Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-06-2016, 14:18   #16
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,005
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

I LOVE MY SELF STEERING VANE. IF THE SAILS ARE UP, THE VANE IS STEERING. DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER IT'S A 3 THOUSAND MILE PASSAGE OR A DAY SAIL.

Had an Aires on our old Westsail that we took to SoPac and back. Worked a treat in steering the boat in all conditions. No learning curve, just hook the vane to the tiller and off we went. The WindPilot Pacific Plus on current boat steered the boat around SF, up and down the coast, to Hawaii and just a day out on the water.

Think the idea that a boat has to be balanced for a vane to steer is not necessarily true. The W32 developed a very pronounced weather helm with attendant high forces on the tiller as speed increased. The Aires had no problem sailing the boat. The only way the boat could be balanced would have been to reduce sail and suffer the resulting loss in boat speed. Those are options that aren't in my vocabulary. I try and keep the boat going as fast as it possibly can go given the wind and waves and to hell with balance. Nick Franklin's Aries shared my sailing philosophy.

As far as auto pilot, they are nice toys if and when they work. The Wheel Pilot on my current boat simply couldn't handle sailing much above a putter. Nice for powering but near useless under sail. With much force on the helm, the A/P would kick off. The self steering vane, on the other hand, will steer the boat if it is moving from a fraction of a knot to at or above hull speed.

Don't understand why people say a vane isn't good for coastal sailing. Yes the boat's heading will change with a change in wind direction but that just means the boat is always at the optimum angle to the wind. Winds, except in ghosting situations are relatively stable. Yes frontal passage or other such Wx phenomenon can have drastic wind direction changes but they usually happen once during a daysail. When coastal sailing keeping a watch is a nice thing to do. If there is a variation in the wind direction, a few clicks on the sensing vanes direction and some sail trim and you are back on course. No, the vane won't hold a course to an exact degree of heading but it will maintain heading as well as most helmsman on a daysail.

Long keel, short keel, no keel, haven't had a boat that would self steer except very hard on the wind. As the boat falls off and speed increases every boat I've owned needed someone or something to steer. It's not just because I want to keep the boat moving as fast as conditions will permit but the hydrodynamics of the hull creates weather helm as speed increases. Obviously you can get a boat to self steer with a split rig but only at the sacrifice of boat speed. You may be able to set up some form of sheet to tiller steering but I haven't figured out how. Must admit since I've had a self steering vane for most of my sailing haven't put much thought or effort into trying to get the boat to self steer on its own.

So, get a vane then buy the boat.
__________________

__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 15:10   #17
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,735
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Yes. My double-ender, full keel boat came with an Aries. And I absolutely love it.

No, it is not hard to use.

Yes, we use it even for short coastal hops. It's a myth that they are only useful for long passages.

No, I would not want an AP over a vane (although I have both).

Yes, you should get one.
I'll double-ditto what Mike says!!!

And despite what one said above, even a big crew will love a windvane. Hand steering more than an hour is difficult for most of us mortals despite how much we think we can. It is hard work unless you happen to be in that one point of sail sweet spot where the boat doesn't need much steering. Especially if the wind is up. Our Monitor kept on going even in a blow and big seas (unless the seas are so big you end up in huge troughs).

My only regret for our latest boat is that I got it before figuring out I can't get a wind vane on the end because of the overhanging davits. I have spent a hundred hours or more and am kicking myself I haven't got a solution. I would not have bought the boat if I knew that back then. APs inevitably break and always when you are tired in bad seas and you need to rest.
__________________

__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 15:41   #18
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,685
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

ex-Maggie Drum,

Ditch the davits. The windvane is a non power consuming item that will keep your boat safe when the autopilot craps out or the batteries are flooded out. You can hoist your dinghy out of the water with a bridle on a halyard most nights, easy peasy.

Ann

PS. Loved our windvane, wish we had one on this boat, although it is a deepish fin keel type with a wide transom, not at all what One Legged Parrot was thinking of.
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 16:25   #19
Registered User
 
OneLeggedParrot's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2016
Boat: Between S'pars
Posts: 49
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

I've had boats and was about to buy a used one yesterday (survey said nope), that had no wind vane (none of my other ones had them), and saw a great deal on an Aries and thought, "I should get me one of those, I've always wanted one, they seem awesome, and from what I hear, almost as critical for offshore work, especially if I'm solo, as a good SSB or radio and GPS..."

