In previous blogs (Windy Wind Vane Steering
) and (Windy Wind Vane Steering (part 2)
) we were researching wind vane steering options for Flirtie. After many email exchanges we decided to purchase "Windy" https://windyselfsteering.com/selfsteering/
, a servo pendulum wind vane steering solution with a customised mount specifically designed for Flirtie. "Windy" is manufactured in Estonia so fortunately there was no import duty or additional charges payable in the EU.....something that unfortunately doesn't apply to the UK anymore :-(
After the payment of a small deposit, Imre Aljas started the build. Delivery was scheduled for approximately 4 weeks.
True to his word, "Windy" was ready for shipment 4 weeks later and after paying the outstanding balance we received "Windy" here in Porto Turistico Marina di Ragusa just 1 week later.
"Windy" was shipped in a custom made plywood box and arrived safely without any damage.
plywood shipping container
Everything inside was extremely well packaged and secured so we would be confident that "Windy" could be shipped anywhere in the world without sustaining any damage.
"Windy" well packaged
As for the installation, it's fair to say that it was extremely straightforward. Just 4 x 8mm holes through the teak planks and the stainless steel framing beneath on our bathing platform after ensuring the mount was on the centreline.
"Windy" mount clamped on the centre-line
The accuracy of our measurements and the engineering from Imre's perspective ensured it fitted perfectly with the mounting bolts in precisely the right location.
After that it was just a case of sliding "Windy" into position and securing it in place with an oversize thumbscrew.
"Windy" in place
With "Windy" now mounted on the bathing platform we turned our attention to the steering drum which is attached to Flirtie's wheel. This wasn't quite so straightforward to fit requiring three nylon blocks to be shaped to match the angle of the steering spokes of our wheel. Imre provided stainless steel pipe clamps, self tapping screws and leather cloth to secure these nylon blocks in place but instead we preferred to use stainless steel U-bolts for the purpose. Either solution was perfectly acceptable but we felt our solution was slightly neater and a little stronger.
U-bolts securing nylon spacer blocks
With the nylon blocks in position it was then just a matter of bolting the drum to the nylon blocks.
drum in place
Next we needed to mount a couple of blocks by the wheel and on the pushpit.
turning blocks adjacent to wheel
turning blocks on pushpit
Finally all that was needed was to feed the 6mm dyneema line (low stretch) from the wind vane to the drum.
dyneema control lines
It was about this time that we happened to receive a video call from Caroline's sister Jo. Caroline explained what we were doing and turned the camera towards "Windy". Jo not fully understanding responded with 'you mean that "Stick" thingy? '. Since then "Windy", our third crew member has been christened "Stick".... Lol.
All that remained was to see how "Stick" performed.... take a look at the brief video below.
It goes without saying that this was our first outing in favourable conditions but from what we've already learnt and experienced we're extremely confident that with practice "Stick" will become a crew member that we can both trust and rely on. I'm sure in future posts "Stick" will certainly say hello on occasions.