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Old 17-12-2015, 11:54   #1
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Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

Hi,

Anyone out there using a wind vane on a cat? I'm considering a Hydrovane situated on the extreme end of the starboard pontoon. Does anyone else use this setup - I've seen a Lagoon 400 (?) with one in Greece so know it is possible but interested in performance/issues etc.

Please, I know about the windage issues and can accept it won't work well going to windward where the vane is blanketed by the structure.

So, anyone out there where it works? Thanks in advance, Gerry
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Old 18-12-2015, 00:28   #2
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Re: Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

Ck with Monitor. They have a number of photos of cats with vanes. I had a Monitor vane on my last monohull which performed superbly but decided not do it with a cat because of the complications of running steering ropes to my wheel. I opted for a ram type electric system which has also worked well. In hind sight, it would have also complicated how I mounted my passerelle.

If you can work it out and plan long passages then I would do it too but think it through very carefully. Not just how you will mount it but also how you'll use it while sailing in different conditions. For instance, we encountered 12 days of force 8 and 9 winds crossing the pond. I would not have wanted to be out on the sugar scoops trying to adjust my vane in those conditions.
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Old 18-12-2015, 05:25   #3
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Re: Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

It has significant impacts on vessel ingress and egress but the main reason you dont see them on most multis is the faster accelerating boats tend to confuse the wind vane as they pull the apparent forward. Might be fine on a slower more gentle boat.
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Old 18-12-2015, 05:37   #4
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Re: Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

No way will a windvane work on a Lagoon 440. Not in any wind from any direction.

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Old 18-12-2015, 05:39   #5
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Re: Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

And to be honest with the reliability of autopilots I am not sure of the need for them anyway
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Old 18-12-2015, 05:43   #6
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Re: Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
No way will a windvane work on a Lagoon 440. Not in any wind from any direction.

Mark
Or on many other cats. I mounted a wind instrument for a weather system on my stern arch and it was way off due to the deck house.
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Old 18-12-2015, 05:45   #7
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Re: Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

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And to be honest with the reliability of autopilots I am not sure of the need for them anyway
True, and given the high amp hour capacity already aboard most cruising cats, and the low draw of modern autopilots, not really need...just carry some spares.

If you were outfitting a minimalist Wharrahm, maybe.
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Old 18-12-2015, 06:35   #8
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Re: Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

Hi, Thanks for responses.

Clearly, a complete spare autopilot ready to swap out is a serious consideration for crossing oceans when short handed.

The problem is I've fallen in love with my Hydrovane on my current monohull and just love the simplicity and complete reliability of the system. I'm hoping to get a reply from a Lagoon owner who uses any variety of wind vane. Apparently they work well when placed on the extreme end of the pontoon but apparently there is one Catana that had one installed inboard (between the pontoons) where it did not work well because the rudder is underpowered at this point, hence the need for the rudder to be way back on the end.

Any ideas guys?
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Old 18-12-2015, 06:57   #9
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Re: Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

Here's a pdq steered by the same windvane as we have on out monohull. The really nice thing is the lack of lines in the cockpit.

http://www.capehorn.com/sections/lis...2010/PDQ36.htm


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Old 19-12-2015, 05:27   #10
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Re: Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

Okay, to answer my own question and to help others who come behind me I've had a look at the Monitor website (same principle as the Hydrovane) and these cats have a Monitor fitted. Aeromar 41,Belize 43, CC29, Flicka 37, Gemini 3400, Kat 85, Four Prouts, Seawind 1000, Vinyasa 41 and three Wharrams.

So far no Lagoons and my best guess is that the above list represents an older breed of cat and now more reliable modern autopilots may or must have dented the current windvane market. As someone said, the Monitor with all those control lines would be a nuisance on a modern cat. The Hydrovane however does not require lines to the wheel.

My fear remains of the autopilot crapping out in a severe gale hence the interest. Para anchors anybody?
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Old 22-12-2015, 09:17   #11
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Re: Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

On our recent Atlantic crossing, we were at times surfing at more than 18 knots in 16 knots of true Wind. This means the mainsail backing against the preventer, the spinnaker against the forestay. A windwane or an autopilot steering after the relative/aparent wind angle would have been a disaster. But our B&G autopilot kept us going at 165 degr. TWA, until the boats slowed Down.
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Old 27-12-2015, 06:46   #12
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Re: Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

Hi, thanks for the replies.

I've found at last an image of a Nautitech 47 cruising the South Pacific with the Hydrovane on the extreme end of the pontoon which is very similar to how I will fit mine on the Lagoon. They reported to Hydrovane excellent performance after 6000 miles and counting.

For me, having a rock solid energy free source of self-steering is pure gold. A close runner up would be to have another complete autopilot system ready to swap out in case of failure. I suppose the more miles you are planning on putting under the keel the more sense it makes in my opinion.
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Old 27-12-2015, 07:03   #13
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Re: Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rezzy View Post

The problem is I've fallen in love with my Hydrovane on my current monohull
So its not for any real reason, but just emotional?

It just seems weird to destroy one of the nice benefits of a cat - a swim platform, dinghy dock - to put a thing up that won't work efficiently because of another greatest benefit of a cat: the wind blocking of the coach house. And you forget the obvious that the cat has 2 hulls but you would only have 1 vane - great for turning circles but, but, but, then you denigrate the reliability of modern APs but on a boat with double the engine alternators.

There's gotta be moments when the emotional gets surpassed by the rational.

And that maybe why in my 7 cruising years in all the oceans (except the cold ones!) I have never seen a cat with a wind vane.
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Old 27-12-2015, 07:34   #14
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Re: Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

You are wasting your money. How high do you expect to have to extend the vane to get it above the flybridge helm of a L440? I'm guessing 15-20'. Off wind, that flybridge creates venturi wind currents that will have it chasing the boat around everywhere.

It's your money, but for half the cost, you could have a second below deck pilot installed on the opposite rudder and electrically disconnected that could be put into use in a minute or two. And with the money saved, buy a Honda generator or high output alternator for power. Or more solar/wind power.

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Old 29-12-2015, 07:24   #15
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Re: Wind Vane Steering on a Cat

Hi All,

To answer your points Colemj I don't expect the vane to clear the rigid bimini but the Hydrovane will be way back on the end of the pontoon giving clean air on all points of sail except going to windward on one tack. I accept that limitation as a minor downside.

I've emailed the owner of the Nautitech 47 and am awaiting a reply. Just to pour petrol on the flames here the Nautitech owner reports great performance "on all points of sail", now it could just be that on a tradewind circuit he has had no cause to go to windward on the blocking tack and it is untested. I'm not saying this Colemj, the guy who has sailed 6000 miles is.

Now to the question of saving money and just having a separate autopilot as a backup in the other hull as you describe. This is a great idea and I respect anyone taking this route. The fact remains however that my current Hydrovane on my monohull has looked after me in severe gales on several occasions and perhaps this is where my loyalty comes from. An autopilot would find these conditions challenging. On a run say, between Fiji and New Zealand I would rather have the windvane.
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