View Poll Results: Best Windvane Self-steering ?

Voters
109. You may not vote on this poll
  • Aries

    18 16.51%
  • Capehorn

    1 0.92%
  • Fleming

    1 0.92%
  • Hydrovane

    44 40.37%
  • Monitor

    20 18.35%
  • Neptune

    3 2.75%
  • Sailomat

    0 0%
  • Sea feather

    7 6.42%
  • Voyager

    0 0%
  • Windpilot

    15 13.76%
Page 1 of 8 123456 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 75
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    6,393

    Default Poll - Best Windvane Self-steering system ?

    Hi,

    Question as title - which is the best of the big name self-steering windvanes out there ? Personal experience preferred.

    The ones on the list are the just the top 10 that seem to get talked about the most, they are as follows :

    1. Aries
    2. Capehorn
    3. Fleming
    4. Hydrovane
    5. Monitor
    6. Neptune
    7. Sailomat
    8. Sea Feather
    9. Voyager
    10. Windpilot


    but I also came across the following "B" list, does anyone think I'm missing a trick in leaving any of these out of the running ?



    I know this question appears a lot but I couldn't find a comprehensive poll so that's my excuse for posting it again...

    Boo2

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Up high
    Posts
    1,119

    Default

    I had a Hydrovane on my last boat. Excellent support when selecting, buying and fitting- fitting was easy singlehanded while afloat.

    15 years of faultless service from it.

    Would not hesitate to buy another Hydrovane.
    Add Alcohol

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Didn't feel right voting. I imagine most of us have only used one or two vanes, and will vote for the one we know.
    I have a Monitor, the only vane I have experience with. It served me well crossing from Japan last year, but have nothing to compare it to.
    Jim
    Tayana 37

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Loch Snizort, Isle of Skye
    Posts
    4,800

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jim99 View Post
    Didn't feel right voting. I imagine most of us have only used one or two vanes, and will vote for the one we know.
    I have a Monitor, the only vane I have experience with. It served me well crossing from Japan last year, but have nothing to compare it to.
    +1
    FWIW, I have a Navik, which is a good match for my boat, being very lightweight and with, IMHO, very good performance. However I have nothing to compare it to, except that I have glanced at other brands as I walked down the pontoons.
    I would say that the Navik does have some limitations: you have to hang of the back-stay to adjust course, dropping the water paddle can only be done whilst dead in the water, and a lot of the mechanism looks very fragile to me. Other brands looks more substantial, but then perhaps that would make them too heavy for my boat.
    Deb 33- Wayfarer- Wanderer

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Northwest
    Posts
    1,978

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Robwhelton View Post
    +1
    FWIW, I have a Navik, which is a good match for my boat . . . .I would say that the Navik does have some limitations:
    I've used the Navik a lot and it's by far the most sophisticated set up ever made. I'm stunned that it has gone out of production and that no one tried (to my knowledge) a Mk 2 version or even a version for bigger boats. I know they did make an electric remote control unit on the turret at one stage, but was 'no longer available' even by the late 1980's.

    Many. many miles with a Navik proved itself to be certainly robust enough on boats up to Contessa 32 size as proved by GiGi using one to sail upwind round Cape Horn.

    The other type I've used a lot on bigger boats is the Monitor. Again a stunning bit of kit and I would see no reason to consider anything else if I had to replace it.

    But I'm not going to answer the survey as you have to use self steering gears a lot to really get the best from them. So my opinions of the Aries are formed after far fewer miles and therefore are not valid. But the control mechanism on the turret is brilliant!

    The Hydrovane has always enjoyed a 'home advantage' on UK boats. A consistent boatshow presence by the various manufacturers over the years, the ability to mount them off centre on swim platformed transoms and their conversion into a form of emergency rudder, has meant they have lots of advocates over here. They therefore do well in the 'objective magasine surveys'.

    But I am a huge admirer of the servo pendulum gears; I love the yaw damping in quartering seas and in my dreams I'd have a Navik system built like a Monitor! That would seem to be the best of both worlds.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    19,519

    Default

    I don't suppose many people have had experience of the full range of windvane steering systems so your poll won't be much help.

    I have only owned one, a Monitor. It is easy to use and incredibly sensitive. The absence of any alloy parts means there is nothing to corrode so you can always get it to peices easily.

    Things I don't like are its weight, appearance and the fact that when the paddle is out of the water it is vulnerable to being bashed by passing boats. It also adds to the boat's length so you could be charged more in a marina. It wasn't that easy to install. The makers recommend fitting it when afloat but I would have found it easier to do it ashore.

    Some people think that windvanes are only for ocean voyagers but the Monitor is so easy to deploy and control that I use mine on short trips.
    Last edited by parsifal; 19-11-12 at 14:58.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    8,570

    Default

    I have Monitor that is simple and very rugged,It's all stainless not alloy so corrosion is not a problem.It doesn't look as smart as other makes(it's downright ugly) but it can be repaired very easily ant it's a doddle to take apart and put back together again.Mine was hit by another boat and one of the teeth on the gear broke off.The clamp for the vane was also dammaged .I had a new tooth welded on (it's bronze) for 5€ and I fixed the rest myself which involved welding new nuts for the airvane clamps .It also works brilliantly and is very easy to set up.
    Last edited by 30boat; 19-11-12 at 00:32.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Hampshire UK
    Posts
    4,083

    Default

    Just from interest in the design concepts I have looked at most of these and often the choice is thinned out by which are suited to the boat in question. Weight is a major consideration on smaller boats, particularly if they have little reserve buoyancy in the stern. In general, I thought those built from stainless and bronze would outlast the others, just as the older designs using massive bevel gears will probably outlast those with small plastic gears.

    The one in your list which is really different is the Hydrovane as it is not a servo-pendulum it is not as mechanically powerful, but has the advantage of not being linked to the tiller/wheel which is lashed.

    Incidentally, a Super Navik was produced to cater for larger boats, but it didn't seem to be popular in the same way the Navik still is.

    I don't believe you will learn anything from the poll, as others have said most people have experience of only one design.

    Rob.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Emsworth Hants
    Posts
    12,250

    Default

    >I had a Hydrovane on my last boat. Excellent support when selecting, buying and fitting- fitting was easy

    I agree. Ours had done over 25,000 miles when I sold the boat. On the maintenance front I only did two things to it, very occasionally change the pin holding the rudder because of corrosion and grease the big cog.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    North Wales, sailing Aegean Sea or Menai Strait
    Posts
    21,467

    Default

    I have not voted as I have only ever owned a Windpilot. It was excellent, used many times to cross the North Sea. In the Med I found it did not entirely resist being whacked by the anchor of a lunatic mobo driver but fortunately was not too difficult to repair.
    Answers to some technical queries at new website http://coxeng.co.uk

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