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Old 04-03-2009, 13:16   #1
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South Atlantic Self Steering Windvane System

Has anybody had any experience with the South Atlantic Self Steering Windvane system? I like the looks and the price of this one. I have a Cheoy Lee Offshore 40 I'd like to find a self steering windvane system for. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated. I do believe the Hydrovane self steering system is hot and works wonderfully on my boat. However, it is very expensive and thus I must search for alternatives.
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Old 04-03-2009, 20:41   #2
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Can't answer your question about the Atlantic, but have you looked at the Cape Horn?
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Old 04-03-2009, 22:01   #3
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yes I have and I like what I see, especially the price. I've hear great reports on the hydrovane. Wish it cost less.
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Old 28-06-2011, 01:08   #4
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Re: South Atlantic Self Steering Windvane System

The South Atlantic, its a great windvane and worked perfectly on my Bavaria 36
The windvane is a better skipper than me, very sensitive. I left Scotland in Oct and sailed to Canaries, Cap Verde, Caribbean, Panama, Galapogos and across the Pacific and Australia. I am enjoying Australia, but am looking forward to running in the Indian Ocean as the S/Atlantic steers so well down wind.
I started useing my windvane in the Atlantic. It takes a bit of getting used to like all vanes. But now it is easy and steers me when ever I want. As a single handed sailor I would not want to be at sea without it.
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Old 11-05-2013, 19:26   #5
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Re: South Atlantic Self Steering Windvane System

I bought one to cross the pacific it was sent to panama i stipulated fedex but he sent it Deutsch post and ended up 6 weeks late with know tracking number and held us up the casting and all bits are sand cast and rough as guts the wheel adapter looks like something out of east germany before the wall fell over... The manual that comes with it is also homemade and pretty much useless I may be able to get it to steer the boat but do yourself a favour and buy a second hand monitor
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Old 28-08-2013, 18:09   #6
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Re: South Atlantic Self Steering Windvane System

A friend had a small South Atlantic vane on his Robert Ives 4-21. He sailed Plymouth, Sines (Portugal), Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands, Trinidad finally reaching the Caribbean. There was some trouble with the vane I recall though not nearly as much trouble as when jellyfish block the engines cooling water intake (very odd as the boat was perfect in British waters!)

Re the vane there was some wear on the finger and slot mechanism, a plastic piece wore and I seem to recollect some trouble with stainless screws reacting with the alloy. All the spares were very reasonable and were shipped out from Germany by Thomas. That 4-21 was quite some boat achieving its all time best of 114 nautical miles in 24 hours when crossing the Bay of Biscay but allegedly the anti-fouling started wearing off!

The skipper now has an American built 41 footer and he liked the old SA vane so much that he ordered a bigger one, an S600 that is custom built. From the photographs it appears to use a double servo. Allegedly it can steer boats weighing up to fifty tons! What better recommendation is there than a repeat order?

If money is no object whatsoever one might want to buy something else but the South Atlantic vanes can do the job OK at a price that does not need a military budget.
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Old 28-08-2013, 21:41   #7
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Re: South Atlantic Self Steering Windvane System

Don't know anything about these vanes. They do look like an easy to install pendulum servo vane at a very good price. A Monitor will set you back 4 plus boat units.

The auxillary rudder units look similar to the WindPilot Pacific Plus that I've got on my boat but at a much cheaper price as well. Really like the pendulum driven auxillary rudder type of vane as it's worked for me from ghosting conditions to 40k plus winds without a hiccup. It's uncanny how well it works when the winds are so light the boat is barely moving. Steered me DDW with relative winds of 5-10K for 12 days of the 15 day passage.

As a word of warning no matter what vane you buy. Where you have dissimilar metals, take the unit apart and reassemble with Lanolin or TefGel. Will save you big headaches later should you have to do any maintenance.
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Old 29-08-2013, 16:13   #8
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I like the look and price of the South Atlantic S234 auxiliary rudder type.

It seems to be the cheapest aux rudder type around, from my search. It's on my wish list.

I'd prefer an aux rudder to the servo-pendulum types for my full-keeled 28 footer (Compass 28 )
Two reasons; no lines in cockpit and can be used as an emergency rudder.

Maybe I've misunderstood something, but I don't think we can compare the South Pacific aux rudder gear with the Windpilot Pacific models, because the former is non-pendulum and the latter is pendulum.
And $1600 more expensive. But like I said, I may have misunderstood the posts.

