So the wind vane maker dropped by today... - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-13-2007
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So the wind vane maker dropped by today...

...just before we got pasted at dock by a line squall. It's interesting, to say the least, to be discussing the merits of servo-pendulums mated with tillers versus autopilots mated with hydraulic rams while the boat is heaving away heating up the chafe gear...

The man's name is Peter Tietz, and he will be building our windvane, one of 15 to 20 he produces in a year. I like the look of his work, and I hope to sail it...and have it sail me...around the world.

Voyager Windvanes - Servo Pendulum Self Steering System for Sailing Enthusiasts
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Old 07-13-2007
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That looks really nice. Aluminum? and only 50lbs? That's awesome. Our old stainless steel Norvane weighs like 150lbs and holds a course like my grandmother drives; slow to react and all over the road.
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Old 07-13-2007
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
cool. what's the cost on the voyager windvane?
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Old 07-13-2007
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Every job is semi-custom, so I don't quite know yet, but I'm guessing in the $3,500 range. Not cheap, but when the guy that makes them asks you to take apart your aft cabin liner, looks down a hole and says "oh, good, good...this will work excellently", you can't help but enjoy the process of seeing the engineering mind at work.

The guy's made a few hundred of them at this point, with about half sold to Canadian cruisers. I haven't heard a single complaint. He is at the Toronto boat show every year, and he himself sails a Niagara 35, which is a well-built cruiser that is coastal/Caribbean for the most part, but ocean capable if necessary. In other words, I think he knows what he's doing. He enjoyed the fact that I wanted completely separate and redundent steering systems: dual hydraulic wheels with a ComNav autopilot and actuator for motoring and motor-sailing, and then a tiller, blocks and vane arrangement for sailing. When I'm making amps, I don't mind spending amps, but I believe letting the wind go to waste when it could be steering my boat is ridiculous...
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