Join Date: Mar 2008
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Re: Affordable wind vane? Anyone know anything about these?
I realize that this is easy for me to say, considering we have a Fleming that has reliably steered thousands of ocean miles, but here goes anyway.
We have all read about the miserable passages where the steering device (fill in the blank) has failed, and the boat had to be hand steered for days or weeks around the clock. Even the best helmsperson would be hard pressed to steer a course as efficient as a good wind vane, in almost all conditions.
I'm not sure this is the item to skimp on, or experiment with, if one is planning long ocean passages. I understand the budget constraints, but it might be possible to salvage a used one somewhere. The good ones don't really wear out, so a used tried and true vane would be better in my book than an unknown new one at a cheap price. As conditions come up, the loads on the servo-pendulum are huge, and I don't think I'd chance the unknown one without some heavy weather testing.
It may be your most important piece of gear on a long voyage.
I know, easy for me to say.