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Old 13-08-2019, 14:21   #1
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Wind vane with emergency rudder

Wind vane experts,

I hope we can get some some experience sharing from the forum members (our first thread).

We want to install a wind vane self steering system for our Contest46. The system should have an “emergency” rudder - so the yacht could steer itself by the wind vane with the main rudder fixed in neutral position. Our Contest has the rudder positioned under the stern ... and we have been told that the close position of the rudder would make it impossible to have a wind vane system with emergency rudder - as the turbulence caused by the main rudder would make the wind vane rudder not working.

Below find a picture of the stern:/rudder position.

Any experience you can share?

Thanks from Italy,
Thomas
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Old 13-08-2019, 14:36   #2
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Re: Wind vane with emergency rudder

Contact Hydrovane https://hydrovane.com/and Wind pilot https://www.windpilot.com/ and see what they suggest

We have a Hydrovane and very pleased with it
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Old 14-08-2019, 04:56   #3
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Re: Wind vane with emergency rudder

Hi Triumphant,

thanks for sharing the web links. We are Looking for a servo-assisted auxiliary rudder gear Windvane type (steers through the auxiliary rudder, main rudder is fixed on centreline and then adjusted to balance the boat)

I have been in contact with Windpilot (Peter Foerthmann). His advice has been that with the rudder position of our Contest46 a wind vane servo-assisted auxiliary rudder would not work - as well if other Vendors/companies say something different.


Does your Hydrovane have a servo-assisted auxiliary rudder?

Thanks and Regards,
Thomas
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Old 14-08-2019, 06:12   #4
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Re: Wind vane with emergency rudder

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Originally Posted by dolphin-th View Post


Does your Hydrovane have a servo-assisted auxiliary rudder?

Thomas
No it operates it's own separate rudder and it does not need to be mounted in the centre of the stern (see the Rustler boats in the Golden Globe race)
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Old 14-08-2019, 07:10   #5
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Re: Wind vane with emergency rudder

Welcome to the forum, Thomas, and thank you for your post.
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Old 14-08-2019, 08:42   #6
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Re: Wind vane with emergency rudder

Thomas,
I’m not sure why you would want an emergency rudder with a skeg hung rudder onboard. There is more support then just a single shaft.
Although, I have heard of the skegs cracking at the hull and sinking the boat.

Rudders on sailboats take a lot of the COR. So, any emergency rudder you hang off the back will be non performance and may get you to your destination but very slowly. Emergency rudders have a tendency to break off too if overpowered.

It’s been my experience that an oar type of rudder works good. E.g. A spinnaker pole with a paddle attached, using a pivot point on the stern deck.
An emergency rudder is just that!
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Old 14-08-2019, 09:41   #7
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Re: Wind vane with emergency rudder

I have the hydrovane as well, not yet installed. The rudder can be removed by pulling a pin so when not needed....
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Old 14-08-2019, 10:00   #8
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Re: Wind vane with emergency rudder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triumphant View Post
Contact Hydrovane https://hydrovane.com/and Wind pilot https://www.windpilot.com/ and see what they suggest

We have a Hydrovane and very pleased with it
Me too, just installed. Love it!!

I hit a monster tree a year back in blue water, and decided to install a hydrovane as mitigation for my spade rudder!

BTW, you can offset the hydrovane port or starboard if there is a concern re turbulence. I do not see turbulence as the problem since the rudder is locked when you engage the hydrovane, but it is a balanced rudder so you might want to put it a bit aft of the main rudder trailing edge which seems almost flush..,..
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Old 14-08-2019, 10:06   #9
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Re: Wind vane with emergency rudder

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Thomas,
I’m not sure why you would want an emergency rudder with a skeg hung rudder onboard. There is more support then just a single shaft.
Although, I have heard of the skegs cracking at the hull and sinking the boat.

Rudders on sailboats take a lot of the COR. So, any emergency rudder you hang off the back will be non performance and may get you to your destination but very slowly. Emergency rudders have a tendency to break off too if overpowered.

It’s been my experience that an oar type of rudder works good. E.g. A spinnaker pole with a paddle attached, using a pivot point on the stern deck.
An emergency rudder is just that!
Ordinarily I guess so, but the hydrovane rudder has about 1/3 the area of my main rudder and is somewhat balanced...and So Far....it steers the boat VERY well (50'). I plan to carry a spare as well though....because both are vulnerable spades on my boat...
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Old 14-08-2019, 11:35   #10
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Re: Wind vane with emergency rudder

Thanks for everybody responded!

To clarify my wish for the auxiliary rudder gear as part of the Wind-vane:
we do not use our yacht rudder for steering our Contest46 long passages as the mechanic from the wheel to the rudder is strong but rather “complex”. As well the center cockpit layout would mean to have very long steering lines to the wheel and half of the cockpit.

PaulvR: what distance has your hydrovane rudder to your yacht rudder?
Any guess how much your 50’ is slowed down by the hydrovane rudder?
And finally how distance the rudders should have minimum?

Thanks,
Thomas
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Old 14-08-2019, 12:13   #11
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Re: Wind vane with emergency rudder

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Originally Posted by dolphin-th View Post
Thanks for everybody responded!

To clarify my wish for the auxiliary rudder gear as part of the Wind-vane:
we do not use our yacht rudder for steering our Contest46 long passages as the mechanic from the wheel to the rudder is strong but rather “complex”. As well the center cockpit layout would mean to have very long steering lines to the wheel and half of the cockpit.

