If it mounts like the Windpilot Pacific Plus on my boat
, just bolt it to the transom with large backing pads inside. There should be information on height above water
for the top of the rudder
. Fully loaded at rest the top of the rudder should be a few inches above the water
. Don't want the rudder coupling under water all the time as things can freeze up when immersed constantly. IIRC, the WPP+ is about 6 inches above the water. The stern will squat under sail and completely immerse the rudder.
WP calls for the vane to be mounted at a slight rearward angle possibly to help shed any weeds etc. that it might pick up. I was concerned about the angle as the vane was second hand and reversed the top and bottom mounts to get it to fit. It has a very slight rearward angle. Sent pictures to Peter at WP and he said it was fine. The pictures at the Fleming website seem to show the gear
mounted vertical or close to it.
Installed the WPP+ in the middle of SF winter, in a rainstorm, by myself. Took a couple of hours. Backed the boat stern to the floating dock
. Suspended the vane from the stern pulpit. Lined it up vertical by eyeball, marked where the supporting arms should go, drilled the holes and bolted it in place. Used 3/16" fiberglass
backing pads cut from sheet stock from McMaster Carr Would recommend using a level to get the vane vertical which I didn't do. Got the vane slightly off vertical but hasn't affected the performance. Actually it's so close that I'm probably the only person that would notice and I didn't see it till the boat was hauled in the Islands 4 years after the installation
. Have sailed the boat from from SF to Hawaii
and worked a treat. Assume the Fleming which is a very similar design will work
just as well.
One thing, I'd use lock washers and red LocTite on all the fasteners and check them regularly that they are still tight. The vane is under a heavy cyclic load and will loosen up any nut that is properly torqued and secured. WPP comes with NyLok nuts which I thought would not loosen up. The bolt that held the lower vane mount to the vane loosened up and the bolt eventually fell out about 200 miles out of SF. That put all the steering
load on the upper mount for the vane, the vane pivoted on that mount and ripped out of the transom. Had to turn around and power back to SF. Lucky it didn't wait a couple more days to give up as I would have been in deep trouble. When the vane ripped out it took all the glass around backstay except a very strip that was partiially delaminiated. Luckily the chain plate
held and I was able to power back to SF in light winds with the rig still standing.