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Old 17-05-2013, 07:03   #1
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and that's why i'm dropping cash on a windvane

The 58-year-old mariner was sailing from California to Christmas Island, in the Republic of Kiribati, when his vessel’s autopilot reportedly failed.*The US Coast Guard said Mr Restrepo had been manually navigating his vessel, Folly II, for four weeks and called for help after becoming too tired to continue.

http://www.noonsite.com/General/Medi...eKanMM.twitter
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Old 17-05-2013, 07:11   #2
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Re: and that's why i'm dropping cash on a windvane

As usual, we have to take a news report with lots of salt as to the exact circumstances, but there are many ways that boats can be set up to sail using sheet to tiller and other methods. Worst case scenario, like his, it would be worth it to heave-to once in awhile and get some solid sleep.
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Old 17-05-2013, 07:24   #3
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Re: and that's why i'm dropping cash on a windvane

He nearly made it being picked up with just 425 miles to go. Seems a shame to abandon the boat but as Kettlewell said, we weren't there.

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Old 17-05-2013, 07:34   #4
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Re: and that's why i'm dropping cash on a windvane

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He nearly made it being picked up with just 425 miles to go. Seems a shame to abandon the boat but as Kettlewell said, we weren't there.
Lack of rest can seriously cloud your judgment too.
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Old 17-05-2013, 07:34   #5
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pirate Re: and that's why i'm dropping cash on a windvane

Solo..?
If it was a tiller steered boat relatively easy to set up a form of self steering that'll give you 15-20mins grace to nap or do things.. varies keel to keel..
If wheel steered not so simple... and a killer on the shoulders...
Believe me I know... dawn till dusk then heave to.. eat and sleep... wake, eat and steer... 40 days Bermuda-Azores followed by 30 days to the UK.. cuts your daily distances by a third + depending on currents...
its how we did it before all this fancy nancy stuff..
Simrad WP's suck... well the machines good.. the belts have no life.. 750miles and it was shagged out... brand new machine.
Ohh Arrrrrr... I be Salty
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Old 17-05-2013, 07:39   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
As usual, we have to take a news report with lots of salt as to the exact circumstances, but there are many ways that boats can be set up to sail using sheet to tiller and other methods. Worst case scenario, like his, it would be worth it to heave-to once in awhile and get some solid sleep.
It's survivable but I think my family would never get on a boat with me again on a schedule like that.

Singlehanding and being the dad on the boat has had me in love with self steering.
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Old 17-05-2013, 07:46   #7
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Re: and that's why i'm dropping cash on a windvane

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Simrad WP's suck... well the machines good.. the belts have no life.. 750miles and it was shagged out... brand new machine.
Wheel pilots should never be used as routine offshore autopilots. On any boat, let alone a larger one.

That is simply an inappropriate choice and application, and not an indictment of electronic autopilots.

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Old 17-05-2013, 07:53   #8
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Re: and that's why i'm dropping cash on a windvane

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
As usual, we have to take a news report with lots of salt as to the exact circumstances, but there are many ways that boats can be set up to sail using sheet to tiller and other methods. Worst case scenario, like his, it would be worth it to heave-to once in awhile and get some solid sleep.
We also do not know the type and age of his autopilot, the installation particulars or the condition of his steering system. For all we know, he could have had the same results with a windvane.

Nothing wrong with installing a windvane, but pulling out this particular example as an indictment of electronic AP's is a stretch. Surely, you must have many other more valid reasons for your choice?

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Old 17-05-2013, 07:55   #9
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pirate Re: and that's why i'm dropping cash on a windvane

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Wheel pilots should never be used as routine offshore autopilots. On any boat, let alone a larger one.

That is simply an inappropriate choice and application, and not an indictment of electronic autopilots.

