Originally Posted by porttack
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.
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.