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Old 08-05-2017, 09:50 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2017
Home Port: London
Posts: 2
Default South Atlantic Self steering windvane experience

Hello everyone,

We ordered and had delivered two South atlantic windvane S600, along with another friend boat.
For information, I already had and sailed different type of wind pilots for long distances that worked very fine (Hydrovane, Atoms and Windpilot)

The product that was delivered was NOT in working order. Here is a partial list of what didn't work (we have pictures and videos) :
- Mechanical pieces not adjusted or damaged
- Loose bearing, non-aligned bearings (servo shaft was hard to turn in 180deg)
- Lots of shafe, wear, and slack in all "adjustements" making te pilot incapable of steering even up wind
- The auxiliary rudder has a non-symetrical, non-hydrodynamical "shape", and was not waterproof at all (2 L of water after a day navigation). Actually, the resin was not cured ...
- One of the two pilots uses wire conection between the windvane and the servo. This is not working at all, too much friction, even after eliminating all the obvious bad work made by Thomas Whitall.
- The measurements made on our boats before starting construction, were not taken in account, and we got delivered the two same mounting elements, making it impossible to mount on one of the boats, without significant changes, we had to make (not talking about the normal adjustments)
- One part was missing, according to the technical drawing. This part is there for safety, to avoid a dangerous jamming of the transmission rod of the servo inside the auxiliary rudder shaft, leading to a dangerous situation under sail. The captain almost lost a finger there ....
- ...
The list goes on, but lets stop here.
As one can imagine, we spent a lot of time and money to fix all these issues, and one of the pilots is still not working...
The pilots were supposed to be in working order when sent, and have a "life time warranty".

Of course, the first thing we did, was contact Thomas to ask him to help fixing the issues and take his responsability. But he gave more or less the same kind of excuses to Mucisca, another boat, sabbatical, out of the company, another person in charge, ... well, he "sent us to hell"...
We wrote to the company, and no one answered, we called, no one answered, ...
Thomas refused to give us an invoice, and since a few days, the website is down, and the domain name available for sale (which means it's intentionnal, not a technical problem), letters sent to the company address returns, Thomas changed his phone numbre, company email sends a permanent error, ...
In two words, Thomas Whitall is trying to diseappear.

We already engaged a legal procedure against him, because we feel we have been fooled, by a dishonest person, and we will be gratefull for any additional information, to help us find him.

Some people had good experience with South Atlantic, and I'm glad for them. On the other side, if this was not the case, we wouldn't have been fooled by Thomas Whitall, and South Atlantic, along with 5 other boats (and still counting), and it doesn't mean this person is acting fair and honest.

My opinion, is DO NOT buy anything from South Atlantic, and go for a proven, professional, long time running, wind pilot maker, even if it seems more expensive.
You are welcome to provide any information you want to provide to help us go ahead with the procedure. We'll be greatfull for that.

Best regards,

PS : I will copy and paste this message in other forums. So I apologize in advance for those who mind finding it twice, but I feel that the more this infomation is read, the better. You'd be happy to bump into this message if you are in the process of choosing a wind pilot.

JaadCINCO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2019, 02:58 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2019
Home Port: *******
Posts: 1

To avoid the possibility of a FAKE NEWS could you please upload a photo of your sailboat "CINCO" with the wind pilot installed?
It's hard to believe your post, I saw some videos on Youtube and I sailed once in a sailboat that has an S 500, it was working as expected. Please post a photo of your sailboat "CINCO" with the windvane.

saltywatermelon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2019, 09:53 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2017
Home Port: London
Posts: 2

Sure, there you go.
I wouldn't take the time and effort to write all this if it was fake, but I understand your feedback.
After all, this is only my own real life experience, and the suit process is still continuing as Thomas Whitall is not responding, answering, or showing up at court when asked to, to defend himself.

Again, S600 is not S500. The engineering is pretty different, and more complex, as S600 has.
I also watched videos before buying this windvane, so yes, there are vids where you can see the S500 or a smaller model working.

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JaadCINCO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2019, 12:42 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2019
Home Port: jerusalem
Posts: 1

One correction:
The S 500 and the S 600 are the same. What changes from one to the other, is the size and the thickness of the materials, that's all. One weight 30kg (S 500) and the bigger (S 600) 50 KG or more.

As far as I can say, the unit you have did not come out from the workshop of Thomas Whittall as you said. I think you are making a mistake. (I included a copy of an agreement with Guido Bresse who was the manager).
In March 2016 Thomas suffered an accident and was in a hospital at least until October 2016. So, no way Thomas was working. We hold the arrangement between Thomas Whittall and Guido Bresse who managed the firm at that time. (included here). I included the first part, check the date.
In October 2017 we bought the firm. Thomas sold to us his business because he was not able to work.
Since then we update a lot of process of the production. For example, the rudders are made in polyethylene rotomolded and adding newer technology we increase the quality of our Wndvanes. The S 500 and the S 600 include now an emergency tiller. They are certainly much better than before.

We at South Atlantic produce a range of 7 models. Each one is proven high-quality gear. We export all of our production with problems of any kind. Export means a lot of paperwork to fulfill government rules.

We searched your name in our records, it did not pop up. We have the records of the last fifteen years. In our records, you don't exist. However, I can see a unit on your boat.
The actual administration of South Atlantic assists and help each user of a South Atlantic wind vanes. We fairly manage our business and all the units sold that came out from our workshops works perfectly. If you need our assistance just email us.
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PaulEimers is offline   Reply With Quote


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