DIY Windvane Steering

Sail Boats 15' and up. Please include the boat type in your question.

terrulian
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Re: DIY Windvane Steering

Post by terrulian » Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:06 am

This guy is the bizness...thanks, netpackrat.
We used a Monitor which we had to rebuild a couple of times, and it failed in the middle of the Atlantic in a way that could not be jury-rigged. Of course it had a lot of miles on it by then. Not sure what I'd choose if I did this again. I would probably be too paranoid to use this setup unless the design and construction had a few circumnavigations under its keel, but for all I know it already does.
There were an alarming percentage of windvane failures in the recent Golden Globe Race. I can't at present recall which one fared the best but I think it was of a similar design; however, it may have had more robust components. This one seems a bit more fiddly than the Monitor, which you could set and forget without having to fine tune the tiller adjustments. Also, this only works with a transom mounted rudder, which we didn't have.
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Jaysen
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Re: DIY Windvane Steering

Post by Jaysen » Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:03 pm

I think this simple design was the original windvane design. I looked into home building one awhile ago and ran across a link to an old magazine article from waaaay back. It looked almost identical. I can’t find the link right now but I’ll post it when I find it.
Visit my official Class Globe 580 build blog at https://jaysenodell.com/globe-580
Currently starting a build of "Lil Bit More". A Class Mini 5.80
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My already completed 'Lil Bit'. A Martens Goosen V12 set up to sail me to the fishing holes.
Jaysen wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:44 pm
I tried to say something but God thought I was wrong and filled my mouth with saltwater. I kept my pie hole shut after that.

terrulian
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Re: DIY Windvane Steering

Post by terrulian » Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:44 pm

Blondie Hasler is the guy I remember coming up with the trim-tab design, which I believe was the first. Slocum had a system involving the jib sheet as I recall, of course much earlier.
I'm not questioning the design, just the construction. Don't know if I'd trust my own construction over one that had tens of thousands of sea miles. It is not as easy to construct sea-proof gear as one would like.
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Netpackrat
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Re: DIY Windvane Steering

Post by Netpackrat » Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:36 am

terrulian wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:44 pm
It is not as easy to construct sea-proof gear as one would like.
That strikes me as being kind of an odd comment coming from a boat builder. :)

Jaysen
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Re: DIY Windvane Steering

Post by Jaysen » Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:45 am

Netpackrat wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:36 am
terrulian wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:44 pm
It is not as easy to construct sea-proof gear as one would like.
That strikes me as being kind of an odd comment coming from a boat builder. :)
T makes a solid point though. The big boys spend loads of $$ on prototypes and test with insured crews that can deal with disasters. Putting a home built contraption in the transom, giving it control of the tiller then hoping you machined/tapped/measured everything perfect seems like the kind of thing an idiot would do.

Yet many of us idiots survive.
Visit my official Class Globe 580 build blog at https://jaysenodell.com/globe-580
Currently starting a build of "Lil Bit More". A Class Mini 5.80
Class Mini 580 welcome post.
My already completed 'Lil Bit'. A Martens Goosen V12 set up to sail me to the fishing holes.
Jaysen wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:44 pm
I tried to say something but God thought I was wrong and filled my mouth with saltwater. I kept my pie hole shut after that.

terrulian
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Re: DIY Windvane Steering

Post by terrulian » Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:00 am

It is not as easy to construct sea-proof gear as one would like.
That strikes me as being kind of an odd comment coming from a boat builder
It is not uncommon for reputable professionals to design gear that is undone by the sea.

For example, our roller furling system made by Hood had parts that were stainless attached to parts that were aluminum. On the pointy end of the boat. Which tends to get...moist. These parts welded themselves together after awhile and needed to be sawed from each other. Hood is not Acme boat parts from Roadrunner cartoons.

The stuff I did actually fared better but my takeaway from that is not that I know what I'm doing. 8O :lol:

If I were to make my own self-steering gear, I would have two more sets of complete parts stored in lockers. These are for use offshore. If you're staying near the coast, as most of our builders will be doing, and I will be doing with my V10, you don't need self-steering.

There are three stages of seamanship: novice, paranoid, retired. We don't mention deceased.
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Re: DIY Windvane Steering

Post by Netpackrat » Mon Mar 09, 2020 5:09 pm

Certainly you wouldn’t want to rely on untested homebuilt gear, but you can test stuff out when you don’t need it to work, so you will know that it will work when it has to. OTOH I know people who have built their own airplanes so it’s possible my perspective is skewed.

Jaysen
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Re: DIY Windvane Steering

Post by Jaysen » Mon Mar 09, 2020 5:14 pm

I’m with you. I’ll likely build my own windvane and head into a storm (figuratively). Hopefully I’ll be nearshore when it fails.
Visit my official Class Globe 580 build blog at https://jaysenodell.com/globe-580
Currently starting a build of "Lil Bit More". A Class Mini 5.80
Class Mini 580 welcome post.
My already completed 'Lil Bit'. A Martens Goosen V12 set up to sail me to the fishing holes.
Jaysen wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:44 pm
I tried to say something but God thought I was wrong and filled my mouth with saltwater. I kept my pie hole shut after that.

terrulian
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Re: DIY Windvane Steering

Post by terrulian » Mon Mar 09, 2020 5:59 pm

The problem is not going to be resolved by a short-term test. Practical Sailor's tests are about as clever as you can get but I don't trust them. How are you going to test something that has to work 24 hours a day for three weeks or more in a wide variety of wind speeds and directions, and from 1-2 foot seas to 20 foot seas? If it works on a short test offshore in a breeze that is a good sign, and we could call it necessary but not sufficient. If it fails on a longer test, that will be in the middle of an ocean when it would be catastrophic. Jaysen has in mind a long voyage, I believe.
Tony
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