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Old 27-02-2003, 06:36   #1
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Question Autopilot

Is wind streering better than auto poliot off shore?
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Old 08-03-2003, 13:19   #2
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auto vs. windvane

From what I have read both are good at what they do.
Autopilot for light winds and motoring.
Windvane for off-shore work.

Most windvanes don't work very well on a run(downwind). Most autos fail due to improper sizing for the boat(too light).

I like the set up of having a windvane for off-shore with a tiller auto connected to vane steering for in-shore and motoring. But what do I know, I have no boat. Just my thoughts. Dave
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Old 09-03-2003, 00:13   #3
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We have a auto pilot now, I just thought that a wind vain could be more reliable for long passages.
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Old 09-03-2003, 01:45   #4
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Wind vane steering

I like wind vane steering for the fact they don't use 12 VDC power. I will add one to the boat I buy if it does not have it.
Dave
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Old 23-03-2003, 14:16   #5
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I have both a wind vane (Fleming) and an Autohelm 5000. I use the wind for cruising and the Autohelm for motoring.

David.
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Old 28-03-2003, 22:19   #6
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Vane vs Elect Pilots

As the previous posts indicate, both have their uses.
I would not bother with a vane system until you are ready to use it. It's a BIG cumbersome hunk of gear on your transome, and serves no useful purpose 'till you get off-shore.
When (& if *) you head "trans-something" (not Carribean) you'll likely want a wind-vane, AND you'll have a lot more experience with your boat.

* We started out ('92) intending a circumnavigation, but never got beyond the Carribean. We fell in love with the Bahamas, and bounced back & forth twixt' there & Florida for 9 years. Only time will tell what's "next", and you don't want to plan (spend) too far ahead.

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Old 03-04-2003, 03:03   #7
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Wind vane

Looks like your boat is big. Unless you have lots of crew that can hand steer, you'll eventually need one. My teenage kids like to steer - for awhile, when it's nice. Eventually it will break or you'll run out of juice.

A wind vane uses the same thing that powers your boat. Unlike an auotpilot, the vane follows the wind, so sail trimming is not as necessary as with a AP.

Most importantly to me, is that the harder it blows, the weaker a AP gets but the stronger a vane gets. Typically vanes are very well-built and can take years of use.

They both have their place and if you have a AP, that's great, especially for motoring, but don't go offshore without a vane (or a spare AP or 2). It will amaze you at how well it can steer hour after hour. Just don't expect it to stay within 2 degrees of your course like your AP. Vanes steer an average course.

Even in the Caribbean they are useful - our last trip to the Bahamas was an overnighter and the AP could never have handled the conditions. We'd have been wiped out the next day if we'd have hand steered.

My .02
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Old 03-04-2003, 05:38   #8
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Vane vs Pilot

Of all the articals that I've read on the subject GordMay hit it right on the button. I have a Pilot on my smaller vessel. They're very touchy and they do have to be in stalled well away from anything magnetic, ie: steel, speakers, mics, or compasses. and then calibrated in fair weather.

When or if I get going off shore I'll most likely install a Vane otherwise not!

Del............._/)
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Old 20-05-2003, 08:18   #9
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Wind Vane?

I have 29 foot Lancer I am thinking about adding a Vane to. I have tiller steering and a Autohelm 2000 now. It does ok, but I do sort of have to baby sit it. I will be moving in a few years to the Pacific Northwest US and will be sailing mostly on the Hood Canal. After reading these post I don't know if going to a Vane would help me or not. I most likely won't be doing any overnight sailing. I'll relay on my Bruse to hold me were I am. But I would like to sail the inland passage to Alaska stopping off at point on the Sun Shine Coast as well as the Queen Charlots. A Vane is Less than going with an inboard system but will it do the job if I don't curise to blue water?
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Old 20-05-2003, 11:24   #10
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vane

Personally, I would think a vane would be too much trouble for inland waters. Like the Hood Canal, there would be so many wind changes you would be contantly making adjustments. When you round a land mass the wind can go 180 or even die out.
I've experianced that too many times here in the Puget Sound.
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Old 20-05-2003, 20:03   #11
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As Delmarrey said, wind vanes are'nt much good in tight quarters. Remember, they are trying to maintain a course relative to the wind, not a magnetic course.
Inland piloting would be better served with an electronic pilot.
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Old 21-05-2003, 03:05   #12
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For more info

Check out this artical on Sailnet that came out today.

http://www.sailnet.com/collections/g...rdp0009&tfr=fp
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