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Old 07-06-2016, 23:43   #1
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windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

Hi every one
On my previous tiller steered boat I had a servo pendulum wind vane which I was very pleased about ( crossed single handed Atlantic and Pacific from Europe to New Zealand )
I now have a little bigger yacht of 38' and 9 tons ( Pacific 38 ) which has a hydraulic wheel. It has Raymarine auto pilot but I am planning a bigger trip through pacific ( Pacific islands - Philippines - Japan - Hawaii - Marquesas - and back to NZ again single handed) and want again a wind vane as well. I am not sure if a servo pendulum works with Hydraulic wheel ( 4 full turns from stop to stop )or is it better to go for an auxiliary rudder system
Has anyone experience with either of those systems on hydraulic wheel ?
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Old 08-06-2016, 02:06   #2
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Re: windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

Hey Jan,

I installed an Aries Servo Pendulum wind vane on my boat two years ago and crossed the Pacific last year with just me and my girlfriend from California to Australia. I have a wheel on my boat and I am two and a half turns from lock to lock. I have a feeling that a servo pendulum wind vane mightn't be the most effective system for you.

If I was in your position I would have a look at a Hydrovane. We met a lot of people who were cruising with them. And every person I spoke to was really happy with theirs.

They can also double as an electric auto-pilot by attaching a tiller pilot to them. I've seen it done and was pretty impressed at having that as a redundancy.

I'm sure plenty of other people on the forum will have more to say on the matter.

Looking forward to seeing what you decide to go with.

Good luck on your upcoming trip through the Pacific. I'm jealous!

Dan
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Old 08-06-2016, 02:37   #3
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Re: windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

Thanks Dan
Yes I have similar thoughts that auxilary ruder windvane system might work better
Cheers
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Old 08-06-2016, 13:43   #4
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Re: windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

Hydraulic steering has creep that you don't notice hand steering or under auto pilot. On a wind vane self steering it results in relatively constant adjustments to the steering line wheel attachment, a PITA. The way to do a Pendulum Servo Vane with hydraulics is run the steering lines to a stub tiller attached to the rudder stock. You will need to add a bypass valve to the hydraulic steering so the vane isn't fighting the hydraulic steering. It actually is the best way to add P/S self steering to a wheel steered boat as you have the positive attachment of the vane to the rudder without any of the drag of a wheel.

Have a WindPilot Pacific Plus on the current boat and it's steered very well including DDW in light air. Nice to have the auxiliary rudder if there ever was an issue with the boats rudder. It does make maneuvering in tight quarters under power a bitch though. The Self Steering Rudder is locked straight ahead when not in use so the boats rudder has to fight that self centering input. Have attached lines to the wind sensing vane so I can fool it into thinking the wind is telling it to turn whatever direction I need by pulling or one the other line. That has made the vane much easier to live with in the marina.
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Old 08-06-2016, 13:58   #5
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Re: windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

Hydrovane +1
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Old 09-06-2016, 02:59   #6
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Re: windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

Thanks guys
That is very helpful sounds like a servo pendulum direct on hydraulic wheel is not a good idee. I wander if a windvane on a auxiliary rudder ( without servo - pendulum enforcement )is satisfactory ( There is here a second hand one available )
Anyone experience with that system ?
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:21   #7
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Re: windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Hydraulic steering has creep that you don't notice hand steering or under auto pilot. On a wind vane self steering it results in relatively constant adjustments to the steering line wheel attachment, a PITA. The way to do a Pendulum Servo Vane with hydraulics is run the steering lines to a stub tiller attached to the rudder stock. You will need to add a bypass valve to the hydraulic steering so the vane isn't fighting the hydraulic steering. It actually is the best way to add P/S self steering to a wheel steered boat as you have the positive attachment of the vane to the rudder without any of the drag of a wheel.

Have a WindPilot Pacific Plus on the current boat and it's steered very well including DDW in light air. Nice to have the auxiliary rudder if there ever was an issue with the boats rudder. It does make maneuvering in tight quarters under power a bitch though. The Self Steering Rudder is locked straight ahead when not in use so the boats rudder has to fight that self centering input. Have attached lines to the wind sensing vane so I can fool it into thinking the wind is telling it to turn whatever direction I need by pulling or one the other line. That has made the vane much easier to live with in the marina.
This is correct. You steer with hydraulics via hand or AP and bypass them to rig a tiller and vane. Consider them separately.
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:29   #8
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Re: windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

Look at the Sayes Rig.
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:08   #9
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Re: windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

I use the Auto-Helm by Scanmar http://selfsteer.com/products/autohelm/index.php
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:26   #10
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Re: windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

"Hydraulic steering has creep that you don't notice hand steering or under auto pilot..."

We had a friend who swapped boats discovered just that; he resolved the problem by trading his much loved Aries Servo-Pendulum unit for one with a separate rudder; it could well have been a Hydrovane - there's not that many alternatives - but can't confirm that for sure.
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:14   #11
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Re: windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

You might also look into connecting your Aries to your emergency steering tiller. This has worked well for me over thousands of miles but many vessels are not suitable for doing this. I simply throw the bypass lever that takes the hydraulics out of the system.

I like the Auto-helm because it allows me to keep my skiff in the davits.
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:40   #12
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Re: windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

Separate tiller is the way to go. Note that this could be above deck or below deck. The Cap Horn, for example, has a nice tidy install that punches through the transom so all control lines are below deck except for a couple small lines to adjust/engage the windvane.
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Old 15-06-2016, 22:32   #13
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Re: windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

We have hydraulic steering and an Aries wind vane. I put a vertical tiller (1/4" x 2" stainless flat bar with a bolt for a pivot at the bottom) with a lower and upper chain slot in the lazerette and a back mounted cable quadrant on the rudder post. The cables from the quadrant are joined with a short length of chain which is dropped into the lower chain slot. A similar length of chain links the lines from the Aries and goes in the upper slot which is just above deck level in the lazerette hatch. To engage the Aries I open a bypass valve in the hydraulics, open the lazerette hatch and drop the lower chain into its slot and I'm done. No lines in the cockpit, use a cheep Navico auto pilot in the lazerette hooked to the vertical tiller and have a wooden handle to give me a secondary steering system if the hydraulics were to fail. Has worked well for 38 years and 75000 miles. Take the time to do the math for the position of the chain slots to give the same mechanical advantage and degrees of rudder deflection as the Aries specification for a conventional tiller set up.
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Old 16-06-2016, 00:09   #14
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Re: windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by seasick View Post

My friend with a Morgan OI 41, center cockpit, hydraulic steering reported that his Autohelm worked well for him.
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Old 16-06-2016, 01:27   #15
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Re: windvane on hydraulic wheel steering

How tough would it me to alter the hydraulics so that your helm's more responsive, & has fewer turns from lock to lock?
I'd imagine that such would make both hand steering, and an AP or Vane's task, easier.
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