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Old 24-12-2019, 09:44   #16
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

I have had Aries, Navik, a couple of Monitors, and a Pacific plus.

To me the Pacific Plus was the best. I have not had a Hydrovane but I believe it is like the Pacific Plus.

The things I like about it are:

It is independent, no lines running to the helm. which make it more sensitive and less clutter in the cockpit.

you can use it as an emergency rudder.

When you set it, you first balance the boat with her own rudder, then lock the
ships rudder and set the vane, you are basically helping her steer herself, and you can make small adjustments to via the ships wheel or tiller to balance her out.

It is robust, and fairly easy to remove in port (although you would then have to find a place to stow it).

I have crossed oceans many times with just an Autopilot, but I have always carried (and often used) spare control heads, and autopilots suck up a LOT of juice.

And I agree with Jim, although handy, davits are not only ugly but not something I like going to sea with. Even on a 200' motorsailor, I took the dingy off the davits before crossing the Pacific.

M
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Old 24-12-2019, 09:47   #17
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

Before I invested the thousands of dollars into a wind vane I spent a lot of time researching. I came to opinion that the servo pendulum was overall much superior then that of the other styles especially in extreme foul weather when I as a single handler need it the most. I did not want to have a mix of dissimuler metals together like what you find on some. Without doubt the Monitor was the best. 100% heavy stainless construction, wonderful sales and service people and very simple to install and use. I bought one of these and installed it myself in just one day. Took me just a few hours underway to learn how to use it and now after thousands of ocean miles I canít imagine life without it. Please consider one of these before to buy another brand and I feel confident you will see what Iím talking about.
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Old 24-12-2019, 10:32   #18
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

I too circumnavigated with an autopilot but stockpiled a lot of spare parts and only got caught flatfooted for one 90 mile passage. The power demand is the issue. I used solar, wind and later a drag prop generator.

An alternative to a winvane with davits would be a windvane driven by a tiller pilot. Much less power draw and no dependence on clear air around a paddle. Just have a couple of spare tiller pilots - much less expensive than a below deck autopilot.
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Old 24-12-2019, 10:35   #19
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mapoftassie View Post
Hi!
I just wanted to ask if anyone could help suggest a wind vane to suit an Adams 40' Steel (15 Tonnes) slightly extended stern with davits and dingy attached. I'm have read that if your going on extended voyages to fit one, as Autopilots tend to fail when you need them most? Any advice appreciated.

Kind Regards
Mapoftassie
If you have hydraulic steering, your choice of a wind vane kit will be somewhat limited.

Many recommend the Hydrovane (which is one of the few on the market that will work with hydraulic steering). It's a good vane, and I have one as well. It does have some limitations; especially in light winds.

Vanes are highly dependent on 1) your ability to balance and trim sails, and 2) the air movement on/around the vane.
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Old 24-12-2019, 10:51   #20
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

Weird alternative... I met a guy in Spain with a Hydrovane. He had disengaged the clever analogue sensing-the-wind bit a put a tillerpilot between the Hydrovane's emergency tiller and the push pit. He said this was now his normal setup because the tillerpilot used so little power in wind vane mode and with the small rudder compared to the 'proper' autopilot on the wheel steering system and big rudder. He had 2 PV panels and a wind genny. I presume this was enough to keep it going with the house batteries he had.



Does this mean a simple small aux rudder with a tiller pilot might be an option?
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Old 24-12-2019, 10:56   #21
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mapoftassie View Post
Hi!
I just wanted to ask if anyone could help suggest a wind vane to suit an Adams 40' Steel (15 Tonnes) slightly extended stern with davits and dingy attached. I'm have read that if your going on extended voyages to fit one, as Autopilots tend to fail when you need them most? Any advice appreciated.

Kind Regards
Mapoftassie
Use the windvane offshore and autopilot inshore/coastal. The recent Great Global Race-2018 (GGR-2018) boats either had a Monitor or Hydrovane...those few that didn't had problems.

I eventually removed the davits on my boat and installed a Monitor and not sorry; I lost ALL power crossing FL-TX and only had a handheld GPS and stack of batteries.

You don't want to have that dinghy on the stern sailing offshore for any number of reasons...secure it on deck or deflate and store inside if possible, I did the latter. It is a safety vs. convenience decision; yes, some have done it but that doesn't make it wise planning...they were lucky.

I have seen only one stern arch that accommodated davits but don't know how effective it was. Call Scanmar International and see what they say for your boat make/model. I last used my Monitor on a roundtrip to Hawaii...I wouldn't leave home without it.

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Old 24-12-2019, 13:42   #22
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

FLEMMING Servo Pendulum.
Jessica Watson used it in her solo circumnavigation.
Much superior to others for reliability and function.
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Old 24-12-2019, 14:11   #23
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

I have an Aries. Probably 30 years old but looks new. Already sailed a steel yacht from Germany to Australia. Mine is the version built in Denmark. I use it probably 99.9% of the time at sea and even use it crossing my local bar. Sailing up a fairly narrow river I use it for short periods if I have to leave the cockpit. Other choices would be a Monitor or a Fleming.

