Whos got self-steering gear installed?

Home Forums Propulsion Steering and Rudder Whos got self-steering gear installed?

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November 15, 2011 at 19:22 #5551
Moderator
Moderator
Keymaster

There have been several other threads that touch on the self-steering question (for example, buried in here). So I thought I would create a topic for this question alone.

Do any of you who have self-steering gear want to share photos or details about how it’s installed?

November 17, 2011 at 22:29 #10321

racepassage
Participant

Hi Marilyn, In 2000 installed entire Simrad s.s unit. Expensive but good. Roger Race Passage.

November 18, 2011 at 16:45 #10331

Jackie
Participant

we use an Aries windvane – good but not really for Med sailing. Plan to experiment next year with a tiller pilot attached.

November 19, 2011 at 15:42 #10361

gpfischer
Participant

In 2006 I installed a second hand hydrovane which works great

November 19, 2011 at 16:06 #10371

PeterN
Participant

The Hydrovane self steering on ‘Salara’ has taken her on an Atlantic circuit and operates faultlessly in all conditions. As a singlehander I was happy to go to sleep for 4/5 hours and leave the Hydrovane ‘in charge’. I also have a Robertson/Simrad autopilot which is interfaced with the original Neco steering mechanism motor. This arrangement has also been a great success.
Peter (Salara)

November 19, 2011 at 20:33 #10381
Moderator
Moderator
Keymaster

Thanks everyone for answering this. I started the topic because Richard recently asked me this:

Quote:
I have recently purchased an Aries and was looking for some photos of the installation on a 38?

Can anyone explain to Richard how your Aries is installed?

If you want to upload photos – use the Reply link in the blue tab at the top of this thread and then below the new Reply box you’ll see links that allow you to upload photos with your reply. (These photo upload buttons are not visible if you use the Submit Quick Reply button just below here). Sorry its a little messy to upload photos, but that’s what you get when you create a forum using freeware. 8~)

Cheers – Marilyn

December 6, 2011 at 09:44 #10641
Richard Garlant
Richard Garlant
Participant
Quote:
Quote from Jackie on November 18, 2011, 16:45
we use an Aries windvane – good but not really for Med sailing. Plan to experiment next year with a tiller pilot attached.

Hi

Would you be able to upload some photos of the quick release wheel cetre hub and dimensions . I need to get one made up.
Your help would be very much appreciated.

Richard

December 6, 2011 at 18:04 #10661

Jackie
Participant

I’m so sorry Richard, we have no photos available and as the boat is in Turkey and we are in Spain, cannot take any until next year. We return to Mary Kate in April so if you can wait that long will willingly do measurements, take photos and any thing else you need,
Jackie

December 10, 2011 at 22:42 #10681
Richard Garlant
Richard Garlant
Participant

Hi Jackie

No problem I will see what I can dig up. If I am still having problems I may take you up on that. All best and thanks for replying

Richard

December 16, 2011 at 02:38 #10771
Happy Dolphin
Happy Dolphin
Participant

happy dolphin has hydrovane love it its the only choice.
link simple tiller autopilot to it perfectly in less than 1 hour used this system for 5 years over 15000 miles including 2 x atlantic trips

March 31, 2012 at 08:24 #11411
Richard Garlant
Richard Garlant
Participant

Hi everyone.

if any of you have an Aries fitted could you let me have some ideas on how you run the control lines back to the wheel steering.

Photos would be great or a sketch.

Happy sailing

Richard

June 27, 2016 at 19:08 #25955
Gerard Woodroof
Gerard Woodroof
Participant

Has anyone fitted a hydrovane and retained the stern davits…..obviously they can not be used when the hydrovane gear is mounted, but it is more work and cost to remove them and have a new pushpit. Does the vane hit the davits when deflected, or do I have to bite the bullet and remove them before fitting a hydrovane. thanks. Gerard, Vanikoro hull no 3.

April 14, 2017 at 04:55 #26057

Kari and Lawrence
Participant

Hi Gerard,

I’m sorry nobody has replied to you earlier, we are in the process of buying Nicolisa and intend to fit an Hydrovane system. I know that Alexina of Shoreham has or had one, as have been provided with photo’s by Hydrovane. There appears no need to remove the davits. I would suggest you contact them if you are fitting one of their systems, it matters little if you bought it second hand.

Best of luck but your problem is probably sorted by now anyway!

Regards Kari and Lawrence

June 12, 2017 at 09:35 #26084

Ollie Holden
Participant

Apologies for being late to this thread. We had an Aries fitted to Nutmeg for our Atlantic circuit in 2008/09; I’ve now taken it off and it is in the garage awaiting the next adventure. I will try and dig some pics out, but basically I ran two dyneema lines via ballrace blocks from the Aries back to the wheel. They came through the coaming side using Harken through-deck blocks.

Because of the friction and line stretch, plus all the mechanical linkages in the steering itself, it isn’t as responsive as I’d like, and I considered attaching it to the emergency tiller, just to take a load of linkages out (but I didn’t). And indeed we had some challenges with the blade of the Aries popping up (a different issue with the sleeve, which I dont think all versions have).

