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Old 06-11-2011, 14:40   #1
Boo
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Is the Cape Horn Windvane Really Better Downwind than the Monitor / Aries, etc ?

Hi,

I asked this question on the ybw.com/forums and someone there suggested it might get more of a response here :

The question is really as per the title : According to the manufacturers' website the CapeHorn windvane excels downwind and is better in this regard than the others on the market. Can anyone here tell me from their own personal experience whether this is true or not ?

I'm specifically looking for answers to this question rather than general recommendations for windvanes so would most appreciate replies from people who have actually used the CapeHorn windvane.

Many thanks,

Boo
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Old 06-11-2011, 14:57   #2
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Re: Is the CapeHorn windvane really better downwind thanthe Monitor/Aries/etc ?

A lot depends on your boat. The more friction your wheel (assuming a wheel), the more power is required to move the rudder (in addition to other factors). Worm drives (like mine) have a lot of friction. My friend with similar swears by his hydrovane.
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Old 10-11-2011, 20:31   #3
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Re: Is the Cape Horn Windvane Really Better Downwind than the Monitor / Aries, etc ?

I Had a Cape Horn on an Arpege and a Monitor on my old S&S 34. I found them both to be great pieces of gear. I could not honestly tell you which was better downwind with any accuracy, but I do remember the Cape Horn was very sensitive in light air.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:00   #4
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Re: Is the Cape Horn Windvane Really Better Downwind than the Monitor / Aries, etc ?

I think it has less to do with the unit in general and more to do with friction and restrictions in the vanes set-up. I don't know the internals of the Cape horn but the Monitor has Delrin roller bearings on the oar which is "almost" frictionless. More over the sensitivity of the air vane is critical as it transmits the signal to the oar. I just rebuilt a Sailomat 601 and updated the Delrin rollers to PEEK plastic (higher PV rating) and replaced the oar composite bushing to Delrin AF (low friction co-efficient and high PV rating). Each design I have seen always has some sort of quirk to it. I wouldn't be too critical. I stated in another thread regarding vanes that you are better off with good customer service. I know Monitor actually has a building with employees. Some of the others are a garage behind their house...I'm not kidding!
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:21   #5
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Re: Is the Cape Horn Windvane Really Better Downwind than the Monitor / Aries, etc ?

I have a Cap Horn on my etap 32--and it is often very good, dead down wind in light airs. But a broad reach with a high sea running and/or gusty conditions can pose big problems and accidental gybes as you programme in the weather helm you need---then if the wind suddenly declines you can go way off course, even if you are not carrying too much canvass. I think I have the system set up optimally but other users may know a way round this problem. Perhaps these conditions are asking too much of ANY windvane self steering. Overall, I love my Cap Horn. our experience may depend a lot on the kind of keel you have.
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Old 13-06-2013, 18:15   #6
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Re: Is the Cape Horn Windvane Really Better Downwind than the Monitor / Aries, etc ?

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
I know Monitor actually has a building with employees. Some of the others are a garage behind their house...I'm not kidding!
Now what was that guy's name with the computer business in the garage behind the house??? Steve something....?
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Old 15-06-2013, 00:26   #7
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Re: Is the Cape Horn Windvane Really Better Downwind than the Monitor / Aries, etc ?

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Originally Posted by Crimea Cruiser View Post
Now what was that guy's name with the computer business in the garage behind the house??? Steve something....?
That's all fine and dandy until you need a part...FAST and Joe Gimoke is off to Lala land sailing for the next 6 weeks. I've had it happen and luckly, because I'm a Machinist/Toolmaker, made my own bearings.
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Old 15-06-2013, 01:08   #8
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Re: Is the Cape Horn Windvane Really Better Downwind than the Monitor / Aries, etc ?

Our Fleming (original series one) is built extremely well. Modding it out to run with less friction, the unit is over 25 years old now. Needs new Sheeves and blocks. If i could buy any unit it would be a hydrovane.
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Old 23-06-2013, 20:23   #9
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Re: Is the Cape Horn Windvane Really Better Downwind than the Monitor / Aries, etc ?

I am currently using the Windpilot and it performs brilliant - even in downwind situations (assuming the wind is more than just 4 knots) anything more than that is fine (especially if you use the vane with the ripstop on it!
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Old 23-06-2013, 21:25   #10
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Re: Is the Cape Horn Windvane Really Better Downwind than the Monitor / Aries, etc ?

