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Old 23-09-2008, 16:51   #16
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I have an Aries lift-up wind vane, (circa 1993-5, as far as I know) and I am thus far pretty satisfied with it's construction and performance. As stated by someone above, they are very stoutly built, but one feature I particularly like is that it was designed to use home-made plywood vanes. This means that you can easily, quickly and economically create smaller or larger vanes for varying wind conditions, easily changing them out with just one nut and bolt's removal. My boat is a wheel-driven boat and the Aries has no problem generating enough force to turn the helm. (Although it rarely has to, as the Aries' rudder does most of the minor adjustments with the wheel only being turned when the boat starts to come off the wind.)
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Old 29-09-2008, 08:06   #17
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Well we are not sailing at the moment. Still working on the systems, Heating, Fresh water, heads and shower. Still she is starting to look and feel good.

This is just the research prior to the purchase desision, THe monitor still looks to be the best and I think the strongest, although the Autohelm, also from Scanmar, also looks very strong and good, both drive the ship's rudder.

Just building 70ish single and double blocks and 16 fiddle blocks, thank god I enjoy all of this.

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Old 18-06-2009, 01:25   #18
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Had a Hydrovane on our Westerly Conway about 6 years ago and now have a windpilot on our Sadler 34. I loved them both. Getting the rudder off the Hydrovave was (as mentioned before) a pain, but apart from that they both where, and are, brilliant.

I guess there are so many factors that determined the performance of a windvane, is it set up right, is the rigging set up correctly, are the sails balanced? all these things effect how well it handles the boat. I was told once that Hydrovanes where rubbish, and yet mine worked faultlessly for years. Who knows.

All the above is IMHO.
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Old 18-06-2009, 04:08   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simes View Post
OK,

We have saved a couple of grand, We want a wind vane, we sail a Gaff Schooner some 63 feet long and around 30 tons. She has a slight boom overhang and a tiller that is some 7 feet long. The rudder is transom hung and has around 18% balance.

The Monitor looks and feels right, however I have just seen the "Royal" and there is also the Autohelm. There could be an Aries or the German Pacific Plus.
It must drive a big heavy Schooner on both long and short passages. I would like it to handle a small autopilot aswell, what are your thoughts?

Simon
I know nothing about wind vanes and apologise for hijacking this thread but could you post some photos of your schooner, I for one would love to see it...Allan
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Old 20-06-2009, 05:12   #20
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Some pix of the rebuild of Talisman

I am not a good photog', The work plan has moved on somewhat since these were taken.

The rig is approaching compleation, The sails will be ready this summer (August) The hull will be painted a rich pale green this July. The new tiller should be ready in September.

THere is a set of deck locker that now reach between the forward and aft coachroofs, clad in French pine they look great. The clinker dingy will sit on top of these and between the masts when at sea.

I now have an Aries "Lift-up" windvane and the main sheet blocks are half way through construction.

Still to do? Fit the bow sprit and the jib boom, finnish the engine exhaust, fit the fresh water tanks, finish the 12volt system, make and fit the cap rail. I am sure that there is a lot more.

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Old 09-03-2014, 20:50   #21
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Re: Which Wind Vane?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simes View Post
OK,

We have saved a couple of grand, We want a wind vane, we sail a Gaff Schooner some 63 feet long and around 30 tons. She has a slight boom overhang and a tiller that is some 7 feet long. The rudder is transom hung and has around 18% balance.

The Monitor looks and feels right, however I have just seen the "Royal" and there is also the Autohelm. There could be an Aries or the German Pacific Plus.
It must drive a big heavy Schooner on both long and short passages. I would like it to handle a small autopilot aswell, what are your thoughts?

Simon
hello, in your post you indicated you looked at the Royal wind vane. I have been looking all over for any information on the Royal windvane. no one seems to know anything. Please, if you can write me anything you know, where you saw them, what magazine, or distributor or where I can get in touch with someone to obtain a manual or brochure or operating instructions. than you lacijaly@gmail.com larry
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Old 14-01-2015, 16:22   #22
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Re: Which Wind Vane?

We have a new boat now and hope to do some serious cruising on her in the next couple of years. She now has a light duty wheel pilot. I intend to install a heavy duty below deck electric pump/hydraulic drive unit soon. I do want to install a wind pilot and am looking at alternatives. But I am adding this in regard to the Monitor windvane durability.

Our previous boat, a Whitby 42, came with an older Monitor. It had seen extensive time in Mexico and the South Pacific. I can't remember exactly how old it was but it had many years of hard duty. It was not on the boat when purchased so I mounted it on the brackets already attached. It worked very well for the most part - until it just fell apart.

The welds developed many cracks. Sheet metal (stainless) was light duty and did not hold up, especially the brackets for the blocks. I purchased a complete spares kit for it before we left on our 15,000nm trip. The blocks started seizing up and I started to rebuild the entire unit when I discovered that it basically was shot. My experience with Scanmar was distasteful. They treated me like an idiot and indicated that if I had not been so cheap as to not send in the unit every couple of a years for a complete factory overhaul (at $800+) then what could I expect? Having said that, the unit had lasted a respectful number of years and performed very well until the end.

