Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 28-02-2007, 12:36   #16
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Quote:
I can trim the sails, set the rudder at about 5 degrees, then kick back on the foredeck to watch the water pass by. She'll hold a steady course to the wind all day. Wish I could do the same off the wind, though.
With a wind vane you easily could. A wind vane will easily teach you how to balance your helm. It is self teaching as you keep trimming until you get it right Since every boat stern is shaped differently you need to do something special for each install as far as mounting the vane. Our Monitor is easily uninstalled as just a few brackets remain attached to the hull when you take it all apart.

We also have an Autohelm 7000. They both I think are needed. An auto pilot is great when you are not offshore and the wind changes all the time. The wind vane won't handle that. It's not like you can dial in a course heading and kick back like the autopilot can.
__________________

__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-02-2007, 12:52   #17
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,594
The Cape Horn is supposed to be a good unit. No derrick.
Cape Horn - Integrated Self-Steering System for Sailboats
__________________

__________________
Randy

Cape Dory 25D Seraph
rtbates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-02-2007, 13:08   #18
Registered User
 
Raven's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Lake Champlain, Vermont
Boat: Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34 - "Raven"
Posts: 213
Images: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais
With a wind vane you easily could.
I was wishing for that ability without a wind vane.

I have a model 6000+ onboard, but I hate using the power to run it.
__________________
Kevin Rose
Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34 - Raven
Burlington, Vermont
Raven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-02-2007, 13:10   #19
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle area (Bremerton)
Boat: C&C Landfall 39 center cockpit "Anahita"
Posts: 1,076
Images: 6
"As weather deteriorates eventually an autopilot will give up, the vane simply produces more power. Vanes are more reliable..." Such assumptions are in line with the usual myth promulgated by various sailors such as: "If it hasn't broken it will" and are usually associated with anything electrical or other than low-tech.

The truth is that most autopilots are undersized, installed poorly, and are associated with poorly designed and installed electrical systems. I have had both a good autopilot and windvane. I eventually sold my windvane after going through a hurricane that only the autopilot would handle both down wind and down waves. I, therefore, would FIRST have a REAL autopilot (electrohydraulic) and THEN add a windvane (like Hydrovane) if the wallet allowed. Keep in mind that heavy wind and seas can and do damage windvanes that strong autopilots are immune to.

Since the early 80's sailboats equipped with good autopilots and good electronics and airconditioning and refrigeration have quietly and sucessfully circumnavigated with virtually no horror stories about failures. I have met and had many discussions with such individuals. There is no story for them to tell so the magazines have nothing to report other than the great trip and scenery that such travelers experienced. The people doing this plan well so that they usually don't encounter nasty storms. Such planning evidences itself in the systems installed on their boats. They make good choices of equipment.

Keep in mind that there are very few sailors of the Pardey and Slokum ilk around who can make ocean going passages without any niceities or relative comforts that most of us desire and are willing to pay for. What makes any of you think that beyond your Walter Middy dreams and visions living an existence of deprivation is enjoyable?

When it comes down to pushing offshore you need to already KNOW just what you and your boat are capable of and fiddling with the windvane and its control lines when it is cold, wet and miserable out on deck is not fun.
__________________
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-02-2007, 13:22   #20
Registered User
 
Raven's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Lake Champlain, Vermont
Boat: Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34 - "Raven"
Posts: 213
Images: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
What makes any of you think that beyond your Walter Middy dreams and visions living an existence of deprivation is enjoyable?
I suppose it's a matter of how you look at it. I don't consider my life aboard Raven deprived - even without A/C, electric refrigeration, or any of the other power-hungry appliances. I quite enjoy it, as I hope that others are enjoying their own personal configurations.
__________________
Kevin Rose
Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34 - Raven
Burlington, Vermont
Raven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-02-2007, 13:26   #21
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Whangaparaoa,NZ
Boat: 63 ft John Spencer Schooner
Posts: 956
Rick, that myth is based on over 150,000 miles I have now covered, two hurricanes at sea ( wind vane both times), I have never had a wind vane failure, I have had numerous autopilot failures (why do the racers carry multiple back ups?) ,on deliveries, as I don't feel the need for one on my own boat.
Each to their own.
__________________
dana-tenacity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-02-2007, 13:56   #22
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle area (Bremerton)
Boat: C&C Landfall 39 center cockpit "Anahita"
Posts: 1,076
Images: 6
"Just the facts please, ma'm".

Not doubting your successes, can you testify that your windvand worked even almost dead downwind in heavy seas? Can you testify that your windvane worked in light airs? Can you testify that your windvane worked well in good wind with a heavy beam sea?

Can you testify thay you ever had a good autopilot (one properly designed to carry the load against the rudder, etc.)? Here I am attempting to illuminate the reasons for failure in either case and, you must admit, that no one would put up with a "toy" hydraulic cylinder on their automobile to reliably stop the car under all conditions.