Mark
That's a daft statement if ever I've heard one... especially considering that's what they're designed for..
Problem is the other firms that produced 'Good Gear' have been gobbled up by Raymarine or Simrad and everything came down to their level.
I've crossed Oceans successfully with both tiller and wheel pilots... with the tiller its the motherboard that's the weak point.. corrosion.
With the wheel pilots its the belt... Raymarine and Simrad are much of a muchness... however the Raymarine belt lasts 10 X longer.
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Old 17-05-2013, 08:04   #10
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Re: and that's why i'm dropping cash on a windvane

The problem with a wind vane is it's hard to hang a dinghy or put up solar panels.
This is the dilemma I'm going through right now. I'm having to engineer around it. The dinghy is out of the question, no way it'll work.
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Old 17-05-2013, 08:07   #11
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Re: and that's why i'm dropping cash on a windvane

I had a Navico wheelpilot on a previous boat that I used for more than 12 years with no major issues. The longest passage we did with it was 14 days. The control head was not well sealed and I discovered that in Maine in constant fog for days it would eventually get too much moisture inside and start to malfunction. I opened it up and dried it out in the oven, and then resealed it better with silicone. I think I went through 3 or 4 belts in those 12 years, Maine to the Caribbean and Bermuda, etc. I have an antique Tillermaster in my basement that is still going strong despite many years of use offshore before I inherited it with a previous boat and then also used it for many years. Wheelpilots and tiller pilots can be made robust and it is easy to carry a complete spare unit that can be swapped out in a few minutes. When something goes wrong with a below-deck unit it can be difficult to fix offshore.
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Old 17-05-2013, 08:18   #12
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Re: and that's why i'm dropping cash on a windvane

As electronic pilots become more reliable and the available electric power increases the trend of long distance cruising boats is away from wind vanes.

To be reliable they do need to to be under deck pilots IMHO.
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Old 17-05-2013, 08:28   #13
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Re: and that's why i'm dropping cash on a windvane

The great things about windvane steering are (and I may miss some, as this is from memory): they are silent; they create no power drain; they are reliable; and if you want, they can be backup, instead of primary. You can build your own. Our two homemade ones steered us thousands of miles.

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Old 17-05-2013, 09:27   #14
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Re: and that's why i'm dropping cash on a windvane

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
That's a daft statement if ever I've heard one... especially considering that's what they're designed for..
Problem is the other firms that produced 'Good Gear' have been gobbled up by Raymarine or Simrad and everything came down to their level.
I've crossed Oceans successfully with both tiller and wheel pilots... with the tiller its the motherboard that's the weak point.. corrosion.
With the wheel pilots its the belt... Raymarine and Simrad are much of a muchness... however the Raymarine belt lasts 10 X longer.
Sorry for being so daft (you must not hear many people talk), but they are definitely NOT designed for long-distance cruising. When they were being produced, their literature stated just that. Navico and Raymarine suggests for distance cruising that under-deck pilots be used, and their boat size/displacement recommendations for WP's do not extend very far and come with a lot of caveats. Raymarine is the only one still producing these, but they are a completely different beast now with a below deck computer and a standard RM AP control head. The drive itself is attached to the wheel.

Mark
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Old 17-05-2013, 09:51   #15
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pirate Re: and that's why i'm dropping cash on a windvane

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Sorry for being so daft (you must not hear many people talk), but they are definitely NOT designed for long-distance cruising. When they were being produced, their literature stated just that. Navico and Raymarine suggests for distance cruising that under-deck pilots be used, and their boat size/displacement recommendations for WP's do not extend very far and come with a lot of caveats. Raymarine is the only one still producing these, but they are a completely different beast now with a below deck computer and a standard RM AP control head. The drive itself is attached to the wheel.

Mark
Sorry for the tongue in cheek comment...
And yes I do hear folk talk.. all the time... but... its CF..
I have also used these for long (27 days 24/7)distances... and they've lasted years... and as long as you keep below the weight parameters suggested by the manufacturer and maintain them they're just fine..

But everything breaks sooner or later... had your prescribed system on a boat... 1st the hydraulics failed.. (leak) then the compass died..
Whatever system you have is going to fail sometime.. wind vanes do it all the time...
Just be ready and able to cope when it goes pear shaped.. just thinking you are won't cut it...
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