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Old 04-10-2010, 01:16   #31
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Thailand, presently
Boat: S & S 43'
Posts: 99
Hi Alex and Taru,
There are those who motor a great deal and there are those who prefer to sail. I am one of the latter. We have a sailomat, have had for 30-some years, are are very happy with it up wind or down wind or anywhere in between. We do not carry vast amounts of fuel (35 galloms) so we do not motor much. We have been in big seas and have been becalmed and the vane has always been good. One time when hove to, the sacrificial collar on the rudder broke. We now try to get the rudder off if it gets that snotty.
Good luck with your cruising - a lot of fun to be had out there. David

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Old 04-10-2010, 02:55   #32
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Southampton UK
Boat: Jaguar 22 mono called Arfur.
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I recently used a 'tiller pilot' system, 200 english quids, which holds the set course.
These things can be wired into wind vanes, auto-pilots etc and are easy to intall with basic tools. There's a plus/minus one degree and ten degrees and an Auto/Standby button. It is all you need if you are maintaining a decent watch. If the winds are really fickle then you'll end up hand steering anyway.
Real bonus is single handing (or not disturbing the resting crew) not forgetting lifelines and attachment points of course.
Wind vanes are more for true single handers, i.e. go to sleep, still sailing, and hope you wake up, still dry.

Ex Prout 31 Sailor, Now it's a 22ft Jaguar called 'Arfur' here in sunny Southampton, UK.
A few places left in Quayside Marina and Kemps Marina.
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:01   #33
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Finland
Boat: Stormwind 40 cutter rigged steel ketch - "Columba Livia"
Posts: 90
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I have a very VERY old make of Windpilot here that goes downwind OK ... off course, I also have long keel and a stern hung rudder.
In the above, Barnakiel points out, that a long keel and stern hung rudder would make it easier for the windwane. Are there some know hull/keel/rudder types that are likely to work more or less well with a wind wane? Is an owner of a long keeler more likely to be happy with the wane than an owner of a more modern cruiser/racer?
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:25   #34
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Depends
Boat: SB 43' Cutter
Posts: 694
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In reading Voyageur's Handbook by Beth Leonard this weekend she says that 10 years ago 90% of boats used windvanes and most used them 90% of the time on passage, but now the percentages are much smaller (don't have the book with me for the exact percentages). She said in the most recent ARC rally (from publication) only 20% of boats had windvanes.

I guess this is because Autopilots are perceived as more reliable than they were a decade ago. We are considering a Monitor and this was interesting. Still, for me the appeal of no power draw and just steering by the wind is very appealing. And the idea of hand steering for days with just two people on the boat is scary.

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