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Old 07-12-2020, 20:15   #1
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Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

Yes there is!
I used to watch the windvane ads in this forum like a hawk. My handle is on just about every windvane post - of any kind. Several units came up and got sold, most of time rather quickly. And I didnít buy. Too risky, and asking price too high.

A new unit would sell for upwards of $5K, and second hand for about half of that, not counting the (potential) surprise costs for installation Ė always a risk. A lot of people got lucky and purchased used ones successfully, but I was never able to make a risky decision quick enough before they were snapped.

I am now thankfully out of the market. I found a unit that is well made, all stock stainless, strong and very reasonable. Even with shipping and duty, it came to me at a fraction of the cost of the others.

It is installed now and I havenít tried on the water, but I have plenty of confidence and good references, it has circunavigated, Iím not worried. Iíll post here to let you know how it goes once Iím back on the water.

It is made in Estonia, the brand is Windy (Google it). The owner is very helpfull and always in touch during the process and after the sale. I am not attached with the owner or the manufacturing company in any way, just satisfied with the product and I am posting to share the information.

The pictures below are my unit prior to shipment from Europe and after installation.
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Old 07-12-2020, 20:23   #2
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Re: Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

Well? Don't hold us in suspense! How much was it?
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Old 07-12-2020, 21:12   #3
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Re: Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

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Well? Don't hold us in suspense! How much was it?
Aha!
With shipping and duty $2,600 CAD - just a bit over $2K US. The unit sells for 1,200EUR, the prices are on their website - https://windyselfsteering.com/selfsteering/.
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Old 08-12-2020, 20:09   #4
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Re: Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

It’ll be interesting to see how it performs offshore. Our boats are nearly indistinguishable at a distance. The underwater profile favored by both Alberg and Luders share a common heritage.
I have a Monitor and in my experience offshore it does a fabulous job in five knots to fifty knots plus. As a singlehander a solid and reliable wind vane self steering unit is invaluable.
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Old 10-12-2020, 20:17   #5
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Re: Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

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Itíll be interesting to see how it performs offshore. Our boats are nearly indistinguishable at a distance. The underwater profile favored by both Alberg and Luders share a common heritage.
I have a Monitor and in my experience offshore it does a fabulous job in five knots to fifty knots plus. As a singlehander a solid and reliable wind vane self steering unit is invaluable.
It has many crossings and a circunavigation already to its name, I am looking forward to using it. You are right and I would not venture anywhere without a reliable windvane.
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Old 10-12-2020, 20:45   #6
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Re: Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

Which stainless alloy it is it made out of and all parts from the same alloy?
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Old 11-12-2020, 17:40   #7
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Re: Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

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Which stainless alloy it is it made out of and all parts from the same alloy?
I ssume its 304, I really never asked because it doesn't matter to me.
My previous windvane (Ratclife) was made out of stock 304 - it was good for over 30K miles and 15 years until I sold the boat, probably still alive today.

Everything is stainless, except for the delrin bushings, vane, paddle and the small bronze sheave below.
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:42   #8
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Re: Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

Reviving this post for a follow up and post installation review.

Since installing, which was much easier than anticipated, I was able to do several "test runs" with the windvane.
Its a very nice piece of kit, simple, well made, good on most points of sail, just like all windvanes. I have not tested it on a run, but I am not holding my breath, not even I can do it properly..... I am still optimizing the control lines and testing different configurations to ensure the least friction for a prompt wheel response. At the very bottom of the picture below, you may be able to see the 1/8 Amsteel blue control line to the wheel.
All windvanes need a period of adaptation after installation, and this is no different, and like all of them, this one only needs a balanced sail configuration and 5 or more knots of wind, it drives without any complaints.
Knowing its history and although I only partially tested it, I am very satisfied and highly recommend it - as a disclaimer, I am not related in any way with the business, just a satified customer.
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Old 04-08-2021, 14:29   #9
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Re: Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

THANK YOU for your follow-up, Tatia!

It's one of the hardest things about this Forum: not knowing how things turned out.

