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How to install self steering gear

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Glenn Brooks

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Here we are installing self steering gear in the lazarette of my plastic classic Alberg 30. Actually I hired a young man to do this job. For obvious reasons. Can you tell there is not much room in the lazarette?

IMAG0208.jpg
 

tweinke

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Here we are installing self steering gear in the lazarette of my plastic classic Alberg 30. Actually I hired a young man to do this job. For obvious reasons. Can you tell there is not much room in the lazarette?

View attachment 242597
And I thought I had it bad when I have to stuff myself under a dash at work!
 

westsailpat

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Nice shot Glenn , how about some shots of it finished ? I love vanes , I don't need one I just want one . Some friends of mine have Monitors . A guy I met sailed his Westsail 28 from Ca. to Aus. with his Monitor , it was a very clean installation . For anyone reading this that has never heard of self steering gear (vane) for a boat , it is a cool thing . Basically you have a vane (pictured in Glenn's post) it's right above the guys foot . The vane is controlled by the wind and via some gears it controls a rudder called a servo pendulum that rocks from side to side attached to the rudder are some lines that attach to the tiller or wheel and steers the boat . You really only need a vane if you are sailing for long periods of time , like Glenn . Then you have guys like me that don't need one because we are never out more then 6-7 hrs . at a time and a electric auto pilot is all we need .
https://www.google.com/search?q=wind+vane+self+steering&rlz=1C2CAFA_enUS600US600&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiOuKK--9TWAhVS2WMKHdBNADIQsAQIYQ&biw=1366&bih=637#imgrc=1C1_Ewrx0tZyGM:
 

Glenn Brooks

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photo.JPG

Mark,

Here above is a photo of the Cape Horn, installed on the transom of Dolce, Albert 30. I guess I don't have a photo showing the full unit anymore. Maybe on my old laptop - wherever that is!

Below shot shows the reefing lines and all halyards run into the cockpit. I could set the main, drop it, and reef all from the cockpit. Very efficient and easy. The thin blue line running around the base of the cockpit, just off the bridge deck and seats controls the angle of the windvane, so one can trim the vane even from inside the boat.

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Last photo below shows the vane sticking up over all the deck clutter. Taken on a shakedown cruise up into the San Juans, Washington. Tied up at the dock on Lopez Island.

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I used my vane all the time, after I installed it. Never touched the tiller ever again, if I could avoid it. I went with the Cape Horn, designed and sold by Yves Gelinas, mostly because the vane was originally designed for the Albert 30- which my boat is. Or was, as I sold it to a young guy a few years ago.

My belief is the Cape Horn is superior to the other vanes on the market. The design allows for light air, dead down wind sailing, and is very, very stable at all points oround the compass. Monitors usually don't work in light air because of significant friction between the gears in the servo pendulum or head. Yves developed a simple articulated shaft arrangement that has no gears, hence to inertia or friction to overcome. Also, there is no stress on the movement, so it is very responsive in light winds, and works equally well at force 7 or 8 and above.

I set up the boat with three reef points in the main, and roller furling, with all,lines led back into the cockpit. So for single handed sailing, I could set up the vane on the tiller and take in as much sail as I needed, without ever leaving the cockpit. Very efficient, and quick. Also installed a removable Solent stay, anchored to the stem head fitting. Used this stay to fly a second Genoa or Jyb wing and wing for downwind sailing. Also it was my go to stay for setting a storm jyb - which is required for most offshore racing events - single handed transpacific etc.

Of course every vane owner thinks theirs is the best. And Most all are right!

Ahh, the good ole days! Great times!!


Glenn
 

CluelessNewB

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Carl Alberg sure designed some nice boats.... Like my Cape Dory! If I was planning to do any long distance sailing I would sure love to have a wind vane. For now "Helmut" our electric autopilot will suffice.
 

mksj

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Have to love those self steering vanes. My dad and I built a 47' ketch from the ground up in the early 70's, took us about 3 years. The rudder steering was hydraulic with a mid cockpit wheel and we had a hydraulic autopilot steering system. We found that the electric autopilot didn't work very well unless motoring, when sailing the winds keep changing and the autopilot drive power drain was a problem. Three days before leaving for a long south pacific cruise we installed a wind vane steering system, somewhat unusual steering system at the time because it was a pendulum swing type. I believe it was one of the original Hydrovane designs. It did 99% of the steering on the transpacific runs. Worked like a charm and never had any issues, only problem was when the wind direction changed in the middle of the night. We had to strap the auxiliary tiller when using the wind vane system because of hydraulic creepage of the steering pump.

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Glenn Brooks

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Very nice. Hydrovanes were very popular in their day. West Coast manufacture I think. To bad they went out of business. When I was following the Single Handed Transpac lots of participants wanted hydrovanes.

Glenn
 

westsailpat

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mksj , that is a nice looking boat . You and your dad built it ? that must have been quite a under taking . Tell us more please . Hey Glenn , I'm familiar (sorta) with the Cape Horne vane . My boat owner group did a group buy a while back with Yves , but no one did a feed back on it . I'm kinda interested in the model that is called the Norvane because it looks like it would lend it's self to fitting on my boat with the boomkin and all . But really all I can do is dream , Ms.westi hates them .
 

Glenn Brooks

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Mark, I was very happy with mine, right up to the day I sold the boat. Then even happier as it helped sell the boat.

In terms of user feed back, all I can say is my boat is now spending the typhoon season in Hong Kong harbor. Dave the new owner singlehanded offshore from Seattle to SF, then SF to Hawaii, then two trips into the South Pacific from Honolulu, then finally through the Melanesia to Hong Kong. He's headed to Taiwan after the storm season - all with the Cape Horn as the primary self steering device.

Yves has developed a method to mount it on boats set up with boomkins. There are a small company, but I found they provided pretty good service and quick turn around for parts if you need any.

Haha, can't tell you how to deal with Ms "no can do" messages. Except maybe go try one on another boat and see how convenient they are - as they are a great Labor saving device. Allows much more time for napping in the cockpit when you don't have to steer all the time.

Glenn
 
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