These are bullet proof Benmar drives from the 70s and 80s. Metal gears, oilite bronze bushings, ball bearing motors,and a fool proof mechanical clutch on the output shaft (no gear box drag when hand steering).
These things will outlast even an Island Packet. They couple to the rear of the steering shaft with a chain and sprocket. The mechanical clutch gets rid of that 1 amp (24 amp hrs per day) parasitic load of the modern electric clutch AP drive units. Like stray dogs and cats I keep picking them up on ebay, cleaning and greasing the gear box, oiling the motor bearings, and spraying a little black paint on the cases. Fully tested and and money back guaranteed operational. I am currently driving mine with a Raymarine X-5, but should work with any type of modern auto pilot that drives a 12 Volt dc motor/ actuator. In the past I have driven it with ST 4000+, S1, S1G, S3G. Sips electricity. My stereo is now moved above the auto pilot in in electrical consumption. Pictures in my gallery of the installation on Cbreeze. Neat little knob clutch arrangement beside the steering shaft. You get one actuator, a parts list and sketches for aluminum mount (no welding required), pictures, and hand holding as required. I am not coming to your boat to do the install. If you can drill a hole you can do this. There is a mechanical overload clutch in the gear train and I have managed to slip it on two occasions when way over canvassed, in a big blow (rail in the water), so think wheel pilot operated ships would be the largest practical application.
Get that UGLY CLUGE off your wheel for 2018 and look like a real yacht. $400 including domestic shipping.
I had a Raymarine auto helm 3000 ST on my IP31. It was stolen this spring when my boat was broke into and burgled. I have been looking for another one or something to replace it. Edson rack and pinion steering system has made the search a bit more difficult, especially since there are no other owners of IP that I could find in New Brunswick, Canada.
Is this system adaptable to my boat ?
I would appreciate any help you could offer, thanks.
The short answer is yes. Take a look at my photos for the pictures of the install on Cbreeze and then crawl around in your ship and think about access to the rudder area. I have never been into the innards of a 31 so just no experience. Also check the aft end of the steering shaft (run the rudder over to the stop, remove the seat, reach back) and make sure the keyway is in the shaft and also if the key is still there.
Might also check to see if you can slip a 1" thick block of wood between the end of the shaft and the inside surface of the transom. Not having to tear into the shaft/ rack assy would make the install a lot easier.
You didn't say what is left of the old 3000 or what you are looking at for a replacement. This Benmar drive configured for driving the wheel shaft uses so little current that an RM Evo wheel pilot is more than up to the task. You can buy the system and then sell the wheel drive unit on ebay to recoup some of the cost.
It's a little work but really produces a superior system to anything I have seen on the older IPs.
Thanks so much for your quick replies Frank and Gra'inne
All I have left of the raymarine is the belt and the
Cockpit mounting brackets and of course, the manual!
I'm into the tail of a long chemo cycle so communication will be a bit erratic...
But will get back to you shortly,