-And then I said, "wait a moment, my old double enders could steer themselves." And then the devil on my shoulder said, "yeah, but you've never gone 20-30 days across an ocean on your own... and you're thinking about it, so..."
So I said, I better ask the crew over here.


I mean,
face it, for those of you who have bought a used sailboat, BUYING a used sailboat is like two separate MAJOR purchases -we get the boat,
...and THEN we get all the stuff it needs.

Likening buying a used sailboat to a used car: If it was a car, most would not only be lacking windshields, glass, lights, electrical systems, doors, seats and AC/heater, but half would have ancient engines, or NONE at all (needing to be replaced), no fuel and sketchy ignitions. And probably no doors too. I mean, we're lucky in a used sailboat to get good sails. But isn't that what MAKES a sailboat A "SAIL"-boat?

Just sayin'...

So when one sees a nice wind vane used on the market... ?
__________________
OneLeggedParrot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 16:28   #20
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 4,034
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

What Ann said

On our boat the vane precludes davits, so we use a portabote as our dingy. Stores on deck. Pretty easy to assemble and launch. No need for davits.
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 16:36   #21
Registered User
 
Terra Nova's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Marina del Rey, California
Boat: Freya 39 cutter- Terra Nova
Posts: 3,650
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Get the boat, first, then buy self steering.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneLeggedParrot View Post
...saw a great deal on an Aries and thought, "I should get me one of those,....
Do use your head on this.
__________________
1st rule of yachting: When a collision is unavoidable, aim for something cheap.
"whatever spare parts you bring, you'll never need"--goboatingnow
"Id rather drown than have computers take over my life."--d design
Terra Nova is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 16:48   #22
Registered User
 
OneLeggedParrot's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2016
Boat: Between S'pars
Posts: 49
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

Quote:
...Do use your head on this.
...yes. I'll get the boat first.
__________________
OneLeggedParrot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 16:48   #23
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,748
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneLeggedParrot View Post
"I should get me one of those, I've always wanted one, they seem awesome, and from what I hear, almost as critical for offshore work, especially if I'm solo, as a good SSB or radio and GPS..."
Excellent self - steering gear is WAY more important short-handed offshore than any radios. For blue water cruising they rate in importance only below excellent ground tackle. Fatigue is THE major safety and management concern short handed offshore and self steering in a necessary tool to deal with fatigue (if you have less than 3 crew).

And yes, full keel boats still benefit greatly from self steering.

As to autopilots vs vanes - they both do the job in different ways. We usually carried both. If you only want one, which will depend on your style of sailing and systems philosophy.
__________________
estarzinger is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 18:21   #24
Senior Cruiser
 
s/v Beth's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Boat: Valiant 40 (1975)
Posts: 4,066
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

This topic seems to come up again and again. If you sail in the higher latitudes, you tend toward a wind vane. I was in a downwind run in a force 8 wind the other day, due to the swells hitting on our quarter steering was tiring and the autopilot could not keep up. The monitor did a great job. We actually did wing on wing for a few hours.
I have done sheet to tiller, autopilot and wind vane. I like my vane.
Nice to see you again BethandEvans.
__________________
s/v Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2016, 09:31   #25
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,735
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
ex-Maggie Drum,

Ditch the davits. The windvane is a non power consuming item that will keep your boat safe when the autopilot craps out or the batteries are flooded out. You can hoist your dinghy out of the water with a bridle on a halyard most nights, easy peasy.

Ann

PS. Loved our windvane, wish we had one on this boat, although it is a deepish fin keel type with a wide transom, not at all what One Legged Parrot was thinking of.
Ann,
I've seriously thought of that but it is more complicated as it is also where the radar, VHF, AIS, and other stuff is located. And it would be terribly expensive. It also supports the aft end of the bimini although that could be worked out with a good welder and $$. I didn't buy the boat because it had dinghy davits.

I crossed the Pacific without davits and was OK. Thanks for the thought though. It's a plus/minus as the davits are useful at anchor. Dinghy's in the water grow barnacles, are a pain to haul up with halyards (and not good for the halyards or sheaves), and is some (limited) use in discouraging theft. But I am still working on trying to fit a windvane so may be it will work out. I never/ever sail with a dink hanging in the davits, even in local waters.
Joe
__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2016, 00:27   #26
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Boat: Island Packet 40
Posts: 1,373
Images: 7
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

I've just bought a boat with both a wind vane and an autopilot but without davits. The previous owner was more a blue water guy and not too keen on coastal cruising and swears by the windvane. In contrast I don't often go out of sight of land and pretty well only ever coastal cruise and would not be without an autopilot.


