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Old 03-11-2011, 12:40   #61
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Has anyone tried replacing the top paddle of the Aries with a modified paddle? I have a friend of mine, who circumvented the globe with the Aries, and he recommended that I try a board that trails further back(essentially, wider paddle) for lighter air. I would want to be careful with the balance of the pendulum, but a board that widens would catch more air and could make the unit more sensitive in a light breeze. Thoughts ??
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Old 03-11-2011, 13:14   #62
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Hi Dennis...These units hanging off the back of a boat do get banged up from time to time. Most people think it's from cruising but truth be told it's usually in a harbor. Once, I have had a recreational fishing"person" use my Aries as a ladder and another time to tie their run-about to. I liked the Sailomat because it swings up out of the way. The Sailomat I bought was well use but as an owner a machine shop, I am able to not only rebuild but also improve upon the unit. I updated the bearings on mine to handle higher loads (not that it was needed). When I emailed Sailomat, the one man shop owner took longer then I liked to respond and was sailing in Europe. If I had been broken down somewhere...you get the picture. Having one of my prior vessels in Ca. I went to Richmond to Scanmar. It's a small operation but with a lot of knowledge. I doubt many of these outfits do welding or casting. My thought is they contract it to the lowest bidder. Also I had experienced crevice corrosion at the weld points on the Monitor. So they all have their faults. The Sailomat however had plenty of aluminum oxidization freezing things up. As mentioned earlier, maintenance is key.
Having said all this about customer care, if you liked one over the other as I do with the Sailomat. I have made double of the parts I might need as spares.
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Old 03-11-2011, 14:25   #63
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Celestial Sailor - Great notes on how these things can get banged up from time to time ... Too funny. I agree with you about the advantage of being able to swing the Sailomat unit away. My circumnavigating friend said he couldn't even get his Aries rudder to pop up, but I think he had an older unit.

I've heard of other reports of the Monitor developing cracks and if the stainless steel is thin, then I think this is always a possibility, not to mention will not handle those surprise visits by friends and fishermen that mistake the unit for a fender or ladder ... lol ...

You make a great point for everyone to carry spare parts for any unit you buy. The Aries offers a great 25 year warranty, but that does little good if you can't receive the parts in some isolated port.

Of all the oxidation/corrosion issues, I'm thinking aluminum oxidation is the easiest to address so that one doesn't bother me much at all for some reason. I worry about "welding" with two dissimilar metals and when those bolts/nuts/screws waste away to nothing or crumble under a screwdriver ... that just hurts my head thinking about ...
I'm going to take another hard look at the Sailomat - Thanks !!
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Old 03-11-2011, 20:01   #64
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

I should have asked...Are you looking at new or used?
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:57   #65
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

I'm biting the bullet and am going with new. I'm planning to leave the dock and never return ... Well, perhaps only for short visits
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:09   #66
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Quote:
Originally Posted by D_e_n_n_i_s View Post
I'm biting the bullet and am going with new. I'm planning to leave the dock and never return ... Well, perhaps only for short visits
Then I would say you're in pretty good shape with any system you buy because you are in charge of keeping it rinsed down and maintained. Even unmaintained, any of these units will perform for 10 years without too much fuss. So I guess it comes down to a stainless steel model that permanently hangs off the back but has good customer service or an aluminum model that swings up out of the way but has marginal customer service
...
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:24   #67
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Dennis,

First, we've seen Monitors with cracks in the tubes, developed after some years of usage. No catastrophic failures, though.

Second, if easy removal is important, you might have a look at the German Windpilot gear. They can be removed from their mounting by withdrawing a single large bolt, leaving a fairly small pedestal behind. Have had good reports from friends using them.

And as to folks climbing on the mountings... if that causes damage, a big breaking sea will too! Impacts from collisions are a different matter, and can be a worry in marinas where one's stern sticks out into the fairway.

Let us know what you finally decide!

Cheers,

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Old 04-11-2011, 15:22   #68
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

When you single-hand it's tough to get out of being the garbage director, head cook, chief of maintenance ... I do agree though that as long as I can stay on the chief of maintenance to do his job that most of the units should leave me in good shape (good shape-either from the workout or the good condition of the equipment) ...

