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Old 21-09-2005, 12:44   #1
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Wind Vane and Dingy Davits

Is it possible to have both a wind vane (like the monitor) and dingy davits? Does anyone have photos of such a set-up?
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Old 22-09-2005, 07:48   #2
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You could have both but you won't be able to store the dinghy in the davitts and use the wind vane at the same time. Depending on which vane you purchase you will most likely be severely restriced as to how you lift the dinghy and store it without damaging the vane.

Personal recommendation, if you want the wind vane, forget the davitts and vice versa.
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Old 22-09-2005, 08:10   #3
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Look at the models

We have seen several cruising boats with davits and windvane. When setting up the windvane you will have to extend the blade over the dinghy. Just makes ure that the alignment will allow the dinghy to be raised with the vane.

Second thought. Many of the cruisers in the caribe don't use a vane and some that do have switched over to auto pilot. For short huals they can be difficult to setup and from island to island they can be a nusinace.

just a thought
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Old 23-09-2005, 03:16   #4
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Im not certain that Id jump through too many hoops to modify the set-up to accommodate the simultaneous use of both the Dinghy Davits, and Wind Vane self steering.
The two are (sort of) mutually exclusive, in their prime use.
Per Capt Bils previous advice, Wind Vane self-steering is primarily used on longer transits, wherein the Dinghy might be better stored more securely than on Davits (ie: lashed to foredeck).
FWIW,
Gord

PS:
Bil - why only 1 L - it gives me fits?
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Old 23-09-2005, 05:34   #5
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well it is a short story

When I was growing up I was really short (not like I am today 5'4") and everyone in our family was called by some varitaion of the family name William. Everyone said I was to short to have a full name like William Richard, etc.. so evrryone started calling me 1L or L.

Eventually family started sending me mail address to 1L or Bil.

So here I am Captain Bil or Cap L.....
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Old 23-09-2005, 06:09   #6
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So Bil - at 64" tall, are you the world's shortest giant?
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Old 23-09-2005, 08:25   #7
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Simultaneous seems to be the key word here Gord - thanks for that. I guess I am in fact expecting that while on passage, my (inflatable) dingy will be stowed below and the wind vane will be in full use. While around port, having the davits would be nice - somehow I just don't like towing dingys...
I can also see times though when having both would be useful - taking a day trip from one place to another - long enough to make the windvane useful - too short to warrant stowing the dingy.

Would love to hear from someone that has both available - for simultaneous usage - anyone out there?


I guess since I managed it to 72" (just) I qualify for both L's in my name!
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Old 23-09-2005, 08:38   #8
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2L-Bill.: At 72", you may qualify as the worlds tallest midget ...
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Old 23-09-2005, 09:13   #9
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Bill (and Bil & the group):

My take is a bit different on this. I think the general "fleet" perspective is the one Gord experessed: vane is used for longer passages, dink belongs on deck for longer passages, ergo they don't compete for the same space. This is also consistent with the view you find expressed above that wind vane steering is (more) difficult to set up, ergo not really practical on shorter runs. If you look at this incrementally, it seems to me all this logic falls apart...

First, I'm not a davit lover and don't have a pair. OTOH I appreciate the fact that many folks these days have boats big enough to carry even a RIB on davits, they don't want to (or can't) easily manhandle it, they like the convenience (and added security, in the Caribbean) the davits give, and I don't think this desire for ease & convenience is going to change anytime soon. Meanwhile, folks do far more 'short' than 'long' (let's say multi-day) runs. Typical examples might be someone port hopping down Mexico's west coast, sailing out into the Atlantic a bit to move from one Spanish Ria to another, or someone moving from one island in the E Caribbean to another. In all these cases, it's not just possible but even likely that, at some point during that <1 day passage, they are going to see some higher winds (F4-5+), due to normal afternoon seabreeze effects, compressed pressure gradients as one leaves an island or arrives at the next, and so forth. As these winds build, this is exactly the point when wind vane steering becomes even more appropriate (vs. a beefy autopilot, which will need to increase its duty cycle with electrical load increase, linkage loading increase, etc.). If the crew manages the sail plan and rigs the vane to steer the boat, then we have a very efficient operation where the power of the steering method is especially appropriate to the loading on the rudder and steering system. Thus, the 'mutually exclusive' logic breaks down, IMO