Apart from it's strong construction the course setting levers and their effectiveness makes the Aries the best choice.
The report into the effectiveness and problems competitors experienced in the recent Golden Globe race is worth a read.
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Old 24-12-2019, 15:04   #24
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

If you are going to cross oceans, a stern mounted dinghy dangling from davits is a pain in the arse. It is convenient for coastal hops, but for a long haul it really needs to be lashed onto chocks on the fore deck There is not much chance of a wind vane working with a dinghy in davits unless you have one with the vane mounted well above the deck on its own mast in clear wind.

Personally I would be considering an electro-hydraulic one such as a TMQ and have a hydraulic steering system. Run an extra wind generator and an extra solar panel to keep it happy, and you worries are over. Mine ran using GPS or fluxgate compass--so if you have plenty of power available used the GPS system and it will sail a straight magnetic course or you can use GPS way points to sail a Great Circle course if you are crossing an ocean.
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Old 24-12-2019, 16:23   #25
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

The best windvane is not known as the best boat is not either.

Wind vanes give a lot of power and confidence to sail in difficult conditions but they generally cannot be tuned as well in lighter weather and an autopilot using only a few watts and costing much less can outperform them much of the time. It's enough to make 6 miles a day difference in trade winds on my boat and more comfortable sailing.


You might consider having a very powerful and fast autopilot (rudder moves 10-15 degrees per second) . A wind sensor to steer to wind and this setup would outperform all of the wind vanes and cost less too. In rough weather it might need a small hydro charger to keep up, unless you drive a pendulum oar or trim tab rather than the rudder directly but this has the disadvantage of more lag and the performance isn't as good.
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Old 24-12-2019, 17:13   #26
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

No one has mentioned the "Sayes Rig". I think Mr Sayes has passed, but my wind vane is still working perfectly after 37 years. We have had several passages where the Sayes did 99% of the steering, but then again we have a Cal 46.
Details & pix on request.
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Old 24-12-2019, 17:19   #27
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

Hi Jim

Thanks for the info I will take my time making a decision on either the Aries or Hydro.

Kind Regards
Mapo
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Old 25-12-2019, 02:42   #28
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

All commercial windvanes "work" to some degree, and there is no scale or standard test to compare them. Hence anecdotal evidence may be misleading but is all you have.

If you want a vane that can handle steering boats with higher steering forces relative to wind speed then amplification of the wind force via a servo pendulum is desirable. Hydrovane drives its own auxiliary rudder direct from the wind power and does not use the force of passing water to amplify it. While it works well, it just isn't as powerful as a servo-pendulum. It "works" but whether it works as well in as broad a range of conditions is doubtful. A 40ft steel boat should be near the extreme of performance for the Hydrovane, so I suspect it has a smaller range of performance.

I don't mean to sound negative about them. I bought, and still have and use, a Hydrovane from the original English inventor. But it converts the steering in a reverse direction to the standard unit, and it has a tiller arm and cross-link to a trim tab on the trailing edge of the rudder. It is not a servo-pendulum but it does use the force of the passing water to amplify the wind force. It has been very reliable and effective. Sadly the new Canadian owners did not decide to manufacture the reverse conversion, or the smaller model of Hydrovane for which there is now no source of parts.

For my money the Windpilot is hard to beat. I preferred the all-stainless (but very light) Fleming made in Australia but that seems to have ceased production, or at least is under a different name. Both had the very desirable feature that the pendulum could be quickly and easily swung out of the water for entering harbor. Most servo-pendulums, like the Monitor, have to be locked to straight ahead as the pendulum is not easy enough to remove/replace daily. The Hydrovane also has to lock its rudder. Leaving in the water may not be a big deal but all things being equal I would prefer it out of the water when not in use. Another company, Voyager, makes a vane in Canada similar to the Windpilot which might be worth checking out (I can't tell if it swivels up as well). There are several others made to similar designs. For a heavy 40ft boat I would consider the servo-pendulum/auxiliary rudder combined systems, such as Windpilot offers.

Greg
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Old 25-12-2019, 02:53   #29
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

Hi Greg!

Wow, that's very useful information I will look into the Windpilot more now. Thanks again.Sounds like it would be much more suited to the heavier vessel I have. Also being the same composition appeals, as opposed to dissimilar metals.

Kind Regards
Mapo
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Old 25-12-2019, 10:45   #30
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Re: Whats the best windvane?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mapoftassie View Post
Hi Jim

Thanks for the info I will take my time making a decision on either the Aries or Hydro.

Kind Regards
Mapo
Greetings,
I've got a Pacific Windvane, servo-pendulum wind pilot for sale in the PNW.
In new shape with hub for Wheel steering.
PM me for cost. Details if interested.
Half the cost of new. You'll pay for shipping.
Won't be installing on my Vessel.
SV Cloud Duster
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