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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    394

    Default Re: Is wind vane steering necessary....

    Windvane definitely. Once you fit it you'll use it for all longer passages not just the JBC. Its one of the best bits of kit I ever bought.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Is wind vane steering necessary....

    My wind vane cost me under $50 for scrap stainless.Works well, and with a trimtab on the trailing edge of an outboard rudder, it is as close to indestructable as you can get.I have built several like it, for friends, at anchor, while sitting in my cockpit, with an alternator welder run off my main engine. My book shows you how.
    I put my autohelm below decks , hooked to my trim tab with a shaft under the cockpit seat, exiting my transom. Works well, has done so over several Pacific crossings , for 25 years, Powering only the trimtab, the power loadon it is tiny. Friends, who had them in the cockpit, said it worked fine ,until one night it would quit ,and they would find the unit full of sea water. Extending the arm all the way out, then tapeing a salmon bag over it ,letting the plastic act like a bellows, works OK ,but I prefer mine below decks.
    I would never go to sea relying on only an electronic autopilot .
    Last edited by Brent Swain; 09-10-17 at 22:43.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Is wind vane steering necessary....

    Absolutely essential. Don't trust electrics offshore. I've crossed Atlantic twice and relied on the windvane. It coped in all conditions except flat calm (but then I didnt try sailing during the flat calm - I slept and read and thought about how wonderful it was to be out on the ocean). I had a bigger, longer keeled boat than a Jester (a Joshua) and needed the servo -assisted type of vane - a Monitor on one trip and an Aries on the other. You could find something smaller, cheaper. Or try a trim tab if it will fit your rudder. Mike Richie used a windvane. Why not copy that?

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    River Exe
    Posts
    10,653

    Default Re: Is wind vane steering necessary....

    An alternative I played on my old boat.

    Cynical Scots engineer.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Is wind vane steering necessary....

    I didn't use vanes or autopilot on the JC 14 and Olivier on Godot did the JAC last year also without either. Study the first three chapters of the John Letcher book available on the jesterinfo website and try it out.



    I have no objection to anyone using wind vane gear, but perpetuating the myth that they are "essential" without having even tried the older methods, may deter others of limited means. It is worth noting that every Jester Atlantic and Azores challenge has featured steering gear failure either during the challenge or the return, in some cases even on the way to the start.

    Len

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Is wind vane steering necessary....

    Quote Originally Posted by ScallywagII View Post
    I didn't use vanes or autopilot on the JC 14 and Olivier on Godot did the JAC last year also without either. Study the first three chapters of the John Letcher book available on the jesterinfo website and try it out.



    Tried sheet to tiller decades ago. Yes, you can get it to work ,but every time there is a wind shift, or shift in wind strength, you have to mess with it a lot, to get it working again. No fun on a squally night.
    The reason so many wind vanes fail is because they are mostly made so complex and flimsy. A trim tab on an outboard rudder, with 3 pintles is not going to fail. That is what some call "Crude' which
    translates into "Not complicated enough , nor expensive enough."
    Mine cost me under $50 for scrap stainless, and welding rod. 33 years of mostly full time cruising, and several Pacific crossings, and not a single failure. You don't often get that with flimsy commercially made windvanes.

    I have no objection to anyone using wind vane gear, but perpetuating the myth that they are "essential" without having even tried the older methods, may deter others of limited means. It is worth noting that every Jester Atlantic and Azores challenge has featured steering gear failure either during the challenge or the return, in some cases even on the way to the start.

    Len

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Is wind vane steering necessary....

    Quote Originally Posted by ScallywagII View Post
    I didn't use vanes or autopilot on the JC 14 and Olivier on Godot did the JAC last year also without either. Study the first three chapters of the John Letcher book available on the jesterinfo website and try it out.



    I have no objection to anyone using wind vane gear, but perpetuating the myth that they are "essential" without having even tried the older methods, may deter others of limited means. It is worth noting that every Jester Atlantic and Azores challenge has featured steering gear failure either during the challenge or the return, in some cases even on the way to the start.

    Len
    Tried sheet to tiller decades ago. Yes, you can get it to work ,but every time the wind direction or strength changes, you have to mess with it ; a lot. No fun on a squally night.
    A trim tab with three pintles on an outboard rudder is not going to fail. Mine is 33 years old, and after that much mostly full time sailing and many Pacific crossings I have not had a single failure.
    You don't often get that with flimsy, commercially made windvanes. Cost me under $50 for scrap stainless and welding rods.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    388

    Default Re: Is wind vane steering necessary....

    Mr Swain, Could you post a link to an article, hopefully with pictures, of your self steering gear?

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