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Old 26-12-2010, 18:23   #31
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A little follow up after a solo TransPac from SF to Hawaii. Ditched the Monitor in favor of a WindPilot Pacific Plus. The Monitor simply did not work below 4 knots with the wheel steering. I've used an Aires for more than 10,000 miles on another boat with a tiller and it steered flawlessly. Can only assum it was the Wheel that caused the problem. The WindPilot is an auxillary rudder system so bypassed the boats rudder and could act as a backup for ship's rudder failure. It steered well on a mostly downwind sail. Ran wing and wing for nearly 14 days mostly at close to hull speed. It steered the boat just fine.

Powered for the first day and a half using the x5 autopilot because of no wind or light winds on the nose. The autopilot worked fine powering for more than 36 hours. It didn't do well sailing. The boat has a pretty fierce weather helm and the pilot motor would stall out when boatspeeds got much above 5 knots. The pilot did work well on a short run in light air and confused seas with the Asym. up. The motor simply wasn't able to handle the boat when we really started making time, however.

I'll repeat what I said before. If you are making short sails from well equipped port to port, an autopilot is a good choice. If I'm going out for more than 24 hours, I won't do it without a wind vane.

FWIW, have 260 watts of solar power charging 220 amps of battery storage. Ran the batteries down after ten days sailing in overcast conditions. I only have running lights, the SSB radio and Modem, and the Nav. instruments running. Drain was about two amps. The running lights have virtually zero drain since I switched to LED's. So it was the Garmin 3206 and the radios that were my big users. I don't see how anyone could use less than 4 amps an hour running an autopilot and refrigeration and would expect consumption to be more than 6 amps. Something that would be beyond the capacity of my solar panels to meet. Once the sun came out, the panels began charging the batteries but slowly so output was probably adequate to handle a reefer or very low drain AutoPilot but not both.
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Old 27-12-2010, 18:17   #32
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Nice update. You should work on reducing that "fierce weather helm". That is not a good situation. A Pearson 35 should balance just fine....if every thing is proper.
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Old 24-12-2011, 08:16   #33
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Re: Ditch the Aries Wind Vane or Not?

We crossed from the Canaries, have both an autohelm below decks and the Aries. Aries steered 14 days without me touching the wheel once, flawless. Yes it is an antique, and heavy and unsightly and a host of other things but I would not go offshore without it, or some other non electrical steering. The autohelm does eat a lot of electricity and it occasionally lost it's mind, now replaced with a Comnav unit, steers better but power hungry. BTW we have 270 watts of solar and in the heat with fridge and autopilot not enough, we have 1000 amps of batteries. There are a number of boats here with Hydrovanes and for some reason all have a problem getting them to behave - steering appears to be hit and miss at times. The monitors seems to work fine but I still don't think I would trade for my Aries and parts are still available in the UK for rebuilds, should they need it.
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Old 24-12-2011, 08:30   #34
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Why remove a working and paid for piece of critical equipment that uses no power. To me the is a valuable member of your crew. Use the autopilot when you motor and have lots of power available. The vain most importantly when the wind picks up. Maybe you could slap a coat of paint or do some polishing, but it hard for me to believe it looks bad enough to remove it. Can you put a pic on......
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Old 25-12-2011, 09:25   #35
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Re: Ditch the Aries Wind Vane or Not?

I drive a 48' full keel heavy ketch with a Monitor. When the wind isnt blowing enough, I take the vane off and hook on a $400 simrad tiller pilot. The tiller pilot drives the servo unit just like the vane does. It uses 2-3 amps and doesnt even get warm. It takes very little energy to run a tiller pilot when they dont have much work to do.
I bought the Monitor 2nd hand and I have less than $2k invested in a perfect set up. It took a day or so to work out the bugs.
I wouldnt trade this lashup for anything!
It works great!
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Old 25-12-2011, 16:35   #36
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Re: Ditch the Aries Wind Vane or Not?

