PHOTO CURTESY OF CAPEHORN.COM
I finally ordered the CapeHorn self-steering Windvane for JUNESSA! I can't wait to install the CapeHorn and put it thru it's paces! It will be soooo nice to sail SILENTLY with NO ENERGY REQUIRED... 24/7!
The wind vane is a way to sail a 'course' by setting the wind vane to an apparent wind angle... say you want to sail 270 degrees or WEST, you point the boat to WEST, engage the wind vane and as long as the wind stays the same, you will sail effortlessly in a WESTERLY direction.
The big difference between this wind vane
and an autopilot
is, the autopilot will try its best to keep the boat on a set magnetic heading or course, so if the wind changes, the sails will need constant adjustment... with the wind vane, if the wind changes, the boat will change heading with the change in the wind direction because the vane keeps the same apparent wind (not really a good thing if you are near land!!!) The autopilot also needs a lot of electrical power to run 24/7 on a a ocean passage and they are NOISY and can burn out during heavy use. And in a pinch, some vanes can be used as emergency rudders.... So, I think I made a good decision for my offshore cruising plans! :)
I've been in contact with the inventor, Yves Gélinas, who sailed 28,000 miles without hand steering his boat JEAN-DU-SUD. I've been very impressed with his customer service so far! I'm expecting to have the CapeHorn ready for installation sometime in April! I look forward to posting pics of the install and the shake-down with it. Stay Tuned!