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Old 20-05-2012, 13:00   #1
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Worm Gear Steering and Wind Vanes

Howdy,
I'm looking at Allied boats and found that most of them have worm gear steering. I'm not particularity fond of the rear wheel steering but I can appreciate the simplicity and stability of the worm gear and I really like the Allied boats.

My main concern is how effectively they can be steered by a windvane.

Anyone out there have a wind vane on their worm gear steering and are happy with it? How about unhappy with it? And what did you have to do to make it work well?

Thanks.
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Old 21-05-2012, 06:32   #2
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Bumping this back to the top. Hopefully the right people will see it.
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Old 21-05-2012, 06:56   #3
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Re: Worm gear steering and wind vanes

Have you asked Edson? I recall from sailing a friend Princess some years back, that there was not much feedback to self centre the wheel. This is typical of worm type steering, and is the main reason cars switched to rack and pinion.
I would suspect that the wind vane could not exert enough force to operate the gear.
Very interested to hear from someone more knowledgeable than me on this subject.
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Old 21-05-2012, 08:04   #4
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Re: Worm gear steering and wind vanes

Windvanes have been used successfully on worm gear boats, so long as the gear is smooth. The vane attaches to the hub of the wheel and steer just as a human would. There is a video on the sailing for sos website of an allied princess being steered by a windvane.

I have and allied also, but with rack and pinion rather than the worm steering. The caphorn vane steers well off of the wind, but on the wind there's too much disturbance from the mizzen sail for it to keep a course on the wind.
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Old 21-05-2012, 08:22   #5
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Thanks, Sailmonkey. That is some good info. I didn't even think about the mizzen being a problem. The Allied I was looking at was a sloop but that one isn't going to work and most of the others I've found are ketches.
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Old 21-05-2012, 08:35   #6
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Re: Worm gear steering and wind vanes

I have worm gear steering/backward wheel. I'm not in love with it either - I'd rather have a tiller but it is what it is.
I contacted Monitor about the same question and was told the straight skinny - as long as you are no more than 4 turns lock to lock, dont have too much drag,binding, slop, etc. You should be alright.
I bit the bullet and bought a used Monitor/wheel drum and hooked it up.
I even have alot of slop in my steering and it works great!
I hooked up a simrad tiller pilot to drive it when no wind or motoring.
Works great! Takes a little playing with and it's not as easy as flipping a switch but it works in all conditions -FOR ME - no guarantees it'll work for you. Depends on the boat - mine's a 48' canoe stearn, DE ketch, cut away fore foot, long keel, barn door rudder, 5 1/2' draft, 12' beam.
I got lucky - I've got less than $2500 wrapped up in my auto pilot/vane combo and I'm very happy with it.
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Old 21-05-2012, 15:46   #7
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Re: Worm gear steering and wind vanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Windvanes have been used successfully on worm gear boats, so long as the gear is smooth. The vane attaches to the hub of the wheel and steer just as a human would. There is a video on the sailing for sos website of an allied princess being steered by a windvane.

I have and allied also, but with rack and pinion rather than the worm steering. The caphorn vane steers well off of the wind, but on the wind there's too much disturbance from the mizzen sail for it to keep a course on the wind.
Do you have any problems with the mizzen boom contacting the vane on a tack or gybe?
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Old 21-05-2012, 15:57   #8
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Re: Worm gear steering and wind vanes

Yes, the tower was built custom for the allied seawind II boats. The idea being that the tower is short enough for the mizzen boom to clear the tower while knocking the vane over. As I can't sail on the wind with the vane, tacking isn't a problem, when we gybe I just need to remember to turn the vane so it'll flop when the boom crosses. No problems otherwise, but I do wish I could sail hard on the wind with the vane!! (just a problem with the boat, not the windvane.)
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Old 21-05-2012, 17:51   #9
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Re: Worm gear steering and wind vanes

I have the same problem on my ketch. It barely clears when there is 15+knts of wind but in light air - it doesn't clear. I take off the vane and hook up the tiller pilot in light air and don't worry about it - no big deal.
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