I am no stranger to troubleshooting failed electrical components on boats (power and sail) and cannot even recall an "infant mortality" on any of the "real" autopilot installations properly done. Have there been failures of poorly installed lines, old ram cylinders needing new internal seals, broken belts and worn out motors on "toy" autopilots attached to steering wheels? Yes, yes, and yes.

I have been aboard several ocean racing vessels that carried backup autopilots because the ones that they chose were not good ones in the first place and, second, they often mounted them where the ocean was always getting in, etc. etc. always the same reasons for failure. Again, you are not noting the racers who have NOT had to fix or replace their autopilots or had their masts break, etc. etc.

Noting particular failures without being able to condemn the idea in general without validity does not constitute support of either choice brought up by the original question of this thread.
__________________
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-02-2007, 14:42   #23
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Whangaparaoa,NZ
Boat: 63 ft John Spencer Schooner
Posts: 956
Yes to all the questions on the wind vane.
Autopilots: had lots of toys fail, better models normally failed for other reasons (battery/charging ability failure, fried by the SSB, electronic failure) but fail they did. Good installations, one of the above on a new Swan 65, silly me for thinking that would be OK.
Another reason for the wind vane - you don't need a highly paid technician to fix it if something should go wrong. I know of an Aries on its 3rd circumnavigation with no more than replacement vanes and lines and one thorough service. Know of anything else on your boat that can claim that level of reliability.
I think someone else here said that using the vane will make you a better sailor, that's true too.
__________________
dana-tenacity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-02-2007, 18:53   #24
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle area (Bremerton)
Boat: C&C Landfall 39 center cockpit "Anahita"
Posts: 1,076
Images: 6
Gotta know the brand of your windvane.

I've never known a wind vane that could steer in light air or could keep the boat on course in heavy beam seas when the boat dropped down into the valley when the wind would get almost stopped at one instant, or could steer dead downwind and down heavy seas without seriously yawing the boat to the point of broaching. Do know of autopilots that do well under those condtions. So if your brand truly will do that I think you have a real winner.

If an SSB "fried" an autopilot how could the installations have been "good"? By definition it could not have been (both for the sideband coupler, antenna and autopilot so that that would not happen....this is not rocket science to make that work properly). Again, I think that the point is not being understood that there ARE many successful installations of electrical and electronic products without failures. My personal experiences of troubleshooting those (good products properly chosen) that failed were invariably due to poor installation design; something not done correctly. There are way more boats that are using such things successfully more and more than there are windvane-onlyl driven vessels. This is one statistic that can't be argued with regardless of how one might "want" it to be otherwise for any emotional reasons.

Before taking umbrance, please note that there are a LOT of ocean crossing power boats and I don't remember seeing a windvane on any of them.
__________________
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-02-2007, 19:45   #25
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Fiji
Boat: Westsail - CC - 42
Posts: 339
On our last boat....

Quote:
I've never known a wind vane that could steer in light air or could keep the boat on course in heavy beam seas when the boat dropped down into the valley when the wind would get almost stopped at one instant, or could steer dead downwind and down heavy seas without seriously yawing the boat to the point of broaching. Do know of autopilots that do well under those condtions. So if your brand truly will do that I think you have a real winner.
On our last boat a Westsail 32 we actually had a chute.

http://www.westsail.org/_graphics/32nspinnaker.jpg


We sailed for several hours down wind with the chute up and the windvane steering. The boat had a full keel and tracked much better than the modern day dinghy's that are 40' - 60' in lenght.

We also (same boat) sailed with the vane steering in a beam reach with a storm main and reefed staysail approx 5 - 6 kts with the vane steering. The vane (it was an Aires ) steered much better than either my wife or I could have in those conditions. That event lasted about 2 1/2 days. I watched one wave break right through the vane (the water did not reach the vane sail)and the unit performed like nothing happened.

It is the speed through the water that gives the vane it's power and I believe that vanes are better perfoming with tillers than wheels. We set up the attachment on the tiller so I could slide the attachment point along the tiller adjusting the power that the control lines would exert on the tiller. Worked wonderfully and had I a boat with a tiller I would do the same again.

I had an auto pilot that worked on the same boat and would choose the vane anyday over the autopilot. The vane had more power, was more reliable, and never required any "man made" power. Nothing to short out, nothing to accidentlly cause the boat to tack, and something I could repair.

