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Old 09-11-2013, 13:29   #1
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Airies Windvane Self Steering not quite working

Hi there,
We recently purchased and installed an Airies wind vane.
I've attached some photos.
We've never used one before and haven't managed to get it working.

The rudder floats up to one side and stays there. I've searched around the net and found somebody else with a similar but not the same problem. They said servicing their needle/pin bearings solved the issue.

The swinging section of the vane that is below the main frame does swing but is rather stiff. You need to push it quite hard. I've not found another boat the area with a Airies to compare.

Should the lower arm swing freely under it's own weight?

I got one reply form Airies suggesting new bushings but haven't managed to get another reply with regards to actually buying them.

We're happy with the installation, lines and blocks to the wheel etc but any tips to setting them up once sailing also much appreciated.
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Old 09-11-2013, 14:21   #2
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Re: Airies Windvane Self Steering not quite working

The Self Steering swing arm pivot should swing freely with the lines, rudder and anything else removed that could restrict its movement. The rudder should also turn easily.

The older Aires had a problem with the plastic bushings/bearings expanding and seizing the axles and/or the rudder shaft . Ours began to seize up on the sail to the Marquesas and progressed to the point of not working shortly after our arrival. First, the rudder shaft bearings seized and later the swing pivot axle. I pulled the vane and carved the bearings for the rudder shaft with a pen knife to create clearance. Looked like crap but worked. Did the pivot axle in Papeete. A machine shop let me use their hand reamer which gave a professional looking result. Worked fine for the 10 years we owned the boat and for 2 SoPac cruises with the subsequent owner.

Biggest issue was getting the vane apart as the SS axle had corrosion welded itself in place. Looks like your new Aires has been hard coat anodized so corrosion will hopefully be less of an issue. While you have the vane off, suggest you disassemble it and coat all the SS fasteners, axles, etc, with LanoCote or TefGel and reassemble. Will save a mountain of headaches if you have to take it apart in the future.
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Old 09-11-2013, 15:16   #3
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Re: Airies Windvane Self Steering not quite working

Rebuilding hints for the Aries Vane Gear - Standard Model.
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Old 09-11-2013, 17:47   #4
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Re: Airies Windvane Self Steering not quite working

Quote:
Originally Posted by TambourineMan View Post
Hi there,
We recently purchased and installed an Airies wind vane.
I've attached some photos.
We've never used one before and haven't managed to get it working.

The rudder floats up to one side and stays there. I've searched around the net and found somebody else with a similar but not the same problem. They said servicing their needle/pin bearings solved the issue.

The swinging section of the vane that is below the main frame does swing but is rather stiff. You need to push it quite hard. I've not found another boat the area with a Airies to compare.

Should the lower arm swing freely under it's own weight?

I got one reply form Airies suggesting new bushings but haven't managed to get another reply with regards to actually buying them.

We're happy with the installation, lines and blocks to the wheel etc but any tips to setting them up once sailing also much appreciated.
Could be the airvane is too heavy for the counter-balance. Disconnect the pushrod connection at the bevel-gear (if I remember correctly) and see if the vane stays vertical. It should just balance vertical.
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Old 09-11-2013, 19:15   #5
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Re: Airies Windvane Self Steering not quite working

"I got one reply form Airies suggesting new bushings but haven't managed to get another reply with regards to actually buying them."

I purchased two rebuilding kits from Helen around 6 years ago and it took many e-mails to get her to finally ship the order. From the correspondence she seemed like a very nice person but her heart isn't in the business. If I remember correctly she commented in one e-mail she was considering getting out of the business.

The websites still there so just keep trying as she finally did ship my order but then again it wasn't free. :-)
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Old 17-11-2013, 10:29   #6
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Re: Airies Windvane Self Steering not quite working

Does the rudder stay up at the same side every time?
Is that at high or low speed or no speed?
Does it happen without the windvane blade?
When it stays down, does it stay vertically down at all, any time? (without the engine in drive, propwash may cause it to go sideways)
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Old 12-01-2014, 18:27   #7
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Re: Airies Windvane Self Steering not quite working

I there.
I replaced the bearings with new ones and the leg swings freely now.
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Old 12-01-2014, 23:36   #8
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Re: Airies Windvane Self Steering not quite working

I just posted on your other thread, and it seems like getting parts for your breakaway may not be possible afterall, so machining something else may be needed. I wonder if you could convert to the common grooved sleeve that is the breakaway on most Aries?????._____Grant.
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