I'll be watching this thread with interest.
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Old 29-08-2013, 17:21   #9
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Re: South Atlantic Self Steering Windvane System

The WindPilot Pacific Plus is a pendulum servo actuated auxillary rudder system. Other wise it has a smallish pendulum servo vane that turns its auxillary rudder to steer the boat. The HydroVane is strictly wind actuated which leads me to question it's steering ability in light air conditions.

The beauty of the pendulum Servo actuating the auxiliary rudder is the power it supplies. I was screwing around in the Wind Shadow of Yerba Buena with my WPP vane. Winds were extremely light, too light to even move the wind vane and the boat was moving so slowly there wasn't a ripple of a wake. I went to the stern and manually input heading to the wind vane control by flopping the vane from side to side. It was amazing to me that with the boat moving so slowly, I could actually steer the boat with the wind vane. Even at that slow speed, the pendulum servo rudder supplied enough energy to steer the boat. The limiting factor on the WPP is the wind sensing input to the vane to actually steer the boat. To make the vane more sensitive to light air wind input, had a plastics shop make up an 8"x48" wind paddle/vane out of light weight corrugated plastic. The vane will now steer the boat in almost any wind condition.
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Old 29-08-2013, 18:22   #10
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Re: South Atlantic Self Steering Windvane System

Dissimilar metals on a wind vane are a pain. The old Aries used to jam because of aluminium vs stainless steel.
On Diva we had a Fleming all stainless vane with nu=ylon washers and SS bearings, investment cast mounts etc....a mall selection of vanes for light and heavy weather and Mr Fleming steered Diva faultlessly for 000's of miles...the only problem we had was when the boat was overpowered and too much weather helm broke the steering line pulleys, but that's not the fault of the vane...it was the skipper !
Servo pendulum wind vanes are great...but if they are cheap there's probably a reason.
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Old 29-08-2013, 20:44   #11
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Roverhi: thanks for the clarification, I get it now.
I've just finished John Lechter's book and feel somewhat better educated on the subject. Thus given the reputation my model of boat has for directional stability, I'm 90% sure I won't need the extra power amplification of a servo-pendulum.

But even at a relatively low-ish $2k for the Sth Atlantic aux rudder system, it's an expensive way to experiment. I doubt they'll give me a refund if it turns out not to have enough power.

Re the Flemming gear, they seem to have a well-earned reputation for quality and longevity. And they're right here in Melbourne AU where I live.

But I believe the business changed hands recently and the price for their gear for my boat is $5k. Ouch. The whole boat only cost $21k.

I have trouble with the concept of spending 25% of the boat's cost on a jigger for the transom. An ugly jigger at that, albeit a quality one.
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Old 29-08-2013, 21:22   #12
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Re: South Atlantic Self Steering Windvane System

I've owned a Hydrovane and it steered very well in light air, better than my Fleming vane on a later boat but the Fleming steered better in the heavier going.
The South Atlantic is produced by a fellow that used to have a relationship with WindPilot and it uses a bent SS rod to replace the gears normally used (similar to the Cape-Horn system) If you are going to do a lot of offshore sailing (crossing oceans) then a wind vane is a very nice piece of gear but if you are doing coastal cruising or short passages stick with a good autopilot.
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Old 30-08-2013, 08:58   #13
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Re: South Atlantic Self Steering Windvane System

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
The WindPilot Pacific Plus is a pendulum servo actuated auxillary rudder system. Other wise it has a smallish pendulum servo vane that turns its auxillary rudder to steer the boat. The HydroVane is strictly wind actuated which leads me to question it's steering ability in light air conditions.

The beauty of the pendulum Servo actuating the auxiliary rudder is the power it supplies. I was screwing around in the Wind Shadow of Yerba Buena with my WPP vane. Winds were extremely light, too light to even move the wind vane and the boat was moving so slowly there wasn't a ripple of a wake. I went to the stern and manually input heading to the wind vane control by flopping the vane from side to side. It was amazing to me that with the boat moving so slowly, I could actually steer the boat with the wind vane. Even at that slow speed, the pendulum servo rudder supplied enough energy to steer the boat. The limiting factor on the WPP is the wind sensing input to the vane to actually steer the boat. To make the vane more sensitive to light air wind input, had a plastics shop make up an 8"x48" wind paddle/vane out of light weight corrugated plastic. The vane will now steer the boat in almost any wind condition.
FWIW, my home built aux rudder w/trim tab vane would do the same thing: steer with the boat barely moving, utilizing manual displacement of the wind wing. It is not exclusively an ability of servo-pendulum systems.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 30-08-2013, 09:05   #14
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Hey Jim,

Any pics of you home-built system?

Matt
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