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Old 24-12-2007, 03:01   #1
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Cape Horn windvane systems

I was wondering if anyone here has experience with the windvane systems offered by Cape Horn?
Cape Horn - Integrated Self-Steering System for Sailboats

I would be grateful for any feedback. I am trying to make my mind up if I will chose a Monitor or Aries, or this one. Thanks in advance!
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Old 24-12-2007, 14:42   #2
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I was wondering if anyone here has experience with the windvane systems offered by Cape Horn?
Cape Horn - Integrated Self-Steering System for Sailboats

I would be grateful for any feedback. I am trying to make my mind up if I will chose a Monitor or Aries, or this one. Thanks in advance!
This is not a servo-pendulem (like the Aries or Monitor). It will not have the power of a servo-pendulem. It reminds of a similar design to the Hydro-vane. I found the Hydro-vane to not be reliable in heavy, down-wind conditions.
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Old 25-12-2007, 23:44   #3
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Thanks Kanani. So all in all, you would recommend a servo-pendulum type over an aux. rudder type?
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Old 26-12-2007, 04:16   #4
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It's a pendulum servo vane

Don't know where the idea that the Cape Horn is not a pendulum-servo vane comes from. It's a pendulum-servo vane. The servo rudder directs it's power to the boats rudder a little differently, that's all.

I have no personal experience with the Cape Horn but find the design really intriguing in it's simplicity and light weight. The shaft and quadrant system makes running the control lines way easier and more effective from my studies. Would have bought one, and may still yet, if my boat hadn't come with a Monitor. The Monitor doesn't have the muscle to turn the wheel with under 5 knots of boat speed. Makes it virtually useless. Trying to determine whether it's the Monitor or the wheel and steering input line routing that are causing the problem. Wheel seems to turn freely at the dock and doesn't take an inordinate amount of force under sail or power. Until the boat is moving 5+ knots and the monitor generating a hefty force, will the vane turn the wheel. Below that speed, the vane just seems to hold the helm at whatever position you set it at like a steering brake on the pedestal.

Had an Aries on my W32 and it steered the boat if it would sail. Didn't have more than a couple hours at the helm, under sail, in more than 10,000 miles of sailing. Of course, that was a tiller steered boat. Don't get me started on how stupid wheels are.

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Old 26-12-2007, 06:31   #5
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Sorry, my fault. I did not read properly, and overlooked that the Cape Horn is also servo-pendulum.
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Old 26-12-2007, 08:55   #6
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I have one but have not molunted it yet. I bought it because it was bery inexpensive used. I was looking for one because I heard that it worked well in light air. The other attractive features were that it can be mounted offset from the centerline so that my swim platrom doesnt' have a big structure in the middle of it and well there is not big structure just one pipe.
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Old 26-12-2007, 10:47   #7
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Ya......sorry.....I didn't read it properly either.

-----------------------------------------
roverhi,

You've got something outa whack on your Monitor. It should be able to steer as long as you have any way on and 3+ kts of apparent wind. If you have to have 5kts of headway, you may well bend or break something because at 5 kts, that thing has a tremendous amount of power.

The most common issue is binding in any turning blocks (or cheap turning blocks) that you may have in your steering lines. Try not to have any turning angles over 60 degrees and be sure that the steering lines are not touching anything stationary (like a stansion, cockpit combing or toe-rail).

I agree that tillers are more efficient with the wind-vane. In fact, I went to the trouble of adding a tiller on the aft deck of my boat (mounted right on the rudder-shaft), just to use for the wind-vane. That way, I by-passed all the stress on the cable steering from the wheel to the quadrant.

It's not that she steered any easier, it is just that the tiller reacts much faster than the wheel steering. That made steering down-wind 100% more efficient, even under spinakker, in light air. In heavy air, down-wind, it was the difference between me steering or the wind-vane. With the tiller, the wind-vane steered 100% better than I could in heavy weather.
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Old 27-12-2007, 05:41   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanani View Post
I agree that tillers are more efficient with the wind-vane. In fact, I went to the trouble of adding a tiller on the aft deck of my boat (mounted right on the rudder-shaft), just to use for the wind-vane. That way, I by-passed all the stress on the cable steering from the wheel to the quadrant.
Now that is a good idea! I am going to have this facility for an emergency tiller anyway. Small effort to make it a more permanent solution for use with the windvane.
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Old 27-12-2007, 08:36   #9
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Now that is a good idea! I am going to have this facility for an emergency tiller anyway. Small effort to make it a more permanent solution for use with the windvane.
It really isn't that hard. The thing that you will need to do is have a bronze bushing made for the deck. We had a removeable plate on the deck for the emergency tiller access. I had a 4" long piece of bronze bored to fit my tiller shaft and threaded to screw into the plate. However, my deck-plate was not square with the shaft. I removed the deck plate, installed the shaft, then (with the bushing screwed into the plate) slid the bushing/plate down to the deck. I filled the gap between the bushing and deck with 3M 5200 (and smoothed it with mineral spirits on my finger). I let it cure for 30-days with the rudder shaft in place. My intension was to drill & screw it but found that it wasn't nesassary and it stayed like that for over 10 years.

