UK - Plymouth - hydro vane
19 July 2012
Just like Christmas
FINALLY ..... I have wind steering , ive waited so long , saved even longer and finally a wind steering system , for those not into sailing, wind steering systems have been around and evolved over a long time - unlike dinosaurs .
The principle is fairly straight forward, you get the boat sailing how you want it and in the direction that you want to go, then aim the leading edge of the vane into the wind and engage the small rudder - having locked off the main one.
As the boat wanders off course its travel relative to the wind changes, this blows the vane over and then steers the rudder and the yacht turns back onto course , once back on course the vane comes back to vertical.
Thats a simplistic version of events but it is a pretty simple bit of kit and lovingly built to the highest of standards, the company being canadian but built in the UK.
Fitting it was relatively simple, i drew the centre line down the stern of the yacht and carefully aligned the top bracket so that ot was square, the hard wood packing pieces are to be cut to the shape of the curved stern , which i did with a sander and a coarse sheet of paper.
Once this top mount was in situ i slide a dummy tube into the bracket and did my best to get it into the vertical position , i then tack welded the stainless brackets to the bathing platform .
Once happy with position I TIG welded the brackets in place and then cleaned them using oxalic acid on a cloth, this removes the burn marks, as the bracket will be hidden by planking I didn't bother polishing out the colours from the heat.
Then the hydrovane was dropped into place and gauging the height to be about right I clamped it into place, fitted the counter balance weights and the course adjustment rope ...easy.
Once back in the water i can fine tune the vertical axis and the height to get everything in the right place to make sure I get optimum performance from the hydrovane.
Very happy with the finish once the planks were cut and shaped and refitted, the swim platform was built five or six years ago with this in mind , hence the support isnt central for the timber slats , there are two off set instead.
In all it looks good and is solid .