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bluwateronly 04-28-2009 05:04 PM

wheel drum for aries windvane
I have an older aries windvane I am rebuilding. I need to get a wheel adapter, wheel drum, wheel clutch whatever you want to call it. I checked with aries and they want about 700.00 for one and did some research any adapter like the one for a monitor would work but, it's also pricy. I have searched the internet and found some references about making your own. Does anybody have any good ideas or plans to build one? Or a supplier? I have an edison wheel and it takes three turns from center to go fully either port or starboard.

johnvye 06-02-2009 11:30 AM

Wheel Adaptor
I expect you have found one but I have a spare Monitor Wheel adaptor on the west coast of Canada. I'd make you a good deal. Let me know if your still need one. John

johnvye at gmail dawt com

morgan3 07-16-2009 09:58 PM

How did you fare with the wheel drum? I'm on the look out for one now too.....just purchased an Aires #4 (bronze model).

bluwateronly 08-21-2009 07:37 PM

Just want to close
Sorry it's been awhile. I have been to Drakes Bay and Bodega for a long time. Here is the scoop on wheel adapters:Checked out all types from different vanes if you have the cash just buy the one you need for your vane and be done with it. If you don't , like me, dial into ebay and craigslist and find either an aries wheel adapter or monitor I have seen both go for under 300.00 infact, I got a monitor (I think I like it better than I would the aries because it can dissconnect the steering with a push of a button:) ) for 3 bills plus shipping I have mine now. It's bright and shinny stainless and fit my edison wheel perfect. I was on a 150 deg heading coming down from Drakes bay to the Golden Gate and full sails up and the windvane steering it was way cool, I could have gone to San Deigo on that tack and make it in a week or two. Oh well, sorry to ramble bottom line don't try to make a wheel adapter or buy an inferior one bite the bullet and get a good one.

billyruffn 08-21-2009 07:54 PM

Helen Franklin is a good source for Aries parts. Her father invented the Aries and I think she's selling off inventory left from when he ran the company. See Aries Spares Contact Details

bluwateronly 08-22-2009 10:42 AM

I have tried to contact Helen Franklin, I know she does not respond to emails so I tried to call many times and only got through once and a young man put me on hold and forgot about me, this was costing me plenty in phone charges. I gave up and got all the parts for the rebuild locally, it was a pain but the vane is now together and working. I do have a question for anybody with an older aires. Should the servo rudder go straight down or does the hinge swing at a 90 degree and then the rudder goes down a little off to one side. I don't see how the spring can hold it down:confused: When I tried to set it for a downwind run it just folded at the hinge and went off to one side sideways. I heard you can just take the hinge out and bolt it togeather but then you cant fold it up at the dock and you have no weak link incase you hit something. I checked all the resourses I can find and just can't get an answer.

billyruffn 08-23-2009 04:04 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I'm certain the rudder should go straight into the water directly below the shaft of the lower unit. I once bent the rudder stock so it was slightly askew going into the water. The bend came from the gears becoming un-meshed and the rudder turning 90 deg to the slip stream with the boat doing 7 plus knots. Over time the steady pressure of the water flowing past the rudder bent it about 5-6 degrees. Until I got it straightened I couldn't get it hold a course at all.

My Aries doesn't have hinge. The rudder is bolted to the shaft of the lower unit. You might be able to see in the photo below -- there's a "collar" that fits over the shaft of the lower unit and the rudder stock. You might be able to make out two nut heads on the collar. One bolt goes thru the shaft of the lower unit and the other thru the rudder stock. The collar is make of reasonably thin Alum. and should break away it the rudder were to be hit by something with enough force to break the Aries.

Obviously, this makes it more difficult to rig the rudder, but it's secure in that aside from the bolts coming off, there's no way the rudder becomes disconnected or misaligned. The inconvenience in rigging it is not an issue on long passages, but is enough of a hassle that I don't use the Aries when day sailing. I also avoid rigging the unit when it's not necessary because of the obstacle in the cockpit created by the lines to the wheel drum.

In spite of these issues, the Aries is a life-saver on long passages -- in most conditions it steers better than a helmsman, it makes no noise and consumes zero electrons.

Omatako 08-24-2009 01:29 AM

It's been a long time since I ran an Airies but when I did we had a hinged rudder shaft with a thin alloy tube slid over it. The tube was positioned so that in the down position the hinge was able to fold.

Then there was a spring (not too strong) holding the tube up and covering the hinge. When the vane was working, the tube prevented a folding shaft, if it hit some irresistable force in the water the ali tube split and the shaft folded.

And when you wanted to lift the rudder it was a simple case of using a boat hook to push the tube down against the spring and rudder folded and was pulled up on a light line.

If you adopt this method be sure to carry a few bits of tube because they do distort with the continual pressure and eventually they will fail.

Hope this helps.


bluwateronly 08-24-2009 09:44 AM

Thanks Billyruffin and Omatako. You both helped alot. Makes sence now. I guess my sleeve that should be sliding on the tube is seized. Not supprised everything was seized when I got it. Time to take vane apart again and get that bugger moving. ;)

bluwateronly 08-25-2009 12:32 PM

A wrap
Just wanted to let anybody interested on the fix to my aires windvane problem. I had some information attained from If I only read this stuff before I just jump on the net looking for an answer. If fact I had it printed out in my manuals box. Here is what is said:The hinged rudder coupling was produced during 1977 - 79 and is not shown on the accompanying drawing. It swung up sideways with a hinge plate located just below the rudder coupling No 68. After a time this unit wears, leading to excess wobble on the servo rudder and bad performance. All spares for this hinge are now completely out of stock. One solution is to remove the hinge unit and bolt the servo rudder straight onto the coupling No 68, it will actually work much better this way.
Well, it took all of 15 min. to do this and besides the hassle of putting on the rudder each time, problem is solved. Can't wait to try it but now my watermota is blowing oil out dipstick and crankcase cover looks like time for a rebuild. Considering I am out of work right now probley will be awhile before I can try the vane out. Thanks again for the advise and happy sailing.

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