I had the tiller attached so that I could remove it while not at sea.
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Old 27-12-2007, 20:18   #10
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The amazing thing about the Cape Horn is how it converts the up / down movement of the vane to a rotory action on the pendulum. No gears cogs etc...so how do they do it ; ) ....and if you work it out try making a model it really is clever !!
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Old 27-12-2007, 23:11   #11
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I had a chance to buy one but couldn't scrape the money together fast enough. The guy who sold it said that it worked perfectly, although drilling a big hole in the transom was a little weird. Measure twice cut once! All the reviews I've read have been very positive.

This is the one with the "around the world" warranty, right?
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Old 28-12-2007, 10:02   #12
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Since it attaches directly to the quandrant or steering arm, it also works on boats with hydraulic steering (albeit with the hydraulics shut off).

Brad
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Old 28-12-2007, 17:13   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanani View Post
This is not a servo-pendulem (like the Aries or Monitor). It will not have the power of a servo-pendulem. It reminds of a similar design to the Hydro-vane. I found the Hydro-vane to not be reliable in heavy, down-wind conditions.
I had an older Hydro-vane in storage so was planning to replace the Monitor that came (but not mounted) with my Burns-designed Golden Gate 30 (cuttaway-forefoot full-keel w/ attached rudder). My hope is to avoid control lines in the cockpit, have an emergency rudder, and easy auto-pilot attachment. Should I rethink the swap?
Thanks for all the great posts :-)
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Old 28-12-2007, 18:04   #14
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Everything is a compromise on a boat.

Sailing downwind in heavy weather is rare but when it happens, it's nice to know that you have a self-steering system that is up to the task when the going gets really rough.

However, I figure the better alternative to running off in heavy-breaking seas is to lie too a parachute storm anchor and just let that crappy weather go by in comfort.

I guess what I am recommending is that if you do go with the Hydro-Vane (which does a good job 95% of the time), you may want to be sure that you have a good Para-anchor, ready to go (which I recommend anyway) and just by-pass that risk.

I don't think that having an emergency rudder on your boat is something that I would be concerned about. That's something that spade rudder boats normally concern themselves with.

If you have a tiller on your boat, I think that you might find the Monitor superior in most aspects. The only negative is the lines (as you mentioned). Most people just get used to it.
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Old 29-12-2007, 20:09   #15
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We love ours...

Hi,
We have been using a Cape Horn vane for our Pacific sailing over the last 2 years. The first year was bit of a nightmare, as the safety mechanism kicked in frequently when we were sailing downhill, and the steering oar would break out, as if it had hit something. We emailed Cape Horn about the problem, and they were very hepful - turned out the welds on the little lugs that lock into the oar to hold it in place hadn't been ground down, and the oar wasn't locking in properly. We ground the excess off and have had no problems since, and that is in about 7000 miles of offshore & coastal sailing.

The vane sails well in light air, and has also steered in winds where the force on the tiller was too much for us to cope with by hand for very long - Jim (as we named our vane, after Captain James Cook, since it is such an excellent crew member) just kept going. As with all vanes the better you trim your sails, the better results you get.

We also have the doodah that lets us attach a tiller pilot to the vane. You need to ask for this when you order the vane. This means if we are motoring we can use a much smaller unit than we could if it was attached to the tiller directly as it takes much less effort to steer, and the power usage is less.

Also note that you should really use beefy fittings for the control lines, blocks, jammers etc - we ended upgrading our twice before we were satisfied, and if you are using it constantly as we did, replace the control lines annually.

We had ours sent out to NZ, and I must say we certainly appreciated the world-wide free freight!

Hope this helps,
Jill
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