windvanes/self steering

Tuning the rig of the Nicholson 31 and chat about sails.
postboy
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Posts: 5
Joined: 29 Apr 2016, 09:46

windvanes/self steering

Postby postboy » 22 Oct 2017, 13:44

Does anyone have experience/advice on windvanes or self steering systems for single handing? I have an electric tiller pilot, but at around F4 to 5 it can't really cope. I'm thinking 'Hydrovane' at the moment...any experience and advice would be welcome.

Mitch
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Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 23:13

Re: windvanes/self steering

Postby Mitch » 11 Sep 2018, 15:09

I haven't any direct experience on the Nicholson, but I'm actively looking for a wind vane at the moment. I've used a Monitor on a Bristol Pilot Cutter with a huge boom and gaff main and I've also used a Wind Pilot Pacific on a slightly higher performance UFO 34. They were both exceptionally efficient when they were properly set up and the boat was balanced, but the trick was (and still is) to get the sails balanced almost perfectly before you engage the wind vane. You need an almost 'neutral' helm, with little in the way of weather helm - it can help if you practice achieving this with your electric auto helm at the moment.
You also need to be more prepared to reef your sails to balance the helm, even a good wind vane can't work effectively when the boat is overpowered.

If anyone has a spare wind vane that is looking for a good home - please let me know.

Mitch

postboy
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Posts: 5
Joined: 29 Apr 2016, 09:46

Re: windvanes/self steering

Postby postboy » 11 Sep 2018, 18:51

Ok thanks

tramontane
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Joined: 14 Jun 2014, 11:40

Re: windvanes/self steering

Postby tramontane » 20 Nov 2018, 18:41

I installed a Monitor windvane years ago and I'm very happy with it, even works in light winds and under spinnacre up to Bft 4-5
Jens

ran
Crew Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 01 Oct 2013, 18:18

Boom to Tiller self steering

Postby ran » 24 Feb 2019, 16:45

Has any one tried self steering using the mainsail or Genoa to rig a self steering line to the tiller? If interested there are various methods described in YouTube. Just enter "Boom to Tiller self steering" in the search window.

101Ragamuffin
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Joined: 12 Jun 2019, 00:09

Re: windvanes/self steering

Postby 101Ragamuffin » 28 Jun 2019, 22:02

Hi All, I am new here and new to sailing but I ended with Ragamuffin (101) as my first boat. I was told a beginner should not have a Nic31 :-) She came with an Aries fitted. David the previous owner used it extensively and was happy with it. I just had one go at it while David was on board but planning to start to test it seriously in a month time. If anybody wants to come along to see it working, more than welcome. I will post my experience but that might be skewed by me being a beginner. We are on the Solent.

Mitch
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Posts: 6
Joined: 27 Apr 2018, 23:13

Re: windvanes/self steering

Postby Mitch » 30 Jul 2019, 23:14

You’ve an excellent yacht and a super wind vane, I’ve just fitted an Aries and hardly touch the helm when under sail.
Don’t forget to really get the sails trimmed and balanced - many people have sails in too tight for the vane to work properly. To balance the headsail and mainsail you will probably have to reef earlier than you might think. You will also have to re-trim the sails when you change course. All you need to do then is keep an eye open for course changes due to wind shifts.
There is a good Facebook group for the Aries, with access to a lot of information.

blueprintbill
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Joined: 19 Nov 2004, 07:58
Location: Newton Highlands ,Boston), Massachusetts, USA
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Re: windvanes/self steering

Postby blueprintbill » 20 Sep 2019, 06:01

I have an Aires from 2001 built at that time in Denmark.
If still available I would recommend it highly. It was brilliant from the first moment it was activated. I thought it was going to take some adjustment, fiddling with, some education, but it didn’t. Just set it up, oar in water, vane to wind direction and wow, it steered the boat in a perfectly straight line !!! I was amazed!
It worked superbly on trans Atlantic crossing even in light air. I do not use it here in the tight rocky quarters of coastal Maine however. There are control lines that can extend through the companionway ( when open), such that you can adjust course from inside the boat underway without going out into the cockpit.
Email me at blueprintbill8@gmail.com and I can forward explanatory photos.

005Showa
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Joined: 12 Nov 2019, 00:33

Re: windvanes/self steering

Postby 005Showa » 12 Nov 2019, 13:04

I have the 'Cape Horn' windvane, installed on showa, works good. You do need to balance sails perfectly, or very close to it, if not you will hunt back and forth. A nice feature with the cape horn is it can be installed offset to the center line, therefore does not protrude much aft of the rudder and is fairly streamline looking compared to some monitors. I wood give this unit a recommendation.


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