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Old 08-11-2015, 16:50   #46
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Re: 30ton Ferro cement Ketch about to voyage. Talk us out of a wind vane...

Buy a good used vane. Sell it when you return=free
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Old 08-11-2015, 19:43   #47
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Re: 30ton Ferro cement Ketch about to voyage. Talk us out of a wind vane...

We've only made one long passage on our boat and the electrics went to pot less than half way into the journey so the brilliant and reliable Coursemaster auto pilot was useless. As a result I am building exactly what Jim built, an auxiliary rudder wind vane with trim tab. Not sure if Jim did a vertical axis vane or an H vane but I have chosen the latter.

Regarding mounting the system on the boat, I am using pillow block bearings and they appear to be making the mounting job very easy. Of course it is only half built and untested but the concept might apply. I will also add an ST1000 tiller pilot to the vane for light wind conditions. But I am a belts and braces kind of guy.

Certainly in the OPs situation I would add a windvane just because you never know what might prevent the current AP unit from working.

Matt


Sent from my iPhone so apologies for weird autocorrect typos.
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Old 08-11-2015, 21:51   #48
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Re: 30ton Ferro cement Ketch about to voyage. Talk us out of a wind vane...

Thanks for all feedback guys. I think I'll pursue the wind vane system. I'm officially in the market for a Pacific Plus or Hydrovane or a Sayes Rig. I'm going to call this thread "all sewed up" and also start a new one with some home-brew options that Samson and Cecil Norris draw up for these big ferro boats. Have a good evening. Hope to see y'all out there. I'll be becoming more active on CF and my web presence as our departure date arrives. In the meantime, stop by Fisherman Bay of Lopez Island for beverage any time.
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Old 08-11-2015, 21:58   #49
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Re: 30ton Ferro cement Ketch about to voyage. Talk us out of a wind vane...

If you have that big generator and the batteries to match, and your autopilot is trustworthy and effective, you don't need a windvane. It's a lot of complication for something your autopilot can already do better. Windvanes are most useful on smaller boats with minimal electrical systems.


Carry backup parts for your generator especially the water pump">raw water pump, hoses and belts. With the money you don't have to spend on the windvane, you can carry backup parts for the autopilot. I recommend a backup fluxgate compass as a minimum - that's the only component that failed in the 18 years I have had my Robertson autopilot.
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Old 08-11-2015, 22:25   #50
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Re: 30ton Ferro cement Ketch about to voyage. Talk us out of a wind vane...

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Originally Posted by waterman46 View Post
If you have that big generator and the batteries to match, and your autopilot is trustworthy and effective, you don't need a windvane. It's a lot of complication for something your autopilot can already do better. Windvanes are most useful on smaller boats with minimal electrical systems.


Carry backup parts for your generator especially the raw water pump, hoses and belts. With the money you don't have to spend on the windvane, you can carry backup parts for the autopilot. I recommend a backup fluxgate compass as a minimum - that's the only component that failed in the 18 years I have had my Robertson autopilot.
Agree. Windvanes are easiest to build and install for the smaller boats. Spares for the autopilot and charging system make most sense.

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
Honestly I think anything other than an auxiliary rudder systems gonna struggle on your boat, unless you can fit a stub tiller. Building an aux rudder is a big job. I like the CPT as a backup plan. You could mount it on the inside steering system. Invest a few dollars in spare hydraulic lines and ram seals.

There is a lot else that can go wrong at sea, engines die, masts fall down sails rip. We have to be resourceful, and also objectively assess the risks. We can't carry spares or backup for every system.

I love the simplicity of windvanes, but given you have a big strong autopilot system, and a robust charging setup, and inside steering position I wouldn't be too concerned without a windvane in your case. It will suck if the AP dies, but you will survive, and possibly enjoy the challenge (for a few days..)

We handsteered a 64 foot schooner from Tassie to South America. 5000 odd miles. I've handsteered a container ship half way round the world when the gyro compass died. I've hand steered most of the way from NZ to Tonga when the trimtab wind vane got ripped off by a wave , and across the Tasman a few times. And to Antarctica and back 3 times. It's not the end of the world.

