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Old 24-01-2012, 15:49   #1
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An Idea for Wind Steering - Will It Work?

Not sure if this is the right forum to post this, bark if not.

Got this sudden idea for a wind rudder which took me 15 minutes to make a coarse draft of in Xara Xtreme;



It's hopefully pretty self explaining. The adjustable wing may have to be moved further back to excert enough force on the rudder, and the circle holding the front bit to the rear bit may have to be made into a half-circle instead, so the thing can be easily installed/removed without loosening the aft mast wire.

I need a reality check from Competent Luminaries here whether the concept is workable or not. The idea came after having a hard look at traditional wind rudders, which to my eyes look unnecessarily complicated and messy. (Alea jacta est)
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Old 24-01-2012, 19:11   #2
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Re: An idea for wind steering - will it work?

It appears that the circle of tubing goes completely around your backstay so that you can adjust the wind wing to extremes between close-hauled and running. Is that right? If you put your backstay off center or had dual backstays then you would need to have the circul of tubing. Does the wing drive your rudder directly or the tiller? What I see in the diagram is a tiller but not the boat's rudder. Your wing will have to be pretty good sized to exert enough pressure on the rudder to get it to work efficiently.

Time to build a prototype and experiment?

Kind regards,
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Old 24-01-2012, 19:56   #3
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Re: An idea for wind steering - will it work?

In my tiller days, I used a sheet to tiller self-steering rig to steer my Pearson Renegade 27 and my Westsail 32. Sheet to tiller steering works good using the mainsail as the windvane to provide the power for moving the tiller.

You need the mainsail trimmed so that there is some weather helm. You run a line from the tensioned mainsheet through a sheave on the windward side of the yacht, and then tie the line to the tiller. You balance the pull of the line attached to the mainsheet with bungie on the opposite side of the tiller.

It works well on a beat and a reach, but not so well when running downwind. I used it a lot on my monohulls. As long as you are not sailing downwind around the world, a sheet to tiller steering rig will do the job much of the time. Plus it is cheap to set up.

I have read of sheet to tiller self-steering using the headsails as a windvane, but I have never used it successfully downwind. Maybe others have had more luck.
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Old 25-01-2012, 17:32   #4
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Re: An idea for wind steering - will it work?

I have two books about self steering and windvane design. Maybe you can find them on-line somewhere. Self-Steering for Sailing Craft by John S. Letcher, Jr. and Wind-Vane Self-Steering How to plan and make your own by Bill Belcher. Maxingout's system is described in Letcher's book.
They are good reading for those who would like to experiment with it.
kind regards,
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Old 25-01-2012, 17:46   #5
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Re: An idea for wind steering - will it work?

The best book to checkout for sheet to tiller steering is:

'Self-Stering Without a Windvane' by Lee Woas.

It is long out of print and in demand so it will set you back a pretty penny used but is really worth it. It has a whole bunch of variations on the same theme. If one variation won't work on your boat, another likely will.

Amazon.com: Self-steering without a windvane: A comprehensive manual of natural and sheet-to-tiller steering systems for sailboats (9780915160525): Lee Woas: Books

Websites and videos to watch on this topic include:

http://sfbaysss.org/tipsbook/SinglehandedTips.pdf?id=1
http://www.jsward.com/steering/index.shtml
http://www.solopublications.com/sailariq.htm
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Old 25-01-2012, 20:07   #6
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Re: An idea for wind steering - will it work?

Skipper,

It's probably less self explanatory than you think. I can't quite see what you are driving at. What is the big half circle?

My gut feeling is that you will not derive enough effort to turn your rudder. Some very early systems tried to rely upon the wind force alone but they had huge vanes and didn't work well.

The beauty of the more modern systems: servo pendulum and aux rudder alike, is that they use the boats forward momentum, and thus the pressure of the water past the pendulum/trim tab to develop enough force to turn the rudder and thus the boat.

Where is your effort coming from?
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Old 25-01-2012, 20:14   #7
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Re: An idea for wind steering - will it work?

my boat sails all by itself without any kind of windvane and the autopilot is very seldom needed..why is that ? I have sailed 60 miles without evertouching the helm,honestly and my consenses is that it is so well balancend..? even wing to wing it sails true ..why?
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Old 25-01-2012, 20:16   #8
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Re: An idea for wind steering - will it work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Skipper,

It's probably less self explanatory than you think. I can't quite see what you are driving at. What is the big half circle?

My gut feeling is that you will not derive enough effort to turn your rudder. Some very early systems tried to rely upon the wind force alone but they had huge vanes and didn't work well.

The beauty of the more modern systems: servo pendulum and aux rudder alike, is that they use the boats forward momentum, and thus the pressure of the water past the pendulum/trim tab to develop enough force to turn the rudder and thus the boat.

Where is your effort coming from?
maybe
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Old 25-01-2012, 21:34   #9
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Re: An idea for wind steering - will it work?

From what I can deduce from the drawing, the linkage between the vane and tiller steers the boat the wrong way.
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Old 25-01-2012, 21:40   #10
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Re: An idea for wind steering - will it work?

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
From what I can deduce from the drawing, the linkage between the vane and tiller steers the boat the wrong way.
Oh good. I thought maybe it was me.

I'm having the same trouble with the diagram. It seems to me that at present lee helm is being presumed, rather than weather helm.

Are we reading this wrong?
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