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Old 12-31-2012
freedom seeker
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Windvane auto--docking PROBS

Hopefully, someone with more experience can tell me if I am on the right track.

I love My windvane auto while sailing, but.... recently I had several close calls while docking, and took over 8 tries, and 45 minutes to get back in my slip. To say it was nerve racking, and frustratring, is an understatement. (yes windvane was disengaged, but even so, it is still a flat mostly imoveable rudder)

I have a Columbia 9.6 (32'), and with a 10 knot or higher wind coming down my slip's direction, I can't make the turn. The rudder from the windvane (which is 2'+ behind my main rudder, is counter-acting, or drastically limiting the usefullness of the main rudder.
Then when you throw the slow speed "prop-walk" into the mix, my turning radius is barely 30% what it should be. (from a basic measurement it takes almost 200' to make a 360 degree turn.... on a MONOHULL !!!) I am cincerned I will have to scrap my windvane.

I have come up with 2 solutions. 1. Make the windvane rudder so it can swivel out of the water, or lift straight up... either way, taking it out of the equation. or 2. (my preference), I was planning on getting a 50 lb. trolling motor (and batt) for my tender anyway, so i was thinking about mounting a spot close to port-stern to place this trolling motor (when conditions warrant), and simply using it like a "stern thruster". I feel like a 50 lb. 90 degree thrust (plast this far aft) would give me ALL the maneuverability I need.
It is important to note, on this model boat, the sten itself is not in the water... it does flare up for the last foot or so.

Any one every had this issue, or heard of it,..... or played around with trolling motors as potential short-term bow and/or stern thrusters ??

Thank you for any and ALL opinions, and experiences...

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Old 12-31-2012
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Re: Windvane auto--docking PROBS

What wind vane do you have?
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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Old 01-01-2013
freedom seeker
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Re: Windvane auto--docking PROBS

The true definition of "windvane".... here is a short video, of me and my oldest boy while cruising, in 3-4 foot seas with the windvane auto working like a charm.....

Last edited by tapske; 01-01-2013 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 01-01-2013
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Re: Windvane auto--docking PROBS

Just a thought:

Would it be possible to completely disengage the windvane rudder so that it merely trails in the water? If so, it should rotate freely to swing to minimize forces by coming parallel to whatever the water flow is in that area, thereby neutralizing the impact on the boat's rudder and control. You might have to attach some type of flat piece to balance the rudder so that it will quickly assume the trailing position. This could be something that needs to swing up and out of the way when using the windvane...i.e. somewhat like a rudder that swings up for docking. You might need a line and cleat to hold it in place when using the windvane, and use a boat hook to push it down into place for docking.
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