Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 30-06-2008, 07:34   #1
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,331
DIY Windvane Steering

G'day, has anyone made their own windvane steering system or are about to.

I am currently working on my DIY windvane using Bill Belcher's book Wind-Vane Self Steering as a guide for a horizontal axis non pendulum vane.

I would like to hear from others and share ideas or perhaps someone point me towards a past thread on the subject.
__________________

__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-06-2008, 09:12   #2
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Boat: Cal 40
Posts: 2,401
Images: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
G'day, has anyone made their own windvane steering system or are about to.

I am currently working on my DIY windvane using Bill Belcher's book Wind-Vane Self Steering as a guide for a horizontal axis non pendulum vane.

I would like to hear from others and share ideas or perhaps someone point me towards a past thread on the subject.

I built with the help of my friends the OGT Mk2 from Belcher's book for a trip to Hawaii and back in 1985. We didn't scale it up at all, and as he claims that it works for boats up to 9 m, and I was putting it on a Cal 34 I had my doubts as to how well it would work downwind with less apparent wind. That may be one of the reasons why we didn't spend a lot of time trying to get it to work on the downwind legs, in hindsight we were probably more interested in keeping our speed up and didn't work on trying to reduce sail area or try to get the center of effort farther forward, and we also had an electric autopilot which handled the offwind work fine (except for one significant failure).

The OGT sailed us nearly the entire trip back from Hawaii. That year as we approached the latitude that was supposed to have the westerlies, the high moved over us to the north, so after a week and a half close reaching on starboard, then a day of dead calm, we completed most of the rest of the trip, nearly a week and a half on port close reaching. It was only the last couple of days that the wind freed up, then a big low started chasing us.

The only major variation from the book that I recall was that we used a broken Laser mast and the collar between the two sections of the mast to make the post and pivot to rotate the vane. The cast aluminum cleat to hold the vane in position failed on the first day. A pipe wrench lashed to the post provided the leverage and a way to lock the vane in place was used for the rest of the trip.

To elaborate on the hombuilt electronic autopilot failure, as I went below to put on foulies since I saw rain approaching, one of the two bolts that formed the fork to lay the tiller in on the autopilot's ram arm, sheared off and the boat jibed. The boom vang which was led to a pad eye on the deck to make a preventer, prevented the boom from jibing, from the attachment point on the boom to the mast. The rest of the boom jibed. 3 hours later with three sections of 4 foot long 1" aluminum U channel scewed to three sides of the boom we had the main back up.

My wife and friend are in the photo obscuring part of the vane



John
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	windvane.JPG
Views:	1317
Size:	58.5 KB
ID:	4107  
__________________

__________________
cal40john is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2008, 07:39   #3
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,331
Thumbs up Thanks

John,

Thanks for the feedback, sounds like you had fun with the boom .

I am looking at the OGT Mk 1 and am planning to make it from an assortment of ply, Al and SS - I have access to a lathe and basic metal working tools so I expect to make it a little bit (but not much) more fancy than the book version.

Might scale the Mk 1 back a little as the boat is only 31 ft with a balanced rudder and is very well balanced but.......??
__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2008, 03:45   #4
Registered User
 
miss-m's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Southampton, UK
Boat: Hartley Queenslander 36
Posts: 58
Hi,
Just wondered if you had got any further with the home build wind vane project. We're looking at building one soon and are looking for pictures, tips or words of advice if you have any
__________________
People who say things can't be done should stop getting in the way of the people doing them.....


www.concretefloats.com
www.sailingmissmoneypenny.com
miss-m is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2008, 05:13   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 976
Images: 6
Hi Miss M, building one as we speak...see thread "which wind vane". Will post further as I progress. Have all the stock (ss pipe rod and bearings etc) and they are being machined now. I can do most things but the main drive tube is big and heavy, my lathe small and dodgy, my love of an un broken face large...hence getting someone else to do the machining. As a basic starting point...EVERYTHING up to the pendulaum (if that is the type you chose) must be easy of movement with not to much slop. The Pendulum must be strong. The linkages , wherever possible must be able to be adjusted. (change of ratio). The change of ratio in a home built unit is important. The professional guys have spent the time and narrowed the field. We need as much flexibility as possible. The mag (UK) PBO a few years back had an FANTASTIC article on a wind vane system by a gentleman running a large boat called the global explorer. He gives the various ratios and a basic how to do it. You can probably get the article from PBOs copy shop for a small fee. The good thing about his system is that it is a built in unit. Strong and tidy. All his connections are basic and replaceable. I think the boat was somewhere over the 60 foot mark. The system I have sorted out is similar. I dont think that it is actually that hard........

