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Old 30-05-2015, 17:30   #16
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Re: Windvane Selfsteering Unit - Old Windpilot?


I second the comments on the nylon gears. However, you could probably get an engineering shop to make you up some new ones, if you can get the proper material specification from Windpilot (assuming they can not offer you replacement parts.

Perhaps there is a model number on it, so you could ask questions of the parent Company? One time when we contacted them via e-mail, the man who runs it was very easy to talk to, and quite forthcoming. He would be in a better position than many to tell you if your boat would respond well to that pilot. It depends a lot on how well balanced she is.


On edit: OOooops! just noticed this is last year's thread. Sorry, guys.

Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 31-05-2015, 14:28   #17
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Re: Windvane Selfsteering Unit - Old Windpilot?

Hasler pioneered Sevo Pendulum self steering systems. His design worked identically to all the newer S/P systems like Aires, Monitor, WindPilot, etc except they had a vertical wind sensing vane to control the servo rudder/heading. Later designs went to the horizontal pivoting wind sensing vane because it was more sensitive, accurate and more powerful at putting input into the servo rudder especially in lighter air. A horizontal pivoting wind vane should actually steer a boat and maintain a course relative to wind better than a vertical hinged wind vane.

Auxillary rudder vanes are somewhat limited to the steering input they can make by the size of their steering rudder and the force needed to be applied to turn it. WPP and others have used an auxiliary Servo Pendulum to turn the vanes steering rudder. From my experience it has worked very well. The vane will steer the boat if it has any way on in conjunction with a larger wind sensing blade. My boat is 35'/13,000# but the vane originally steered a 44'/30,000# boat all over the Caribbean and up to SF. The PO said the vane had no problem steering his much larger boat. FWIW, my boat has a terrible weather helm that is really really fierce as boat nears hull speed. Hydrovane only uses wind force on the wind sensing vane to turn their rudder. Seems like it would have problems in light and heavy air situations but owners say it works just fine. Believe they have a 'gear change' function to handle different wind conditions. Any how, a larger boat will need a larger auxiliary rudder to steer it. Believe the Self Steering Manufacturers make different sized systems for different sized boats. Variations in helm force required can be handled by using the boats rudder as a trim tab thereby reducing the force needed to be generated by the vanes auxiliary rudder. Have seen boats larger than 50' that have performed well with wind driven self steering.

Pendulum Servo systems input force to the boats rudder increases with boat speed. At hull speed, a P/S self steerer will put more force into the steering than you can probably generate. Otherwise, the faster you go, the better they work, except DDW.

DDW issue is common to all wind driven self steering systems. If the boat's speed exceeds the relative wind such as in surfing conditions on a ultra light, the wind vane sees little to no wind or even reverse relative wind and goes clueless on how to steer the boat. Have only had the problem once with our old Westsail under spinnaker. Yep, those downwind flyer W32s can exceed relative wind in the right conditions. Took the spinnaker down, winged out the jib, cut the boat's average speed from 7+ knots to slightly less than 7 knots and the vane worked just fine. Boats with less directional stability and higher acceleration potential may not behave as well.

Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
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Old 01-06-2015, 14:19   #18
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Re: Windvane Selfsteering Unit - Old Windpilot?

having just bought an old windpilot atlanik 4? myself i've been googling a bit and have found out some more about them

mine has had the rudder ripped off of the stainless tube

the atlantik 2 was for boats up to 25' very similar to the windpilot nordsee
60cm? long rudder

the atlantik 3 was for boats up to 31'

the atlantik 4 was for boats up to 35'
90cm? long rudder

seems the vane area also increased with each model and that there were quite a few variations over the 10? years they were produced

would love a scan of a manual if anyone has one

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steering, wind, windvane

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