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Date Posted:18/01/07 15:21:42 In reply to:
's message, "Re: Hydrovane" on 18/01/07 13:43:20
“Followed every windshift impeccably.”
And herein lies one of the problems with both this system and wind vanes in general. For a small yacht such as a Trapper that typically cruises only coastal waters a windshift can put you in a dangerous position, either aground or embayed with a rising, onshore wind.
I did not have the OP’s problem with my Autohelm 1000, it was over 20 years old when I sold Beachcomber and still working properly. I could use it in most conditions after getting the distance from the rudder stock, both on the starboard locker lid and tiller, correct. It was optimal under power when there was plenty of charging and in later years when sailing I installed a wind generator, so power was never a problem.
Wind vane systems are expensive because they have to be very robust, the forces on the vane and supplementary rudder are high – I remember in my early cruising days when a home-made one completely inverted, shearing all the mounting components; that was a salutary lesson that put me off them for ever. Of course, if I was ever to contemplate true blue water cruising then I would be back researching for the best.