With a coastal cruiser like the Catalina 30
, I would agree with everyone else, an autopilot
would be more helpful than windvane
. For distance cruising autopilots have the liability of increasing fuel consumption
because they require extra charging
time to keep the batteries
up. Since you are only short hopping, the windvane and a high output alternator
should hold you in good stead.
For longer distance offshore
cruising, a windvane (and a more appropriate boat) would make more sense as it allows you to minimize fuel
usage on a long passage
thereby maintaining a reserve for light air, entering harbors, etc.