Long ago I had a Catalina
22 (hull number 61... that's how long ago it was!), and I wanted the same sort of semi-self steering
performance that you seem to be looking for. I found a great book called "Self Steering
for Sailing Craft" by a chap named John Letcher, who was an aerodynamicist at MIT at the time. In it he goes over all the factors in providing self steering
, starting from very basic principles. Part of what he describes is usually called "shhet to tiller" steering, and it worked pretty well on my trailer sailer. Doesn't take much gear
, just some rubber tube (like used in spearguns) and some rope
to take a signal from either the jib
or main sheet. Later in the book he talks about designing and building your own wind vane
, and eventually (two boats later) I did just that. That simple bit of kit drove Insatiable One for about 50% of the 86k miles we did in her...
Anyway, if you can find the book, it will set you on the road to simple self-steering that you can afford!
Good luck with it,
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Burnett River Qld Oz