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Thread: Blood Sport

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    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    Default Blood Sport

    This is a carry over from "Knot too Shabby's gone, Now What". I didn't want to hijack Rob's thread so I said I'd post up a separate thread. Very long post.

    So we get Blood Sport (BS) delivered and are just beaming with excitement. Getting it ready for it's first trip. I fill the heater tank with kerosene. Taking the advice of a forum member I ordered and paid for an 11 gallon tank so I could dump in 10 gallons without any back splash. To my surprise when I get to the 10 gallon mark it spews out all over the place of the outside fill. So the next day when I go inside the cabin it reeks of kerosene. I look in the cabinet and it is oozing out the top of the tank where the gauge is. The screws weren't tightened all the way. While I'm under there I notice on top of the tank it says 10 gallong, not 11. I paid for and was charged for an 11 gallon tank. When I notified Wooldridge about it they said they don't make them in house. No refund was offered. The first time we pulled BS to Whittier I notice that two of the hubs on the trailer have grease all over the wheels. One on each side of the trailer. It's maiden voyage was a short day trip to Manning Rocks and back.

    First overnight trip. We go to Fox Farm. We get in there as it's just getting dark. We go to drop hook and the anchor hangs up. We investigate, the anchor rode is in one massive knot. Have no idea how it could get like that. We have to pull all 600' of rope and 50' of chain to the back of the boat. Takes over 3 1/2 hours to get it untangled. We finally drop hook. We wake up to a snow storm the next morning. Our first overnight trip in our New Boat! We're just thrilled. My wife goes to make her coffee and her coffee pot does not work. To make a long story short, we have to plug her coffee maker directly into the Honda 2000 on the back deck. So neither her coffee maker or the microwave work. I check the battery status and the batteries are at 11.2 volts. This is with the boat plugged into shore power full time at home. Batteries are at 14.6 when we depart Whittier, 3 hour run to Fox Farm. The motors are putting out 40 amps each while running and the next morning I'm at 11.2??!!

    We head home later that day. I have Gary at Greatland Welding check out the hubs. He looks at them and says they were not machined correctly. We both contact Wooldridge and EZ Loader. It took almost 4 months to get two new hubs sent. I speak to Wooldridge regarding the battery issue. I'm told there is a "learning curve" on using the system. The only thing I know is that we plug something in and it doesn't work. Paid a lot of money (300K) to not have things work. This continues on for months. Every trip is a repeat. Batteries are fully charged and when we get to our destination they're at 11.2 which is essentially dead.

    The Windlass. Good Windlass. Every time we drop hook, upon retrieving or attempting to retrieve the anchor, the windlass jams. Or I shoud say it cuts out. It stops several times. We're usually anchored up in 50-80 feet. So you have to let the line out a couple of feet and then bring it back in until it starts working. This process starts to eat the line. I use Good's line as they recommend. It is a 3 ply. The windlass is chewing thru 1 to 2 of the plys. When I/we talk to Good, they say it's not their windlass' fault. It was installed incorrectly, the wiring isn't right, etc etc etc. While they are partly correct in that Wooldridge did not install the spacers that were provided, there were other issues not related to the install. The windlass did not work for crap. I dreaded pulling anchor as it took a long time to get the anchor in. Over 30 minutes much of the time. It would cut out on every pull. Again, Good was not our problem, not our problem. Not our fault. It got worse as the season went on. The rope was down to 1 ply in more than a few places, so Good sent replacement rope. It did the same thing with the new rope. They said they've never had any problems with their units. Our last trip of last season was Valdez. We went to Valdez for the month of August. It was very warm last year. We got a slip for the boat.

    Every time I went into the boat there was hydraulic fluid oozing out of the vented cap on the helm. There would be a puddle on the floor and the steering wheel housing was covered in fluid. When you turned the steering wheel fluid would gush out of the cap. This being our first ocean boat, I assumed there was a large reservoir somewhere. So on the last day, we were pulling the anchor and the usual cutting out. But, this time I start smelling an electrical burning smell. The rope is color coded and had about 20 feet to go. All of a sudden smoke comes billowing out of the rope locker. I check to make sure we don't have a fire and am so pizzed that that's it. Because of the windlass issues, I don't drop hook unless I have to as it is not reliable. So between a month of hydraulic fluid all over the place and the windlass issues, pretty frustrated. Wooldridge has no answer for the fluid or the voltage issue and Good's stance is the same. Not our problem. In constant contact with Wooldridge regarding the voltage issue. They don't know what the problem is. They get defensive. I tell them I'm not accusing them of installing anything incorrectly, I just know something isn't right. This goes on the whole season. Also during this whole time, the oven makes this very high pitched squeak while running the boat. It is constant and extremely irritating. Efforts to locate the exact location where it is coming from is not working. We can't seem to isolate it.