People are so soft these days...
Totally agree here. We sailed (doublehanded coastal cruising so longest time at sea was only 72 hrs) 2 years without hooking up our autopilot. Once we were convinced that we could handle things on our 30T schooner with just my husband and me doing everything (including during some heavy weather) then we hooked up the autopilot (a bulletproof no-longer-made WoodFreeman) to check it out.

Auotpilots work well on large boats and if they break and you don't have the problem part, there is always hand steering. We carry spare parts for our autopilot but that's largely because you can't purchase the model 500-* control head anymore (though the other parts and older control heads are still fabricated for the fishing industry).

There are some folks who have done the Pacific as you intend and without an autopilot. The Schooner Alycone home ported in Port Townsend, WA (two very experienced sailors Sugar and Leslie) did the trip about 13 years ago with mom, dad, two kids, and I presume some other adults aboard. You are in the PNW, you may wish to chat with them about their experiences and advice for keeping things simple on a large vessel.

Have a wonderful trip,
Brenda
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Old 08-11-2015, 23:01   #51
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Re: 30ton Ferro cement Ketch about to voyage. Talk us out of a wind vane...

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Originally Posted by crunkbait View Post
I'm going to call this thread "all sewed up" and also start a new one with some home-brew options that Samson and Cecil Norris draw up for these big ferro boats...
Keen to see what designs these guys came up with. Cheers


Quote:
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Snip... We sailed (doublehanded coastal cruising so longest time at sea was only 72 hrs) 2 years without hooking up our autopilot. Once we were convinced that we could handle things on our 30T schooner with just my husband and me doing everything (including during some heavy weather) then we hooked up the autopilot (a bulletproof no-longer-made WoodFreeman) to check it out.
Sounds like good seamanship. Seems a lot of people these days struggle to steer in a big seaway, or at night. Hand steering a boat offshore is an important skill that's only learnt by doing it. Also you learn to balance a boat properly, the helm is the best way to "feel" how the boats coping. Its a vital fundamental skill, so good on you both.
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Old 08-11-2015, 23:39   #52
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Re: 30ton Ferro cement Ketch about to voyage. Talk us out of a wind vane...

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
Sounds like good seamanship. Seems a lot of people these days struggle to steer in a big seaway, or at night. Hand steering a boat offshore is an important skill that's only learnt by doing it. Also you learn to balance a boat properly, the helm is the best way to "feel" how the boats coping. Its a vital fundamental skill, so good on you both.
Thanks. It's just habit of how we do everything--DIY before letting ourselves have someone else (or something like the autopilot) do the job. And, I do feel a lot better knowing how the boat feels under a variety of conditions. The AP can mask/hide some things from you and be working too hard if you're not careful about getting a good balance on the sails and making sure you've not got the AP dialed in too tight for the given conditions.

Side point--I get the biggest kick out of using the autopilot. We'd been up and down 500+ miles of the west coast between San Francisco and San Diego a few times before we hooked up the autopilot in 2011. I think I calculated we'd sailed coastal along the west coast almost 3000nm in the 2 years learning the boat. Pretty much had a little routine I followed on my 4 hour watches. But, that first trip with the AP on, I didn't know what to do with myself during my watches. LOL so simple and easy I could take out my knitting or twiddle my thumbs.

I hope the OP has a wonderful trip and fully enjoys it w/o getting overwhelmed with complex equipment, for sure.
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:57   #53
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Re: 30ton Ferro cement Ketch about to voyage. Talk us out of a wind vane...

I also vote for skipping the vane, and carrying spare AP parts, or even a spare used unit off eBay as backup. It's fun to spend other people's time and money, but decent, modern APs really don't fail.

Secondly, with the time saved not building a vane, rebuild your hydraulic steering ram ($50 parts) as you will be working it like it hasn't been in a long time and those seals will start weeping then failing.
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Old 10-11-2015, 19:00   #54
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Re: 30ton Ferro cement Ketch about to voyage. Talk us out of a wind vane...

