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Old 08-21-2013
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Re: Self steering dilemma

Mark -- Is your comment re: windvanes mostly about the risk of deviating off course with changes in wind direction, esp. when single or short-handed? As someone who singlehands a lot, what do you use for backup, if anything? Is heaving-to for rest realistic if all else fails?

Omatako -- Excellent description of the benefits of modern AP's. Without taking anything away from windvanes, I wholeheartedly agree and have an excellent AP which I've used in all conds., 99% of the time, with zero problems. I am still, however, wrestling with a suitable backup for my 47', 20T center cockpit sloop for lengthy passagemaking. Along with AP spares, the CPT wheel pilot & Hydrovane are the front-runners thus far. What, if anything, do you have for backup? The little I know about the Fleming, btw, is it's a servo-type, all stainless steel, and seems to enjoy a good rep.

JonE -- Always nice to have feedback from someone with direct experience. The servos have the rep of working better the worse the conditions. I've always been a bit dubious whether this applied to the non-servo Hydrovane, esp. on larger, heavier boats. In the conditions you described on your trip on the HR, do you think it would have been realistic -- hypothetically and assuming you lost your self-steering and were single/short-handed -- to have heaved-to when rest was needed? Nice pic, btw.

Thanks all for the helpful info.

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