Ive always found that trying to go dead down wind with my Vanes was not worth the trouble ! If ya bear off 10 20 degs, everything gets so simple! even in light winds ! Just a thought
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Old 23-06-2013, 21:46   #11
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Re: Is the Cape Horn Windvane Really Better Downwind than the Monitor / Aries, etc ?

I've got a WindPilot Pacific Plus and it steered DDW to Hawaii without any control problems. Winds were relatively light, 6-8 knots relative, with fairly decent sized seas at odd angles to try and knock the boat off course. Did modify the vane by adding 8" x 48" lightweight corrugated plastic wind vane. Really helped the sensitivity of the vane in the light air. The steering part of the vane is amazing at how well it will steer the boat. Used it in near flat calm condtions with just a ripple of a wake and the vane would steer the boat with me putting in the steering input by moving the wind vane . The problem was the vane wasn't sensitive enough to give input to the servo pendulum rudder to turn the steering rudder. Loosened up the plastic bearings on the wind vane pivot and added the large plastic wind vane and it will now steer the boat down to about a knot of boat speed or maybe even less.

Have used an Aries on a Westsail and the WindPilot on the Pearson extensively and both have worked very well in all conditions. Think the big problem with Pendulum Servo vanes is the wheel. Originally had a Monitor on the Pearson but it wouldn't work below about 4k boat speed, read in lighter air. Didn't thoroughly sort it out before I had the opportunity to buy the auxillary rudder WindPilot Pacific Plus which bypasses the wheel altogether. The wheels are slow to put in input and have quite a bit of friction and inertia. It's a tradeoff between quick response and power with the drum on the wheel.
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Old 24-01-2014, 11:36   #12
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Re: Is the Cape Horn Windvane Really Better Downwind than the Monitor / Aries, etc ?

I have the cape horn and it works very well under downwind and broad reach conditions, from my experience with it,. I will add I have a transom hung rudder and full keel which keeps her quite stable anyway. Works great in light winds also. The only fault i have with it is the servo rudder paddle connection to the stainless steel sleeve. The paddle has popped off on occasion, safety lanyard kept it from being lost. The paddle is held in place by bungee cord, i can only assume so it can separate without damage if it strikes something??
If anyone else has had this happen on their cape horn what was your fix?

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Old 24-01-2014, 16:36   #13
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Re: Is the Cape Horn Windvane Really Better Downwind than the Monitor / Aries, etc ?

Yes, the bungee cord on the Cape Horn keeps the steering arm attached to the upper unit and does allow the in the water steering piece to break free if you hit some obstacle, such as a floating log. I've actually done this a time or two. The bungee prevents the steering arm from becoming damaged or broken off.

I have the cap Horn on my alberg 30 now for two years and love it. Haven't used other types of self steering before, but can see no reason not to put another Cap Horn on any other boat I might own. They do everything Yves says they can do including sailing dead down wind in light or heavy air. I've always had no more than two day turn a rounds for questions to Cape Horn, often they reply via phone or email within hours of my inquiry, including weekends. Not sure who a previous poster was trying to slam with his guy in a garage crack, but that certainly isn't the way Cap Horn does business, in my experience.

Also the price on a Cap Horn is about half of a monitor Windvane.
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Old 28-01-2014, 23:17   #14
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Re: Is the Cape Horn Windvane Really Better Downwind than the Monitor / Aries, etc ?

As far as friction in the system I would say that the Cape Horn probably has the least. Just look at the size of the wind vane compared to others, it is very small. It also doesn't use gears like Monitor, its uses a bent rod. It does do quite well in very light winds. That doesn't mean that it is necessarily better than the others as they solve their problem with bigger/lighter vanes in light air.
Hydrovane is an entirely different concept with auxiliary rudder. It works well but also has its limitations, weakest point of sail is beam reaching in gusty conditions.
I have owned Cape Horn, Monitor,Fleming and Hydrovanes on various boats.
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Old 18-02-2014, 23:09   #15
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Re: Is the Cape Horn Windvane Really Better Downwind than the Monitor / Aries, etc ?

Lots of redundancy seems to be a good part of cruising so I repeat what many say here. I have a 52' staysail schooner full keel high transom and a Cap Horn was the only unit that would work. It is magic! quiet, no battery draw and with 2 atlantic crossings I fall in love with it allover again.. But! retrieving the oar is a hassle and so we dont use it daily or on short passages. I dont know a cruiser who does not swear by this amazing piece of gear, whatever make, I think some are better for specific boats than others. Ask the sister ships advise.
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