Even using an autopilot I hardly ever go anywhere without the autopilot on a track, either on the stand alone GPS or a computer running OpenCPN, I have had a couple of near misses running with the autopilot on course only.


The previous owner used an inflatable dingy which he deflated and tied down on deck during ocean passages, this is really not an option when coastal cruising. My old boat has a fairly long clear deck space between the front of the coach roof and the inner forestay and my 8' dingy stows nicely there with the motor on, it's a handy place to throw sail bags, ropes and stuff as well. The new boat has a fairly high coach roof which goes pretty well all the way to the bow and a self tending staysail so there is not room for dingy stowing.


I suspect that practical considerations are going to dictate that the wind vane be removed and davits installed in it's place.


On the subject of power usage by autopilots. I find that day sailing when there is plenty of battery charging sunshine does not pull the batteries down however if I was running an autopilot overnight it might cause problems. Provided the winds are not strong and the boat is not being thrown around by big seas the autopilot does not work very hard anyway and power usage is fairly low.


I'd say that if you are a blue water sort of person and don't do much coastal cruising a wind vane would be the way to go but if you primarily coastal cruise an autopilot is your best bet.
__________________
RaymondR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2016, 00:51   #27
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Boat: Cal 40
Posts: 2,401
Images: 7
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
I'll double-ditto what Mike says!!!

And despite what one said above, even a big crew will love a windvane. Hand steering more than an hour is difficult for most of us mortals despite how much we think we can. It is hard work unless you happen to be in that one point of sail sweet spot where the boat doesn't need much steering. Especially if the wind is up. Our Monitor kept on going even in a blow and big seas (unless the seas are so big you end up in huge troughs).

My only regret for our latest boat is that I got it before figuring out I can't get a wind vane on the end because of the overhanging davits. I have spent a hundred hours or more and am kicking myself I haven't got a solution. I would not have bought the boat if I knew that back then. APs inevitably break and always when you are tired in bad seas and you need to rest.
The Autohelm windvane allows you to mount the windvane separate from the rudder, as it uses a cable drive. Maybe the rudder will fit under the dinghy, then perhaps there is enough space to lower the dinghy with the rudder hard over.

Anyway they advertise it works with davits.

http://selfsteer.com/products/autohelm/index.php
__________________
cal40john is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2016, 08:09   #28
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 4,034
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
I'd say that if you are a blue water sort of person and don't do much coastal cruising a wind vane would be the way to go but if you primarily coastal cruise an autopilot is your best bet.
Nothing wrong with a good electric AP, but just to stress; a windvane is not just for "bluewater" cruising. They can easily be used for coastal travel. Our Aries is used anytime we're sailing for more than a few hours. The only time they are useless is when there too little wind. That's when we use our electric.
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2016, 08:18   #29
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

Wind vane is not much use in motor in no wind... then you would be better served with an AP. I use the AP to motor head to wind to raise and lower the main... and it pretty critical.
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2016, 08:22   #30
Registered User
 
daletournier's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Seychelles
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 1,898
Re: Wind Vane: To Have or Not?

I have a hydrovane. Don't use it that much these days as a windvane, I hook up a tillerpilot to it and use it that way, its just a bit easier. In saying that I wouldn't have a cruising boat without one. I like redundacy, both as a self steerer and a rudder. As for coastal sailing , I did approx 3000nm using it as my sole self steerer in 2011, mostly coastal, it was great. I also agree with a previous post regarding the no noise compared to autopilots.
I'm in the have both camp.

Sent from my vivo Y35 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________

__________________
daletournier is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
wind, 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
Wind Vane vsAutopilot vs Wind Vane with Autpilot Input pwillems Construction, Maintenance & Refit 8 12-11-2015 10:28
Fleming wind vane model 45 wind blade adjuster frozen chouliha Construction, Maintenance & Refit 1 08-02-2015 05:22
I'm not "vane"! I have no idea, just wondering boatsail Monohull Sailboats 23 24-06-2013 01:16
Aries Lift Up Wind Vane Broken Toothed Vane Carriage Coachbolt61 Construction, Maintenance & Refit 0 06-11-2012 01:32
Pendulum Wind Vane vs Auxiliary Rudder Vane SimonV Seamanship & Boat Handling 8 03-02-2011 18:14



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:22.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.