Used Aries Wind Vane -- Should I go for it? - SailNet Community
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 18 Old 12-18-2009 Thread Starter
1982 Skye 51
 
obelisk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Somewhere between NZ and the Chesapeake Bay
Posts: 370
Thanks: 3
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Used Aries Wind Vane -- Should I go for it?

Hi all,

My Raymarine autopilot crapped out again--the second time in two months and I have about had it with all things Raymarine (mostly customer service!). The Type II mechanical rotary drive unit is still under warranty but has been nothing but trouble, so I've been thinking about the wind vane option.

Yesterday I walked into Camou, a second-hand boat shop in Buenos Aires and there was a three year old Aries staring me in the face. I pulled it into the aisle and played with it, brought together all the pieces and everything appears fine. It has hefty SS mounting brackets that will work on my transom with minor mods and also has the wheel adapter. However, it comes with a $1900USD price tag. From the quotes for a new unit that I got from Sail-o-Mat ($5000) this seems like a pretty good deal. What should a lightly abused, used unit run?

I think I'm ready to ditch the hassle and amp draw of the below decks pilot but any words of advice or warning are appreciated.

Jesse

"The notion of life implies a certain absoluteness of self-enjoyment." -Alfred North Whitehead


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
obelisk is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 Old 12-18-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 1,853
Thanks: 0
Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
Rep Power: 10
   
It's a good price if the Aires isn't damaged.

Understand that a wind vane isn't the same as an autopilot. An autopilot will guide your boat whether there's wind or not, while a windvane requires a substantial amount of wind to do its thing.

That said, I love my Aires. It's guided me over many sea miles and, the harder it blows, the more the Aires likes it (unlike autopilots which often are overwhelmed by big seas).

Windvanes don't use electricity, don't talk back, work 24/7 happily, and don't drink the beer. Great things to have aboard on ocean passages. Not much use for short trips.

Bill
btrayfors is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 18 Old 12-18-2009 Thread Starter
1982 Skye 51
 
obelisk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Somewhere between NZ and the Chesapeake Bay
Posts: 370
Thanks: 3
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
i'm on the atlantic leg of a circumnavigation and heading south where it's going to blow plenty! i'll get the autopilot warranteed so that i have self steering when the wind dies or in tighter areas but for passages the aries will do the hard work. btw, i got the price down to $1700USD.

thanks! **wonders how to collect that many american dollars in Buenos Aires** western union, i guess but it's expensive.

any suggestions?

"The notion of life implies a certain absoluteness of self-enjoyment." -Alfred North Whitehead


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
obelisk is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 18 Old 12-18-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 171
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
 
51ft is a big boat to be controlling with an Aries. I'd suggest you find someone with a sistership or similar and see if they have experience with the vane.
See Evans comments on vanes and bigger boats: Systems

Paul L
Paul_L is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 18 Old 12-18-2009 Thread Starter
1982 Skye 51
 
obelisk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Somewhere between NZ and the Chesapeake Bay
Posts: 370
Thanks: 3
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Yes, it is on the upper end of the size range for the Aries. A call to Mactra in the UK confirmed what the website reads--that it's ok for boats up to 55'. HOWEVER, i have been burned by being on the upper end of the size spectrum before.

is there a better option out there for larger boats? monitor and sail-o-mat both have similar ranges.

thanks.
Jesse

"The notion of life implies a certain absoluteness of self-enjoyment." -Alfred North Whitehead


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
obelisk is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 18 Old 12-18-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 171
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
 
You might talk to the guy at Sail-o-mat and see if he can give you the honest scoop. But finding a sistership with experience would be great. If you are going to go to a new vane at $5k, then you might consider a more bullet proof autopilot - your Raymarine experiance is not that uncommon.

Paul L
Paul_L is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #7 of 18 Old 12-18-2009 Thread Starter
1982 Skye 51
 
obelisk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Somewhere between NZ and the Chesapeake Bay
Posts: 370
Thanks: 3
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
The reason I went with the raymarine Mechanical Rotary was that I already had a dedicated quadrant and Raymarine was the only chain-and-sprocket I could find--dumb not to have just gone with a thiller arm and a Simrad linear hydraulic.

Just got off the phone with Guy at Aries USA in CA and he thinks the unit should work great. of course, that is no substitute for finding someone with a similar boat and asking their opinion but otherwise it is hand steering all the way down to Patagonia and up to Puerto Montt.

Neither Simrad nor Raymarine here have an acceptable autopilot drive unit in stock and gave me order times of 40 and 60 days respectively.

"The notion of life implies a certain absoluteness of self-enjoyment." -Alfred North Whitehead


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
obelisk is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #8 of 18 Old 12-18-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 171
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
 
I'm sure the vane will drive the boat in many conditions just fine. You may have to reduce sail and slow the boat down in some conditions to get the vane to stay in control.

Paul L
Paul_L is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #9 of 18 Old 12-18-2009 Thread Starter
1982 Skye 51
 
obelisk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Somewhere between NZ and the Chesapeake Bay
Posts: 370
Thanks: 3
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Definitely will have to keep the rig balanced and maybe under a little less sail than usual but that trade off for not having to hand steer 3 on, 3 off will be worth it. I'm going to give it a shot and be the guinea pig.

If results are unsatisfactory, it'll go back to the consignment lot.

thanks for all the discussion!

"The notion of life implies a certain absoluteness of self-enjoyment." -Alfred North Whitehead


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
obelisk is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #10 of 18 Old 12-18-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 1,853
Thanks: 0
Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
Rep Power: 10
   
I think the Aires would be fine. It has a LOT of power, especially when the wind blows hard. Never a moments hesitation in 45 knot winds and 18' seas on a 400 mile leg to Grenada one year. I made 3 extra vanes for mine, but never needed them.

BTW, re: autopilots, check out W-H Autopilots Simple, well-engineered, very robust and very reliable. Good telephone support, too.

Bill
btrayfors is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wind Orientation Mark Matthews Learning to Sail Articles 0 03-06-2005 07:00 PM
Charging with Wind Power Kevin Jeffrey Cruising Articles 0 04-21-2003 08:00 PM
Understanding Apparent Wind Steve Colgate Learning to Sail Articles 0 11-10-2002 07:00 PM
Understanding Apparent Wind Steve Colgate Seamanship Articles 0 11-10-2002 07:00 PM
Understanding Apparent Wind Steve Colgate Racing Articles 0 11-10-2002 07:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome