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Old 08-01-2010, 03:40   #16
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Without seeing the thing, it seems to me that for what you describe, the pendulum swinging to port AND starbord and then staying there, there is something fundamentally wrong.

It is normal for the pendulum to swing to one side when the boat is stationary but it should go to neutral when the boat moves forward. The system should be dynamically stable which clearly it isn't.

If this only happens to one side all the time, there may be something wrong with the weight of the counterweight or the pushrod.

But the only thing that I can come up with for an aries to give the behaviour you describe is the pendulum rudder mounted back to front...

Mmm, maybe there is another way but I can't tell from pictures if that is possible:

If the system has been taken apart and reassembled with the pushrod connected to the other side of the gear from where it was before, you can get the behaviour you describe. But I am unsure if the parts allow for such a murphyan assembly.
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:48   #17
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This might be a very stupid question... But you did remember to connect the Aries to your tiller or wheel? Have you made sure that the lines connecting the windvane to your main rudder are working freely?

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Old 12-09-2012, 06:51   #18
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Re: We Need Help with an Aries Wind Vane

We bought an airies lift up that was not working. It had a weight added to stop the paddle floating up as described. The prior owner had had it for 15 years with no sucess. He gave up on it early so in terms of use it was new. We took a gamble and ripped the lead weight off as there are just too many people out on the water using the airies with no problems. We did the normal things and replaced bearings etc so everthing was free. I photographed it before strip down so it all went back together the same way. While looking at the set up i noticed in the diagrams on the airies sight that the rod was set up diferent to the diagram re the facing of the weight and how it clicks in. Anyway it has worked perfectly for us from the word go. Before that the paddle use to float up now it doesnt.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:03   #19
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Re: We Need Help with an Aries Wind Vane

My last two boats had Aries on them and I loved them. One was tiller steered and one(Peterson 44) was center cockpit wheel steered. People saying that they dont steer dead down wind makes me think that differant hulls and rigs must make a huge differance, since mine both would handle DDW. It actually worked better on the Peterson than on the 37 foot tiller steered boat. The most important point was to reef early. My 2 cents worth._____Grant.
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Old 15-09-2014, 07:04   #20
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Re: We Need Help with an Aries Wind Vane

Just to confirm: it's normal for the paddle to float to one side at rest?
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Old 15-09-2014, 07:09   #21
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Re: We Need Help with an Aries Wind Vane

Yes. Like most rudders, it has a foam core.


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Old 15-09-2014, 16:41   #22
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Re: We Need Help with an Aries Wind Vane

also check the cogs are aligned properly. its common to have the cog one click over. My crap video on the number 5 in use for what it is worth...

Aries windvane - YouTube
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Old 22-09-2014, 13:03   #23
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Re: We Need Help with an Aries Wind Vane

Yes, it is quite normal for the Aries paddle to float upwards to port or stbd once your boat is stationary in the water. Possibly why later models have a hinge to enable you to lift it above the water. Our "standard" procedure was to remove the paddle once settled in a marina or at anchor for a prolonged period. Without a hinge this involved a tricky bit of footwork hanging off the stern to force the paddle down and off of the swinging shaft. All part of the fun of sailing! Good luck, the Aries is a great bit of kit, it helped us for 4 Atlantic crossings.
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Old 22-09-2014, 13:29   #24
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Re: We Need Help with an Aries Wind Vane

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sally Bagshaw View Post
We have an older wind vane">Aries Wind Vane on our boat that is not working. It's on our Fast Passage 39' and we have been unable to get it to respond. All parts are moving freely and are connected. The wind paddle moves well and adjusts to the wind, all gears and mechanisms appear to be functioning, but the water paddle ends up on one side or the other and stops. It does not re-center.

Our boat is in Sausalito, California near San Francisco and we want to get it working before we head south. Do you have ideas about next steps or experience on how to fix this thing? Thanks for e-mailing me with specific suggestions or instructions or contacting me below.

Sally Bagshaw
206-669-4788
If what you describe is happening with the boat moving forward, under sail, it is not normal. I have a different model Aries constructed of bronze and stainless. Not sure if design principles and operation are similar, but on my Aries two related conditions can produce the same behavior. Just below the pendulum is a small set screw in the socket that fits onto a stainless vertical pipe. If this screw is loose, it's possible two things may occur. First, the pendulum assembly will be free to rotate out of adjustment. Second, it's possible the pendulum assembly will be pushed upward until the gears disengage, leaving your gear essentially inoperative.

