Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 22-10-2007, 13:14   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2
Question We Need Help with an Aries Wind Vane

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
__________________

__________________
Sally Bagshaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2007, 14:58   #2
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 3,466
Images: 4
Sally,

Wish I were there to help you. I used to teach sailing in Sausalito (at Cass Sailing Marina....still going strong), and absolutely LOVE the place!

I have an Aires vane, too. Mine is a lift-up version, which I've never gotten to lift up. It's frozen and EVERYTHING I've tried has failed to dislodge it (including, yes, a sledge hammer in my basement). Other than that minor problem, it works great, and has steered my boat (42' Perry sloop) for many thousands of miles through some pretty rough weather. It absolutely LOVES strong winds!

However wonderful the Aires is, it is also very finiky. You've gotta experiment with it. IF all parts are correctly mounted and adjusted, and IF everything moves freely, and IF the lines to the wheel are correctly run and tightened, and IF you get it going initially, THEN it should work very well for you.

The vane is rigged vertically, so that in the center position it lets the wind pass equally on each side, and it remains in the vertical position. You adjust it to this position by keeping the boat on a constant angle to the wind and adjusting the round ring on the base of the Aires until the vane stands upright. Then, and only then, do you engage the pin on the wheel. Small adjustments are then made via the two pull ropes, a couple of clicks one way or another.

The vane steers very well to weather, and as far off the wind as a broad reach. It does a terrible job when running....you've just gotta steer by hand.

Wish I were there to help, but.....

Good luck,

Bill
__________________

__________________
btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2007, 15:02   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2
Bill -- how kind of you to send your thoughts to us! I'll pass your words of wisdom on to my beloved spouse. I can assure you that he would love to have you in Sausalito right now to commisserate!!
__________________
Sally Bagshaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2007, 17:21   #4
Registered User

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Auckland NZ
Posts: 145
Images: 8
Hi,

Oh How I have felt your pain. The Aries I previously rebuilt did the same thing. I posted the same questions back when I was cursing the old one on the beach in Mexico. Start sailing BAM over to one side then nothing even if you move the vane by hand, then it finally creeps from one side, centers and BAM over to the other side. (curse spit exclamation) We finally got it sorted.

A couple of things that you need to know:

One- If you are attempting to get the thing to work while motoring along, forget it. For some reason that just does not work. I am unsure why because in theory it shouldnt make any difference with a decent wind. It does though. But motoring doesnt cause the slam thing, just thought you should know because no one ever seems to mention this.

Two - Even though they may seem free and clear, check the needle bearings (little plastic needles) in the vane holder mount. Be careful they fall out pretty easily. Plug up the cockpit drains if you are pulling it apart on the boat. These fill with gunk and it is hard to tell if the holder is free enough even though it moves and you are thinking "looks loose enough to me." Its not. On their website they say these rarely get gunked up, but that was the last piece of the puzzle for me. And it will cause the slam to one side thing, or will cause it to slam to one side, then cross over to the other and slam, back and forth like a pendulum. Not good.

Three - If after cleaning the bearings out it still does not work, have a look at the gear teeth. If you did a rebuild and put the gear teeth wrong way around (easily done) you will get the "slam to one side and stay there" thing happening. When you should have the rudder shimmying back and forth like a happy little fish while staying basically in the middle. Gear teeth should be facing front not back.

Four - A reef in the main makes things work better/ steer a straighter course. Downwind the speed difference is not huge since you wind up blanketing the genoa a bit with a full main.

But when everything is the way it should be it steers like a dream and is built like a tank. And you know that aside from a battleship broadside the thing will work no matter what (unlike say an ST xxx autopilot that beeps irritatingly mocking your decision to go offshore in a jalopy when it packs up and dies).

Good luck, and any more questions please let me know. I Know all the bits to these things now after rebuild #2. Also good to know is that you can use the monitor windvane manual that is available as a freee download to understand these things a bit better. It is by far the best resource out there. The monitor and the aries are basially the same thing but with different linkages and made of different stuff, but the principle is the same.


Cheers B
__________________
brian and clare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2007, 17:28   #5
Registered User

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Auckland NZ
Posts: 145
Images: 8
Oh, sorry but I missed the previous post. Reefed main and anything just shy of flat off can be no problem. I suspect the gunk in the needle bearings will cause enough delay in the unit to skunk your downwind performance. We used it for wind on wing with a preventer a gennaker and a genoa all poled out, and no problemo. Light air of course. Having the most power up front is the key really. But then again we had a tiller so with a wheel it might cause a little more delay and mess things up a bit? Flat off is no fun anyway because the boat rolls weird instead fo feeling nice and stiff.
__________________
brian and clare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2007, 19:46   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2
Aires Wind Vane - More Info

A little more information on our Aires problem. (This thread was started by Sally, my wife.) The paddle floats up with some force even when the boat is not moving through the water, and the problem is worse when the boat is in motion. It does not slam back and forth, it goes to one side or the other and sits there. Experimenting today I have determining that I can cure the static problem by adding 2 lbs of lead to the bottom of the paddle. Does any one know if the paddle should be neutrally balanced as I paln to do with it? Is something wrong if it floats up on its own?

Second, Brian and Clair indicated that the gear teeth should face forward. I have not rebuilt ours, but when we bought it the gear teeth were on the aft side of the ruddershaft. I think this is oppositie to what Brian and Claire said was proper. Can Brian and Claire confirm that mine is put together backwards? It certainly could be part of the problem if that is the case.

Thanks for all the help and advice. Sally and I reallly appreciate it.

