#1 2021-03-15 15:58:39

Geoff_Harwood
Member
Registered: 2020-10-27
Posts: 5

Windvane steering.

Have any members come across Hebridean self steering?It is sold as a kit for self completion and seems to have many good points, not least the cost. The kit is £460 and the reviews all rate it.
All answers, good or bad, would be appreciated.

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#2 2021-03-22 11:46:17

Charles_Grossie
Member
Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 67

Re: Windvane steering.

Hi Geoff. I don't have any personal experience of this self steering gear, but I have a few friends who considered it. In the end, they opted for more robustly built alloy or stainless steel variants (Wind Pilot and Sea Feather - both second-hand).

I would start with asking what your intended use is and also what yacht you intend installing the self-steering gear on. I presume this is for your F26. By their nature, wind vanes are items of equipment that you have to be able to depend upon especially if you are going to be sailing short-handed. Yacht size/displacement needs to be considered and also the type of keel arrangement. Sail trim and yacht balance is 'key' for any self steering gear be it servo pendulum or auxiliary gear such as the Hydrovane.

Aesthetics maters too. The chosen wind vane needs to suit the yacht too. smile

I've personal experience of the early 'lift-up' ARIES, which I had installed on my Rival 34 (~25 years ago); early Hydrovane VXA11 which was installed on my Biscay 36 ketch. I also sailed the ARC in 2010 on a friends Amel Santorin (46' ketch) which had a brand new Hydrovane fitted (and didn't steer it very well). I have also sailed with the Monitor and the newer Dutch built Aries. They are all great, but have their differences.

I plan to install a Hydrovane onto my Victoria 34, once lock-down eases. I did buy a Monitor, but have since decided not to install it as I want to minimise clutter in the cockpit (steering lines etc.).

Hopefully, this provides some help?

Kind regards.

Charlie.
'Anitra' - Victoria 34 cutter

Last edited by Charles_Grossie (2021-03-22 16:52:10)

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#3 2021-03-22 20:20:52

Marc_Langbroek
Member
From: Den Helder, Netherlands
Registered: 2019-03-04
Posts: 31

Re: Windvane steering.

Geoff,

You can also take a look at the reasonably priced Bouvaan windvane. Most of the build is D.I.Y.

https://bouvaan.nl


Marc Langbroek

S/Y Grace Darling

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#4 2021-03-22 21:29:02

Charles_Grossie
Member
Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 67

Re: Windvane steering.

Marc,
You fitted a Monitor to Grace Darling last year. What's your verdict assuming that you've had time to use it?

Thanks.

Charlie.

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#5 2021-03-22 23:08:08

Geoff_Harwood
Member
Registered: 2020-10-27
Posts: 5

Re: Windvane steering.

Many thanks, Charlie and Marc.
I’m still at the investigation stage so all info is greatfully accepted. I have taken a look at the Holland Windvane, which looks interesting.
I will be sailing single handed but only coastally, not deep sea and I prefer the ‘silent partner’ rather than a tiller pilot.
Cost will be a major consideration as I can’t justify spending £3000 for occasional use, so the kit type vanes fit the Bill.
I’ll post my decision and it’s performance when the time comes.

Geoff

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#6 2021-03-22 23:14:40

Marc_Langbroek
Member
From: Den Helder, Netherlands
Registered: 2019-03-04
Posts: 31

Re: Windvane steering.

Charles,

The monitor is a great add on to my boat. Although compared to the boat, its not the smallest vane in the range, but it is sturdy quality, and it gives a impressive appearance. Mine is a second hand set, and the refit was done at home without any significant problems. All spares are available, and some parts can be made to ones own taste. Also the technical support and aftersales from the US of A is fine.

The performance is outstanding, even with a cool breeze from abaft she still keeps on steering. Key is that the boat is well trimmed. We took her out on a variety of weather conditions, and she demonstrated that she is a worthy crewmember. Thus I called her Miss Mumby. (after Mumby road in Gosport where we stayed and had a great time when fitting Grace Darling for the voyage to the Netherlands.   

The hardest part was fabricating the tubing to get the whole equipment fixed in place. But that's just an engineering challenge to meet. The absolute plus is that with Miss Mumby in charge, the helm is hardly used anymore, except for getting in and out of port. And even while navigating the narrow creeks of the Waddenzee. The point I fear most is getting into a collision situation of any kind involving the wind vane, like when maneuvering in port, or horror somebody else crashing into your boat. But let's hope that that won't happen. 

So overall, a very satisfactory.

Marc Langbroek,

S/Y Grace Darling

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#7 2021-03-28 11:55:03

Alastair_Fleming
Member
Registered: 2007-06-12
Posts: 21

Re: Windvane steering.

Charlie,

My V34 Kaya has had a Monitor system on it for over 20 years. I've owned Kaya for over 14 years and have used the Monitor on many occasions. Can't fault it and, so far, other than washing it down and periodically replacing the lines have had no maintenance on it.

I'd say it is a good investment.

Alastair

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#8 2021-03-31 19:41:39

Charles_Grossie
Member
Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 67

Re: Windvane steering.

Hi Alastair,
That's good to know. Monitor is excellent gear. I've decided to install a Hydrovane though. I have the unit including the mounting H/W which is quite 'brutish' when you hold it in your hand, but very strong nevertheless.
I have the Monitor advertise on a few FaceBook groups.
Thanks.

Charlie.

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