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Old 01-01-2013, 09:45 AM   #1
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Default Wanted: Used Hydrovane or Fleming Vane

Lost my Autohelm auxiliary rudder/vane mid Pacific, and looking
to find a good condition wind steering system for my next trip.
I have a Breekveldt 35 steel cutter rig. Anyone have a suitable
used system for sale?
I am berthed just north of Sydney.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:50 AM   #2
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andyaye, At the risk of committing heresay, there are several for sale in the CLASSIFIED section at Cruisersforum.com. gts1544
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:39 AM   #3
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And, there's one at the bottom of the Indian ocean where Neptune liberated it from the stern of my boat. I can give you the coordinates and loan you a small grappling hook if you wish.

But you'll need a very long rope.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:26 AM   #4
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thanks gts..
most are in usa,
hard to check out and then have to wear shipping costs..
hoping to find one in Oz..
but.... will see what sellers are willing to do
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:49 AM   #5
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There has got to be some interesting stories here! I've covered a lot of ocean miles with both a Fleming and also a Windpilot. I've twice lifted the Fleming off the stern mid passage and brought it inboard for repairs, followed by dropping it back into place.

Never felt I was in any danger of consigning it to the deep. So what is the story behind these lost steering machines? What are the traps out there waiting to eat my Windpilot?
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:11 AM   #6
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Default auto-helm eaten

the auto-helm was an auxiliary rudder, with a trim tab that did the steering. It was a heavy wooden rudder, six foot or more by perhaps 30 inches, and and inch and a half thick. It was fixed to the stern on a stainless steel angle iron style frame with four stern bolts.

Got in a bit of weather and hove to south of Samoa. Every once in a while a swell would hit from another direction and I would hear a loud wham, but thought nothing of it. A day later I went to set the vane and found it had been sheared off right along the frame, leaving the top still bolted in the frame.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:35 AM   #7
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We had been having difficulty getting the Aries balanced. I was below doing something and the former owner came up with a plan. He was a wonderful bloke, had been a very clever man but was suffering from advanced altzheimer's disease. He turfed the whole lot into the ocean saying that no longer would it be a problem. This was during a three day offshore test sail. The test sail was the last hurdle I had to cross prior to purchase.
C'est la vie!
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:28 AM   #8
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Thanks Guys - two good stories. My experience has been that vanes work best when the boat is going forward and all sorts of nasty things happen when the boat stops going forward. We once had twin headsails that worked equally well when the boat was going backwards - I leave it to your imagination as to how well the Fleming liked that.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:55 AM   #9
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Default Flemming and Windpilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by svhoneybee View Post
There has got to be some interesting stories here! I've covered a lot of ocean miles with both a Fleming and also a Windpilot
I see you've used both Flemming and Windpilot. I'm in the market for a vane, and have narrowed my choice down to one of these two. I'd be very appreciative of any feedback you may have on how these two units compare. My boat is 30ft tiller steered, fin keel.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:17 AM   #10
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i want to know are there any good online sites to work on and search for some good ships like this
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:58 AM   #11
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Gingerbread, my experience with the Fleming is very dated - we had one on Aerandir, which was a 30 foot steel, fin keeled sloop with a spade rudder, back in the 80's. Not the ideal arrangement for self steering, but the Fleming worked well on two extended Pacific cruises - got us to Tahiti from Tasmania via Pitcairn! As I mentioned, it didn't like backing up, but I doubt any vane does.

Much more recently, the Windpilot came with Honey Bee when we bought her. My guess is that, made from alloy, it would be lighter than the stainless steel Fleming and that could be a deciding factor on a small boat. Both bits of kit work well. Neither was perfect, but either was much better than steering the boat for a few thousand miles.

I find that the Windpilot is sufficiently light that I can dismount it easily and we do this often so that we can hang the dinghy from davits. Long trip and the dinghy comes aboard and the vane goes on. Day cruising and the vane comes aboard and the dinghy goes onto the stern.

I strongly suspect that any of the reputable brands of vane will do the job for you. They have all had many decades of development and the basic design of vane and paddle doesn't vary much.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:54 PM   #12
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I find that the Windpilot is sufficiently light that I can dismount it easily...

So do we!

We had a Windpilot on the back of Mico - our 33' Alajuela canoe stern cutter and battling a 30kt head wind for 14 days on our first blue water from Brisbane to New Caledonia, I happened to glance at the wind vane and noticed that not only was the vertical blade moving side to side but also the rest of the unit.

Hanging over the stern, good lady with a terrified, vice like grip around my ankles, I discovered that I could hand turn all four of the 500mm thru bolts easily. We hove to, and I snaked head first down into the lazerette and around the back of the steering post with a torch to discover that all four bolts had sheared off. It was only the ancient sikaflex holding the unit in place.

I was kicking myself (though not while squeezed into the shape of a pretzel behind the rudder post) because only a month earlier when we were on the hardstand getting the hull resprayed it occurred to me to replace those original bolts (at least 15 years old).

As you can guess - it was one job that didn't get done.

Fortunately we had 3 spare bolts in our boxes of stores so in a 3m sea with rising winds and now rain, and at one o'clock in the morning - my good lady hung over the stern with our, only 14mm ring spanner in one hand and a caulking gun in the other, while I lay squashed up inside the lazarette trying to attach new nuts as she gingerly extracted each bolt and replaced it.

The job took almost three hours - two hours to replace the bolts and an hour to extract me feet first back out of the lazerette!

From that time on, our Windpilot has never been a problem, although I did make sure I mentioned it to her new owners a few months back when we sold her to spend more time on our 44' Antigua ketch based in Borneo.

Fair winds,

Mico/Australis
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:26 AM   #13
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thats amazing i liked it very much. amazing one to share
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