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Wanting to use a tiller auto pilot to steer a Yamaha T9.9 trolling motor

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  • Wanting to use a tiller auto pilot to steer a Yamaha T9.9 trolling motor

    I happen to own a Raymarine Smart Pilot X-5 tiller pilot (never installed) and I am thinking about trying to adapt it to my friends '89 Searay 21' cuddy.

    The cuddy has an OMC I/O with 260hp. The T9.9 is already mounted on the boat and it is used for salt water fishing 4 or 5 times a year and for intervals of 3 to 7 days. The boat is always removed from the saltwater and washed down after these intervals.

    When fishing it can sometimes get busy when fish are on and I would like to have the capability to have the boat kept on a course when I am busy and not physically able to steer the boat. I would prefer not to shut the motor off or take it out of gear and just wander at the mercy of the sea while we are landing a fish.

    Of course I am trying to use this tiller auto pilot in a non traditional way and fully expected to have to take some unique measures to keep the steering ram clean and free of corrosive elements because it will be mounted on the back of the boat via the swim platform rather than inside the boat away from the splash of the sea.

    I am currently making the connection linkage that will go from the end of the steering ram to the T9.9 and I am using already manufactured SS ball joint and swivel ends to make this connection.

    My question at this point in time is general in nature and I am wondering if there are any others that may have used a tiller auto pilot to steer an outboard? If so then I would like to solicit any comments and recomendation on the installation.