contrary to some folks philosophy,  a $50 thousand dollar autopilot may not be the way for me to go.  I like the idea of being able to understand, maintain, and repair every system I install on this boat so in that spirit, I chose a classic Cetec Benmar course setter autopilot system.  This thing is just about as basic as they come.  It has a robust drive motor that engages the steering wheel sprockets via a trusty chain drive.

here are all the components:

from left to right:

1   motor drive / gear box
2   course setter
3   control unit
4   binnacle


trampoline lacing and life lines....

copper buss bars

While performing the thousands of little interior details, I spent a little time going over the electrical system schematic and  in the process of studying it, I made myself feel like I was doing something constructive by making a few copper buss bars.......

carbon fiber steps

In order to provide rock solid footing without adding excess weight, I constructed the steps leading down into the starboard side hull using carbon fiber tubes.

The tubes were inserted and bonded into individual holes which were cut into the adjoining bulkheads. LED lighting under each step should provide additional safety when negotiating the steps at night.