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Old 28-04-2010, 13:27   #16
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We have uninterupeted service from our Raymarine 6001 auto pilot and could not possably conceive that anything could be more accurate, more safe and more forgiving that in.

Yes, even I have fallen asleep in the cockpit when close to shore or islands and so if I was using a wind vane could have been about to run us aground. Why? Well, you know the answer... wind changes direction near, around, or over land and islands. So if you fall asleep in the cockpit the wind vane will make your boat change course near land. And that aint a good thing


Mark

PS with wind vane how do you get on your boat from a dinghy? How will your guests unfamiliar with your boat get on?
I lift my dingy onto my fordeck useing my whisker pole and stow it in chocks there (either right side up or bottom side up). The easiest place rto board my boat is just aft of the shouds (where the gate in the life lines is), useing channel boards as a step and shourds as a grab hold.
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Old 29-04-2010, 14:57   #17
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Can windvanes, such those from Monitor or Aries etc., be connected to wheel steering? I know they can be connected to tiller steering. If yes, what kind? Thanks!
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Old 29-04-2010, 17:00   #18
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Can windvanes, such those from Monitor or Aries etc., be connected to wheel steering? I know they can be connected to tiller steering. If yes, what kind? Thanks!
Yes, I think every manufactured windvane currently on the market has a provision to attach to wheel steering. It usually involves a drum mounted onto the wheel, with line wrapped around it and led back to the vane.

Chris
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Old 29-04-2010, 17:26   #19
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My boat has a transom hung rudder with a hefty windvane mount. The boat has tiller steering but I am adding wheel steering, I will be able to easily use my tiller when ever I want. I am will eventually be building and installing a servo-pendulum wind vane.
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Old 29-04-2010, 18:46   #20
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I run a Sailomat wind vane and I can't fault it.....except when under motor or in very light dead down wind use with a lumpy sea. This is when I connect the tiller pilot to the balance wieght of the vane. power usage is minimal and with the engine on who cares.
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Old 29-04-2010, 21:20   #21
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I run a Sailomat wind vane and I can't fault it.....except when under motor or in very light dead down wind use with a lumpy sea. This is when I connect the tiller pilot to the balance wieght of the vane. power usage is minimal and with the engine on who cares.
My fathers boat (Freedom 33) had a Sailomat and we sailed it from Bermuda to the Chesapeake (800 miles in 22-40 knot winds close hauled in 7days) without having to touch it, other sailing with that vane impressed me tremendously...if I could find and afford one it would be my first choice for a "bought" vane. Instead I am going with a well proven self made servo-pendulum vane (simple enough so if it breaks I can fix it myself). A link to the vane I will be building is: http://www.mindspring.com/~waltmur/Self-Steering/
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Old 29-04-2010, 23:20   #22
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Is there such a thing as an auto pilot that reads apparent wind and adjusts the auto pilots course accordingly?..so that say for example you are always 45 degrees on the wind regardless of wind shifts?...that seems like it would relatively easy to do.
Most (all? the vast majority?) autopilots will allow you to set a course relative to the wind direction as well as a compass course.
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Old 30-04-2010, 00:52   #23
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Most (all? the vast majority?) autopilots will allow you to set a course relative to the wind direction as well as a compass course.
Only the "high-end" autopilots have an add-on for wind direction input capability.
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Old 30-04-2010, 01:37   #24
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are you sure? - I thought it was a pretty standard feature - my circa 1994 Autohelm has it and I'm pretty sure Raymarine and Simrad autopilots all have it.

press "auto" and "standby" at the same time - reading should change from "AUTO" to "VANE".

At least this is how it works with the Autohelm - so probably the same for Raymarine products
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Old 30-04-2010, 03:35   #25
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Only the "high-end" autopilots have an add-on for wind direction input capability.
G'Day all,

Don't know what a "high end" a/p might be... they're all pretty damn expensive! But, while I was researching the market a couple of years ago ALL of the ones I found had the option of inputting NEMA data from your wind instrument and steering to a constant wind angle, just like a vane. This was not an extra-cost option, but standard issue.

We ended up buying a Nav-Man pilot, and we do use this feature at times sailing to windward. It is better than nothing (our twitchy boat does not steer itself to windward reliably), but nowhere as good as the home made vane on our previous boat. I do miss the wind vane!!!

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Church Point, NSW, Oz
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Old 30-04-2010, 05:51   #26
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are you sure? - I thought it was a pretty standard feature -
Yeah its standard
On the few occasions my speed log works, the wind feature is fun
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Old 30-04-2010, 06:08   #27
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Marine Autopilots, Engine Controls and Instruments

Imagine has this system, and it will sail by wind as well as compass. I will sail home to S.F. this summer, and I have written Scanmar about a possible windvane. I have seen they have installed them on cats before.

My rudder post comes through the deck. Where I can attach a flange to mount the tiller. I asked if they could attach a vane to this flange. So far no answer Where there's a will there's a way..............i2f
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Old 30-04-2010, 06:50   #28
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Marine Autopilots, Engine Controls and Instruments

Imagine has this system, and it will sail by wind as well as compass. I will sail home to S.F. this summer, and I have written Scanmar about a possible windvane. I have seen they have installed them on cats before.

My rudder post comes through the deck. Where I can attach a flange to mount the tiller. I asked if they could attach a vane to this flange. So far no answer Where there's a will there's a way..............i2f

Check out caphorn also, that guy attaches his vanes to every conceviable steering arangemant
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Old 30-04-2010, 15:05   #29
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My personal opinion is, electronic gadgets are really kewl, it is incredible the stuff they can do now adays. But even if your electronics are 100% failure proof (impossible on land...even more so on a boat at sea where you need them most)...is your electrical system? When it comes to something as important as a self-steering device I prefer the KISS principle. I know the mechanics and physics behind my windvane and how each part works in relation to the other, with the simplicity of the parts involved as well as the materials and tools carried on board and can fix just about anything that could go wrong ,
If you can afford it this should not be an either or question but you should have both. I do have a basic autopiolit (works with compass and gps) which I use under power.
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Old 03-05-2010, 00:28   #30
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If you have a long, straight keel, you can use a sheet to tiller system for about 40 bucks. See Letcher's 'Self Steering for Sailing Craft'. Quick to connect/disconnect, no gadetry, no electronics, nothing hanging over the stern, etc. etc. This is for open water sailing, or at least where the wind is steady.
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