maintains the set course. It can also assist with orientation in poor visibility. Want to buy a tillerpilot? Find a selection of the best tiller pilots for boats from RAYMARINE and SIMRAD here.

How does a tiller auto pilot work?

- Self steering tiller: the perfect addition to smaller vessels -

A tiller is a lever that is attached to the rudder and allows the helmsman to steer the boat by moving it. Unlike a wheel, a tiller is directly attached to the rudder, giving the helmsman better feel and feedback. To steer, you need to push in the opposite direction to which you wish to turn.

A tiller-pilot is an electrically driven ram that changes the position of the tiller to automatically maintain a set course. Such tiller steering systems are relatively cheap to buy and simple and straightforward to install or retrofit. However, as the drives are usually not particularly strong, they may not work reliably in rough seas with high waves.

An tiller autopilot consists of the following components: A drive unit with a ram that applies force to your boat’s rudder. A heading sensor measures the vessel's movements, which the course computer processes, checks the course and adjusts the rudder position by means of the drive. Ideally, the unit will have a display and control that can be used to make settings more easily. A tiller pilot remote control provides additional convenience.

What can a tiller steering boat system do?

- Think about range of use and unit parameters when buying -

Individual requirements determine which system is best. To help you choose a correctly sized autopilot, manufacturer recommendations are usually based on displacement. The drive should not be overloaded and it should be able to turn the rudder blade quickly. Conventional tillerpilots have thrust torque of up to 100 kg. Units with ball-drives are less sluggish and react more quickly.

Modern tiller autopilots can even learn your boat's handling charcteristics, using sensors to detect course deviations and make adjustments in swell. This saves energy and prevents swerving movements of the boat, as rudder activity is reduced. A sea state filter minimises rudder movement and autopilot sensitivity in rough waves.

If you decide to buy an autpilot tiller steering system, you should be clear about your usage requirements. For example, if needed for short sailing trips or if sailing under engine, a smaller version will be fine. For longer voyages, you'll need to look closer at pilot sensitivity, operability and responsiveness. Only an efficient tiller pilot will keep your vessel on course in slightly more swell.

Related to the topic tillerpilots

- Matching accessories and information -

SVB has the right mounting accessories for autopilots to install your new autopilot tiller. Matching displays & remote controls for autopilots are a convenient way to operate and keep track of your on-board navigation data.

Customer ratings & reviews

All reviews (150.008)
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Liam M. on 23.02.2024

Delivered quickly and well packaged.

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Stuart K. on 23.02.2024


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Ovidiu D. on 23.02.2024

Thank you SVB for such prompt delivery in Romania!