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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #1  
Old 05-30-2008
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Sailing to Hawaii

I was thinking. Say you sailing from the mainland to Hawai'i single handed. Do you pretty much have to have an auto pilot? Otherwise, how would you sleep and keep the boat straight. AM I right in thinking 2 people or an auto pilot?

Thanks.
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Old 05-30-2008
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My first choice would be a wind vane, but an autopilot would do the same thing except that it uses amps. Before contemplating a singlehand ocean crossing there are a lot of things to consider; how to steer while sleeping being one of them.

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Old 05-30-2008
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Red face Windvane?

Enlighten me! So how does a windvane work?
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Old 05-30-2008
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Terryjoe-

A windvane uses a large panel and gearing to control steering. If you want more information, try www.selfsteer.com
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Old 05-31-2008
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There are a few sail configurations single handers have used for long downwind offshore passages. Running "twin spinnakers", basically two poled out genoas will keep your boat heading in a general downhill direction. Most cruisers are not interested in going in any direction contrary to the prevailing wind condition, so sail setups like this can remove the need for other steering means. Electric autopilots in the lower price ranges will not stand up well to constantly steering extended downwind sailing. Windvanes are more expensive than the run-of-the-mill auto pilots, but last longer (mine is 35 years old).
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Old 05-31-2008
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there are much better places to sail to other than Hawaii, unless you have obligations there. easier on the boat too, that trip will throw you a beating.
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Old 08-11-2008
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I agree with Uspirate, We did the passage from San Francisco to Hawaii, and it beat us up for the week and a half heading out there. We used an Autopilot only for when we were eating meals and during power naps.
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Old 08-18-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terryjoe View Post
Enlighten me! So how does a windvane work?

No one really knows. It's magic!!
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Old 08-18-2008
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Seems like an odd question to ask for someone planning such a trip.

BTW billy, I second SD's suggestion to check the mentioned link, as a proper answer would be quite long.
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Old 08-18-2008
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Originally Posted by Robby Barlow View Post
BTW billy, I second SD's suggestion to check the mentioned link, as a proper answer would be quite long.
Robby, technical explanations aside -- windvanes, especially my really old Aries, are magical things. They can steer the boat for days on end, without rest and with little complaining (other than the occasional squeeky cry for oil), and they usually are better at keeping the course. On several occasions I've noticed that the Aries can hold a course with less input to the helm (fewer degrees of rudder less frequently) than the human helmsmen aboard.
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