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post #1 of 11 Old 03-04-2016 Thread Starter
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windvane costs

How much would it cost to buy and have installed either a Aries or Monitor wind vane?
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-04-2016
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Re: windvane costs

The manufacturer or distributor of each would be happy to tell you, but could really use a bit more info. Size of boat, type of transom, etc.

The basic Monitor runs around $5k. If you need the ability to swing it out of the way of a sugar scoop transom, or want the emergency rudder feature, it runs thousands more.


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post #3 of 11 Old 03-04-2016
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Re: windvane costs

I bought a used Monitor for $1K. Scanmar can tell you its history (they used different steel over the years) and they can take a look at it to make sure it's in good shape because sometimes the fixes cost more than the new one. They're location was convenient for me, but maybe there are other places near you that would do this. They will sell you the parts you need and can also create a mounting design. If you buy new, Minne has it right. A new M-Rudder as an add on for emergencies is around $2K. I think the gate swing is another $1.5K. Basic set up is $4K.
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-04-2016
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Re: windvane costs

Often you will find the best prices at boat show time. We bought our Monitor at Annapolis and it was quite a bit below list. You can buy a new Aries (I think) but most people buy on the used market. You can install one yourself, it is not too hard to do. Less stressful to do on the hard when the bits you drop can generally be found. We did ours in the water with the inflatable tucked under the transom to catch things trying to escape.

Finishing our major refit. Our trip to Newfoundland is off because it is too late. Hoping to go to the North Channel instead.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-06-2016
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Re: windvane costs

Install the vane yourself. If you are serious about going cruising, you want to get intimately familiar with the most important piece of gear on the boat. For most vanes it's just drilling a few holes, bolting on brackets or the vane, and running the control lines and blocks, if needed. You are in a great place to buy a used vane which will cut the cost considerably. When I had the boat in Alameda, sold the barely used Monitor the boat came with for $1,700 with wheel adapter. Bought an auxiliary rudder WindPilot Pacific Plus vane that helmed me around the Bay and to Hawaii for the same price. Seems like vanes of all different stripes showed up regularly on Craig's List or Latitude 38 classifieds while I was preparing the boat for the passage. Inspect early or heavily used Monitors carefully. There has been some reports of welds cracking after long term serious use.

The manufacturer's websites have the list prices for new gear if you want to go that route. Installation may be easier in the case of the monitor because it's oil derrick construction requires cutting SS tubing to the proper length. WindPilot, Sailomat and others of that type are just a matter of drilling four holes and bolting the gear on if you have a relatively flat surface.

Last edited by roverhi; 03-06-2016 at 06:10 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-06-2016
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Re: windvane costs

I can recommend the Monitor. I have used it for many miles including 2 transatlantics and considered it the most reliable crewmember. They are expensive. Hans Bernwell, the CEO told me his biggest competition for his company is the used Monitors floating around, not another maker. I believe that because they are very well made. Now they are 316 stainless and the welding and bracketing is first rate. There are other good makers of course, but I would prefer the servo-pendulum method.

The cost of a Monitor is about $5,000 and the wheel steering adapter is another $500. I think to have someone install it correctly would take another $1,500. So it's an expensive proposition, but for me it's the best accessory you can have.

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post #7 of 11 Old 03-07-2016
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Re: windvane costs

I think if you want to go anywhere that requires a vane rather than an electric autopilot you owe it to yourself to do the install. For extended cruising you need to know basically everything about your boat.
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Finishing our major refit. Our trip to Newfoundland is off because it is too late. Hoping to go to the North Channel instead.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-08-2016
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Re: windvane costs

I bought a second hand aires for 500 dollars and installed it myself for about 100 dollars it needed a really good clean and lube up but she goes great,you will need to really brace any unit you buy up as they put huge forces on your transom no problem on my steel boat,but would want huge backing plates in anything else.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-08-2016
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Re: windvane costs

If you've got a boat with an outboard rudder, you could probably build a trim tab vane gear for around a grand all inclusive.

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post #10 of 11 Old 03-08-2016
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Re: windvane costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by harmonic View Post
you will need to really brace any unit you buy up as they put huge forces on your transom no problem on my steel boat,but would want huge backing plates in anything else.
Servo Pendulum Vanes like the Aires actually put very little strain on the transom unless you back the boat into an immovable object. The force you have to counter is the effort needed to move the tiller which is minimal in the real world scheme of things. Fender washers are suitable for backing of the fasteners.

Auxiliary Rudder Vanes like the HydroVane, WindPilot Pacific Plus, etc. do put considerable strain on the transom but nothing requiring extensive reinforcement because the vanes rudder is doing the actual steering. On my boat, 6" X 6" X 3/16" fiberglass plates have worked just fine backing the four mounting points of the WPPP.

Last edited by roverhi; 03-08-2016 at 03:43 PM.
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