Re: Self introduction and question about autopilot redundancy and solo sailing

Dennis Johns

For solo sailing, definitely consider a windvane.  Hydrovane is a good choice because it has a completely separate rudder and can work if the boat's rudder is disabled for whatever reason (I used one to cross the Pacific -not solo).  The issue with a windvane is it needs to have a sail of some sort and if you have davits and a dinghy hanging off the stern, that will be difficult to engineer.  All windvanes have a learning curve to understand how to balance the boat and adjust the windvane and it takes longer for some than for others.  The suggestion for a second drive unit is a good one as well as drive units can lose their clutch and that is easily remedied with a second unit.  The emergency tiller noted is more redundancy but rest from that would require heaving to or drifting as also noted.

Dennis Johns
Maramu #121

On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 7:46 AM Ian Park <parkianj@...> wrote:
I had a Hydrovane on my Santorin. When it worked it worked beautifully.
I took it off and sold it. Occasionally it would not quite hold the boat and I had to release he locking on the wheel to put it back on course. When we encountered Sargasso weed it gathered on a the vertical rudder and prevented it working - the weed slid off the keel and main rudder because they are not vertical enough n the water. There is significant wear on the gel coat on the stern from the pressure of the Hydrovane mounting.
My decision was to carry a second motor for the rotary drive. My Santorin generates enough electricity with he shaft alternator to steer the boat plus the sun extra fuel solar panels. I do check the stiffness of the steering cables and an play in the steering rack following Aloha’s and experience.
The Santorin may well benefit from engineering systems from the SM on a boat which is smaller and not so heavy - almost over- engineered, but no complaints there.
Steve’s experience on Aloha is the only occasion I have heard of about a steering breakdown on an Amel.
I trust my 27 year old boat more than many new boats out there. When I bought ‘Ocean Hobo’ an old French gentleman passed by on the pontoon and said ‘M’sieu, you ‘ave bought the Rolls Royce of yachts!’
How right he has proven to be.
Good luck in your search.

Ian ‘Ocean Hobo’ SN 96

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