If people can do it in sorts with tip and bicycle parts then with consideration and care .......
__________________
cooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2008, 02:40   #6
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,331
Quote:
Originally Posted by miss-m View Post
Hi,
Just wondered if you had got any further with the home build wind vane project. We're looking at building one soon and are looking for pictures, tips or words of advice if you have any
The wind vane frame and counterweight is finished but I haven't started the main frame apart from having planed it in my head.

I am going for a fairly simple horizontal axis direct coupled to tiller (no pendulum) vane. The vane itself is about 150 cm high by 30 cm wide and constructed from 20 mm Al tube (T5). Weights about 2 kg.

I should post some photos - maybe will work how to do that this week
__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2008, 07:18   #7
Registered User
 
miss-m's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Southampton, UK
Boat: Hartley Queenslander 36
Posts: 58
Thanks for the responses.
Are these windvanes linked to the main rudder/ steering or auxiliary steering?
We're a bit of a pain as our rudder is almost impossible to attach anything to, our wheel is inside a pilot house and our emergency steering is not reachable from the outside except through 6 inches of concrete!
Because of all this, we really need something like the Hydrovane which runs as a totally separate system.
Do you have any knowledge or experience of building a set-up like this? I've ordered the Bill Morris book. Just waiting for it to arrive now!
__________________
People who say things can't be done should stop getting in the way of the people doing them.....


www.concretefloats.com
www.sailingmissmoneypenny.com
miss-m is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2008, 09:23   #8
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,331
Quote:
Originally Posted by miss-m View Post
Thanks for the responses.
Are these windvanes linked to the main rudder/ steering or auxiliary steering?
We're a bit of a pain as our rudder is almost impossible to attach anything to, our wheel is inside a pilot house and our emergency steering is not reachable from the outside except through 6 inches of concrete!
Because of all this, we really need something like the Hydrovane which runs as a totally separate system.
Do you have any knowledge or experience of building a set-up like this? I've ordered the Bill Morris book. Just waiting for it to arrive now!
Well, my system will be linked to the main (only) rudder via the tiller so this won't help you much - sorry.

I can't comment on Bill Morris's book 'cause I haven't read it but I can say Bill Belcher's book was VERY helpful.
Good luck .
__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2008, 22:38   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
SkiprJohn's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,192
Aloha Wotname,
The old RVG windvane I used to have has an auxiliary rudder with a trim tab. It is a vertical axis vane and therefore doesn't do well downwind. There is a diagram of one in Nigel Calder's "Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual" 1990 edition.
I have the parts and most the pieces for one but how in the world would I get it to anyone from here in Hawaii?
Kind regards,
JohnL
__________________
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2008, 22:40   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
SkiprJohn's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,192
Aloha Miss-M,
I should have directed that last post to you. Sorry.
See if you can find an old RVG vane. They are good for almost all points of sail except downwind.
kind regards,
JohnL
__________________
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2010, 15:25   #11
Registered User
 
artisthos's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Boat: 42' Westsail, 32' Bayfield, 36' Pearson
Posts: 106
Send a message via Skype™ to artisthos
Wow, I am building a small version of this vane for a 9'! Was it ever a commercial product? I am having a hard time understanding the principals especially the link from the vane to the trim tab, there must be a swivel where it connects to the top of the trim tab mechanism. The disk that sets the vane direction and the horn attached to it does not seem to be possible of making correction. I am sure these questions will be resolved as I build the miniature version. I would love to see images. Thanks.
__________________
Sincerely,
Tom Lohre
http://tomlohre.com/sailing.htm
artisthos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 12:18   #12
Registered User
 
artisthos's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Boat: 42' Westsail, 32' Bayfield, 36' Pearson
Posts: 106
Send a message via Skype™ to artisthos
I figured it out the vane. I’m sticking it on a crazy trimaran call a Triumph by Snark. It’s two plastic halves makes up a 5’ beam and 9’ length. I am making a craft that could sail the Atlantic but won’t, just a gag boat.
__________________

__________________
Sincerely,
Tom Lohre
http://tomlohre.com/sailing.htm
artisthos is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
windvane

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Monitor Cape Horn Windvane Self-Steering MV Auxiliary Equipment & Dinghy 27 01-05-2010 16:21
converting tiller steering to wheel steering hooked on water Construction, Maintenance & Refit 4 09-04-2008 23:13
Worm-gear steering - any experience with this type of steering? sneuman Monohull Sailboats 2 12-04-2007 12:52
DIY beau Construction, Maintenance & Refit 11 22-12-2006 22:54



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 23:39.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.