Windvane on HR29

Any comments, questions, stories about HR 29, this is the right place.
User avatar
Posts: 414
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:51 pm
Location: Turku, Finland

Windvane on HR29

Postby Antti_DD » Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:42 pm

Inspired by the recent autopilot discussion, I decided to make a topic about Dolphin Dance's windvane self-steering. As discussed in that topic, tiller pilots such as Raymarine's 1000+/2000+ are not designed to be used for long offshore passages under sail or in rough offshore conditions for a long period of time. Furthermore, due to the energy consumption autopilot is not perhaps the best choice for a longer passage with a traditional sail boat like the HR 29, which has a fairly large displacement, longish keel, deep hull and a skeg. These kind of boats have often good directional stability and not so good surfing qualities, so they can be quite heavy on helm when sailing downwind.

I initially bought HR29 for singlehanded sailing, as I wanted a safe and seaworthy boat, that is capable of looking after herself also under an automatic steering. I was very lucky to find a second-hand Windpilot Pacific on sale just ten kilometers from my home. It is a real coincidence since this piece of equipment is rather rare sight in Finland. It had actually been on a boat, which was bought from the Netherlands to Finland, and the new owner wanted to sell the windvane. I got the Windpilot for less than 2000 €. Autopilot such as SPX-5 would have probably cost (then) at least 1500 €, maybe more, so I think that buying a used windvane was a rationale choice.

Here is something that I wrote about the Windpilot Pacific in our blog two years ago:
In general, I have been very pleased with the performance of the Windpilot Pacific. However, there are some limitations with this system. First of all, it is an equipment for offshore sailing; in Finland we are mostly sailing in the archipelago, where wind is always too gusty or shifty. Thus, there is not much to do with the windvane. On offshore, there are some points of sail which are more difficult for the windvane to handle. This depends very much on the sail balance, trim and the boat's overall characteristics. I have found with HR 29, that the beam reach and broad reach are the most difficult points of sail for the windvane. For example, when beam reaching the windvane often tends to turn the boat too much into the wind. On the other hand, sailing close-hauled is the best angle for the windvane. Interestingly, windvane copes also well when sailing dead downwind which is the most difficult direction to steer by hand in following seas due to the risk of gybe.

However, usually when the windvane has difficulties in keeping the course, the fault lies in the sail trim. For example, I have sometimes struggled adjusting the angle of the windvane, only to learn, that the mainsail was sheeted too tight. It is also important to reef early to reduce the weather helm.

I think that the Windpilot Pacific is definitely one of the most valuable pieces of equipment that we have on board. It does not replace the autopilot, but these two systems complement each other. Autopilot is at its best when motoring or sailing in light airs and shifty conditions, whereas windvane is mainly for offshore sailing. In general, the windvane performs the better, the stronger the wind is. The opposite is true for the autopilot.

Windvane_HR29.jpg
I had to reposition the swimming ladders to get space for the windvane
Windvane_HR29.jpg (55.61 KiB) Viewed 3438 times


Windvane_HR29_tiller.jpg
The steering force is led from pendulum rudder to the tiller via steering lines
Windvane_HR29_tiller.jpg (39.06 KiB) Viewed 3438 times


Here is a link to a Youtube video about Windpilot in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL75n4SL ... mQ&index=8
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
HR 29 # 483 "Dolphin Dance"
Blog: http://sydolphindance.com / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sydolphindance / Twitter: https://twitter.com/sydolphindance

User avatar
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:49 pm
Location: Skanör, Sweden

Re: Windvane on HR29

Postby Dan » Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:03 am

Hi Antti et al,
Posted a reply that never made it, so here is another try.
RoAm has a Windpilot Pacific and it is the best investment we have made so far. If you are interested in voyages I wouldn't leave port without one.
We have painted the windvane in the Swedish colours so that the flag can be removed when it disturbes the proper workings of the wane. The ladder was removed and exchanged with a platform. Antti, i see you use two pulleys on each side for the chain/rope connector. Any reason for that?
Interestingly, both our boats are pictured in Windpilots web site: http://windpilot.com/n/wind/yach/foto/paci/HR29

User avatar
Posts: 414
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:51 pm
Location: Turku, Finland

Re: Windvane on HR29

Postby Antti_DD » Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:16 am

Hi Dan, this is interesting! I remembered looking those photos in Windpilot's web site on RoAm and other boats many many times, when installing our windpilot. I especially like your bathing platform arrangement, which I think would be very nice thing to have, but haven't yet copied that one.

I think that painting a flag to the windvane is a good idea, as the flag definitely sometimes disturbs the vane as you pointed out.

