I visit the boat most days, enjoying myself fiddling around with the the bits and pieces within, listening to the wireless (BBC R4) and admit to sometimes having a short afternoon snooze while hiding on board. I’ve occasionally done some practise with my yuloh strokes, and as the boat is in a large shed, away from the public gaze, no one can see what I’m up to, see just how barmy I am , and arrange to have me sectioned. Today, I’d just topped up the charge in the on board battery and I thought that it would be a good thing to plug the Tiller Pilot in to give it a little exercise. ( I work on the principle that all machinery has to used and exercised now and again, or else it will seize up and become useless). So had plugged it in and was pressing the button to motor the plunger in and out when after a few seconds it died. The plunger stopped moving and the only action was a whirring noise from the electric motor within. I’ve not taken it apart to see what’s gone wrong as it’s still inside the makers guarantee period , but would guess that the motor has become disconnected from the drive mechanism:-. the rubber belt has fallen off or broken, or the drive pinion has come loose from the motor armature. Very disappointing. I bought this Simrad Tiller Pilot in August last year and have only used it for a total of a few hours during my trip in September last year,. now kaput. So I phoned the place where I bought it and was told if I bring it to them tomorrow, they’ll sort the problem for me. So hopefully it will be repaired eventually at no cost to me and returned in working order. There’s no rush from my point of view as I can’t go off sailing anyway, since Maggie is too poorly to leave at home on her own.. But the central problem is that I’ve now lost confidence in the reliability of this device. I was hoping that one day, when I’m able to get sailing again, I could go for a few longer trips and use the Simrad to take the brunt of the helming duties. Now I have more doubts about that approach.