PaulvR: what distance has your hydrovane rudder to your yacht rudder?
Any guess how much your 50’ is slowed down by the hydrovane rudder?
And finally how distance the rudders should have minimum?

Thanks,
Thomas
Hi Thomas,

My Hydrovane is offset to starboard about 18 inches, and there must be three feet between the trailing edge of the main rudder and the leading edge of the Hydrovane. It does not mind the offset, and the further aft it is the more leverage it generates when working....once the helm is balanced, I lock the wheel and engage. I have had an Atoms and an Aries (both cervo's) on previous boats, and this thing is just beautifully engineered, and simple,AND A SPARE working rudder! Aries and Atoms were great as well, but not spare rudders and impossible on a sugarscoop.

It may slow me down a bit, but not as much as my three blade prop :-)! I do 8 plus to windward, and cannot believe the resistance is significant..maybe an increment on the prop effect...1/8 knot? It seems to provide some tracking stability too when not in use, locked in place....like an additional skeg way aft.

best,
Paul.
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Old 14-08-2019, 12:26   #12
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Re: Wind vane with emergency rudder

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Old 14-08-2019, 13:50   #13
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Re: Wind vane with emergency rudder

Hi Paul,

Looks as you have a great solution for your yacht.

In my yacht I could set the hydrovane the 18 inches to port. As in our Contest the rudder reaches until the stern: the issue will be how to get the distance of 3 feet established between the 2 rudders. It would mean the windvane carrier:/mount would be reaching 3 feet behind/out from my stern - correct?

Br Thomas
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Old 14-08-2019, 14:51   #14
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Re: Wind vane with emergency rudder

Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphin-th View Post
Hi Paul,

Looks as you have a great solution for your yacht.

In my yacht I could set the hydrovane the 18 inches to port. As in our Contest the rudder reaches until the stern: the issue will be how to get the distance of 3 feet established between the 2 rudders. It would mean the windvane carrier:/mount would be reaching 3 feet behind/out from my stern - correct?

Br Thomas
I really wonder if the proximity to the main rudder is going to cause a problem through turbulence.

Mostly, when looking over the stern of a sailboat underway, even one with a aft mounted skeg such as yours, we see a very clean flow of water.

Rather, I suspect, that with a large area rudder and a large area skeg, what you are going to be dealing with is an extreme amount of "let's keep going straight" force from the main rudder system that your wind vane rudder has to overcome. So you'd need to keep your boat very well balanced to reduce the rudder loads.

Most people with offset wind vanes do that because of a stern ladder on the center line which they want to keep.

Since you don't want to utilize a servo type because of your mechanical linkage, perhaps a wind vane with a large steering rudder controlled by a trim tab would be best.

Here is an excerpt by Richard de Grasse from Ocean Navigator Twenty-five years of wind vane steering - Ocean Navigator - May/June 2014
here are also auxiliary rudder type units like Hydrovane. With this approach, the main rudder is locked off and the Hydrovane rudder steers the boat after the wind vane is set to the correct angle. At least two designs, Ratcliffe and RVG, are auxiliary rudders with trim-tabs. Only the trim-tab is moved by the wind vane. A quick review of trim-tabs shows how effective they can be. A picture of our Ratcliffe shows how small the trim-tab is relative to the self-steering rudder and the main rudder. Trim-tabs have an extraordinary mechanical advantage. Auxiliary rudders have an important feature that should be considered by anyone planning to purchase wind vane self-steering gear particularly for accident-prone spade rudder boats; an auxiliary rudder can effectively steer the boat in the event of a main rudder failure. This means that when the boat is sailing under control of the auxiliary rudder, the main rudder is locked amidships. In this configuration the keel is effectively extended by the length of the main rudder — an extraordinary benefit in a big following sea or when pinching up. The only time we have ever had to help our Ratcliffe — we affectionately call him Wally — was in the narrow passage between Grand Canaria and Tenerife in the Canary Islands. The following seas were huge! Even then Wally steered the boat, I had only to tweak the main rudder occasionally.

Auxiliary rudder gear is usually left in the water all the time with the vane in the locked and stowed position; the boat can be driven forward and back with no difficulty. We lose less than half a knot leaving the auxiliary rudder in the water; a price we pay for having it available for inshore sailing as well as passagemaking. Only a few of the self-steering gear I’ve seen are of the auxiliary rudder type.
My neighbor has this arrangement on his Westsail43 and it works well for him.
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Old 14-08-2019, 15:07   #15
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Re: Wind vane with emergency rudder

Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphin-th View Post
Hi Paul,

Looks as you have a great solution for your yacht.

In my yacht I could set the hydrovane the 18 inches to port. As in our Contest the rudder reaches until the stern: the issue will be how to get the distance of 3 feet established between the 2 rudders. It would mean the windvane carrier:/mount would be reaching 3 feet behind/out from my stern - correct?

Br Thomas
Hi Thomas,

As I said above, I'm not sure the distance away from the main rudder is necessary, mine is just like that. I do not think the turbulence is an issue either.
Setting it aft a bit, offset or in-line, will give you a bit more leverage to deal with the additional lateral resistance from the fixed main rudder.
CAVEAT: I have 1000's of hours on cervo-pendulums, but only 100's on the Hydrovane. (All happy thus far..)
I would contact Hydrovane directly. They had a solution for my exact boat on file, photo's and all...and great advice.
Also, Contest are a responsive company, call them directly and check their owners group?
best,
Paul
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