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Old 19-05-2003, 18:21   #1
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Wind vanes on catamarans??

Probably a stupid question - but I will dare to ask any way.
Has anyone had any experience with using wind vanes on catamarans? Are they possible?
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Old 20-05-2003, 02:45   #2
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pirate Not a stupid question

Hi svstrider

Your question is not stupid at all - anyway on this board you can ask whatever you like.

I have seen a setup for wind vane steering on a catamaran and I have plans to buy that for my cat when I need it. I don't have the link to the info now - maybe some of the other members can find some info for you?

Cheers!
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Old 23-05-2003, 07:40   #3
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Wind Vanes

I found some info about 5 years ago in the Multihulls magazine published in Maine, USA. I think their URL is multihullmag.com but not sure. The wind Vane was manufactured in Great Britian. You can email the folks ther at Multihull mag and they will furnish you an answer. They're great at providing info on past issues etc and anything else .
auterygd
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Old 23-05-2003, 11:13   #4
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Multihull Mag.

The address is actually......

http://www.hypermax.com/multihullsmag/

.........................._/)
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Old 27-05-2003, 14:07   #5
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Thanks for the wind vane site that deals with multihulls. Unfortuanately I suddenly realised the difficulties okf a wind vane on my cat - the dinghy hangs from the targa that holds the solar panels, wind generator and radar.

The dinghy would be in the way and the targa also would be in the way.
Back to the drawing board.
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Old 13-07-2003, 17:02   #6
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I looked into this subject a while back, and got some good info from Scanmar. They sent me some drawings and pictures of windvane self steering on several cats. They were all mounted on the starboard "swim platform". That did take up all of the space on that side, but most cats have one on the port side as well. Since it is off to the side, it does not interfere with dinghy davits. I do not know how well they work. My FP-38 was lost in Belize by hurricane Mitch.

If you would like, I can forward the e-mail w/ attached drawings and photos. Send me your e-mail address.

Steve Hill
sthill@charter.net
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Old 16-12-2008, 17:20   #7
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Not recommended. Expensive, don't work while motoring, dodgy sailing downwind. Electric autopilots use very little power. I sailed Florida to Turkey and back using electric. Just take backup units.
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Old 16-12-2008, 20:51   #8
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revived thread from 2003

Thanks for the input. You are probably right about the difficulty of installation, solar input has improved, and I DO LOVE sailing downwind. We do not have a problem with keeping up with power needs as we are fairly minamalistic.

But theanks for the reply

Paul
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Old 17-12-2008, 23:57   #9
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From what I have heard over the years, windvanes do not work well on cats as they rely on a steady apparent wind and a multihull reacts very quickly to wind changes and hence the variability of the apparent wind. If the cat starts to head up wind, the wind vanes tries to turn it down wind, the cat accelerates, the apparent wind moves forward, the vane reacts by turning down wind and so on and so no.
Electric autopilots are the way.
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Old 18-12-2008, 03:23   #10
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On fast boats vanes won't work very well. You can have the same apparent wind angle for a wide range of true wind angles.

Downwind there may not be much apparent wind at all.

On slower cats they would probably work fine.
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Old 18-12-2008, 04:42   #11
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To work on a fast cat you would have to have some sort of adjustment for speed. I designed one that had a bibbed fishing lure (without the hook) to change the attack as the speed increased. I abandoned the idea as I didn't like the thought of suddenly losing direction with a fish strike. I guess I could have left the hook on and organised the boat to round up into the wind if I caught a fish. I may still give it a go on my next boat. My present one is too easy to capsize at speed.
Downwind, on a fast boat, the wind shifts would make it pretty useless. Possibly just set up some pulling sail such as a spinnaker or kite and be dragged downwind
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Old 22-12-2008, 04:49   #12
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Have a look at the home page from the German world sailor Bobby Schenk.
Homepage von Weltumsegler Bobby Schenk
He lives aboard his Privilege 465 " Thalassa "
He choose for the German Windpilot : Willkommen bei Windpilot

Greetz,

Koen
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Old 22-12-2008, 05:46   #13
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Electricity for electric autopilot

I sailed across the Atlantic twice and had sufficient electric power to use the Autohelm autopilot continuously. I had 2 golf cart batteries and 2 solar cells (85 watt). I never had to run the engine.
I used the autopilot, and VHF (monitoring 16) continuously, the tri-color all night. The radar with guard zone also ran 24-7, but was on automatic cycle where it ran for 90 seconds every 10 minutes. Also, I used the SSB about an hour each day.
I did not use the electric fridge.
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Old 22-12-2008, 06:35   #14
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Cat wind vanes?

As mentioned above, vanes can get one in trouble on any boat, multi or mono, if it accelerates quickly when surfing. The apparent wind shifts confuse things considerably!
I loved the vane on our previous boat, and was going to purchase a German "Wind-Pilot" model for Insatiable II (a fairly quick cruising mono), but the proprietor of the company sent us a strong warning about the inherent dangers, and we opted out. (Incidentally, I was very impressed by his candor and honesty.)

Now, a few years and 30k miles later, I still wish we had one, not for surfing conditions, but primarily for sailing to windward. Now, I know that you multihullers don't often do this, but it seems like we often do, and our autopilot really isn't very good at it, even in "apparent wind mode". Considering the difficulties in organizing one on a cat, it probably isn't worth the cost and effort... what a shame!

Good luck with it all, mate!

Cheers,

Jimand Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Gladstone Qld, Oz
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Old 16-04-2015, 19:47   #15
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Re: Cat wind vanes?

I don't think a wind vane is a good option for catamarans. I sail a Lipari41 from Foutain Pajot and would have to extend the pole for the vane all the way up and above the hard top Bimini to catch undisturbed wind at any given course.

My Navpilot611 from Furuno supports the WIND MODE, i.e. provides the same function then a wind vane. Yes, it needs power. However, above the davits I have 3x275W Solar panels beside a D400 wind turbine, i.e. I'm never short of power. The only issue may be wear and tear of the rudder mechanism.
Once I had the situation that one rudder got stuck. I simply detached the rod between the two rudders and still sailed over 1000 miles with only one rudder. Besides the roominess, that is the safety aspect of a catamaran, many things are double and redundant to a certain extend.
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