Windvane self steer - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-03-2010
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Windvane self steer

Hello

I am working on a sailboat that has a Monitor windvane self steer system from the early 1980s. Are there better choices (less complicated) for self steer/auto helm capabilities or should I try to get this system working?
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Old 08-03-2010
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Monitor is still one of the best, the standard in the industry for self steering. To move to anything else is trading down.
http://www.selfsteer.com/
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Old 08-04-2010
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The Monitor is good and widely used on cruising boats.

If by saying you're going to "get it working" means that you're going to take out all the play and make it nice and stiff again, be aware that the clearances have to be real close because even a little play in the joints will cause it not to work properly.

And any wind vane that doesn't work properly is an irritation not worth experiencing
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Old 08-04-2010
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I agree with Omatako. If it is sloppy you can purchase a rebuild kit of bearings and bushings, etc from Scanmar for a few hundred dollars. A good reliable windvane like the monitor sells for about 5k or 6k.
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Thanks.

Thanks to all for the advice, I now have new respect for this peice of equipment.
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Old 08-04-2010
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If you sail long distances single-handed or even if you simply sail short-handed, a wind vane is a marvelous device and a well maintained Monitor is one of the best of the windvanes in that they offer a great mix of being robustly built, reasonably easy to maintain, about as sensitive as a windvane can be that generates the kind of turning force that a Monitor can generate.

And if you own a boat that can be balanced to be nearly self-steering and requires sufficiently low force steering inputs to allow vane steering, this can mean that you can have long periods of trustworthy self-steering with minimal loss of speed and without adding anything to the vessel's electrical or fossil fuel energy drain. This is a very good thing! Enjoy it.
Jeff
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Old 08-04-2010
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I'd add that the Monitor windvane can be modified to become an emergency rudder for your boat. Scanmar sells a kit called the MRUD or you could modify it yourself. Having it as a backup rudder solution is never a bad thing, and as previously pointed out, the Monitor is one of the more well respected windvanes made.
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Old 08-04-2010
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Does your boat have a tiller or a wheel [ windvanes work better on tillers]

You may have problems with it until you learn to trim your sails to suit the capabilities of the windvane esp sailing downwind.
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The boat has a tiller, it's a Rafiki 37.
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