I would tend to agree with Wolfgang in general. Though we sailed a Dean 365 cat across from South Africa
many years ago without a windvane
, using an autopilot
, I believe that a windvane
could be used... particularly in downwind conditions. The trick on other points of sailing is to get a clear air flow and, with wide hard dodgers that cats typically have, that can be difficult.
Our cat was rigged for a wind vane
with auxiliary rudder
to drive the main rudders and, fortuitously, that saved our bacon when our steering
cable broke halfway across the Atlantic. Though the wheel
were disabled we were able to steer using the auxiliary rudder
for two entire weeks.
As Wolfgang says, it's nice to have redundant systems.