Auto pilot interfaced with trim tab self steering

Say does anyone have any experience linking a small auto pilot to a
trim tab? The best of both worlds I suppose. Curious how well it
works? How much power draw…ect? And would that be a viable
system without the vane?


Reference the “Free Hand” self steering device…any auto
pilot interfaces out there??

Tx again,


I have vast experience sailing under these conditions as I sailed around the world from 97-2000. I found the brains-brawn combo worked extremely well and far better than ANY autohelm directly connnected to the tiller. I crossed the entire Med and down to the Canaries with this arrangement; from Tel Aviv to Gibraltar with miniscule draw on batteries.

Would I do it again? Yes. It worked well up to 30 knots.

M. Lee Gunter
New World

If you go to

and search for John Churchill, you will find several post with pictures of his system - note pin at the control head on the trim tab tiller.

We have used a direct mounted tiller pilot to the control head of our
Monitor with great success(3 years, Med and Atlantic) and are working
on a remote mount now. I’ll mount the pilot in the cockpit and run a
control cable to the head of the vane.

s this arrangement used for sailing as well or just for motoring? While the ‘combo’ might hold a specific course better, the windvane should be better to follow windshifts.

?Stan on Waxwing