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Old 29-12-2013, 23:22   #1
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Setting up an Airies Windvane and issue with rudder staying down

Hi there,
We're new to wind vanes and can't seem to make our Airies work if the wind is further back than 90 degrees. We have the old lift up system with wheel steering. I've read quite a few comments regarding wind vanes not working well with the wind behind you, does this even apply to reaching and broad reaching?

If someone could let us know the process they go through when setting up their Airies that would be much appreciated.

We also have issues with the rudder staying down. We have to tie it down as in the photo. Which is obviously less than ideal as it makes it difficult to remove whilst underway.

Any help much appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 29-12-2013, 23:56   #2
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Re: Setting up an Airies Windvane and issue with rudder staying down

No photo attached! To begin with a good windvane will have no problem steering a boat on any point of sail as long as there is a breeze. I have no answer as to tying it down because I've never had to do anything like that.
Make sure your steering lines are run fair with some way of adjusting tension. Make sure that when the wind vane is vertical that the steering oar is also dead centre, if not you may have to adjust the gear. Adjust your sails so that you have close to a neutral helm, adjust the vane so that it is pointing into the wind and engage the vane. Depending on the type of drum you have attached on the wheel there may be different ways to engage it, I always liked the Monitor drum but I expect the Aires works just as well. The lines to the drum should have a way to adjust tension, I set mine up so that the lines at the wheel had an eye at the end as did the lines from the vane and I simply could tighten or slack the lines as needed or remove them altogether. In really light air you want the lines to be slightly on the loose side and in the heavy going have them tighter. Hope this helps a bit.
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Old 30-12-2013, 00:02   #3
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Re: Setting up an Airies Windvane and issue with rudder staying down

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Old 30-12-2013, 00:27   #4
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Re: Setting up an Airies Windvane and issue with rudder staying down

What is all the extra loose cordage in the photo? Did you spend the bucks on roller bearing blocks for the steering lines? I had Airies on 2 different cruising boats and they worked great on any point of sail(after a little practice) . There is probably a manual on line that might show you what will make it work. Dont give up, they are a superb vane._____Grant.
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Old 30-12-2013, 00:49   #5
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Re: Setting up an Airies Windvane and issue with rudder staying down

If you have to tie that vane down in some way there is something wrong. I know the real early models didn't have a stop on the steering oar but that would not effect you on normal sailing so there should never be a reason to have to tie the steering oar down. I don't know what type of fail safe that vane has but they all had a way to have something sacrificial in the oar that would break if hit at sea and that needed to be replaced to get it working again...check into this.
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Old 30-12-2013, 10:10   #6
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Re: Setting up an Airies Windvane and issue with rudder staying down

The breakaway on the model pictured is the thing that looks like a hinge, about a foot above the paddle. Both of mine were earlier (I think) models with an aluminum tube that was designed to break before the structure broke. I am not sure how the hinged breakaway is reset after hitting something, but it cant be too difficult, since you are supposed to be able to do it at sea. You mention the paddle not staying down. Do you mean the paddle going to one side or the other when the steering lines are not connected. If so, that is normal. If anything actually hinges up, then either the breakaway needs to be reset or repaired , or you mentioned that this is the old lift up version of Airies, which is a mounting term. There has to be a way to easily remove pins or bolts or something to lift it, and if they are missing the whole system could not stay down. With a little more familiarity , I am sure you will sort it out and get used to it. Best of luck. ______Grant.
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Old 12-01-2014, 18:32   #7
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Re: Setting up an Airies Windvane and issue with rudder staying down

Hi Grant.
The issue is with the steering oar failsafe/ hinge releasing simple from the force of going slowly through the water.
That's what all the cordage is in the photo. I've used the line that I guess would normally be tied to the boat should the oar disconnect itself to tie the oar down into place.

I can see a couple of ways of adjusting the hinge to avoid this but both will involve quite a bit of machining.

Thanks for the tips guys,
George
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Old 12-01-2014, 19:21   #8
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Re: Setting up an Airies Windvane and issue with rudder staying down

George, we have an older Aries, aluminum flip up rudder. From your small pic I'd say we have a similar model as yours (more pics would be helpful).

We have no problem with the vane in all directions. The key is maintaining minimal apparent wind. We're good as long as we have about 6 knots of apparent wind. Below that it gets increasingly sluggish.

With regard to your picture -- it looks wrong. There appears to be only one control line attached (stbd I think). There should be another one from the shaft running the to the opposite leg and then fed up to your tiller/wheel via a couple of turning blocks. They need to be tensioned as part of the continual loop.

The vane's rudder is foam, so has positive flotation. It will float to one side if it is not balanced off with the two lines tensioned properly.

I also wonder if your line is too large. The internal pulleys are quite small. I think our control line is 1/4". This looks to be 3/8" ... but I could be wrong.

Your hinge is different than ours. Ours has a sleeve that locks in place using a spring. It cannot unlock unintentionally.

This is the best pic I can find of our rigged vane -- not something we take picture of I guess. Perhaps it may help.
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Old 12-01-2014, 23:26   #9
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Re: Setting up an Airies Windvane and issue with rudder staying down

Tamborineman, somewhere on CF there is reference to Nick Franklins widow who still sells repair parts for Aries. The hinged breakaway that you have should not need any machining unless someone has tried to modify it, and buggered it up. See if you can contact Mrs Franklin for a diagram or for spare parts for your breakaway. Yes! there should always be a safety line on the paddle in case the whole hinge fails. Dont give up, they are a great vane. _____Grant.`
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