Done, at last!
This is The Hebridean (www.windvanesflsteering.co.uk
I purchased the kit containing all metal pieces, licence to build, and blueprints for the timber. The timber itself I already had - Indian teak
, though the design specs called for white oak - and I built it on my (domestic) workshop.
Build instructions are fairly clear, and it is not very difficult to build, but a good set of medium duty tools is required, as the build tolerances sometimes are less than 1 mm. I had to equip the workshop with several of such tools (mainly wood
working stuff, vertical press drill, etc) specifically for this project
. Lots and lots of patience and fiddling around required to get it working right though, particularly on adjusting the turret worm drive mechanism.
This is a servo wind vane; i.e. the vane itself picks the signal from the wind and transmits it to an oar trailing in the water
. The oar picks up energy from the water
flowing by it, amplifies the signal from the vane, and transmits it to a pendulum, which in turn turns the rudder through control lines.
The mounting frame supporting the vane on the transom is my own engineering, and it is not particularly elegant. In my defence, design options were constrained by the need to accommodate the turning rudder stem within it, and the fact that it is constructed strictly with standard OTS components available over the internet
The philosophy of the whole project
, both vane and mounting frame, was to have something that, in case of accidental breakage, or wear-and-tear, could be replaced with ease anywhere in the world, and with minimum access to tools and/or workshop. The only components which, if broken, needs to be replaced from origin (rather than fixed) are the black plastic bits in the adjusting mechanism of the vane’s turret. Everything else can made by cutting, bending, and drilling SS sheet material, and std size nuts and bolts
Now, the most difficult part starts. I’ll be sea-trialling this contraption over the next few weeks. Will report progress if of interest to others.