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Date Posted: - Friday - 04/ 2/10 - 8:56pm
Author: Randall, Murre, M31
Subject: Choosing a windvane
In reply to: kaizen m31 #148 's message, "looking to buy autopilot any suggestion on best and easy to install," on - Tuesday - 03/30/10 - 7:08pm

Bruce, and anyone...

Why a Monitor? I can't make up my mind, but between the Monitor, Hydrovane, and the Auto-Helm, I'd think the Monitor the most risky. Both the Hydrovane and Auto-Helm are independent of the worm gear stearing, and (I would think) that to work well the friction in the worm gear and the play would need to be at a minimum. My worm gear is old as anyone's--has about a spoke of play and can get grumpy.

It looks like hooking an inexpensive autopilot to any of these three is pretty easy. With both the Monitor and Auto-helm, the autopilot would drive the servo pendelum or trim tab, respectivley, and thus could be very low draw.

The Auto-Helm has the addional advantage of having a quick pull pin that would allow one to lower the sail out of the way of the mizzen boom. It's also a very tiny bit cheaper.

Only the Hydrovane is even remotely good looking.

I've never used a windvane and am finding it tough to make a choice.

Are these devices pretty much the same where our boats are concerned?

RR

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Replies:

[> [> wind vane/tiller pilot -- James (m-31" Pyxis"), - Wednesday - 04/14/10 - 6:36pm

Hey Randall and Bruce

I installed a used Aries IV on Pyxis (Mariner 31) last Oct. And have sailed to Northern Sea of Cortez. I Installed a tiller pilot on the sensor vane in San Diego. It has worked flawlessly ever since. The wind vane is great on all points of sail except light down wind. The tiller pilot takes over for light down wind and motoring. I single hand mainly so the vane and tiller pilot get used almost nonstop under way. The tiller pilot draws very little juice. The total cost for the used vane installed and the tiller pilot was about $1500.00. I am on My way back to San Francisco now. I will let you Know how it goes.


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[> [> [> You still have a wheel? -- Jared Kibele, - Friday - 04/16/10 - 3:46pm

Hi James,

Just to be clear, does your Mariner have a wheel or a tiller? I'm assuming that you have a wheel and are running the Aries lines to a wheel drum. Is that true? If so, that would help confirm my hope that we Mariner owners can indeed keep our funky wheels and still use servo-pedulum windvanes.

Also, let me know if you'll be stopping in Santa Barbara or Ventura on your way back up the coast. We'd love to see Pyxis and hear about your trip. We plan on heading down there with Architeuthis next fall.

Thanks,
-Jared


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[> [> [> [> Wheel Or Tiller -- James (m-31" Pyxis"), - Friday - 04/16/10 - 8:36pm

Hi Jared
Yes I still have the original wheel and worm gear steering. I was concerned about the worm gear wind vane combo at first. Because of resistance and number of revolutions etc.. Now that I have used it I realize that once you balance the boat/trim sails the wind vane only corrects the wheel maybe 1/5 of a turn to port or starboard. The Servo pendulum is much stronger than any helmsman and does not need sleep or food. I Have the same set up as S/V Valhalla a Fuji 32. I took the tiller pilot Idea from him as well.He has great info on his web site just search sailing valhalla. The strong wind vane/tillerpilot combo has been essential to my trip. I will be in southern cal. hopefully by the first week of June. I will post to the forum when I get close.


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[> [> Howdy James! -- Randall, - Thursday - 04/15/10 - 1:15am

Great to hear from you. Amazed you have already headed the northern sea of cortez and are on the way back. Last I recall you were around La Paz. I just assumed you were still in snorkle gear or sitting on the beach with a beer. You've been busy!

Thanks for the Monitor info. Real time data always apprecaited.

When do you anticipate arriving SF? Would love to hook up.

RR


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