    So we have dead batteries (we have a massive battery bank, 4 6 volts and 2 12 volts), a squeaking oven, leaking helm, a windlass that doesn't work for crap, a port side window that you can't open, bad hubs on the trailer, a wash down pump spewing water all over, a microwave we can't use, a coffee maker we can't use, so things are pretty frustrating. So we're fishing one day and I have the wash down pump on and we're sitting there and I notice the bilge kicked on. I'm like why would the bilge kick on? I open the transom door and water is spewing all over the place. (see video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiikb_dRJg0

    In June, a close friend's daughter and her friend come up to visit from Arizona. We go out for a 4 day trip. So you have 4 adults using the head. We go to dump the tank and the pump comes on for about 2 seconds and quits. Great, a full crapper tank and dead. But on this trip we had the breakers on for the microwave and 110 outlets. My wife plugged in her coffee maker and all of a sudden the microwave worked. She tells me this and I tell her that's not possible, one has nothing to do with the other. Well she informs me that she is right. So I stop the boat and sure enough, she plugs her coffee maker in and the microwave works. She unplugs it and the microwave doesn't work. What would happen is the lights on the mircowave panel would pulse very dimly. When she plugged in the coffee maker the lights lit up bright and it worked. I'm scratching my head on this one. So as usual, upon returning I took the boat to Gary at Greatland. That's pretty much where the boat lived. Go out for a trip, something or several things break and take to Gary. So we pull the access panel behind the toilet, Gary looks at it for about 1 second and makes a comment, he says they (Wooldridge) didn't put a relay in. I asked what he meant. He said the switch to turn on the macerator is just a simple ignition switch, designed to only take a couple of amps. It's on a 50amp circuit. He said he couldn't believe it ever worked. When I called Wooldridge about the electrical issue they said that's not possible. I assured them that was in fact the case and would send a video. After consulting with other electrical people they came to the conclusion that some of the wiring in the shore power panel might be in the wrong place. So Gary moves a couple of wires around and that seemed to resolve the problem. However, I believe the constant draining of the batteries damaged them. This took about 5 weeks, I missed 5 planned trips in July due to these issues.
    There is a shore power panel with all the breakers on it. I have things turned off unless we're going to use them, microwave, 110 outlets etc. After the Valdez debacle I put the boat away (heated indoor storage and plugged into power). A friend who is very experienced with boats takes a look at the windlass motor and sees where it almost caught on fire. We pull the motor off and the positive stud is bent at about a 40 degree angle. We contact Wooldridge and Good. Good sends a new motor for the windlass. Very easy install, new connections on the wires and we're good to go. NOT! Forward to December 2015. Myself and 2 buddies decide to go out deer hunting for 2 days. We launch out of Whittier, only boat there launching. We back around the dock and head out the straight towards the fuel dock. As soon as I turn the corner I lose steering. Not good. The steering wheel is turning complete 360s with no input to the motors. We hear something running, we mange to get to the fuel dock and tie off. We open the rear helm cabinet and the auto-pilot pump is running. Now let me back up for a minute. Wooldridge told me in the beginning that I should always have the auto-pilot on as it is networked into all the electronics. Not engaged mind you, just turned on. Another thing that happened is when ever power would hit the boat, both auto-pilots would automatically boot on. No one could explain why that was. Nothing else on the boat turned on automatically, just the auto-pilots. One at main helm and one at rear helm. So we turn the auto-pilot off and we have steering. Off we go but I'm very nervous about it. No deer, come home, put the boat away. Overall the first season for Blood Sport is a disaster. Don't get me wrong, had great times but all of these issues were happening at the same time.
    February 2016, I send Wooldridge an email requesting that Don (Rigger of BS) come up and go over the boat with all the issues we had. Their reply was that they were too busy. I then send them a scathing email stating how this isn't some used tub I got on Craig's List but that it was a Custom Wooldridge, the biggest, nicest pilot house they've ever built. They decide to come up. My biggest concern over everything else was the steering issue. Don purged the system several times with a power purger and addressed some other issues as well. He departs.

