Help me build a windvane - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 35 Old 11-27-2011 Thread Starter
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oh ok so vertical pivot is a bad idea then i figured i once saw one and it was relatively cheap but maybe not if illl be hand steering most of theime except in moderate storms then, and the light winds thing is very important for my boat because she is very very slooow only having sailed her twice i can even figure that one out when there are 25- 30 knots of wind i fly the 150 genoa and full main and only then does she reach her hull speed but as for where to find a windvane where do u suggest provided i do wanna get the cheapest one i can even if it requires some fixing
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post #22 of 35 Old 11-27-2011
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The windvane forum linked to earlier is one choice. Join and post what you are looking for.

Also Craigs List, but look far and wide as it is unlikely you will find one close to you. Any marine consignment shop in a sailing city should be checked as well.

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post #23 of 35 Old 11-27-2011 Thread Starter
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im located in toronto so plenty of ports along the shore here it would be nice to be able to get one with mounting brackets for my boat over here so i dont have to steer byu hand all the way from georgian bay but i have checked craigslist but ill check all along the great lakes and the eastern provinces and i shall check that forum im not looking to buy this moment but id like a sense of where to buy when i have the money for it but thanks for the ideas ill check around here to see if anyones selling one
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post #24 of 35 Old 01-06-2012 Thread Starter
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found a navik for 600 bucks and a aries for 500 which one should i go for
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post #25 of 35 Old 01-06-2012
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If the Aries is complete and in good shape I would lean that way. Aries used several different metals and there is the possible risk of corrosion from that. Also, no matter what you buy you will need to make or modify mounts.

If you want it to bring the boat from GeorgIan Bay I would suggest an electric autopilot. There will be lots of motoring to do and it would be nice not to stuck on the tiller too much.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #26 of 35 Old 01-06-2012
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I can vouch for the Norvane. Bought one new and installed a couple of years ago. It works well as long as the helm is balanced. The principles of how it operates are pretty straightforward but there is obviously a LOT of engineering involved to make something like this actually work reliably and not fall apart in short order. The tuning of them is pretty fine and they take a lot of constant stress when working. There are a many things I'd attempt to build from scratch...this isn't one of them. By the time you bought all the s.s., pillow blocks, bushings, etc. there probably would not be much in the way of savings. To me this is too essential a piece of gear to experiment with. Good luck building one. Please do some follow up posts to let us know how it works out.

The operation is determined by wind on the vane. Vane is adjusted to be balanced upright in the apparent wind with helm on a course. When vane is pushed over because boat gets at an angle to wind, off the course, the vane turns the rack and pinion type gear which turns the rudder at an angle to the current. The rudder shaft with a pivot point at deck level pivots back and forth moving the control lines attached at the top of this rudder arm. So the force of the water on the rudder is what moves the lines which are attached to the wheel (drum) or tiller.

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.

Last edited by smurphny; 01-06-2012 at 06:38 PM.
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post #27 of 35 Old 01-06-2012
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I built a prototype based on the Walt Murray designs, and you can see all (edit: some of) the moving parts via this link: DIY self steering wind vane for sailboat - YouTube.

Looking back on it I'm embarrassed by the flimsy build quality. The hinge that twists the oar in the water broke as soon as I reached the Sound. I'm nearly finished building the Mark-II, which is sturdier built using pipes-within-pipes rather than the whole PVC-and-wood-platform-with-little-hardware-bits-setup. If it works as well as I hope, I'll post some design specs. There's a lot of "ingenuity" (read: hopeful engineering) in it though, so we'll see.

Good luck!

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post #28 of 35 Old 01-06-2012
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I think a boat like yours would self-steer pretty easily so long as you can balance the sails wel. The 'cheapest' way to steer would be using the sheet to tiller methods described in Letcher's book mentioned earlier. All you need are a couple of small blocks, a bit of line and some bungee material or better, some surgical tubing. The basic principle is that you transmit pull from a bight you take in a sheet to the tiller. He suggest one method when on the wind (using the jibsheet as I remember) and a different one (using the mainsheet) when off the wind. I had some success with this method on a Hughes 22 which was a pretty squirelly little boat to steer.l

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #29 of 35 Old 01-07-2012
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Offshore sailing along the usually travelled routes is mostly downwind, certainly not beating. Self steering downwind without a vane is tougher to accomplish.

Brian
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post #30 of 35 Old 01-07-2012
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In using the Norvane, have found that the most difficult point of sail for this gizmo is on a dead run with light wind. It reacts well when close hauled or on a beam reach but gets increasingly more difficult to adjust as the wind gets abaft of beam.

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
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boat project , build , diy , self steerring , windvane

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