- Category: Techniques & Tactics
- Created: Tuesday, 26 January 2010 00:00
- Written by Charles Doane
I am a huge fan of self-steering windvanes. They work extremely well, are perfectly energy efficient (i.e., they draw ZERO power), and are easy to service and maintain. They truly are as simple as bicycles, and as you may have gathered from my recent Zen of DIY post I like simple gear. I also like bicycles.
Windvanes aren't nearly as popular as they used to be, primarily because electronic autopilots are now reasonably reliable, surprisingly energy efficient, and amazingly versatile. Back in the day, when I first started ocean sailing, this was not the case. I gained a lot of valuable experience steering in big waves when I was crewing around on other people's boats precisely because every time I went sailing the autopilot on whatever boat I was on always broke. Once I crewed on a boat with two autopilots, and they both broke. Consequently, the first thing I did when I bought Crazy Horse and prepped her to go offshore was remove her autopilot. I replaced it with a Monitor servo-pendulum windvane that never gave me a lick of trouble during two-plus years of wandering the North Atlantic.Write comment (2 Comments)