Re: Wind Vane Autopilot


Ian Park
 

I had a hydrovane on my Santorin. It was there when I bought it.  It worked well most of the time, but on occasions (especially downwind in a blow) it would veer off course badly and I would have to free the wheel to manually steer back. Also when we encountered sargasso weed crossing the Atlantic the vertical rudder collected the weed and could not work .
removing the rudder is awkward, but putting it on at sea even in light swell is very difficult. You do need a system for locking the steering wheel.

I have since removed it and sold it. On removal the gel coat on the stern has been worn away badly, and the holes elongated. I did have to tighten the six securing bolts on occasion. I think it would be preferable to add extra layers of glass inside the lazarette as well as the wooden supports on the outside. I did also change the penny washers for stainless steel backing plates. The lazarette on the Sn and I believe the SM is not the main stern bulkhead (its the bulkhead between the lazarette and the aft cabin). It seems to be a lighter build than the rest of the boat. It is also why it is recommended not to over tighten the back stays on the mizzen, other wise you will get hairline fractures where they are bolted on the stern.  I am happy with the prop shaft alternator which keeps the fridge, autopilot and instruments running without any battery drain. I carry a spare type 2 rotary drive which takes 10 minutes to swap over. I also have 200watts of solar panel on the aft rails which can be tilted towards the sun. I have never had my batteries drop below a 90% charge, and then only at anchor. 

But - I have not had a lightening strike. 






 

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