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Old 19-03-2009, 02:35   #1
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Windvane on hydraulic steering?

We're buying a new boat, a 1980 Island Trader Center Cockpit: CT41 Taiwan Clipper
It is fitted with hydraulic steering, the emergency tiller is inside the aft cabin with no access from deck so it would be impossible to attach lines from a windvane there. On our current boat, the one we're selling, we have a Monitor windvane which we absolutely love and we'll really miss the little bugger. Is it at all possible to solve the problem on the new boat? We'd prefer a Monitor, but if there's another solution, we're open to that.

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Old 19-03-2009, 04:23   #2
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A friend put an Autohelm on his Morgan OI 41, a center cockpit hydraulically steered boat. He said it worked well, I didn't get a chance to see it in action before he left for Mexico. A Hydrovane should also work as it is the same type of self steering. Neither connects to the main rudder, each steers its own aux. rudder, one by adjusting a trim tab on the aux. rudder, the other directly turning its semi-balanced rudder.

I will tell you how the Hydrovane works, if I ever get around to installing it.

Scanmar sells both Monitor and Autohelm:
http://www.selfsteer.com/products/autohelm/index.php

Hydrovane:
Self Steering - Hydrovane Selfsteer

Scanmar also sells the Saye's rig which they say works on your style boat.

There are also other threads discussing windvanes on this site, use the Google custom search under the search tab for more useful results.

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Old 19-03-2009, 05:32   #3
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Thank you!

The Autohelm looks like an excellent solution!

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Old 23-03-2009, 19:30   #4
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If you install a bypass valve in your hydraulics, could you use a Cape Horn windvane cabled directly to your quadrant?

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Old 24-03-2009, 00:39   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Extemporaneous View Post
If you install a bypass valve in your hydraulics, could you use a Cape Horn windvane cabled directly to your quadrant?

Extemp.
Thanks, but it's hard to reach the quadrant without drilling all kinds of nasty holes in the boat. Right now the Autohelm seems like the best solution.

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Old 08-02-2018, 18:02   #6
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Re: Windvane on hydraulic steering?

I know this is an old thread but I'd still like to know the answer to the bypass valve question?
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Old 08-02-2018, 18:26   #7
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Re: Windvane on hydraulic steering?

Installing a bypass valve will allow the cylinder to float by allowing A & B sides of the cylinder to communicate flow. IE unlock.
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Old 08-02-2018, 18:46   #8
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Re: Windvane on hydraulic steering?

Our boat has hydraulic steering with autopilot and a wind vane. The wind vane has its own rudder that attaches whenever you plan on using it. The autopilot has bypass valves (which I guess is the reason the wheel doesn't move when its on).

Actually the plans for the wind vane came with the boat, looks like it was a set of plans the first owner bought back in 1976! Sort of a DIY build type of thing, but the previous owners used it with good results. We have yet to take a passage long enough to merit attaching the rudder, I suppose that's the downside.
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Old 08-02-2018, 18:49   #9
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Re: Windvane on hydraulic steering?

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Originally Posted by Alberg30Shill View Post
I know this is an old thread but I'd still like to know the answer to the bypass valve question?
Most applications with hydraulic steering don't have a quadrant, the cylinder drives a tiller arm mounted on the rudder post, therefore it might be necessary to add a seperate quadrant for cable drive from the Cape Horn vane. Once you had that quadrant, then you would need a bypass valve to allow the cylinder to move as a result of input from the vane. Two problems that might arise in this scenerio-
1. You have to control the bypass valve someway....if electric you would probably want to valve closed as a default position for normal steering and that means an electrical drain to activate the bypass solenoid when steering under vane. Or you could have a mechanical valve which would have to be activated every time you connected or disconnected the vane.
2. Oil flow from side A to side B thru the bypass valve could produce enough flow resistance that it could upset the ability of the vane to steer the boat in light wind and slow boat speed.

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Old 08-02-2018, 19:02   #10
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Re: Windvane on hydraulic steering?

[QUOTE=sailingunity;2572858]Our boat has hydraulic steering with autopilot and a wind vane. The wind vane has its own rudder that attaches whenever you plan on using it. The autopilot has bypass valves (which I guess is the reason the wheel doesn't move when its on).

The reason that the wheel doesn't turn when the pilot is in use is that there are check valves in the helm pump that prevent reverse flow unless the helm pump is being turned and pressurized.

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Old 09-02-2018, 16:09   #11
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Re: Windvane on hydraulic steering?

If it were me I would install a Hydrovane which does not need to be hooked up to anything to steer the boat. You would need to defeat the hydraulic steering with a bypass valve but you will need to do that with any A/P (to my knowledge). I still have to install my Hydrovane (I once had a Monitor that took me a long ways across the Pacific until it died from old age and low maintenance), so I don't have real life experience with it myself, so take this with the suitable grain of salt. I anticipate it working very well and it will be relatively easy to install. I will not miss having to run steering lines to my wheel that I had to do with my Monitor.

