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Old 10-08-2015, 11:01   #16
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

We use a Monitor on our 10ton boat. No autopilot. I would say the choice would depend on your cruising grounds, your confidence trimming the boat and dialing it in, and your technical ability and confidence in ALL the systems required to make the autopilot work ; from batteries to charging to wiring etc.

As a side note... A very small tiller pilot rigged to a vane's pendulum weight is said to be able to blend the two pieces of kit admirably though we haven't tried it yet nor needed to.
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Old 10-08-2015, 14:49   #17
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

I will go with both. I already have the tiller pilot although a smallish raymarine 2000+. I just helped install a norvane on some Canadians boat that set off to Hawaii. I thought the quality looked good but never got to actually test it.
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Old 10-08-2015, 15:41   #18
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

Amazing how often you see little boats with windvanes (no autopilot) on their stern and the owner hand steering to their next anchorage. No vanes even attached up top or the rudder is flipped up and out of the water.

How often have you heard anyone say that their windvane has steered their boat 99% of the time over years of cruising? You'll hear this statement often from people with proper autopilots, but never from one with windvane only. (We're closer to 99.9% over the last 15,000 miles.)

If you are only crossing oceans then you may actually use a vane. But most cruisers like to go from anchorage to anchorage once they reach their destinations... and by the time you're at your next anchorage, the vane is finally set-up and ready to work.

I've just purchased a Cape Horn windvane as a back-up to our hydraulic autopilot, since it was the lowest cost option for redundancy. I hope to not have to screw around with it at all, but it'll be hanging from the stern if I really have to

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Old 10-08-2015, 15:51   #19
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

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Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
If you are only crossing oceans then you may actually use a vane. But most cruisers like to go from anchorage to anchorage once they reach their destinations... and by the time you're at your next anchorage, the vane is finally set-up and ready to work.
Takes not to many seconds to hook up my Aries and set the direction , then just sit back an enjoy the view to the next anchorage , steers better than I do
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Old 10-08-2015, 16:06   #20
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

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Awesome advice. How do you guys like the norvane? It's about half the price
It's well made, relatively lightweight and Phil and his wife are awesome to work with. I've only used it on two short runs having just installed it, but no complaints. Nothing negative from other reviewers I've heard. Offers a good selection of mounting variants to suit the boat.

I was going between a hydrovane and the norvane. Saved $3G and am not disappointed yet.
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Old 10-08-2015, 19:36   #21
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

I just installed a huge solar panel on the stern so I would have to rework that. I was hoping you guys would say go with an autopilot an maybe even a second control arm or backup. That would make things easier and cheaper for me
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Old 10-08-2015, 20:02   #22
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

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How often have you heard anyone say that their windvane has steered their boat 99% of the time over years of cruising? You'll hear this statement often from people with proper autopilots, but never from one with windvane only.
Err... have to disagree here. Many of the respected and experienced long distance cruisers on CF do state they rely primarily on the windvane for long trips.

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Old 10-08-2015, 20:15   #23
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

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I just installed a huge solar panel on the stern so I would have to rework that. I was hoping you guys would say go with an autopilot an maybe even a second control arm or backup. That would make things easier and cheaper for me
This thread might offer some assistance, it certainly resolved a lot of the issues for me, albeit indirectly.

Windvane steering on a cluttered stern

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Old 10-08-2015, 20:20   #24
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

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Err... have to disagree here. Many of the respected and experienced long distance cruisers on CF do state they rely primarily on the windvane for long trips.

Matt

Correct....on long trips!!! It's the rest of the time that's the problem.
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Old 10-08-2015, 20:51   #25
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

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Correct....on long trips!!! It's the rest of the time that's the problem.
Probably true, can't comment from experience yet, but I would ask the obvious... what is a "long trip" in this context? More a rhetorical question than anything else... but I suppose a couple of hours?

I don't deny the convenience of pressing the course hold button on our autopilot, but I can't imagine that the windvane I am currently building will take more than ten minutes to get right.

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Old 10-08-2015, 21:27   #26
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

The self steering vanes, Aries and WindPilot Pacific Plus, on my boats have steered the boat if the sails are up. I don't drive under sail whether it's a couple hour daysail or a 24 day passage. When I had the boat in Alameda would use the vane to short tack out the long channel not touching the helm till the engine came on to put the boat back in its slip. Don't know why anyone would not use their vane the same way.

Got my first pilot a couple years ago and use it only when the engine is on so I've got the alternator to feed it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
How often have you heard anyone say that their windvane has steered their boat 99% of the time over years of cruising? You'll hear this statement often from people with proper autopilots, but never from one with windvane only. (We're closer to 99.9% over the last 15,000 miles.)

If you are only crossing oceans then you may actually use a vane. But most cruisers like to go from anchorage to anchorage once they reach their destinations... and by the time you're at your next anchorage, the vane is finally set-up and ready to work.

I've just purchased a Cape Horn windvane as a back-up to our hydraulic autopilot, since it was the lowest cost option for redundancy. I hope to not have to screw around with it at all, but it'll be hanging from the stern if I really have to

Matt
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Old 10-08-2015, 23:11   #27
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

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Correct....on long trips!!! It's the rest of the time that's the problem.
What is the problem?

Over many years the wind vane has steered almost every mile, onshore and offshore. Round about 99% at a guess
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Old 11-08-2015, 05:46   #28
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

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Correct....on long trips!!! It's the rest of the time that's the problem.

As I already wrote, our Aries is the primary self steerer on our boat. If we're sailing, it's in use most of the time. And this includes day hops between anchorages.

There is this persistent myth that vanes are only useful for crossing oceans. Simply not true.


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Old 11-08-2015, 06:21   #29
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

the only reason I only use my airies on long trips is that it blocks my bathing platform.

It takes about 15 minutes to rig and 5 minutes to unrig. So when we do coastal we use the raymarine.
'
When we're doing coastal we use the engine to set the anchor, go into marinas etc so electricity is no problem
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:33   #30
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Re: Windvane vs. autipilot

[QUOTE=Mike OReilly;1888145]As I already wrote, our Aries is the primary self steerer on our boat. If we're sailing, it's in use most of the time. And this includes day hops between anchorages.

It's the same for us. I have the Aries control lines running inside the hull so it's easy to engage almost anytime.
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