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Old 02-07-2013, 15:38   #61
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Boat: Tartan 37 - Betty Lou
Posts: 28
Re: Windvane steering on a cluttered stern

I have an Alpha 3000 on my Tartan 37 Betty Lou, and I agree that it is a great, simple, trouble-free pilot. I've got hundreds of miles cruising off the Washington coast with the Alpha, and she's handled everything the PNW weather has thrown our way.

But would I cross an ocean with the Alpha alone? Not on your life!

I'm a coastal cruiser with aspirations to doing a North Pacific loop (Portland to Hawaii to Sitka and return to Portland. Right now I dont have anything hanging on my transom and am resisting even a pole-mounted radar because I love the uncluttered lines of Betty Lou's clean cockpit and reverse transom. And for cruising the PNW that's just fine. If I ever DO shove off for a major blue water passage, you can bet that I'll have a wind vane breaking up those clean lines.

I draw the line at davits, though. Never!
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Old 02-07-2013, 20:55   #62
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Re: Windvane steering on a cluttered stern

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Hi, Matt, et al,

You should PM Jim, and he can tell you all about it. Briefly, the push/pull concept was based on the Autohelm one; the vane part was of his own design; original pintles were s/s, and after emergency welding on Raoul Is., when we returned to NZ, he had bronze ones cast; the auxiliary rudder shape was based on airfoil design from a text--and the rudder was balanced. I think he still has some drawings on the boat, his drafting was done on quad paper. The rudder was constructed of 3/4" marine grade ply, IIRC, which he used epoxy to laminate up. He made a template to get the foil shape right. Like everybody says, YMMV, but it was doable, and it was a success. The hardest bit for him to come by then was teflon tubing to run the steering cables through; IIRC, once we used polyethylene instead.

Ann
Ann, you chose a practical and handy man there. ;^)

I will contact Jim, and hopefully he does not mind you sharing his IP with the Internet at large... :^)

Teflon guide cables....? I just happen to have a long roll of some made by an Italian bicycle parts manufaturer that are incredibly strong AND weather proof. They are what are used for brakes on Campagnolo equipped road bikes. Should do the job, the breaking strain is incredible and the friction is practically non existent. Can't see the salt environment presenting a particular challenge, particularly if I fit the rubber bellows to the ends.

I was trouble by the pintles, felt they would need some kind of bearing. And I also felt no more than an 80/20 balance on the blade would be about right, but if Jim sorted this bit, and is happy to share, I will shortcut the trial and error. Also the foil shape is complicated by trying to prevent cavitation and stalling while trying to keep the blade shallow to minimise leverage. Maybe Jim found a good compromise...

What am I saying...!!!? This is starting to sound like I am going to build my own.... But tempting, oh so tempting. I will gently sound out the admiral. I know what she will say... if I finish her mini and the house roof first....
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Old 02-07-2013, 21:01   #63
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
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Re: Windvane steering on a cluttered stern

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Originally Posted by alpinista55 View Post
I draw the line at davits, though. Never!
But the Tartan is a more elegant boat than the Swanson... I have less to lose. (Sorry Banjoship, but surely you agree, the Swanson 42 is not exactly "elegant"). Rugged, functional, hey, even butch to it's friends. But no one I have sprung perving on Manera at the club has ever said "elegant".
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