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Scalawag
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm going to be sailing a Merit 25 solo this summer and I'm interested in a wind vane steering system to relieve myself or grab/fix something quickly. Are there any that are reasonably priced or has anyone made there own. Im open to other ideas, I have seen something rigged up from the boom to a windward pulley then to the tiller with a bungee pulling the other side of the tiller, on the youtube of course. Looked ok but seems like alot of trial and error and the need for many bungee strengths for different wind conditions
 

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Ebay. Or, I have a Sail-O-Mat in the garage at home (6000 miles away) that I'll send to you for a few dollars.....Someday.
 

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I second the tiller pilot, but you will also need a 12v power source with the ability to recharge. The problem with a wind vane is you must have sufficient wind.
 

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Barquito
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I would 3rd the tiller pilot. However, depending on your boat, you can tie off the the tiller for a short time to take care of things. Boom-tiller steering, or sheet-tiller steering would probably take a lot of fiddling, but, would be able to handle a wider range of conditions. Real vane steering is expensive.
 

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Bristol 29.9
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You could try a tiller tamer or a tiller clutch. You wouldn't be able to leave the tiller for nearly as long as with an electronic one, but it would give you a brief respite, no electronics required, and much cheaper.
 

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Old enough to know better
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The first thing I would try is surgical rubber tubing and tie the tiller off with it.


Not sure how well you can balance out the sailplan on your boat, but you will need to be very balanced out on either a wind vane or tying off the tiller with rubber tubing. Looks like your fin is pretty thin so it may be hard to get anything but an auto pilot.
 

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Scalawag
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84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ebay. Or, I have a Sail-O-Mat in the garage at home (6000 miles away) that I'll send to you for a few dollars.....Someday.
That sounds like a deal! What model is it and how much would you want for it? I tried to PM you but since I'm new here I'm not allowed yet haha. Where are you located?
 

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With a boat that small, your windvane choices are even more limited.
 

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Scalawag
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
With a boat that small, your windvane choices are even more limited.
Which choices would those be? I'm not very familiar with the different options.
 

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I can't imagine a wind vane on a 22 foot sailboat. Your practical choices are:
1. Auto pilot
2. Jib sheet to tiller with elastic balancing cords
3. A tiller comb
4. And falling off a little, getting the sails balanced so tiller is neutral.
I once had a boat very similar to yours and found I could easily balance it to sail a straight line, but as I moved about the boat the balance would be disrupted. (I was about 10% of the displacement). I remember leaning out to port or starboard to steer while working on something away from the helm. I also remember scrambling back to the helm to avoid some catastrophe or the other.
So, I would say get a basic tiller pilot, even if it means carrying a battery home to recharge.
Happy sails,
John
ps. I'll look to see if I can find my tiller tamer. Be glad to send it to you if I can find it. Pretty much worthless and ends up putting a couple of holes in your tiller.
 

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Remember you're a womble
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I can't imagine a wind vane on a 22 foot sailboat. Your practical choices are:
1. Auto pilot
2. Jib sheet to tiller with elastic balancing cords
3. A tiller comb
4. And falling off a little, getting the sails balanced so tiller is neutral.
I once had a boat very similar to yours and found I could easily balance it to sail a straight line, but as I moved about the boat the balance would be disrupted. (I was about 10% of the displacement). I remember leaning out to port or starboard to steer while working on something away from the helm. I also remember scrambling back to the helm to avoid some catastrophe or the other.
So, I would say get a basic tiller pilot, even if it means carrying a battery home to recharge.
Happy sails,
John
ps. I'll look to see if I can find my tiller tamer. Be glad to send it to you if I can find it. Pretty much worthless and ends up putting a couple of holes in your tiller.
And this is why I suggested heaving-to, you aren't going anywhere for a few minutes, but equally it's much harder to hit anything if you aren't going anywhere. If you run into something because you were below making a coffee then I am fairly sure that would be frowned upon.
 

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Scalawag
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84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I can't imagine a wind vane on a 22 foot sailboat. Your practical choices are:
1. Auto pilot
2. Jib sheet to tiller with elastic balancing cords
3. A tiller comb
4. And falling off a little, getting the sails balanced so tiller is neutral.
I once had a boat very similar to yours and found I could easily balance it to sail a straight line, but as I moved about the boat the balance would be disrupted. (I was about 10% of the displacement). I remember leaning out to port or starboard to steer while working on something away from the helm. I also remember scrambling back to the helm to avoid some catastrophe or the other.
So, I would say get a basic tiller pilot, even if it means carrying a battery home to recharge.
Happy sails,
John
ps. I'll look to see if I can find my tiller tamer. Be glad to send it to you if I can find it. Pretty much worthless and ends up putting a couple of holes in your tiller.
Its 24.5' thank you. haha. Thanks for the info, man i really have my eye on a $300 navik but id have to drive 8 hours to get it haha. let alone if its fully functioning...
 

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What kind of sailing are you planning to do with the vane? As mentioned above, they don't really act as an autopilot, they steer relative to the wind and only if you have enough of it.
 
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