Unfortunately, I don't have more detailed photo of DD's windvane. Those are not actually pulleys on the chain/rope connector, but just clips on both sides of the very long steering line (the windpilot was before DD in a wheel steered boat). I have meant to be coming up with a better solution, which would allow tightening/releasing the tension of the steering line/chain. I remember seeing a rigging screw used in the connection between the rope and the chain in some boat. However, this still remains undone so our current arrangement is a bit untidy.

One problem is that if you lift the chain from the tiller fitting (for steering by hand for a while), but keep the chain connected to the steering line, the moving chain quickly damages the varnish of the wooden tiller. Do you have some protection for the tiller for this reason?
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
HR 29 # 483 "Dolphin Dance"
Blog: http://sydolphindance.com / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sydolphindance / Twitter: https://twitter.com/sydolphindance

User avatar
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:49 pm
Location: Skanör, Sweden

Re: Windvane on HR29

Postby Dan » Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:43 pm

Hi Antti,
I have the same setup as you have. I.e. there are two clips that connect the rope to the chain. When, which is rarely, we hand steer we just unclip one side of the chain and let it rest, thus avoiding chaffe. I noticed that you used four pulleys on the taftrail/pushpit whilst I have only two. Is there a performance difference in this set up and can you bring the Windpilot rudder clear out of the water with this configuration without to much fiddeling?

User avatar
Posts: 414
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:51 pm
Location: Turku, Finland

Re: Windvane on HR29

Postby Antti_DD » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:16 am

Hi Dan, Ok. now I think that I understand what you meant with two pulleys on each side. I decided to use this setup because one boat (the third HR29 photo in Windpilot's website) had a similar configuration. So actually I did not considered using just one block per side, since I thought that this is the best and only way to install the steering lines. But now that you mentioned this, I have to reconsider this before the next season. With our current setup I can easily raise the windpilot's rudder from the water without removing anything. However, the problem is that the starboard side steering line is contacting with the tiller pilot. Thus, I think that your setup could be better. Furthermore, I think that there is less problem with the chafe of the tiller, since the angle of the chain/steering line is larger compared to the tiller. I think that it is also easier to unclip the chain, because its tension is lower compared to our setup. Thanks for the idea!
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
HR 29 # 483 "Dolphin Dance"
Blog: http://sydolphindance.com / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sydolphindance / Twitter: https://twitter.com/sydolphindance

Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:34 pm
Location: Madrid-Spain

Re: Windvane on HR29

Postby Nunui » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:25 am

Hi guys¡¡

Unfortunately I don´t have a windvane yet but I do have an autopilot. It is a SPX-5 and works really well. If you need some info, please let me know ¡¡

User avatar
Posts: 414
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:51 pm
Location: Turku, Finland

Re: Windvane on HR29

Postby Antti_DD » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:53 am

Hi Gonzalo, I think that sharing your experiences on SPX-5 would be very valuable information to the forum. There is an earlier "Autopilot" thread, started by Milsten, and SPX-5 was mentioned there as an alternative to 1000+/2000+.
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
HR 29 # 483 "Dolphin Dance"
Blog: http://sydolphindance.com / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sydolphindance / Twitter: https://twitter.com/sydolphindance

Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:57 am

Re: Windvane on HR29

Postby tomblix » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:26 am

Hi
I have considered several wind vane options, but have not yet bought any. As of today, I think I would put my money on the Hydrovane instead of the Pacific. Here`s why:
Can be off-centered - so no need to move the ladder.
Will not use the tiller but goes directly down on a separate rudder - so the tiller can be flipped up, resulting in more space in the cockpit.
Can be used as an emergency rudder, since it doesn`t use the boats rudder.
Costs about the same.
Best regards from Tom

User avatar
Posts: 414
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:51 pm
Location: Turku, Finland

Re: Windvane on HR29

Postby Antti_DD » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:37 am

Hi, I don't have experience on Hydrovane or similar windvanes so I am bit wary to make comparisons. However, what I like about the servo pendulum construction of the Windpilot Pacific is that the load on the transom is low, since the boat is still steered by her main rudder. Therefore, the windvane doesn't have to be as heavily mounted on the transom as the Hydrovane, and the servo-pendulum rudder can easily be flipped out of the water when it is not in use. Furthermore, the vane itself is also pretty compactly sized, since it only needs to turn the servo-pendulum rudder.

Having an emergency rudder is definitely a strong plus with Hydrovane as is the possibility for off-center installation. However, I am not sure, how easily you can lock the boat's main rudder/tiller to center or to the balancing position (to eliminate any weather helm), when the tiller is flipped up?
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
HR 29 # 483 "Dolphin Dance"
Blog: http://sydolphindance.com / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sydolphindance / Twitter: https://twitter.com/sydolphindance

Return to General HR 29 discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest