Old enough to know better
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Beacon, NY
Thanked 174 Times in 170 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Re: Steet to Tiller or Windvane?
It may be possible to simply lash the rudder with line and bungee upwind, though i havent had much luck with it on my boat. Havent really commited to it either though... Have u tried the storm jib to tiller self steering? There are YouTube videos online about that.
I myself really need an autopilot for single handing, but a wind vane would be kind of useless for the mostly days ailing I do, esp in lighter winds or downwind when I need it most but the apparent wind drops. A lot of people use electric systems, ESP when they are not regularly crossing oceans. U can pick one up for under $500 and they work fairly well. Any reason not to consider it? I mean u could buy seven of them by the time u pay for a wind vane...
Yes it seems a tiller auto pilot would be the place to start. If you can pick up a used one I would start there. my understanding of a wind vain is that they are not much help when raising the sails and what not, only under way and not under power. I would think a small solar panel would just about make up for the electricity use, as the majority of consumption is going to be when making course corrections and if you have a fairly balanced helm that should not be that often. I think a lot of people use tiller pilots as a crutch to not have good trim and balance. But perhaps some surgical tubing is the answer, check out Vega1860's videos as he uses that setup.