Gratefully,
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Old 04-08-2021, 16:04   #10
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Re: Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

Hi, SVTatia,

If it's not happy off the wind, try using just the headsail with it. We have lots of ocean miles on a fin keeler, with an auxiliary rudder type wind vane, but most of that was done wing and wing, with the headsail poled out and the main out and prevented....well off the wind, sometimes DDW.

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Old 04-08-2021, 16:58   #11
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Re: Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

This windvane apparently works based on the reports from happy customers however I am skeptical of several of the engineering aspects.
  1. The thin stainless wire and the bronze wheel look susceptible to breakage and wear
  2. The plastic ring and pinion gears which translate the horizontal motion into rotation of the water oar also look fragile.
  3. The single, small footprint, mounting area looks like it could get quite a lot of stress on it
  4. The thin, unsupported, spars which carry the steering rope loads also look breakable.
  5. It is apparently not possible for the water oar to "release" if struck by a floating object, (it cannot swing aft)

I've a few miles under harsh conditions with my Monitor and have had occasion to learn the hard way about the loads which occur when trying to steer a yacht in boisterous conditions. Those loads break things.
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Old 04-08-2021, 17:03   #12
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Re: Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
I ssume its 304, I really never asked because it doesn't matter to me.
My previous windvane (Ratclife) was made out of stock 304 - it was good for over 30K miles and 15 years until I sold the boat, probably still alive today.

Everything is stainless, except for the delrin bushings, vane, paddle and the small bronze sheave below.
I believe that that there is a plastic ring and pinion gear inside the stainless cover at the pivot point of the swing arm.
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Old 04-08-2021, 17:18   #13
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Re: Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

Thank you for the info . What kind of boat is she . Where are you going to travel to. Last December I sailed from Rhode Island to stuart FL . First trip for the both of us.. me and a friend
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Old 05-08-2021, 06:13   #14
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Re: Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Hi, SVTatia,

If it's not happy off the wind, try using just the headsail with it. We have lots of ocean miles on a fin keeler, with an auxiliary rudder type wind vane, but most of that was done wing and wing, with the headsail poled out and the main out and prevented....well off the wind, sometimes DDW.

Ann
Thank you Ann, I will try it wing and wing one day and see how it steers, but I tend to bring the wind a bit on the quarter whenever possible to minimize the rolling - its pretty hard on my old leg muscles. A cruising spinnaker is on my list for those light wind days and from behind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
This windvane apparently works based on the reports from happy customers however I am skeptical of several of the engineering aspects.
  1. The thin stainless wire and the bronze wheel look susceptible to breakage and wear
  2. The plastic ring and pinion gears which translate the horizontal motion into rotation of the water oar also look fragile.
  3. The single, small footprint, mounting area looks like it could get quite a lot of stress on it
  4. The thin, unsupported, spars which carry the steering rope loads also look breakable.
  5. It is apparently not possible for the water oar to "release" if struck by a floating object, (it cannot swing aft)

I've a few miles under harsh conditions with my Monitor and have had occasion to learn the hard way about the loads which occur when trying to steer a yacht in boisterous conditions. Those loads break things.
I have not met anyone who provided a bad review of their windvane specially after shelling out thousands of boat bucks.

Wingsail, ALL windvanes work well based on reports from happy customers....
Of course you are totally biased on your Monitor, and you should be, its a good and reliable piece of equipment and it works, right?
I'll avoid comparing windvanes for obvious reasons, they are all somewhat unique, mostly efficient, reliable and work as they should. Thanks for your opinion and the analysis based on pictures, but I agree to none, since I know its history and by having extensive experience sailing with a windvane, I trust the engineering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joetrotta View Post
Thank you for the info . What kind of boat is she . Where are you going to travel to. Last December I sailed from Rhode Island to stuart FL . First trip for the both of us.. me and a friend
Joe, the boat is an Allied Luders 33, built in 1967. I am planning to retun to long distance cruising in the immediate future. I hope your trip to Florida was uneventfull and fun, perhaps you'll keep going further south?
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Old 05-08-2021, 08:32   #15
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Re: Is there a reasonably priced windvane?

The oar on the unit does flip up if struck, look closely, single bolt.
The mount is not under stress, most all modern windvanes use that small footprint except monitor/aries, which is most likely only due to its older design.
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