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Old 22-02-2012, 15:35   #76
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

The Monitors work well, but it looks like you have an oil rig hanging off the stern. I'm going with Cape Horn next time.
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Old 24-02-2012, 05:43   #77
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If someone saw an Aries windvane for sale at $500, would this be considered an opportunity too good to pass up?
Smiles. Coachbolt.
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Old 29-02-2012, 11:06   #78
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Curmudgeon - With all the top contender wind vanes I'm beginning to realize that they are close on performance, but hadn't thought about form factor - terrific comment !!

Does anyone else have any feedback on the size and any inconveniences (like lines in the cockpit, etc.) of any wind vanes that they've owned? Any specific positives?

Coachbolt - I had to check my own post back on 2/11/11, but the reply from my E-Mail to Aries Windvanes USA on the cost of their unit without customization was:

The cost of an Aries Self-steering Windvane for a Columbia 50, with a wheel helm, is $4995. The Aries Windvane arrives complete and ready to install. All parts on the Aries Windvane are guaranteed for twenty-five years (except the plywood vane) so modification to the proven Aries design is not necessary.

Sooooo, make sure the unit is not seized up. Bearings can be modified to work and/or replaced and the top paddle can be replaced. We had a used one on my dock that was locked tight and it took a lot of work and some modification to get it back in order. If you can get it working, $500 sure seems cheap compared with $5000 for a new one ... but it can be a LOT of work if it's badly seized ...

Speaking of cost, does anyone have any other prices (perhaps along with dates of purchase since prices vary over time) for wind vanes that they've bought - Trying to figure bang for the buck ...

Thanks and please keep the feedback coming !!!
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Old 13-04-2012, 16:53   #79
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

I recently sent a series of questions to Aries about their wind vane and received the following answers on 4/10/12, which I post below as Question/Answer:

Question:
It has taken longer than I expected, but Iím finally ready to buy a wind vane and from a lot of research in forums believe the Aries to be the best. I do have some questions that Iím hoping you can answer and would like an updated quote in case there has been any change in pricing for my wheel helm.
Note: Price in original quote --> The cost of an Aries Self-steering Windvane for a Columbia 50, with a wheel helm, is $4995

Answer:
The price of the Aries Self-steering has not changed.


Question:
A problem that came up in forums was that the plastic bearings in the pendulum rudder shaft expanded, binding the rudder shaft. This wasn't a galvanic problem but something to do with the plastic actually expanding. What type of bearings do you use in the new model? If these are nylon roller bearings, can they be replaced with the same type of metal that they contact to prevent expansion and galvanic corrosion?

Answer:
The bushings are made of delrin and do not expand. The needle bearings are delrin as well and do not bind with shaft.


Question:
From the forums, I've learned that there is a problem with the stainless set screws, axles, etc. on the fixed pieces that don't have a plastic bearing to insulate them. Can something be used to galvanically isolate these parts (Lanocote, TefGel, plastic sleeves, etc.) before being shipped to me?

Answer:
The turning blocks are delrin and the shafts are stainless steel. They do not bind either. Yes stainless steel and Alum. will bind in the salt water enviorment. Grease will help reduce this issue.


Question:
What is the best place (or best places) to add a zinc sacrifice anode to deter corrosion? Alternately (or if you prefer), any places to avoid?

Answer:
The Aries Windvane does not require any zinc.


Question:
Does oil have to be added to the new model? If so, what type of oil does it use and how often does it typically need to be topped off? Does it ever need to be changed out altogether?

Answer:
The Aries Windvane does not require any oil.


Question:
Is there a catalog listing of spare parts that would be wise to have onboard. For example, extra wind vanes, bearings, parts that are more subject to wear and tear?

Answer:
All parts on the Aries Self-steering Windvane are guaranteed for twenty years (except the plywood vane, so take a couple of extras in case). (You can make them yourself and save $$). You won't break any part on your Aries Windvane unless somebody hits your Aries Windvane. All a sailor has to do to keep it working is to cover your Aries Windvane when not in use and oil moving parts every three days while under way.


Thoughts or feedback ???
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Old 13-04-2012, 23:43   #80
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

??? aries vane requires no oil

oil moving parts every 3 days while underway

While here does anyone know of sources for plans for constructing your own vane

Also recomend an elastomer made by Thordon bearings.They have a program for calculating clearances for installation taking temperature and water absorbtion into account. I have used this material in industry and is very good and one grade is meant to be lubricated by saltwater.
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Old 14-04-2012, 18:24   #81
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

lol ... Perhaps it would be better if there was an oil fill
I thought the same thing about oiling moving parts ... EVERY 3 DAYS ... sigh ....

