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Old 21-10-2014, 06:21   #91
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
I think the best thing to do if it worries you is to email Webb and ask him directly. I'm just guessing after reading something on his blog about strengthening the transom.
I think the best thing for you to do, is to respond to a subject that you know something about. I am not worried about Webb, I was just responding to your dumb idea that he would have to rebuild his transom to hang a wind vane.
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Old 24-10-2014, 02:33   #92
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

I think his boat is too small for a wind vane it would drag the stern down too much,in small boats like Webbs you have to watch your weight.
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Old 24-10-2014, 06:49   #93
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

Maybe not. Both WP Atlantic and Navik are only or "only" about 30 pounds. His outboard is probably more.

Maybe he does not like the whole mess of a windvane. With an AP it is just plug in and click on. Neat, easy to stow, efficient. Other than noise, breakdowns and energy, I think an AP beats a WV.

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Old 24-10-2014, 10:28   #94
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

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Maybe not. Both WP Atlantic and Navik are only or "only" about 30 pounds. His outboard is probably more.

Maybe he does not like the whole mess of a windvane. With an AP it is just plug in and click on. Neat, easy to stow, efficient. Other than noise, breakdowns and energy, I think an AP beats a WV.

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Old 24-10-2014, 12:43   #95
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

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I think his boat is too small for a wind vane it would drag the stern down too much,in small boats like Webbs you have to watch your weight.
Don't think the boat is too small, I have seen a Monitor on a Cal 20. and it worked fine.
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Old 24-10-2014, 13:49   #96
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

Hehehe ;-)

Yeaps. We will see if Webb modifies anything. I think he will take a break now and sail it on in 6 months' or so.

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Old 24-10-2014, 14:31   #97
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

[QUOTE=barnakiel;1662071]

"Maybe he does not like the whole mess of a windvane. With an AP it is just plug in and click on. Neat, easy to stow, efficient. Other than noise, breakdowns and energy, I think an AP beats a WV."

B you think an AP beats a WV? This may be true if you are in a large boat with big banks of power but I would not advise it in a small boat, alone, with limited
power, crossing an Ocean. A WV uses no power, makes no noise, will keep your boat on course better then an AP and will not break down. Do you really think an AP is better?
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Old 24-10-2014, 15:44   #98
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

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Originally Posted by hooligan6a View Post

(...)

A WV uses no power, makes no noise, will keep your boat on course better then an AP and will not break down. Do you really think an AP is better?
Really.

With some reservations ;-)

Follows my longer rumbling on my earlier thoughts:

When energy is not an issue (e.g. an efficient AP on an easily steered boat with positive power balance), when the noise can be mitigated (e.g. an under deck drive), and when spares are onboard (we need spares for a WV too so here it cancels out), an AP beats a WV hands down.

It is (IMHO) wishful thinking to (unconditionally) believe that a WV will steer better than an AP; it may, with some boats and some wind angles.

And, off course, a WV will break, just as an AP can.

All the above conditional and there are quite a number of factors. If Webb does not want a windvane, we can rest assured he has very good reasons.

It would be very nice to know his thoughts on this apparent bone of contention.

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Old 24-10-2014, 17:07   #99
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

In 30 years using a Monitor vane I only had one breakdown and it was a 15 minute fix. 60,000/70,000 blue water miles and one breakdown can anyone say that about an AP? We carry spare PARTS for a vane, not spare vanes. Big difference. You must carry spare pilots and spare parts. Lets not even get into power consumption on a small boat you just don't have enough power. You will have to hand steer. I have been there. A few years ago, I think it was Practical Sailor, did a study on an AP vs. a WV and hand steering. The WV won every time, hands down it steered a better course. The only down side of a vane is, you have to have wind for it to work. An AP will work without wind but then you are using all that diesel. and $$
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Old 24-10-2014, 17:09   #100
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

I've never really heard of anyone's wind vane breaking that wasn't repairable (I did have a Navik and thought it was crap, now have an old Aries that could kill a man).

I have heard many, many stories of auto helms dying. Like all of them eventually seem to.

I'd love to have both but at the moment the windvane is awesome. Particularly for a solar powered boat.

The best, best thing is that you can control a windvane with an autohelm, taking away much of the power needs and giving it a longer life. The Cape Horn is set up so that the mechanism and the AP will all be in the transom locker. Amazing.

The only issue for me with the Aries is weight. It's a lot of weight on the transom of a 28' boat but the trim does not seem to be affected at all. I do wonder if it hobby horses more, but it was $700 and a Cape Horn is more than 3x that. Otherwise, very happy.


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Old 24-10-2014, 17:19   #101
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

Of course wind vanes can and have broken down while at sea. And they have done so in a way that they could not be repaired at sea. Or, in repairing broken wind vanes, the crew member has to put themselves in a dangerous situation to try to repair them while underway. Anyone that thinks a wind vane is an infallible piece of equipment is fooling themselves.
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Old 24-10-2014, 19:09   #102
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

[QUOTE=DeepFrz;1662431]Of course wind vanes can and have broken down while at sea. And they have done so in a way that they could not be repaired at sea.

No one is saying that wind vanes are infallible. just that they are much more reliable then auto pilots. I said I had one fail in 30 years. That is not a bad record. Can anyone come close to that with an auto pilot?

If you know of a case of a vane going bad and not being able to be repaired
give us the facts, boat name, type, type of vane. we would like to hear about it. but if your just saying that vanes can fail , we all know that. It adds nothing to the discussion.
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Old 24-10-2014, 19:24   #103
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

BTW, before he left, Webb publically answered why he picked autopilots over a vane:


"Will you use an electric autopilot or windvane?"
"I have used windvanes on my larger boats with great success. I almost never hand steer out of sight of land. However I am not, at least initially, going to put one on GANNET, preferring to avoid that weight on the stern and the complication of devising an alternate outboard mount.
I have two tiller pilots. I may buy more.
One of the most important things I have yet to learn is if jib-to-sheet self-steering will work on GANNET. I had expected to experiment last September.
Every boat I’ve owned could be balanced to sail to windward with the tiller tied down. Jib-to- sheet self-steering works from a close reach to a broad reach. I used it on the 37’ EGREGIOUS for the last 10,000 miles of my first circumnavigation after the Monitor windvane broke south of Australia; and I used it for the roughly 25,000 miles I sailed the Drascombe Lugger."
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Old 25-10-2014, 05:45   #104
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

I will agree Monitor is a top shelf choice. But it is way heavy too. It also takes up a lot of space and requires much space for supports. Great piece of kit, very reliable, maybe just not a great choice for Gannet (light and with extremely low stern).

I too agree that a WP may steer better than an AP at some wind angles and on some hulls. Take a different sailboat and different sailing mode and you will see an AP is the only way.

One does not have to burn oil to get energy. There are solar panels, there are windmills there are fuel cells and towed generators. A well selected AP on a well sailing boat is not such a great load.

I do not think it is the case of either or. Much rather the question could be of 'which' if any.

I know that Windpilot Atlantic and Navik could possibly maybe be used on Gannet. Much as I know Navik is more failure prone than WP Atlantic (Navik is also more difficult to obtain spares). Sindbad could be another choice, but I am not sure how heavy it is; its extensive use of SS may make it heavier than alloy and plastic/carbon Atlantic and Navik. WP Atlantic has the simplest and smallest mounting footprint for sure.

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Old 25-10-2014, 08:06   #105
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Re: Webb Chiles' 6th Circumnavigation Launching Today

Cape Horn seems like the obvious choice to me.


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