Happy to answer any questions you may have.

Ollie Holden
Nutmeg of Shoreham

August 8, 2017 at 18:03 #26136
daveandshelby
daveandshelby
Participant

i fitted an Aries windvane on Blue Spurr. I ran two lines via Aries turning blocks, from the Aries back to an Aries drum/clutch on the wheel. These lines came through holes in the coaming side. The Aries steered us faultlessly around the world during our 5 year circumnavigation, 1984 to 1989. The power the servo paddle developed was so powerfull that you could not hold the wheel once engaged.
http://www.daveandshelby.com/blue_spurr.html

January 12, 2020 at 08:41 #26657

Ollie Holden
Participant

I looked through my photos and bizarrely don’t have any of Nutmeg’s Aries setup.  The below is the best I could find; this shows how the lines come through the coaming to the drum.  The drum has a screw-in dog that locks with the wheel; I found that it could unscrew itself and disconnect at inopportune moments, so I added some elastic bungee over it to add some friction.  I refitted the Aries for the AZAB; it was absolutely superb. 

October 5, 2020 at 23:46 #26752
Van
Van
Participant

On Rainshadow we use a Monitor – a very old one from circa 1986.  Scanmar, the manufacturer has been super helpful. We gave them the serial number and they knew all its history, and told us what upgrades we should do (and how to do it ourselves).

We used the Monitor a lot on our pacific crossing from Seattle to Hilo, Hawaii.  There were two problems.

Firstly, the control lines I set it up with that ran from the Monitor to the wheel, were too weak and too thin (I was using dyneema, but not large enough).   They had worked just fine in the Pacific Northwest, but the real ocean showed us who was boss……   They were too weak, meaning that there was more stretch than there should have been making the Monitor less responsive, and secondly, we twice had the lines chafe through even though I went to great lengths to protect it from that.  Chafing through at 02:00 in strong winds and rough seas was not very pleasant, as we had to hand steer until light.

Secondly, the Monitor had a hard time steering downwind, in 15 knot winds, with large following seas (10-20 feet).  We were trying to head as close down wind as possible, which perhaps was a mistake. What we found was that the following seas would make Rainshadow yaw a large amount, and the Monitor was not fast enough, nor strong enough, to return the boat to the correct direction quickly.  Partly the problem was the wind was not strong enough, and partly the seas were really swinging us around. It was unpleasant, and we would often try to hand steer instead (by day 20, this was pretty hard).

I don’t know if any wind vane can steer downwind with such large following seas.

Afterwards, I talked to Scanmar and I bought their control lines – specifically designed for center cockpits, they are dyneema with a polyester outer braid.  In the limited sailing we have been able to do since our crossing, the lines appear to work very well.  No stretch.

Finally, we are looking to buy a Pelagic autopilot, which is a clever little “tiller pilot” sort of device, that instead of attaching to a tiller, attaches to the Monitor in place of the vane.  It steers a magnetic course, and uses very little power.  Pelagic are now sold by Scanmar.  A friend of mine used one on a SF to Honolulu single-handed crossing, and he raved to me about it, and completely sold me on the idea.  So I think one is in our future…..

Van

 

October 9, 2020 at 14:42 #26755
Czarina Blue
Czarina Blue
Participant

Czarina Blue has a Hydrovane. Installed it in 2019 and it worked perfectly from day 1, have used up to force 7 without missing a beat. I bought their adjustable vane (for ketch) but it doesn’t adjust low enough to avoid the mizzen boom when coming across, so have to remove it to tack with mizzen. However otherwise really impressed.  On our  transatlantic we had one broach in two weeks whilst it was steering, during a gust over 35 knots and reasonably large seas. Generally I’d leave it quite happily and go to bed, as Salara says above. No control lines to worry about, has its own rudder, which could be useful if you suffered damage to main rudder, and works great with a simple tiller pilot in lighter cones or motoring. Expensive I thought until I saw the heavy build and quality of the thing, now ‘worth every penny’.

October 9, 2020 at 17:49 #26764
Pat
Pat
Participant

I have been reading about peoples steering gear with interest. I have a Fleming wind vane which is Australian origin. It is a heavy all stainless steel gear and has steered Sea Thrift in all weather conditions with great success. When my main steering failed off the French coast a few years ago it steered me home to the UK. It could do this because it is auxillary type with its own independant rudder . Good sailing.

October 9, 2020 at 19:25 #26766
Moderator
Moderator
Keymaster

Pat – can you please tell us why your steering failed? Do you still have the original mathway steering?

Sounds like a failure other owners might be able to learn from.

If you want to answer, please start a new topic under ‘Steering and Rudder”.
To do that,
– go to this page,
– scroll down until you find the “Create New Topic” box.

Making a new topic will help everyone find your answer, rather than leaving it buried in this topic conversation.

Thanks – Marilyn, moderator

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