    April 2016. Shrimp season opener, we go for our 4 day opening year trip. The new windlass motor is in and we're ready to go. Nope, have the same issues. We return. Next trip BKmail and I take the Greatland Welding crew out for a day of fishing. Had a great day. Honestly don't remember if we dropped hook, I don't think we did. Next we have an 8 day trip planned with BKmail. First night we go do Deep Water Bay. Awesome. That evening my wife is boiling water for corn on the cobb. She turns the cook top off and we eat dinner. Later she tries to light the cooktop and it won't work. Never had a problem with it before this. I get the manual out and it has a 3 step process for unlocking it. First thing is to kill power to it. I can't find a breaker so I turn off the batteries switch and inverter switch. I did this several times with no luck. The cook top and oven are hard wired to the boat so as to not interrupt the cooling off process. Remember what I said about the auto-pilots coming on when power hits the boat. Can't get it to unlock, I tell her I will trouble shoot tomorrow.

    Day 2. We're heading to 7 Fathom Hole. We come around the corner and go between Crafton and the mainland. Been thru there many times. But I need to get over to port side. I turn the wheel and I get nothing. I'm like this isn't good. We moved the vented cap to the rear helm so as to not have fluid in the cabin. I tell my wife to go back and tell me if there is fluid coming out. She says no. We're going about 20mph, this all happened very fast. I'm trying to get over and the steering is gone. I turn the auto-pilot off and still nothing. I have to stop the boat at this point as I need to get over to avoid the rocks. I run to the rear helm and I hear the auto-pilot pump running. I can't figure out why it is running as I turned the main helm off. I keep the covers on the auto-pilot and big Garmin unless I'm using them. As I take the cover of the rear auto-pilot and sure enough it's on. I turn if off and slam, we're on the rocks. These are very sharp rocks. The current was ripping and we're at the mercy of the current. We're getting slammed into the rocks. We're in about 3 feet of water, I get the motors up but not much else I can do. My wife is freaking out and I'm not too thrilled myself. I'm going thru a mental checklist of having to ditch and get into the raft if things get worse. The current takes us into a little deeper water and I get the motors down and my wife tells me we're clear out front so I get us out of there using the rear helm. So in 5 trips I've completely lost steering twice. Not real good. So as usual, without knowing the status of my hull and further possible loss of steering we anchor up for the night and head home in the morning.

    Notify Wooldridge what happened and Don comes back to Alaska. He's here for a week. He replaces both helms and hydraulic lines and fittings as well as the auto-pilot pump. He purges the system every day while he's here. It is hot while he's here and every time he finishes purging the system and then turns the steering wheel, fluid gushes out the vented cap. Not talking drips here, talking 1/4 to half a cup. He's frustrated and can't explain other than to say there is air in the system. I ask what do people in Florida do. You can't tell me that everyone's boats are puking hydraulic fluid just because it's hot. So myself, Don and a Buddy go out for a day trip to Smith Island. Don caught his first 2 halibut. We drop hook in about 140 feet. Upon pulling, the motor gets real hot and starts to smell and then dies. We had to pull by hand the last 70 feet or so. As usual, back to Greatland and we contact Good. We pull the motor, they send a new motor. Install new motor number 3.

    Valdez 2016. Friend from Dallas and friend from Utah come up. We decide to go out for a couple of days. We head to Long Bay. Try to catch some halibut. We drop hook on a hump in a 138 feet. We fish for a while, time to pull anchor on the brand new never used motor. Anchor is up over half way and motor just craps out. Dead. We pull by hand. Not going to let this spoil the trip so we pull by hand over the next 2 days. Decide to leave Valdez early, couldn't get a slip this year because the commercial guys weren't going out. It rained 23 days straight, the fishing sucked and I can't anchor. So take the boat back to Greatland Welding where it currently sits. Good said they think they know what the problem might be. It has something to do with the brushes inside the motor housing. So they're sending another motor. Actually it's motor number 2 that they have refurbished. I don't see it ever ending. We can't use our boat when we want because it's always in a constant state of repair.