Being able to pop the rudder up is a must, but I don't have to completely remove the unit. Well, I may reconsider that in a marina. EVERY boat except one that has been within two slips of me has hit my boat and/or been tied up in my anchors on the bow (I back into my slip) over the past half decade at the dock. Fortunately, I haven't suffered any major damage, but having heavy equipment is something that I immediately consider because of my experience. As long as I can run a fishing line over the back and keep the unit out of the water when not being used, I should be fine with the equipment generally where it is.

I embark/disembark over the starboard side so no worries with access to the boat. Friends will prefer to slam into my ladder on the side rather than bang up my windvane on my traditional transom making aft boarding too difficult (hopefully). Still, I like some heft to my windvane.

I'm just getting back into all of the choices, but I seem to recall that the WindPilot Plus was the auxiliary rudder and the WindPilot moved the boat's rudder?? Although auxiliary units are great as an emergency backup, for standard use moving the boat's own rudder is almost invariably better than using a smaller, secondary rudder to do the work - not to mention issues with some units where the main rudder is locked straight. I'll revisit the WindPilot to recall what it was that turned me toward other products. I've just been slammed at work lately and need to get back to my important homework here!!

Thanks for all the great feedback !! I do remember that there is an abundance of wisdom lurking in this forum and I usually gleaned something even from the most unusual post so please leave me your thoughts - for everyone to benefit from and enjoy !!
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Old 04-11-2011, 17:01   #69
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Fleming
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Old 04-11-2011, 17:05   #70
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Monitor experience here.

But I would consider cape horn or hydrovane next time
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Old 23-12-2011, 23:10   #71
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 49' heavy displacement yacht

I have a 49ft heavy displacement yacht with a long keel. A few years ago I bought a wind vane, but it continued to fail even after 3 returns to the supplier and finally the aux rudder broke off. With some foresight I had welded a lug on the top and tied it to a rope, so I still have the rudder.
The few times that I used the wind vane it worked really well.

The problem is as follows:
The aux rudder was too long (about 1.50m - 5ft). Particularly when the boat heels there are very large loads on the rudder.
Initially, the top weld of the rudder casing cracked.
Originally the connection between shaft and rudder was sleeved, but was replaces with flanges. The rudder still broke.
Finally, I had the top of the rudder reinforced but it broke clean of the shaft. The shaft is a 2in steel bar.
In the mean time the company got sold and the new owner told me that this model for this size boat has in fact a design fault, But he was kind enough to send me some new (and larger) flanges and a pvc half length rudder. The reasoning was that the rudder may be shortened - half length and the rest made with the pvc which would presumably flex and take some load of the steel rudder.
I have not used this yet, but I would be interested form people who have a large displacement yacht (>23 tonnes) with a working wind vane.

Hans http://www.cruisersforum.com/images/...s/banghead.gif
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:57   #72
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Pelikaan,

There have been some very helpful contributors to this thread so I'm hoping someone with better experience can help you out. Since different folks have varying ideas about what constitutes "heavy displacement," what are the specs on your vessel?

Happy New Year to all and thanks for all the wonderful advice so many people have offered on this thread !!

Thank You,
Dennis
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Old 02-01-2012, 13:08   #73
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Hi Dennis,
Thanks for your response and a happy New Year and Fair Winds.
My boat is a 49' Bollard, steel hull, 14' beam, long keel and 6.6' draft. Estimated mass is 23 tonnes.
The problem occurs, not when the boat is sailing more or less perpendicular, but when she heels. The force on the aux rudder increases greatly causing the welds to fail.
What if there was a mechanism that kept the aux rudder vertical at all times?

Cheers

Hans
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Old 08-02-2012, 15:13   #74
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Hi Dennis, we went with a Monitor for our 40' IOR boat because of the customer service and all-stainless construction. We have a prominently reversed transom and told Ron we would add a platform to the top tubes for dancing, ala delmarrey. He spec'ed those tubes at .065 wall for no extra charge and said "dance away". No problem. Now if we can ever get splashed I will let you know how it works. Peace.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:03   #75
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

I've heard great things about the monitor unit and would love to see a picture of how you set this up. Adding a platform to the top tubes sound like a terrific solution. Thanks for the post !!
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