We did have hydraulic steering though and that made it very difficult to setup and operate on our center cockpit boat. I had to rig the emergency tiller on the aft deck which was in the way all the time and this space could not be used for anything else. The control lines led forward also were a pain. The biggest pain was getting the vane setup and approximately set for the course/wind, locking it "on" to the wheel, and "disconnecting" the hydraulic steering with a bleed valve. You had to move real fast with lots going on, so much that I preferred to do it with my mate's help. This was not a Monitor-only issue as it would be the same with most of them that have to move the boat rudder.

Would I buy another Monitor? It did a beauty of a job when it worked. I would definitely consider it as it works, and works well, but I would also reevaluate the "service" attitude of the company. I would also look to see if they require a complete factory overhaul every few years for a lot of money. For something that pricey, the overhaul fee, plus shipping both ways, it might not be worth it. Of course, that would have to be evaluated for any other alternative, but the Monitor seems to require it, even for a very competent DIYer.

I am looking at the Hydrovane and Windpilot Pacific as other alternatives for our boat with cable steering now.
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Old 14-01-2015, 16:40   #23
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Re: Which Wind Vane?

There are a number of vanes out there that do a good job. Hydraulic steering adds a complication as you already know but the little tiller rigged with a bypass valve is a pretty good solution allowing your choice of servo pendulum vanes or like you say another choice is Hydrovane or Windpilot. Hydrovane uses its own rudder as does one of the Windpilot models. Both these units are decent vanes although I know that Evans on this forum had less than wonderful words about his Windpilot. The Hydrovane powers its auxiliary rudder with the power of the wind vane itself through a transmission. Windpilot uses the power of the water and the servo pendulum to drive its aux rudder. I have owned a Hydrovane and found them quite decent down wind and not so powerful on a beam reach however they have been making both the vane and rudder larger over the years. The Hydrovane is a little more elegant and easy to remove the rudder but they have really been charging for them as well....not an easy choice.
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Old 14-01-2015, 17:29   #24
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Re: Which Wind Vane?

Here's a vote for the Sailomat. I have one on my 31' Gaff cutter, and it can be mounted off centerline, so next to the rudder, bolted right to the transom, rather than having to hang it far out past the stern-hung rudder. That was the main reason I bought it, in fact. Not sure if the other brands can be mounted so. Bought it used without a manual and still managed to get it to work very well, even going dead downwind. It's a very strong unit with many possible adjustments, and the fact that you have a tiller gives you yet another, as you can land the control lines further forward or aft on it as need requires. More forward gives it more leverage against the rudder with less "throw"; more aft gives more "throw" but less leverage. The vane will exert more force than a person possibly can, so if you can steer your boat by hand, the Sailomat should be strong enough as well.
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Old 14-01-2015, 20:31   #25
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Re: Which Wind Vane?

There's a lot to like about a simple trim tab being added to the rudder for your lovely schooner. The sayes rig is another easy option.

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Old 14-01-2015, 20:57   #26
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Re: Which Wind Vane?

Just a reminder that the original post is over five years old.
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Old 15-01-2015, 10:48   #27
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Re: Which Wind Vane?

The OP was from 2008 but these issues and feedback are still the same. The products are different though as each manufacturer has been making incremental or complete design, material, and production changes. Which leads up to the most problematic issue: many windvanes out there are upwards of 20 years old. Comparing someone's experience with old models is pretty much apples and oranges. My comments about the Monitor are a good example. However, Monitors have been one of the standbys and very popular today. The customer support issue I had may have been an aberration and it was a long time ago so may not be the experience that many have. Although I would check out the issue on "required" factory rebuilds again.

Re: Hydrovanes, which was my going in choice. My good friends who sailed from the Pacific Northwest around to North Carolina just recently (2004-2014) had one. They liked it except for having to use the dink to remove the rudder when coming off a passage. It does not swing up. I can see this as a big hassle, especially coming in to a dicey anchorage where you might scrape the bottom of a reef occasionally. Not that I have ever done that lol. It is a definite concern for me.

As I get closer to biting the bullet on a new windvane pilot, I will start a new thread to get more recent info. In the meantime, this thread still pops up in searches, just as many older threads do. I'm not sure that's a big problem.
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Old 15-01-2015, 10:53   #28
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Re: Which Wind Vane?

My reminder was the benefit of people still responding to the OP. Clearly the topic is great, just didn't want people waiting around for a response from someone long gone lol.
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Old 15-01-2015, 11:14   #29
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Re: Which Wind Vane?

I have a Norvane. Definitely worth a look. Quality, good reputation, and half the price of a Monitor or Hydrovane. Ships out of California.
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Old 17-01-2015, 05:14   #30
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Re: Which Wind Vane?

Can recommend the Cape Horn. Had trouble with it at first. Stopped in Montreal on the way down the river had Yves (the builder) come down to the boat took one look said it was mounted backwards! turned it around and has worked a treat since. steered across the Atlantic. the only time I touched the wheel was to take it off to change auto pilots. everything is connected to a stub tiller in the lazzeret so no lines in the cockpit.
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