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View Poll Results: Best Single Handed Cruiser for Windward Caribbean?
42' Cabo Rico 0 0%
43' Hans Christian 0 0%
39' Shannon 1 12.50%
36' Robinhood / Cape Dory Cutter 3 37.50%
Other (Specify) 4 50.00%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 27-01-2014, 21:40   #61
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Re: Just when I thought I had my mind made up

Originally Posted by porttack View Post
Well geez rovehi... If I have to buy three vane systems to get one to work maybe in 6 months, than I think when I cross the deep blue I'll load up on crew instead and skip the vane. Do these thing work or not? Maybe on just certain boats with tiller steering and well balanced rigs and under certain weather conditions and planetary alignments, and only after 36 mounting holes have been drilled into the wet side of the transom.
Just a follow up with a few more self steered miles under the keel. Sold the Monitor for what I paid for the WindPilot Pacific Plus. Made up a larger wind sensing vane out of light weight plastic to improve light air sensitivity of the WPPP. Works a charm for all but very windy conditions when I switch back in the standard plywood vane. Solo sailed the boat to Hawaii in atypical light wind conditions for that route. Typically had 5-8 Knots relative wind sailing DDW almost the whole way. The WPPP vane steered the whole way with very minor, once or, occasionally, twice a day heading changes. Ran wing and wing with the 135 genoa poled out. Averaged a little over 140 nautical miles per day with a best days runs of 150nm. Locked the boats rudder centered and let the auxiliary rudder of the vane do all the work. Jibed once about the 7th day out of SF, reefed once for about 15 minutes because I was bored. Only excitement was when the extendable whisker pole pretzeled at 0300 on a moonless night. Used the roller furling to get it back on board, set the spinnaker pole and continued with little delay.

After battling against the fixed WPPP rudder maneuvering in and around marinas for 5 years, suddenly had a brilliantlt simple idea come into my thick skull. Use the self steering vane to help maneuver in tight spaces. Tied lines to the SS wind sensing vane's weight, pull on one or the other to fool the vane into thinking it's the wind telling it where to steer. Turning circle is finally under control at slow speeds and close quarters.

Day sailing around SF Bay and here in Kona left me thoroughly hating the wheel. Did a major overhaul on the boat fixing the SPOT diesel installation, painted the hull and duck, removed the large fixed ports in the main cabin, glassed in the pukas, installed 3 opening ports on each side in their stead, replaced the small opening ports forward, tore out the wheel and installed a tiller.

Discovered that one of the idler pulleys in the cable wheel system was seized when I removed the wheel system pieces. Might explain why the Monitor wouldn't work with the wheel at slow speeds. Had no obvious indications there were issues with the wheel other than the high forces required above 4 knots boat speed, however. The wheel spun easily in the slip and there was no difference in force required from one tack to the other. Even though wheel input force required climbed precipitously as boat speed increased the Monitor worked better and better as boat speed built. It was only the Monitor's under 4k boat speed functioning that was an issue.

As far as buying three vane systems, Only used two of the three I owned. The Monitor came installed on the boat. Bought the SailoMat because it was reputed to be the 800# gorilla of steering input force in a pendulum servo vane. Hoped it would provide the necessary oomph to steer through the wheel system in light conditions but never goat around to installing it. The SailoMat looks different but works the same as the Monitor and is an apples to apples comparison. Stumbling on the WindPilot Pacific Plus negated the need to worry about the boats steering system. The WPPP vane is an auxiliary rudder vane that steers the boat via its own rudder. The boats rudder is just a trim tab, if needed at all. Sold the Monitor for what I paid for the WPPP vane and still have the SailoMat if I ever decide that I want to go with a pendulum servo, boat's rudder steered system. The WPPP vane has worked so well will probably sell the SailoMat after the planned sail to Alaska, down the inside passage and back to Kona next summer.

Peter O.
'Ae'a, Pearson 35
American Pie, Sabre 28
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Old 27-01-2014, 23:12   #62
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Re: Why Vane steering at all?

crossing a bay? autopilot will do fine.
crossing an ocean? windvane will do fine.
horses for courses.

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Old 27-01-2014, 23:19   #63
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Re: Why Vane steering at all?

If your coastal cruising or sailing in Mexico or the Caribbean or the Med then don't bother with a wind vane, complete waste of money in my opinion. If you have lots of oceans to cross with a boat less than 50 feet then a wind vane is certainly worth looking into.
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Old 13-02-2014, 03:41   #64
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Re: Why Vane steering at all?

It's hard to beat a windvane.On my Airies I have the option of the vane for wind or removing the ply vane and attaching a small tiller autopilot. It works surpurbly and consumes minimum power as it simply triggers the paddle on the airies.
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Old 18-02-2014, 02:03   #65
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Re: Why Vane steering at all?

Welcome aboard Gary W.
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
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Old 18-02-2014, 10:02   #66
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Re: Why Vane steering at all?

Both AP and windvane have their place if the goal is to reduce amp draws, increase redundancy and to spend the least amount of on passage time at the wheel. I've been on an ocean passage when both devices broke at different times. It was nice to have a backup: even a crew of four won't like hand steering in brisk conditions more than a day.

The AP is great for under motor or for the rare time sailing when a wind direction is reliably constant. It's also good for times when the wind has fallen off a bit and left a high swell behind that might baffle (literally) a windvane.

The windvane, of course, is great for trade winds or when you are getting the most out of a passing system. Every watch, retrim the sheets to the clocking winds and pay attention to the rest of the boat and your watch duties. For those sailors with a philosophical bent, there's a certain elegance to having the same wind that is propelling the vessel also steering the vessel, but we aren't all nautical Socrateses, I suppose. Me, I like the absence of amp draw.

Lastly, of course, a wind vane is a small rudder. Should the "real" rudder seize or become damaged, you may be able to use the vane rudder to carry on.

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