    So yhea, we're pretty disappointed overall. This boat was our dream and it has been nothing but a nightmare. There are several other things regarding Wooldridge that I won't get into other than to say there are more than a few things I paid for and did not get. They were awesome to work with, everyone was excited about the build but with these serious issues and the steering still not resolved. At least I won't know if it's resolved until it gets hot again. Will have to wait until next year to find out. But in their mind they've done all their going to do. So if it still pukes fluid next year, don't know what we'll do. The biggest thing is we have missed so many planned trips. We missed all of July of 2015, we missed all of July 2016 and many other trips. Again, this is a New, Custom Boat. Paid out the butt for it and quite frankly am tired of "Hey Man, we're going out for 3 days, wanna go?" Oh I can't because my boat doesn't work. This has happened so many times I can't tell you. So no we're not happy campers.
     
    When the HOGS show up, somethins gonna DIE!!!
    Blood Sport
    32' Custom Wooldridge
    MMSI #: 338181573

  2. #2
    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    Terrible experience, I can't even imagine. Perhaps woolridge got in a little over their heads on such a custom build? I can only hope you get all issues resolved and woolridge should be bending over backwards to make that happen.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Pm sent


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  4. #4

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    It almost sounds like the wiring to the windlass is too small.

    I could only imagine the frustrations with everything you've gone through. It's odd that your batteries wouldn't be charging. Do you have an ACR installed for your house batteries? Pulling less than 12v for a 12v motor can be very bad for them over long periods. Definitely could smoke the windings.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Yep the windlass has to be wired way too small or it's not grounded correctly. No reason why 3 winches would burn up like that other than a wiring issue. Chewing up the rope is somewhat normal, but not to the extent of his problems......
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    So sorry to hear this Andy.
    I hope you get things working properly and Woolridge owns up to their mistakes!

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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Yep the windlass has to be wired way too small or it's not grounded correctly. No reason why 3 winches would burn up like that other than a wiring issue. Chewing up the rope is somewhat normal, but not to the extent of his problems......
    That was definitely the first thing that came to mind for me. I would imagine he's got an ACR installed with dual engines on a boat that large. I have my engines separated via a switch and only charges off of one engine at a time through the ACR. That also sounds like a grounding issue with the ACR.

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    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    It has a ACR, Magnum Inverter. It has everything. The windlass motor is wired correctly and the gauge is if anything more than required. It does not pop the circuit breaker. Good is now saying there is an issue with the motors. I will be talking to them tomorrow, so we'll see what they have to say.
    When the HOGS show up, somethins gonna DIE!!!
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    MMSI #: 338181573

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanly View Post
    It has a ACR, Magnum Inverter. It has everything. The windlass motor is wired correctly and the gauge is if anything more than required. It does not pop the circuit breaker. Good is now saying there is an issue with the motors. I will be talking to them tomorrow, so we'll see what they have to say.
    Is it wired through a solenoid andy ?? There has been some problem ED installs where they used solenoids. I don't think it would pop a breaker if it wasn't getting enough juice ??

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    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    Default Rope

    Pretty extreme, this happened in several spots all over the rope...
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    When the HOGS show up, somethins gonna DIE!!!
    Blood Sport
    32' Custom Wooldridge
    MMSI #: 338181573

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanly View Post
    Pretty extreme, this happened in several spots all over the rope...
    I can splice it for ya if the windlass will haul splices through it. I'll come to your place if you don't want to pull it all off.

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  12. #12
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Default Blood Sport

    Quote Originally Posted by Stanly View Post
    It has a ACR, Magnum Inverter. It has everything. The windlass motor is wired correctly and the gauge is if anything more than required. It does not pop the circuit breaker. Good is now saying there is an issue with the motors. I will be talking to them tomorrow, so we'll see what they have to say.
    So they sold or gave you 3 motors with internal wiring issues? Bull dookie. Good makes some of the best anchor winches out there. No way you got 3 bad ones. Something in the wiring between the winch and batteries is bad


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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanly View Post
    Pretty extreme, this happened in several spots all over the rope...
    I see the problem now. It's sitting on a ford tailgate Andy!!! Lol


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  14. #14

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    Stanly I sent a PM
    When I saw your boat at Gary's in the spring you were having windless problems. The splicing was wrong for sure, but that would probably not burn your motors out. I'd like to see Blood Sport be the the boat you expected. I'm sure Steve would do a bang up job on your splicing.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    So they sold or gave you 3 motors with internal wiring issues? Bull dookie. Good makes some of the best anchor winches out there. No way you got 3 bad ones. Something in the wiring between the winch and batteries is bad


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    Exactly. I have a hard time believing this also. I'd imagine a grounding issue ultimately if the wire size is adequate. I'd be more pressed to believe it's due to low voltage in the batteries burning them up.