I had sailed about 25 k miles with that boat and the Aires.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	32nspinnaker.jpg
Views:	70
Size:	6.0 KB
ID:	934  
__________________
Fair Winds
-Dave
http://www.svelysium.net/index.html
dkall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2007, 01:05   #26
Registered User

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Boat: 44 foot bruce farr fractional rig
Posts: 165
Images: 12
windvanes are fine for downwind sailing or sailing hard on the wind - what about beam on sailing? In my experience - not so good. Mind you our old yacht was hard to balance beam on. The problem with autohelms/pilots is that they are all lumped in the same group and some have excellent trouble free performance (mainly top end stuff) while others are under specked for their application and expected to perform steering and reliability miricles.
__________________
Southernman
southernman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2007, 02:17   #27
Moderator
 
Paul Elliott's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,858
Images: 4
Southernman,

My Monitor windvane steers very well on all points of sail except for dead downwind in light air. VALIS can usually be balanced pretty easily, though. An aux-rudder windvane probably won't have as much control as a servo-pendulum type driving the main rudder, so different types of windvanes can perform differently (as do different types of autopilots).

VALIS has a rugged below-decks electrical/hydraulic autopilot, and this has been extremely reliable. It also performs as well or better than my Monitor. Even so, on long passages I use the Monitor much more than the autopilot. The windvane does a good job, and consumes no power. Power is a big factor for me, and I appreciate not having to run the engine so often.

On VALIS' last trip to Hawaii, we spent a lot of time going downwind under symmetrical spinnaker. The Monitor did struggle with the swells, and we ended up using the autopilot when we weren't hand-steering (this was a race). If we hadn't been racing I probably would have just poled out the genoa and used the windvane to steer. Other times, we have sailed for days with an asymmetrical spinnaker, not dead downwind, and the windvane did well enough. This will all depend on conditions, point of sail, and sail configuration.

Having redundant self-steering systems has to be a good thing as well. I am very pleased with the Monitor.
__________________
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
www.sailvalis.com
Paul Elliott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2007, 02:30   #28
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Whangaparaoa,NZ
Boat: 63 ft John Spencer Schooner
Posts: 956
Sounds like others like the vane as well ( on a beam reach in heavy air it is possible to keep an almost perfect course but there is a trick to it).
I suggest the growing preponderance of auto pilots over vanes might match a similar decline in sailing abilities among the cruising fleet as numbers have snowballed in the last decade or so.
__________________
dana-tenacity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2007, 07:11   #29
Registered User
 
Auspicious's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: HR 40
Posts: 1,793
Send a message via Skype™ to Auspicious
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg S
You hear lots of stories about people losing the rudder and having to jury rig (everything from warps to spinnaker poles with boards form the V-berth) to get home. Stories of those that don’t get home too. It would be really nice to have a second option that is quickly and easily put in place.
My experience with vanes if very limited. I helped install a Monitor once (my friend had trouble drilling holes in this boat -- it's much easier to drill holes in someone else's boat) but haven't sailed with one.

The issue I have with the back-up rudder idea is that if you are sailing with the vane and something happens (whale, container, whatever) to cause loss of the rudder you'll likely lose the vane rudder as well.

I think there are lots of good reasons to use a vane. In my opinion, rudder back-up isn't one of them, unless you want to count on luck.
__________________
S/V Auspicious
AuspiciousWorks
Beware cut and paste sailors
Auspicious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2007, 07:23   #30
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,594
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkall
On our last boat a Westsail 32 we actually had a chute.

http://www.westsail.org/_graphics/32nspinnaker.jpg


We sailed for several hours down wind with the chute up and the windvane steering. The boat had a full keel and tracked much better than the modern day dinghy's that are 40' - 60' in lenght.

We also (same boat) sailed with the vane steering in a beam reach with a storm main and reefed staysail approx 5 - 6 kts with the vane steering. The vane (it was an Aires ) steered much better than either my wife or I could have in those conditions. That event lasted about 2 1/2 days. I watched one wave break right through the vane (the water did not reach the vane sail)and the unit performed like nothing happened.

It is the speed through the water that gives the vane it's power and I believe that vanes are better perfoming with tillers than wheels. We set up the attachment on the tiller so I could slide the attachment point along the tiller adjusting the power that the control lines would exert on the tiller. Worked wonderfully and had I a boat with a tiller I would do the same again.

I had an auto pilot that worked on the same boat and would choose the vane anyday over the autopilot. The vane had more power, was more reliable, and never required any "man made" power. Nothing to short out, nothing to accidentlly cause the boat to tack, and something I could repair.

I had sailed about 25 k miles with that boat and the Aires.
Ah yes, a hull that can be made to balance on all points of sail. Three cheers for the full keel, narrow hull & slack bilges. Hulls designed to meet the sea, rather than room below for a party in the aft cabin. And I bet she'll hove to like a duck with it's head under it's wing.
__________________

__________________
Randy

Cape Dory 25D Seraph
rtbates is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wind vanes on catamarans?? svstrider Multihull Sailboats 15 03-07-2015 13:28
Weather Basics ~ Reading Weather Charts GordMay General Sailing Forum 6 28-04-2011 16:35
Heavy weather anchoring, Stede General Sailing Forum 105 10-12-2008 11:11
Broadblue muskoka Multihull Sailboats 26 27-08-2006 19:34
Hurricane advice links GordMay The Library 2 12-08-2004 08:26



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:15.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.