Hope this suggests a possible solution.
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Old 22-09-2014, 16:13   #25
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Re: We Need Help with an Aries Wind Vane

Since you are in SF Bay, go here. Talk to these guys. I can pretty much guarantee they will solve all your problems related to the Aries.

http://www.selfsteer.com/index.php

But my hunch is that your port and starboard lines have been switched on the servo to the paddle part of the contraption, or the wind paddle is backwards. Best of luck. Fixing it now will be worth the time you are taking.
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Old 22-09-2014, 20:10   #26
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Re: We Need Help with an Aries Wind Vane

Does changing the control lines to an ultra low stretch rope like dyneema make a difference?
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Old 23-09-2014, 07:17   #27
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Re: We Need Help with an Aries Wind Vane

It was explained to me something like this. Think of it like a sail. In light winds you want to ease up on the outhaul, and downhaul to get a fuller shape. So a low stretch line would be great to be able to handle high winds, and a person could put some slack in the system for lighter conditions. But I'm not sure how dyneema does running through pullies over time.
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Old 24-09-2014, 19:45   #28
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Re: We Need Help with an Aries Wind Vane

It might have already been mentioned but the Aries are really sensitive to having a well balanced wind paddle.... with everything at rest if you push over the sail it should pop upright smartly, if it stays flopped or is sluggish it is too heavy..

I have several made from different materials and play with larger ones in lighter airs etc.

One guy I know uses clothes pegs (pins) to tweak the balance; I have never got so fussy.
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Old 24-09-2014, 21:11   #29
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Re: We Need Help with an Aries Wind Vane

Even though this is a 7 year old thread, there is a lot of good information here. Something that I have not seen mentioned is that you can have the vane (plywood) facing 180 degrees from what it is supposed to face. It is actually the aluminum part that the plywood clamps into and has the weight attached. The weighted side must face into the wind. I dont recall ever getting mine 180 off, but I suspect that it could cause the out of control slamming that is talked about in this thread. This might explain how some people never got theirs to work, when others,(myself included) loved their Aries. ______Grant.
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Old 28-09-2014, 11:20   #30
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Re: We Need Help with an Aries Wind Vane

There are several problems which can prevent an Aries from working properly.

The most common problem is the servo rudder shaft experiencing too much friction when it tries to rotate. Through the gear system at the top of the rudder shaft the airvane is supposed to rotate the servo paddle slightly to port or starboard when it flops over. If there is too much friction in the plastic bushings that are at the top and bottom of the pendulum casting the airvane will not be able to do this, especially in light air. If you take the servo rudder off the unit, or at least fold it up, the airvane should return to an upright position if you push it over to one side. Note, however, that the counterweight is offset to one side so there is not equal rigthing force in both directions so the airvane may not fully return from one side. You want the least amount of friction on the rudder shaft as possible. The only way to correct this is to dismantle the unit and replace the plastic bushings. I replaced mine with bronze bushings and these work great.

If someone has dismantled the unit another possible problem is a misalignment of the servo rudder when the airvane is vertical. With the airvane in the vertical position the servo rudder should be aligned exactly fore and aft. If the gears at the top have not been meshed correctly the servo rudder will be slightly rotated either to port or starboard. This will cause it to flip up to one side or the other when the boat is in motion.

A less likely problem is installing the servo rudder facing the wrong way. The leading edge of the rudder (where the shaft enters) should be forward.

Lastly, an airvane that is too heavy can make the counterweight ineffective
My vane is a three layer mahogany laminate 5mm thick. It is about 115mm long, 22mm wide at the base and 18mm at the top. No paint. Seems to work fine in moderate winds. Have not really tried in very light air.

When using the Aries you get the boat on course, align the leading edge of the airvane (edge with counterweight) into the wind so that it stands vertical and then engage the steering lines. It helps to get as much slack as possible out of the steering lines as the servo pendulum only has about six inches of travel to either side and you don't want any of this just taking up slack.

Hope this helps.
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