More votes for NO wind vane! I love it. We don't need no stinking vane. My commercial grade Comnav is pretty savvy and I'm rebuilding my Wagner N175-1000 steering ram as we speak.

By the way I've put together a full rebuild kit for that model for about $15 from a Seattle hydraulic shop, which is saving me hundreds buying from Wagner. The bronze beast just started showing its first seal leak after 40 years and appears to have two or three lives left in here.

The original builders added a control valve system at the helm that does allow for locking the rudder, freeing the rudder and steering the rudder with the wheel. So I have plenty of options for wind vanes. But now i'm inspired to head out this winter and practice in various sea states/points of sail on balancing the rig under sail alone by setting the rudder to free dangle. This ought to show me my weather helm state way more effectively than steering by wheel.
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Old 11-11-2015, 04:18   #55
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Re: 30ton Ferro cement Ketch about to voyage. Talk us out of a wind vane...

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunkbait View Post
More votes for NO wind vane! I love it. We don't need no stinking vane. My commercial grade Comnav is pretty savvy and I'm rebuilding my Wagner N175-1000 steering ram as we speak.

By the way I've put together a full rebuild kit for that model for about $15 from a Seattle hydraulic shop, which is saving me hundreds buying from Wagner. The bronze beast just started showing its first seal leak after 40 years and appears to have two or three lives left in here.

The original builders added a control valve system at the helm that does allow for locking the rudder, freeing the rudder and steering the rudder with the wheel. So I have plenty of options for wind vanes. But now i'm inspired to head out this winter and practice in various sea states/points of sail on balancing the rig under sail alone by setting the rudder to free dangle. This ought to show me my weather helm state way more effectively than steering by wheel.
Good ole Wagner & Comnav-built like tanks-commercial grade gear!!
Cheers/ Len
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:10   #56
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Re: 30ton Ferro cement Ketch about to voyage. Talk us out of a wind vane...

There's a Wagner system on our boat, too. We haven't worked on it yet, so I know it works but am pretty sure it needs some maintenance. Last summer a young man was walking the dock and came very close to the boat. I, thinking it was a friend visiting went out on deck.

He told us how much he loved the lines and went on and on so we invited him to come aboard. When he saw our binnacle he said "Oh that's my grandfather's equipment!". Turns out he's a Wagner, not in the business but his father still is, providing parts, etc. We showed him the steering mechanism and he started telling us about his grandad. He was able to tell us more about our system and we were able to give him a nostalgic look at his grandfather's work.

It was a very serendipitous and cool meeting.
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:08   #57
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Re: 30ton Ferro cement Ketch about to voyage. Talk us out of a wind vane...

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Originally Posted by crunkbait View Post
More votes for NO wind vane! I love it. We don't need no stinking vane. My commercial grade Comnav is pretty savvy and I'm rebuilding my Wagner N175-1000 steering ram as we speak.

By the way I've put together a full rebuild kit for that model for about $15 from a Seattle hydraulic shop, which is saving me hundreds buying from Wagner. The bronze beast just started showing its first seal leak after 40 years and appears to have two or three lives left in here.

The original builders added a control valve system at the helm that does allow for locking the rudder, freeing the rudder and steering the rudder with the wheel. So I have plenty of options for wind vanes. But now i'm inspired to head out this winter and practice in various sea states/points of sail on balancing the rig under sail alone by setting the rudder to free dangle. This ought to show me my weather helm state way more effectively than steering by wheel.
Crunkbait, I am getting ready to rebuild my N85 and when I get the part numbers figured out, I will post a thread sharing those (60 days or so). Perhaps you will post yours too so others can inexpensively rebuild theirs also. I bought the kit for $50, and was glad to after being told it was $75 from the guys in Loosiana. Likely only $15 in parts once ya match them - but my boat is far far away right now and I want to show up with the parts in hand to get'er done.
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