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Old 08-22-2010
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Looks like a wind vane attachment for a tiller pilot or other sort of autohelm. It would allow the auto pilot to steer to a wind angle rather than a compass bearing.
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1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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