I've used my Aires on several long offshore
passages. It is worth about three crew members: it works 24/7 without complaint, it likes heavy weather
, it doesn't draw down the batteries, and it doesn't drink the beer!
I don't have time enough today for a really detailed answer on how to set it up. But, here's what I suggest you try.
First, with the wheel
drum spinning loose be sure all the lines are tight. I use loops tied in the lines from the Aires, and pass the control lines thru these, doubled back on themselves and secured with multiple half-hitches. This gives you a 2:1 advantage when tightening the lines.
Next, get onto a close reach. This is probably the easiest point of sail to set up the Aires, and you can learn from here.
Then, while maintaining a constant course and angle to the wind
, grasp and turn the handles on the Aires unit until the blade stands straight up, with wind
passing equally on both sides. Wait for the blade in the water
to settle down, then engage the steering
drum and let go of the wheel
Now, you can adjust heading by small clicks of the latches
on either side of the Aires.
Getting it right takes some time and patience, and depends on your boat, the point of sail, the wind speed, etc. But, if you are patient and experiment
a little, you will find that the Aires is your favorite crewmember!
By all means give it a name!!!
Hope this helps a bit.