I have a steel Roberts 345 (34.5 ft) pilothouse sailing cruiser with very heavy steering & want to install self steering. I would prefer a wind based system with auxillary rudder, but open to suggestions
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Old 26-12-2011, 08:33   #37
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Re: Ditch the Aries Wind Vane or Not?

Contact Monitor - they will help you out.
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Old 27-12-2011, 01:52   #38
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Re: Ditch the Aries Wind Vane or Not?

Has anyone tried to connect the rudder to a sheet for a steering option?
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Old 27-12-2011, 03:57   #39
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Re: Ditch the Aries Wind Vane or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PEACETIME View Post
Has anyone tried to connect the rudder to a sheet for a steering option?
belive me with out a wind vane or auto pilot on a long passage and short handed,after the first week you will try ANYTHING!!!!!!

if only to go down and make a cuppa,that and the hullucinations from lack of sleep...................
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Old 31-05-2012, 19:49   #40
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Re: Ditch the Aries Wind Vane or Not?

Ahoy, the aires wind vane and the pacific pilot plus hydrovane are now both for sale in Langkawi. See the for sale ads??
Cheers from Keith.
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Old 27-11-2012, 21:48   #41
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Re: Ditch the Aries Wind Vane or Not?

Even on coastal sailing the airies is great in fact if i have more then half hour of sailing to do it is put on takes all of 40 seconds to connect
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Old 27-11-2012, 22:24   #42
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Re: Ditch the Aries Wind Vane or Not?

[QUOTE=Geoduck;845386]..... When the wind isnt blowing enough, I take the vane off and hook on a $400 simrad tiller pilot. The tiller pilot drives the servo unit just like the vane does. It uses 2-3 amps and doesnt even get warm. It takes very little energy to run a tiller pilot when they dont have much work to do.....QUOTE]

I agree wholeheartedly, ever since the first tiller pilots came on the scene, this has been a match made in heaven.

The tiller pilot just provides an input signal to send the pendulum oar across to one side or the other, providing a powerful turning force to the main rudder, so the electronics provides the intelligence and the water flow supplies the grunt.
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Old 26-08-2013, 08:31   #43
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Re: Ditch the Aries Wind Vane or Not?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day Surfmachine,

HEre's yet another opinion: if you are going offshore solo, I think that redundant self steering systems are a SERIOUS MUST HAVE. It's one thing to have an lone autopilot go dead when there are several crewmembers to take up the steering load, but quite another if you are on your own and days away from an anchorage.

......

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II, lying Church Point, NSW, Oz
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+1 Jim & Ann
(caps added)
.

Not only is the unit paid for--it is installed and has passed sea trials on your hull. This makes its intrinsic value to you 2-3X higher than eBay's drop price to a buyer.

My advice is to spend your $$ on a Portabote instead -- see the threads on that here on CF. These include a thread on "Portabote as lifeboat" option under development by a contributor. And get comfortable with the "vane mounts as my boarding ladder" concept.

I have a WB10 hanging from the solar davits. The Walker Bay will eventually be jettisoned for a Monitor if the measurements will allow it.
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Old 26-08-2013, 09:01   #44
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Re: Ditch the Aries Wind Vane or Not?

An important variable has been overlooked throughout this thread. Which Aries wind vane does the OP own? They are not all the same.

Having sailed nearly twice 'around', the most important piece of equipment I have is my Aries servopendulum vane. Bronze/stainless throughout.

Definitely would not leave on a lengthy passage without one!

Steered at least 99% of the distance.

Ditch the dinghy and use kayaks!
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Old 26-08-2013, 09:17   #45
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Re: Ditch the Aries Wind Vane or Not?

Thanks guys. Not only have I ditched the Aires, but also the pacific wind pilot as well. Where I sail...or motorsail, most of the time, in the ITCZ. There are no relaible winds and the wind shifts 180 degrees in a few minutes, nearly every hour!!

The dingy on the davits is the best thing for me.

Now have the Raymarine below decks elctro-mechanical auto pilot. Plus a whweel mounted autopilt and a tiller pilot for the emergency helm, as backups.

All the best from Keith.
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