#1 2020-05-20 18:03:03

From: Den Helder, Netherlands
Registered: 2019-03-04
Posts: 8

Grace Darling and her new Monitor windvane

Good evening,

Here are some pictures and footage of my recently installed Monitor wind vane.

https://www.victoriashadow.co.uk/public … WA0045.mp4

The windvane is a well used one that belonged to the famous S&S "Sonnet", previously owned by Miss Lydia Bird who did some wonderful voyages, and even wrote a book about it, called Sonnet. The nowadays owners replaced the unit with a hydraulic installation, and the then redundant set was sold to me. (Even before I had Grace Darling smile

The installation was a rather challenging project. Bending tubes, making brackets and fabricating the struts in a rather sleek fashion followed by drilling holes in the boat (!) ended last week with the sea-trials of the newly installed unit. It was amazing to see that after spent many years on a dusty attic the moment the paddle was released it kicked in and took control. We did a tour of 35 miles along the Dutch coast from Den Helder to Bergen aan Zee while passing the historic grounds of Camperdown without taking over controle of the unit. We only just fiddled a little bit with the right amount of tension on the steering lines, and that was it. What a joy to just sit and observe the mesmerizing action of vane, paddle and helm reaction.

Of course the unit was overhauled and inspected to the last bolt and washer. I replaced all the bearings and bushes as well as the steering lines. As the unit came without its vanes a good friend of me donated his old vanes that belonged to his yacht, long time back. So now the unit looks like new!

It is a rather impressive piece of equipment, while it gives Grace Darling a really handsome and professional new profile.

Now I have to buy books and crossword puzzles, take time to make great meals en have time to do the little jobs that always need to be done when at sea.

Enjoy the footage, and stay safe,

Marc Langbroek

"Grace Darling"

Last edited by Marc_Langbroek (2020-05-25 20:36:02)


#2 2020-05-21 04:48:52

Registered: 2003-11-23
Posts: 154

Re: Grace Darling and her new Monitor windvane

Thank you for your post and the link to your graceful lady, sailing like I am sure that Chuck designed her.  I suspect that the project was a labour of love, where you were able to bring your engineering skills to the fore.
At a time when so many of us are in self-imposed isolation your escape was well deserved.
We are always on the lookout for informative technical articles to include in Waterlines and if you would like to work up some pictures and script they would be gratefully received by our journal editor, Ian Rycroft.
Stay safe and fair winds.


#3 2020-05-25 20:48:32

Registered: 2016-12-24
Posts: 6

Re: Grace Darling and her new Monitor windvane

Congratulations for your excellent work with the rudder bushes, loose garage and windvane.

It is always very nice to see a Frances 26 sailing well.

Fair winds



#4 2020-05-26 10:43:48

Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 48

Re: Grace Darling and her new Monitor windvane

What a lovely job Marc. I bet that it took a lot of time to measure and perfect the mountings for the Monitor.

I rebuilt my Monitor last year (all bearings, sheave blocks etc.) and also bought the correct mounting tubes for my Victoria 34. I didn't install it as I opted for a Hydrovane. I haven't mounted it yet though.

Good luck and enjoy your sailing this season.

Kind regards,



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