Thordon Bearings
ThorPlas - New thermoplastic bearing material. Um, not familiar with it and don't see the cost at first glance ...
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Old 14-04-2012, 21:00   #82
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Gee it is really hard to break out the oil can a couple of times a week just to have a slave steer for ya 24 - 7 !! man I just don't know if I can stand the extra work LOLOLOL Come on guys !!
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Old 14-04-2012, 21:22   #83
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

I had Aries on 2 of my cruising boats and never put a drop of oil on them. I had been warned that oil is what caused the plastic bearings to expand and seize. I dont know if that was true but I never had any trouble with binding. Yes! the set screws and other dissimilar metal parts ate each other up. Great Vanes!____Grant.
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Old 15-04-2012, 08:16   #84
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Bob and Connie - I suppose that is cheap slave labor

Grant - It's good to know that troubles don't start quickly if you fail to oil the unit regularly. I suppose I just hated the thought of being slave myself to a tight oiling schedule.

I asked Aries directly, "Can something be used to galvanically isolate these parts (Lanocote, TefGel, plastic sleeves, etc.) before being shipped to me?" and the answer I got back was "Grease will help reduce this issue." I suppose I'll need to disassemble the unit to coat the screws myself. I don't see how grease would help without some disassembly now and again. Hmmmm, that tireless helmsman is starting to cost me time now ...
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Old 15-04-2012, 09:43   #85
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

One thing I did forget was the breakaway sleeve. Both of my Aries came to me used, and I could not remove the breakaway sleeve on either of them. The first one was so bad that I had to grind a thin spot all along the sleeve and then use a large chisel to peel it off. I coated it with lanolin before I put the new sleeve on, and took them apart every year and re coated. I always had 2 or 3 extra breakaway sleeves on board.____Grant.
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Old 15-01-2013, 18:16   #86
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Installed a Autohelm auxilliary rudder in 2006 on my Roberts 44 Ketch, went cruising Asia and problems developed with the cables .
Made modifications , put cables inside a teflon and stainless steel flexible tube , reinforced connections on rudder and mast , work wonderfully .
When problems developped contacted Ron at Scanmar but told me never encountered such a problem .
Otherwise the vane work well in any allure ,downwind can not steer better, straight as arrow !! on the reach you need to know your boat (sail it ) .
I even tack with the windvane , if not heavy sea otherwise have to use boat helm .
I sail alone and engage the windvane as soon as i am at sea , very easy , same for short
Journey ....
Bought a roll of cable in case needed ....
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Old 15-01-2013, 18:49   #87
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

I've had a Cape Horn vane, a new model Fleming vane and a Hydrovane. All of them worked in the vessels I mounted them on. I think a 50 foot boat is a little on the big side for a Hydrovane. Any of the servo P vanes will do the job. If your shopping on a tight budget check out the Voyager made in Canada and the South Atlantic made in Germany, both look nicely made. Good luck!! R
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Old 16-01-2013, 10:10   #88
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Bamahuta & Robert Sailor - Thanks for reinvigorating this thread !! I've found that selecting a wind vane is not an easy thing since there really isn't an easily discernable "best" choice. Through all of the conversations, I finally decided to go with the Aries and hope to pull the boat this summer to install it. I'll come back and provide my feedback on the unit once I get it installed. Still, love to hear about people's experiences with the various makes of windvane out there. It helps all of us. Thanks again !!
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Old 16-01-2013, 11:16   #89
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

We really love and rely on our Hydrovane
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Old 26-05-2014, 07:34   #90
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Re: Selecting a Wind Vane for My 50' Columbia

Quote:
Originally Posted by swabbmob View Post
We really love and rely on our Hydrovane
Old thread, but if you're still around I'd be curious about your boat's displacement and how well it balances. The Hydrovane has a lot going for it but I am concerned about a non-servo on a larger vessel. Unlike the servo types that WindPilot, Fleming, & maybe others offer with aux rudders, the HV is solely wind activated. Concerned that it may not be up to steering in heavier conditions. Your own experience?

OP -- are you still out there? If so, what did you wind up with and how's it working out? Beautiful boat, btw, with what appears to be a serious pedigree.

Thanks for a helpful & informative thread.
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