What seems to get in the way is a difficult/awkward process for setting up the wind vane steering - which I find baffling since this can be so simple - and a general dissatisfaction with how the vane performs. When I see convulted, complicated steering set-ups, which might also add lots of friction to the system, perhaps dragging over a coaming so both the wood and the steering lines suffer from chafe, my impression is that the crew simply hasn't put an emphasis - yet - on simplified the set-up or operation of the wind vane. And it's not uncommon, when I ask the crew on a boat with a wind vane how well it works, that they'll state they don't use it that often; they often prefer an autopilot 'because it's easier'. IOW this is a chicken vs. egg issue and more time & thought given to the set-up would in turn make using the vane easier...in which case the crew would use it more often and become more proficient in its use, which would make it seem simplier and probably also improve its performance.

Another gap between what would work nicely and when crews don't use wind vane steering - especially in protected waters - occurs when relative winds are lighter and aft of the beam. Vanes do less well in these conditions and so they are often dismissed as either unresponsive or lacking in steady steering performance. However, for those who have bothered to spend only a few hundred dollars to add a tiller pilot to the vane blade mechanism, the performance of their vane changes dramatically. Again, the ease with which the tillerpilot can be retrieved, slipped into place and connected is more important on shorter runs than longer ones...but the improved performance of a vane in light conditions is worth it.

But back to the real issue in this thread: how can they be made to co-exist? Sometimes the geometry involved isn't that mutually exclusive and the dink snugs up against but aft of the vane column, yet the wind blade extends vertically above the dink to get clean air off the wind. But especially when the dink is raised higher and/or more inboard, I think the basic answer is to either extend the wind blade mechanism higher vertically, to offset it to the port and/or starboard quarters (I've seen both...) or have custom davits that extend w-a-y far aft and so have to be beefier (and heavier) as a reulst. Custom linkages for the vane can be built to the owner's specs by a metal shop, perhaps in consultation with the vane's manufacturer. Assuming a conflict, I have not seen a simple solution to this problem without the davits or vane mount extending w-a-y aft of the transom, which introduces other issues of course. But perhaps others have found suitable solutions they can share with us...

Jack
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Old 23-09-2005, 10:02   #10
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I dont recall ever seeing both a windvane self-steering unit and dinghy davits (/w dinghy suspended) in use at the same time - not ever.
I still think that (in general), when its too boisterous for the electric autopilot to handle (and getting ideal for the mechanical self-steering), the dink should not be up on the davits.

However, Jack has more experience "passagemaking" than I, so ...

From Scanmar: http://www.selfsteer.com/
Davits are the hardest piece of boat equipment to work around when fitting a windvane. It's not the davits themselves, of course - it's the dinghy or inflatable hanging from them, right where a windvane wants to be! We have two solutions
1 - It's highly recommended that a dinghy be stored on deck during extended offshore sailing. Dinghies and inflatables can easily be swept away in heavy weather if they're left on the davits, no matter how well they are lashed down. Go ahead and install a Monitor if you're doing extensive deepwater sailing. When you get to where you're going and are staying a while, you can remove the Monitor from its four mounting brackets (four bolts) and stow it on deck, where the dinghy was - it's going back onto the davits!
2 - If your sailing style can't accept suggestion one, we have our auxiliary rudder selfsteering system - the Auto-helm. It has the largest rudder available by far compared to competitors' auxiliary rudder systems, and it has the advantage of an independently-mounted airvane mast. The rudder assembly bolts onto the boat's transom, and the airvane mast is fitted anywhere convenient on the stern. A crossbar fitted between the davits is ideal. Stainless steel cables from the airvane operate the trimtab on the rudder. http://www.selfsteer.com/products/autohelm/index.php
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Old 02-10-2005, 04:25   #11
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Here are a couple of examples, just to illustrate some alternatives:

1. CSY44 homeported in St. Pete - retired Navy owner & wife did a Circle with an RVG (rudder-type) vane and big set of davits, loaded up with a RIB. Wind blade's mount had to be extended vertically so that RIB could be tucked in against and aft of the column and wind blade in clean air above. They left 2 years ago to begin a 2nd Circle without needing to change this arrangement, which indicates they were satisfied with it. However, it sure was a LOT of hardware to be hanging off the aft end of any boat, let alone this CSY weighing about 20T with no bow thruster and two older crew to deal with small harbor basins, a contrary current, etc. My, what a lot of windage...
2. Owner completed Seawolf ketch (also about 20T) which a couple bought new BUT without spars, engine, tanks, etc. (You could do this back then...) They did a Circle with their 3 kids, the 10' hard dink mounted on davits, and the wind blade was used off either quarter (depending on wind direction, for clean air). The vane was an Aries servo-oar type, and the offset linkage didn't hurt vane performance...altho' Jay was a professional seaman and his execution of this approach no doubt helped it work well.

Hans (owner of Scanmar) is a good guy and he makes a good vane (altho' he should be welding gussets on flattened, bent stainless tubing, which is almost inevitably where this vane breaks). He's also a good salesman and his text (cited by Gord) is intended to avoid the impression one must choose between davits & windvane. Given how firm some folks are about 'needing' davits, it's understandable why he would rather have a potential customer see the two items as mutually exclusive than as somewhat in conflict. But as I tried to show above, there are lots of daysails out on the cruising trail where using the vane isn't only be an option but better suits the circumstances than a thirsty a/p. I guess another example I could have given is WHOOSH in the Baltic: we sailed there for a summer, don't carry a below-decks a/p, and always used the vane when the wind was up. Every sail there was a daysail.

This is not everyone's choice but it is an alternative...and an easy, even appealing one if the vane is easily rigged and the crew comfortable with its use.

Jack
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Old 15-10-2005, 05:42   #12
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Self steering with dinghy davits

Hi

I hate to seem like raw advertising here, but the Steersman may provide a solution for you.

www.steersman.net

The steersman is a sheet to tiller system, which uses the wind in the jib to steer the boat.

Fully tried and tested, it works with tiller steered boats, and some wheel steered boats.


Rob
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Old 15-10-2005, 09:06   #13
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We have davits [Kato Voyager] on the Moody. We have been debating whether or not to add a vane. Given that we have a relatively large center cockpit most vanes got ruled out because I don't want lines running everywhere. After much investigation we decided that if we put a vane on the Hydrovane will work with both. It is an auxiliary rudder type vane. We have decided for now to forgo the vane and just use the autopilot.

Worth checking out.

http://www.hydrovane.com/index.htm
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Old 15-10-2005, 16:31   #14
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Why?

Considering the electrical systems available on todays cruising boats, why not just use an autopilot. There is little real advantage to a windvane other than it doesn't use power and maintains a consistant angle to the wind. Modern autopilots use very little power and will maintain a constant angle to the wind. What is the point in sqeezing all that equipment in a small area?
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Old 15-10-2005, 17:48   #15
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Re: Why?

Quote:
Jentine once whispered in the wind:
Considering the electrical systems available on todays cruising boats, why not just use an autopilot. There is little real advantage to a windvane other than it doesn't use power and maintains a consistent angle to the wind. Modern autopilots use very little power and will maintain a constant angle to the wind. What is the point in squeezing all that equipment in a small area?
Jim you hit the nail on the head. It's about power. Even a modern unit burns 5 amps per hour at least. That's 120 amp hours per day plus all the other consumption item like refrigeration, radio, lights,computer etc. For coastal type cruising no big deal. You get power to charge however you need to. You can stop and get fuel.

On an ocean crossing or very long run say of 1500-2000 miles or so. That's at least a 8 day passage on the very short end more likely 12 or so. Depending on fuel tankage - indiscriminate motoring may not be an option. It's a consideration for me as we only carry 80 gallons of fuel without jerry cans. At 1.5 gal/hr on the main engine that's not a lot of extra fuel.

And I can put 200+ amps back into the system in an hour off the main engine.
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