Brad Bagshaw bhbagshaw@gmail.com
__________________
bhbagshaw@gmail.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2007, 19:54   #7
Registered User

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Auckland NZ
Posts: 145
Images: 8
Yup, shes on there backward. Dont put any weight on the rudder. It is as it was meant to be. I actually considered filling mine full of water for the same reason before figuring it out. If you have a standard aries and it has not been rebuilt for a while you may need a sledgehammer and something else to knock out the big stainless pin. If its the lift up, it should not be much problem to pull out the guts of it as it sits on top with two bolts through the pin to hold it down.
__________________
brian and clare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2007, 19:55   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Auckland NZ
Posts: 145
Images: 8
Aries Standard Vane Gear Technical Illustration

Check out the exploded drawing. Notice the gear is facing front.
__________________
brian and clare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2007, 20:11   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2
Thanks for the help. I'm off to find a sledge hammer.
__________________
bhbagshaw@gmail.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-05-2008, 19:02   #10
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Miami, Caracas, Panama
Boat: Mariner 39' Le Freak
Posts: 3
Aries

Sorry to disappoint you but I had an Aries for a few years and it worked ok in certain runs, downwind it was null and eventually I got tired of it and simply disposed of the thing, I didn't have the heart to sell something that gave me so many bad moments, it's not that I didn't have experience with wind vanes, I had a Hassler and it was great (too bad it was so worn and no parts available anymore. The other one I had on my first boat, a Westerly 27 was a homemade rudder and trim tab system that definitely beats all, simplicity above everything. There is a Company, Scanmar, that manufactures something similar in the US by the name of Auto-helm and they also sell the Monitor. I had them make one for me. I have a heavy 39" Mariner built in the 80's in New Hampshire and this system will also double up as a reserve rudder. Regards , Hillar
__________________
Le Freak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-05-2008, 20:50   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Kelowna , British Columbia
Boat: Corbin 39 Pilot House
Posts: 182
Does any one here have any experience with hydrovane. I'm considering of getting one but nowhere can find anybody who has one .
Regards Henryk
__________________
henryk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2008, 05:17   #12
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Miami, Caracas, Panama
Boat: Mariner 39' Le Freak
Posts: 3
Hydrovane

Hi, Henryk. Sorry, I did look into the Hydrovane and looks very sturdy and strong. What really made up my mind is that with the weak dollar, foreign products are up nearly 30 to 50%. I guess it's a personal matter or taste on which system might be the ideal for each one of us. Like I said I just removed my old Hassler and am eagerly expecting my new toy by the middle of June. I will sail Le Freak to Panama sometime in July and next year in May to Germany.

Regards, Hillar
__________________
Le Freak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2008, 07:22   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Kelowna , British Columbia
Boat: Corbin 39 Pilot House
Posts: 182
I know is extremely expensive ,but I'm not getting an autopilot but will hook up the tiller pilot to hydrovane for steering in light winds and motoring . There was a good article in Cruising World few months ago about young couple from Australia who did this with their Aries windvane and they circumnavigate with this set up.
Regards , Henryk
__________________
henryk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2008, 07:20   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Ilheus, Bahia, Brazil
Boat: None
Posts: 3
Send a message via Skype™ to luzbria
Dear Sally and Brad, I do hope that you have now sorted out the Aries wind vane, we have used ours on 4 trans-Atlantics with little problem. Contrary to one previous reply I found that the vane can be used as an 'easy' steering device, in the event of poor or little wind by hand operation of the vane and using engine power to drive the boat. I did once use a tiller auto-pilot to drive the vane which used less electricity than the main inboard Pilot and this also was very successful until the tiller pilot itself got worn out. But it is OK for emergency steering.
The Aries when set up works better and better in strong winds when it can keep a very good line under storm jib and rolling along at hull speed.
My difficulty is getting parts for the operating rod swivels. If anyone knows of a reliable supplier please let me know
Brian Roberts
__________________
luzbria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2009, 16:02   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1
Not that this is a reply to any specific post on this thread but I have an Aries on my little Westsail 32. At the time I got the boat, it was completely seized. While in Ensenada, Mexico, I removed it from the boomkin and took it to a machine shop near the waterfront there (going south on the main road past the harbour, turn right at the liquor store just before the bridge and the turn to Cruiseport Marina). They had never seen one but successfully took it apart and replaced all the stainless rods. They fabricated solid bearings instead of the tiny individual ones that had for the most part all fallen out. The vane works very well (I have a tiller) and I have had no problems with it at all. After a knockdown and a forced return to Mexico, it steered 600NM effortlessly to Bahia Magdalena. The total cost to get it all rebuilt was US$250. They did an excellent job and made me spare bearings and washers too. So, if you are on the west coast of the USA and need to get it fixed and you are planning to go south to Baja, take it to these blokes in Ensenada. They are good. I also second the point about it working well in heavy weather. They are very easy to use. I love my Aries.

BOB
s/v Stray Dog (U.K.)
__________________

__________________
Stray Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
aries, aries wind vane

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
Aries Wind Vane kingfish Seamanship & Boat Handling 7 30-11-2012 19:41
Pendulum Wind Vane vs Auxiliary Rudder Vane SimonV Seamanship & Boat Handling 8 03-02-2011 17:14
For Sale: Aries Wind Vane brian and clare Classifieds Archive 9 03-08-2009 06:43
Aries Standard Vane Gear Self-Steerer Curtis Ciszek Classifieds Archive 0 03-03-2009 17:08
Aries vane refurb - alternate parts source? dcruz99801 Construction, Maintenance & Refit 3 05-07-2007 22:37


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:36.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.