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Old 19-10-2010, 02:10   #1
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Cape Horn Wind Vane ?

I am seriously considering this vane for installation on my CT34 in the coming months. Does anyone have any direct experience with this product, or the manufacturer?

I appreciate that there are many competing opinions as to which vane or system is "best", but for the moment I would love to hear whether anyone has actually used this product and/or interacted with this vendor, and your impressions.

Many thanks, as always, for any feedback. Cheers.
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Old 19-10-2010, 05:10   #2
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Great windvane. The installation is a little more involved than some other units, but it's use is very consistent and simple.
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Old 19-10-2010, 08:17   #3
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Id like to know why people choose it over all the other varieties, and having seen one at Annapolis this month wonder how extreme the forces are on the transom
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Old 20-10-2010, 12:57   #4
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Hey Gents,

I installed a CapHorn on my Westsail 32 and like it quite a bit. When we purchased our boat, it had a Monitor installed and the CapHorn is better for our boat in a few notable ways:

  1. I rebuilt our Monitor and there are a LOT of small parts; bearings, retaining rings, clips, etc. The rebuild kit has 100 items! I had a very tough time doing this job at a dock with an apron under the vane; it would be almost impossible to replace bearings or many other parts at sea. The CapHorn on the other hand is simple and has very few parts. I was kinda stunned at the simplicity and strength of the linkage, and the sensitivity that produces. Instead of bearings, it uses self-lubricating bushing that do a fantastic job.
  2. The Monitor started making noises quickly after suggested lubrication; squeeeeeeak! Further, we had to keep it well washed and lubricated or the airvane became a bit sticky. Haven't had to think about our CapHorn once
  3. Cosmetic; the Monitor has its own superstructure for being easy to modify for various installations. Our W32 has a boomkin that can act as the structure, and we thought the Monitor just looked gawdy hanging off. We replaced the Monitor at the same time we converted from a wooden to stainless boomking; now the stern is much simpler looking.
  4. We got a substantial discount by putting a group buy together with the Westsail Owners Association and some BCC owners. In all there were 26 units ordered. We spent $400 to "upgrade" to the CapHorn, after selling our Monitor.
  5. Yves and Eric are fantastic and go out of their way to help with any issues. I had some questions for Scanmar when we bought our boat as the installation was poor, but the gent I spoke with made it seem like I was wasting his time; just some guy who had something they'd made their money from.
For our boat with its Toucana installation on the boomkin, I know the CapHorn is the best option. It looks great, is very simply and easy to maintain, has great support and sails the boat on a run under spinnaker in 5kts without a hint a trouble. Our Monitor couldn't touch the CapHorn's light air performance.

Our Monitor:






Our CapHorn:






Hope this helps!
Aaron N.
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Old 20-10-2010, 13:01   #5
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I'm going with a Cape Horn. Buying/installing next year. Getting by with a crappy autopilot right now. The ton of installation photos on their site was nice and was a big part of selling me on it.
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Old 20-10-2010, 14:35   #6
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I had a monitor windvane on my Contessa 26. Installed it myself with some local help. It worked like a charm and was solid like a rock. However, the damn thing is pricy, and I have no idea how easy it would be to make work with a wheel that also has an autopilot attached (real estate). Also, cannot be used as an emergency rudder.

I was considering a Hydrovane as it can be used in an emergency as a rudder, and also doesnt clog the cockpit with ugly lines etc.

Cape horn - now a consideration, also Fleming...but I just don't know what the best $$$$ course to take.
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Old 20-10-2010, 14:41   #7
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They'll all cost a bunch of $$$. You may wind up saving a few hundred with one, but I'd be choosing based on customer service and how many you see installed on boats like yours, and out cruising. That's why I chose CapHorn; it just happend that we got it for quite a bit less with the group buy.

~Aaron
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Old 20-10-2010, 14:56   #8
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that is a great reason. is cape horn considered best in customer service...something else close to compare?
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Old 20-10-2010, 15:06   #9
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Well, I don't know if you could say "best", but when you call or email, you talk to the guy who designed the system while sailing around the world. The same guy who built the unit in his shop for your. The same guy who still goes sailing. He knows everything there is to know about the windvane and wants his customers to be happy with his system and you can tell when you talk to him.

Yves and Eric are great.

~Aaron
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Old 21-10-2010, 00:51   #10
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I've been doing a little feature comparison spreadsheet. WindvaneComparison.xlsx - Microsoft Excel Web App

Feel free to send me any corrections or additional makes\models. I'm mostly focused on what will work my boat a Pearson 424 Ketch.
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Old 21-10-2010, 02:35   #11
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I'm really glad to see this real world conversation. There is something about the Cape Horn that seems 'better' somehow, although I've never seen one used or know of anyone who has one installed. Monitor seems to be king of the hill and gets a lot of attention, but also a good number of complaints about one thing or another.

Is it actually possible to have sailed 28k miles with all but no hand steering?

OS
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Old 21-10-2010, 09:16   #12
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Oakland and all,

With a well-installed system, any type, you should be able to sail the vast majority of the time using the windvane alone. I doubt Yves never touched the tiller on his trip; it's more a general statement meaning "My windvane never broke, so I never I had to hand steer - it was always there for the job when I wanted it."

Having owned both, I prefer the CapHorn for the all of the reasons stated above. However, the Monitor is a good system, and that it can be "bolted on" fairly easily has its merits; plus they're all damn near identical, so if your unit gets damaged or something, you can steal parts from any other unit . With a CapHorn, they're all hand made, and the unit on a Pearson 424 is not the same as that on my W32, or a CT34, etc. But again, there are far fewer parts to break - it would take a major collision of some sort to break anything in the CapHorn, whereas there are quite a few small things on the Monitor to go awry - and if you don't have that one little C-clamp that rusted through after a blob of chicken you were throwing overboard landed on it and promoted the corrosion, well...you're screwed. No more Windvane.

That said...there are a LOT of Monitors out there that people love. There being so many more, it's natural there will be more complaints, too; remember that those who've had problems are much more likely to speak up than someone who is busy sailing because their unit is working! I don't think you can go wrong with either system as they're both clearly proven to work. But I chose CapHorn because I like the simplicity, the support, the better form, and the history of the company.

Cheers,
Aaron N.
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Old 21-10-2010, 09:23   #13
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Windvanes will work but you need a good amount of wind to make them behave correctly. Also, you have to constantly adjust for wind shift. If you have a lot of variables, you will soon go nuts.

So, yes, you can sail 28k miles around the planet, but that doesn't mean you can just go downstairs and watch movies.

I would like to get some additional testimonials from people who have used monitor vs other products.
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Old 21-10-2010, 09:51   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Windvanes will work but you need a good amount of wind to make them behave correctly.
I disagree with this. Both my Monitor and CapHorn performed well in light wind, although the CapHorn definitely does a better job. Just last weekend we went sailing on the harbor and I ran under poled spinnaker for an hour in about 8-9kts, with way of about 4kts. The CapHorn was only feeling 4-5kts and never varied.

Of course, we're very close to the unit and it's led directly to a tiller, which is about the most efficient method to rig a servopendullum windvane. I'm not sure if you'd get the same light-air performance with a wheel.

~A
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Old 21-10-2010, 10:16   #15
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Thats not been my experience which come in pairs 1) light airs 2) variability. Again this is monitor. Needed a good clean 10 kts or at least a breeze. Always performed like a rock in solid steady winds. Hardly touched the thing.
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