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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Let's talk self-steering systems...
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Thread: Let's talk self-steering systems... Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-22-2009 01:36 AM
mitiempo Here are the plans for self steering for smaller boats.
Brian
10-21-2009 03:14 PM
h16Sailor i found
A Pearson Ariel Page
helpful even though i dont have this boat.
10-21-2009 01:25 PM
nickmerc You can get tiller pilots with a windvane attachment. They even tack the boat for you so you can tend to the sheets.

I will also second the sheet to tiller steering method.
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10-21-2009 12:52 PM
sailingdog Byron—

Try Alibris.com, as that is where I bought my copy of it a while back.
10-21-2009 12:35 PM
byr0n
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
You really need to read the classics on this subject, like Lechter's Self-steering for Sailing craft... etc...
Thanks Sailingdog, I am on the lookout for this book, as it is out of print, yet referenced a great deal in my googling for information of the subject of self-steering options
10-21-2009 12:20 PM
byr0n
Quote:
Originally Posted by negrini View Post
byr0n, electronic steering has become very reliable, so it's the easiest installation.
Yes, however an electronic steering system keeps you on a course, which is not necessarily on the wind. The wind is a fickle thing which in many places is just plain undecided so course-keeping vs wind-keeping is the big difference. Both systems will run you aground if not attended, and both will run you into obstacles without a thought if the captain is not paying attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by negrini View Post
About your force calculation, mostly steering system is moved by water force, not wind. Wind will determine it's direction but enough force to move a tiller/wheel comes from the water passing through the system, and that already include some sort of purchase ratio. So, installation is always complicated and disturbing to your stern platform ....
yes, water is a major force... on in-water systems. (also, my calculations were in no way scientific or accurate. I simply was using bold variables to achieve a point) I am hoping to discuss the merits of above-the-water systems achieving some of the same goal that the big, sturdy expensive systems use.
10-21-2009 12:02 PM
byr0n
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
There used to be a windvane built in England called the QME I believe (for Quantock Marine Enterprises). I can't find a picture on the web. It was a horizontal pivoting vane with a counterweight and lines to the tiller. The base was on a bearing and when sails were set you weathercocked the vane and cleated off the tiller lines. It was quite inexpensive at the time. Problem was if your boat wasn't balanced well enough it didn't work that well as it wasn't that powerful. There is also the "Mister Vee" vane produced in England currently. Those Brits like to tinker.
www.mistervee.com - Home
I believe plans are available from that link.
yes, QME. That's what I envision. Thanks for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Most of the self steering systems that survived have developed into powerful reasonably maintenance free systems that work very well. The one I'm looking at is the Norvane, made in the US and quite affordable compared to the more popular names like Monitor. NORVANE Self-Steering Wind Vane. Stainless steel, servo-pendulum. Powerful, sturdy and reliable for sailboats 20’ to 60’
There is also a Windvane Forum that might be useful.
Cruising Sailor • View forum - Windvane Forum
Hope this helps
Brian
Thanks. Yeah, Norvane is a nice rig. Did you choose it for the added ability to have an emergency rudder attached? The pain is still in the $1900+ shipping and duties . Will be pouring over that windvane forum for more knowledge...
10-21-2009 07:51 AM
johnnyandjebus I started playing around this summer with sheet to tiller steering(t-shirt steering with some thought behind it) For about 50$ you can assemble all the required equipment. I have have had mixed results. Yesterday I was out in 10-12 knots, full main and genny on my contessa 26. The sheet to tiller worked flawlessly on any tack from reaching to close hualed. Broad reaching is still a challenge. The system requies some skill/experience setting up and sail trim is key,although good sail trim is a requirement for all self steering. Gusty winds doesn't help either.
I used the page below to learn about and assemble the required parts. I recommend giving it a try even if you already have an alternative as playing with sheet to tiller steering will force you to pay attention to sail trim.

Sheet-to-Tiller Self Steering

Good luck,
John
10-21-2009 07:20 AM
bartvdv Self Steering
Sheet-to-Tiller Self Steering
10-21-2009 03:05 AM
mitiempo Here's a link to plans for a horizontal vane:Sailboat Self Steering You can Build
Brian
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