Courtney the Dancer
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Juan Islands., WA, USA
Thanked 22 Times in 21 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Re: How much hassle is using your windvane?
Although I have a Monitor windvane for our boat I have never used it. We are inland sailors and I don't think it's a good application for a vane. I only have a total of one full day of sailing using a wind vane (my son's boat, Monitor, Bahamas) so I'm no expert, but that one day convinced me that I wouldn't go offshore without one. It was very easy to get it going and even easier to maintain a steady course throughout the day (downwind, reach, 20 knots, 4-6' waves/seas). Here is an interesting story about a vane. I found a letter from the original owner of our boat that he wrote to Monitor after returning home to the PNW from the So. Pacific. He made a 5800 NM crossing from Samoa and encountered three major storms. He wrote Monitor to thank them for building such a strong product and for making sure everything was in the kit they sent him in Samoa prior to departure (he installed the vane there and left without sea trialing it). He went on to say that practically everything else on the boat broke during the crossing (engine, instruments, etc) but the Monitor, which was used continuously, went the entire trip without a single problem .
Our boat was equipped with an Autohelm 7000 (top of the line at the time) autopilot when new, I guess the owner decided after going across the Pacific that a windvane was the way to go and that was why he installed one in Samoa.
SV Laurie Anne
1988 Brewer 40 Pilothouse