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Date Posted: - Sunday - 12/ 9/12 - 3:35pm
Author: Sietse (M32 #49 "Waka Irie")
Subject: Aries Wind vane and Worm Gear Steering
In reply to: Randall, M31, Murre 's message, "Comparing to Monitor on Murre" on - Wednesday - 12/ 5/12 - 12:36am

Hi Jared & Randall,

Thank you so much for all that info.
if it wasn't for all your support i would have sailed the boat onto a reef by now.

But we stay positive and work hard trying to get this thing to work or find some other self steering option.

To answer some of your questions:

I have used other wind vanes in the past but these were different models on different type boats and they seemed to work fine.

We are currently in Cartagena, Colombia and have some time and the resources to try a few things out.

First thing we did is get most of the old grease off the worm gear rudder and now we are looking for a grease gun with the right nipple connection to replace it with new fresh one. this hasn't been done since we bought to boat.
I won't say that it is really heavy at the moment.
we can also turn the wheel with one finger but i guess it won't hurt to improve it.
how often do you lube it? what do you use and how do you get the grease in the collar?
we have noticed on passage that it was sometimes getting a bit stiffer and just sprayed WD40 between the collar and shaft and that helped a lot.
can you use 3-in-1 oil for that?

The other thing we will work on is making a bigger vane out of a aluminium rod(6mm or something) that we will bend in a vane shape and span a piece of sailcloth between.
we have seen this on other aries and it's the same concept as Hydrovane uses. we have been using 7mm plywood both sides varnished but they seem to small and too heavy.
what size is your big vane, Randall?

The lines and blocks we use are all new and after 6 months there's no stretch in them any more. the bushings and bearings on the Aries seem fine too but there is a bit of play in some of them. we keep spraying and lubing them.

The drum we use on the wheel seems to be a Aries original but it's a bit heavy and bulky and sticks out a lot.
it is one of these:
http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg316/LatenightShiZZ/IMG_1855.jpg
http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg316/LatenightShiZZ/IMG_1854.jpg
http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg316/LatenightShiZZ/IMG_1853.jpg

i have used a Monitor wheel drum and prefer these because they sit flatter on the wheel and are a bit smaller.

The other "original wheel drum" that looks like this:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_L_gmO1xMx3I/StRVfSvHqFI/AAAAAAAAF3o/m1iDGOttspY/s1600-h/Aries+Vane+Gear+rope+drum+007.JPG

would also be a lot better because it is adjustable

i have made one myself from an alternator pulley which is half the diameter of the original but i was only able to try this one in light wind and there was too much tension on the lines and wouldn't rotate properly
We have to try it again in 15-20 knots.

There is a Mariner 31 in the Marina here called "Mary Eleen" or something that has an external rudder hanging on it's transom. it looks quite professionally done and the steering wheel is also still there but it is right in the spot where you would put a windvane so not really an option for us. there's no one it at the moment and haven't been able to track down the owner.
but he uses a tiller pilot to steer.

i will try to post some pictures soon and play around a bit more to improve things.

Thanks again all the replies.

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Replies:

[> [> [> Airvane size -- Randall, M31, Murre, - Friday - 12/14/12 - 6:23pm

The whole Monitor manual can be downloaded here: http://www.selfsteer.com/products/monitor/manual.php

My airvane dimensions are here: http://www.selfsteer.com/products/monitor/manual/page.php?sectionNumber=6.7

Mine is the bigger of the two pictured there. It's made of a light, corrugated plastic with two plastic rod stiffeners (standard issue Monitor). I had another made out of Styrofoam covered in plastic (again, standard issue Monitor, not home made) that was also large. I cut it down to the size of the smaller vane in the above graphic, but had little success with it. To be fair, I only tried it once, then went back to the larger, light wind vane.

Good luck.


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