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    Just maddening!! Nice to know Wooldridge doesn't stand behind their product, particularly one this expensive. They should be bending over backwards. The steering thing - amazing!! The excuse is laughable/funny/sad all at the same time.

    So sorry you're experiencing all this. Hope you find fixes for everything without having to start from scratch on the wiring.

  17. #17
    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    So I spoke to Good Windlass this morning. I was told that they had a manufacturing issue with the motors, and yes all of the motors I've had were defective. I said this problem has been going on since 2014/15. They claim the problem has been resolved and is sending a new motor. I just want it fixed. This does not explain their earlier responses that it's not their product, not their problem etc. If it works I'll be a happy camper and we will definitely test it. So if the motor issue is resolved the last issue I will have is the hydraulic fluid leaking when it gets hot outside. Will have to wait until next season for that.

    Just a heads up for those thinking about getting a boat built. Feel free to contact me as it is a big learning curve. I've been thru that curve getting smacked in the head every step of the way. I can share what I've learned and more than likely save you some major coin also.

    Part of the reason I've never shared any of this is I thought Wooldridge would go out of their way to make sure everything was good to go. But that wasn't the case. Don't get me wrong, they did come to Alaska twice but it took some prodding to make that happen. I think the world of them but after ending up on the rocks, which is a potential loss of life issue, I was pretty pizzed off. Losing steering twice in 5 trips just can't happen. I was talking to Joel at Ashbreeze. He asked if my steering system was U-Flex. I said yes. He said a lot of builders are going to U-Flex vs Sea Star as they are cheaper. He suggested getting rid of it and switching but that would cost about 5K. So I'm down to the last two major issues, steering and anchoring.

    On another note, I have Garmin for all of my electronics. I am becoming less and less of a fan. They do constant updates to the system and you have to download the update onto an SD Card and upload it to the boat. I like their graphics but a lot of these updates change the settings in the system. It also adds new "features" but it doesn't explain what it does. I have 8212s and a 8215. Every time there is an update you will notice new options in the menu but no explanation what it is/does. There is no hard copy owners manual, it's electronic and they either don't update it or it just doesn't explain what's there. You have to call them for pretty much everything. PITA. The biggest issue I have is my boat icon crabs across the screen. I have my setting to always be "course up". So you're traveling north for example, but your track on the screen is moving at about a 35 degree angle. The auto pilot has a setting for magnetic variance and I can correct it by changing that but you have to set it to like 26 degrees west and then when you turn around and are going the opposite direction you have to change it 26 degrees east. Major PITA. The auto pilot also has an
    "Auto" setting, but this does not correct the problem. My 8215 was defective and Garmin replaced it so I wonder if my other components might be bad as well. It would fit with everything else on the boat, but who knows. The struggle continues, hey "All Boats Matter"!!
    When the HOGS show up, somethins gonna DIE!!!
    Blood Sport
    32' Custom Wooldridge
    MMSI #: 338181573

  18. #18

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    Sounds like you have electric over hydraulic steering? I have seastar standard helm steering with tilt wheel and it's been great. I rebuilt the helm with new seals shortly after purchase. I know with mine, it says to fill within 1/2" of the top. I would imagine that allows for a tad bit of heat expansion. I'm wondering if your system is so large of volume that you'd need some sort of expansion tank? What all do you have for your current system? 1 helm and auto pilot to dual engines?

  19. #19
    Member akdeweyj's Avatar
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    Garmin 8215 manuals you can download & print: https://support.garmin.com/support/m...=en&country=US

    I realize SeaStar is a different mfr, but my steering used to leak when it got hot outside (& they don't advertise it) but they offer a replacement seal kit just for that reason. If you haven't already done it, I'd verify that there was a seal there & the cap wasn't cross threaded.
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    Stanly, find where they mounted your Garmin Autopilot electric compass, it's a black box with a power cable and network cable. Disconnect the network cable and see if that clears your Chartplotter boat crabbing issues up. I did that on mine and my chartplotter works great now. The electric compass needs to be mounted somewhere in the boat that is at least 3 ft away from any magnets, electricity, or electrical components. Trying to find that spot on a 30 ft boat is challenging. Like trying to find where to put your septic and well and you're the last house to build in the subdivision with neighbors on all sides. I ran my system this whole season with no autopilot cause it was just a PITA and just wasn't important enough to worry about. This fall I'll get the 10' power and network extension cables and find a spot to mount it, probably on the port side under the dinette seat or something.

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