this because i'm hoping that it will pop up if someone is thinking of buying
an older Fleming
vane. I bought a 'brand-new second-hand' vane from someone on CF a little while ago. It is an early model (probably 2000) but had never been fitted to a boat so was still very shiny and nice and new looking. I wasn't particularly impressed with the quality of the finer points of construction when i opened the boxes but i fitted it, did some trials, sorted out a few teething issues and set sail fro Bermuda
to St. Martin a few weeks ago. 250 miles from St. Martin the auxiliary rudder
simply fell off and disappeared into the depths of the Nares Abyssal Plain. Since i'm on my own it was rather inconvenient to say the least as my electric autopilot
is a tiller pilot that i attached to the wind vane rudder
Anyway, the weld failed due to a very clear manufacturing defect. I have attached a picture of the stub that is left.
I contacted Fleming
and the guy essentially said that he purchased the company in 2008 and that all the Fleming vanes made prior to that are junk. In his words, and i quote directly, "it was a hopeless expectation for such a connection to withstand the rigors of offshore
I have no idea what the new ones are like (post 2007), but i'm posting
this so that hopefully if anyone is thinking of buying
a second-hand Fleming vane from 2007 or before and does a search then they will see this post and not do it! For me, excluding the days of work I put into it but including the costs of getting local machinists to modify things, it has been a $4.5k mistake.
edit: CF has rotated the image by 90 degrees to the left. You should be able to figure out the proper orientation by looking at the water
in the background.