The windvane

Mar 31st, 2012No Comments

One of the accesories necessary to face an singlehanded ocean crossing is undoubtedly the self steering windvane. There are, and many prefer it, the electric ones, but despite being superior in light wind does not give me comfort as dependent from the on board electricity and presenting major limitations in strong winds. A self steering windvane with all its limitations is much more “natural” and reliable for me.

To know the history and fisics of this instrument, I refer you to this free book by Peter Christian Förthmann.

For a boat like Strider the most appropriate model is definitely the servo pendulum that maintains a good balance between strength and sensitivity. Of all the brands that produce this type of windvane, as the historical ones “Windpilot”, “Monitor” and “Aries” cost around € 2-3000 which are definitely too much for my pockets. Fortunately, thanks to the Internet many craftsmen small/medium who build models designed just for small boats, in recent years have gained visibility. Among these “Mister Vee” is innovative in design and use of plastics and “Sea Feather” is specifically designed for small boats. Unfortunately both still cost too much for me.

At the end of my research I opted for the servo pendulum model S-301 built in Germany by “South Atlantic Self Steering Windvanes” which give me complete reliability at a price that fits my budget.
Thanks Thomas!

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