Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Join Date: May 2006
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Re: Aries Wind Vane
I currently have a Monitor wind vane. It works well but is starting to need some major maintenance due to high miles.
I was thinking of replacing it with an Aeries vane. My understanding is the new Aries are made in Denmark. Are these just like the Aeries #3 that was made in England. Are the parts interchangable?
If you know the Aeries, what is your opinion of their quality and function as compared to others on the market.
What about buying a used Aeries- is that a good option? I understand replacement parts are still available from England.
You might consider fixing your Monitor. I have a Monitor and it worked great for us. The only routine maintenance was to lubricate but with fresh water. I kept a little pump spray and did this maybe once a week on a passage. We are going to be doing a major maintenance job on ours since it has been used for more than 30,000 miles. The kit they sell ($135?) has all the bushings and bearings you need. Along the way we replaced one (or two?) turning blocks and had the mounting for the pivot pin beefed up (had washers welded on each side and a big pin made, but that was after 25.000 miles. Also replaced the sacrificial part of the rudder post. I don't think we hit anything rather it seemed like fatigue with cracks starting. It is all stainless which is a nice feature.
The Monitor people in California are very helpful although the spare parts seem a bit pricey. We saw substantially more Monitors than any other vane but that does not necessarily mean they are best - they also have sold more than any other brand. Had two very experienced people independently say that one of the Sailomat models is clearly the best vane but the company stopped making it a number of years ago because it just got too expensive. Don't know the model number.
We thought about a Hydrovane but we are close to the maximum displacement for the unit. The guy who sells them said it should work which did not seem like much of a recommendation. There were three other Bristol 45.5s with Monitors so that seemed a good recommendation. Also, with Hydrovane you may have to reinforce (as in add f/g) the inside of the transom since the loads are very high since you are steering the boat and not just the wheel or tiller. I think our transom was probably strong enough but we had about four sets of hoses going out the transom and it would have been a big install. We installed the Monitor at anchor in Long Island Sound after my wife was laid off and we had to leave the marina in NYC or pay a lot of money for the summer season.
After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.
Last edited by killarney_sailor; 05-08-2014 at 05:55 PM.