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Old 18-04-2016, 11:57   #1
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Question Windpilot Pacific Plus II on a Norlin 37


Being offered a Windpilot Pacific Plus II, around 15 years old, currently mounted on a Bruce Roberts 53. It is actually made for larger boats than ours, which is a 37 feet, 7-8 ton boat. Bruce Roberts are much heavier of course, being built out of steel.

However, I figured that over-dimensioned gear could prove more reliable in demanding conditions.

Emailed with Mr. Peter Föhrtmann at Windpilot, who advices against, and quotes me a new Pacific standard instead.

Before going down that route, just wanted to double-check with the forum. Is the Plus II out of question for our boat? I like that is is an auxiliary rudder, like Hydrovane, which in effect gives you a SOS rudder also. Whereas the standard Pacific is using ropes to the wheel.

Boat specs:
NORLIN 37 sailboat specifications and details on


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Old 18-04-2016, 15:53   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
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Re: Windpilot Pacific Plus II on a Norlin 37

Bought a used WPP Plus from an over 40'/25,000# boat and installed it on my Pearson 35. Sailed the boat downhill to Hawaii without a hitch. Winds were light for that passage usually around 8-10mph relative and course DDW which is typically the hardest point of sail and conditions for a self steering vane to handle. The WPPP rudder is quite large but didn't seem to hurt speed as I made the trip in 15 1/2 days averaging over 140mpd. Sailed wing and wing with the 135% genoa poled out for 13 days of the sail. Only modifications to the vane was a 8"x4' lightweight plastic wind vane to increase light air sensitivity.

The length of the vane was a minor issue. Mounted it as high as possible on the transom but steering rudder shaft coupling was right at the water line. Peter recommends 8" or so of the rudder out of the water at rest. Didn't effect steering ability so not a big thing but I didn't thoroughly coat the stainless fasteners on the connecting coupler between the rudder and the vane stock with lanolin and had a hell of a time getting them out. Shortened the vane casting and rudder stock by 8" so rudder coupling is now high enough it doesn't constantly get dipped in sea water at anchor or in the marina and bolts corroding are such an issue.

So, yes the vane is probably more than you need for your boat. The smaller version will be lighter and should fit without a hitch. The used one should be way less money and will probably work just fine if your boat does not have particularly low free board at the stern.
Peter O.
'Ae'a, Pearson 35
'Ms American Pie', Sabre 28 Mark II
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