I like multiple backups where possible so I am also installing a hydraulic A/P with its own ram to my rudder shaft in addition to my chain/cable/quadrant system at the wheel.
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Old 09-02-2018, 18:57   #12
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Re: Windvane on hydraulic steering?

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
If it were me I would install a Hydrovane which does not need to be hooked up to anything to steer the boat. You would need to defeat the hydraulic steering with a bypass valve but you will need to do that with any A/P (to my knowledge). I still have to install my Hydrovane (I once had a Monitor that took me a long ways across the Pacific until it died from old age and low maintenance), so I don't have real life experience with it myself, so take this with the suitable grain of salt. I anticipate it working very well and it will be relatively easy to install. I will not miss having to run steering lines to my wheel that I had to do with my Monitor.

I like multiple backups where possible so I am also installing a hydraulic A/P with its own ram to my rudder shaft in addition to my chain/cable/quadrant system at the wheel.
The Hydrovane works reasonably well in most conditions but it works best when the rudder acts like a large trim tab. You can adjust the rudder a bit to help remove the helm and then lock the rudder...how do you do this with hydraulic steering with a bit pass???
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:05   #13
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Re: Windvane on hydraulic steering?

As I noted, I'm not an expert on the Hydrovane as I have not personally used mine yet. I have cruising friends who have used one and they really liked theirs very much. I do know that, in general, every windpilot works best when the sails are trimmed for the course needed. Windpilots cannot work well when they have to fight the boat's sails. The rudder needs to be set "neutral". This is for the normal operation.

I actually don't know the answer specifically for hydraulic steering for the Hydrovane. I don't have hydraulic now so haven't made any effort to look in to it. I would suggest looking at the Hydrovane website and/or contacting them. I just did a web search on this and I found, unsurprisingly, that windpilot comparisons are like comparisons between anchors, monos vs. catamarans, religions, and other faith-based discussions. Some people, including Scanmar, do not like the Hydrovane at all (to put it mildly). I hope I have made the best decision but experience will tell.

On my previous boat, I did like the Monitor before it fell apart but I did not like having to disengage the hydraulics at the exact same time as I engaged the Monitor. Often I would ask the Admiral to come to the helm so we could do it together. Others may have found a better way to do that but ours was driven by the already installed location of the bypass release in the cockpit. I never felt the need to or missed not having a rudder lock at the helm to help "balance" the boat with it. Whether that will be true with the Hydrovane I don't know yet. But that was with my specific boat and sail plan and may not be the right answer for anyone else's situation.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:22   #14
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Re: Windvane on hydraulic steering?

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
As I noted, I'm not an expert on the Hydrovane as I have not personally used mine yet. I have cruising friends who have used one and they really liked theirs very much. I do know that, in general, every windpilot works best when the sails are trimmed for the course needed. Windpilots cannot work well when they have to fight the boat's sails. The rudder needs to be set "neutral". This is for the normal operation.

I actually don't know the answer specifically for hydraulic steering for the Hydrovane. I don't have hydraulic now so haven't made any effort to look in to it. I would suggest looking at the Hydrovane website and/or contacting them. I just did a web search on this and I found, unsurprisingly, that windpilot comparisons are like comparisons between anchors, monos vs. catamarans, religions, and other faith-based discussions. Some people, including Scanmar, do not like the Hydrovane at all (to put it mildly). I hope I have made the best decision but experience will tell.

On my previous boat, I did like the Monitor before it fell apart but I did not like having to disengage the hydraulics at the exact same time as I engaged the Monitor. Often I would ask the Admiral to come to the helm so we could do it together. Others may have found a better way to do that but ours was driven by the already installed location of the bypass release in the cockpit. I never felt the need to or missed not having a rudder lock at the helm to help "balance" the boat with it. Whether that will be true with the Hydrovane I don't know yet. But that was with my specific boat and sail plan and may not be the right answer for anyone else's situation.
Nothing wrong with either product in my opinion and i have lots of experience with Hydrovanes and servo pendulum vanes like the Monitor. Servo pendulum vanes are more powerful and I guess I prefer them in a general sense but Hydrovane does give you a spare rudder which is a plus. Sure just having a neutral helm will allow the Hydrovane to work but I always got the best results using the rudder as a giant trim tab. I would start out with a neutral helm and set and trim the sails and I would carefully watch the vane..if it was correcting on both sides equally then that's as good as it was going to get but in most cases it was constantly correcting one way. It's easy to suggest that the sails needed trimming but while each boat is different it was best to just add a touch of rudder trim and lock it. The boat would then track much better. I found the Hydrovane to really like reefed sails and slower speeds and that was not my cup of tea so the rudder trim was a good choice.
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:18   #15
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Re: Windvane on hydraulic steering?

Good info Robert! I'll get a chance to try that. I understand what you are saying. Easy to say trim the sails to absolute neutral but in the real world, like everything, it's more complicated than that.
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