Sunday, September 27, 2009

Self-Steering project...

Currently we have a Atoms (well a clone of sorts) self steering gear onboard "So It Goes" and it works well enough... So why have I decided to replace it?

Well, part of the reason is that I'd love to get back to the ease of use that we had with our old much missed vertical axis RVG and, as our boat has a spade rudder, the whole idea of an auxiliary rudder system just makes me feel better.

I'll be the first to admit that a system like the Aries/Monitor/Atoms sort is more powerful and has some advantages, but I have always found the horizontal vanes fiddly and as a result they don't quite get adjusted as often as the vertical axis systems (well I am lazy after all!)

So the design brief for the new system breaks down to an auxiliary rudder with a trim tab and a vertical vane... No rocket science!

Of course, being a lazy guy, I love that there is already a great amount of good info on design and building of vanes... So it is needful to dust off that section of the bookshelf and no self-respecting builder of vanes would be without the classics...

Wind-Vane Self Steering by Bill Belcher, Self-Steering for Sailing Craft by John S. Letcher Jr and Self-Steering for Sailboats by Gerard Dikjstra. All good books and taken together pretty much all you need for building and using a wind vane system.

Another great resource on my Self-steering shelf is written by Eric from the excellent blog Sarana at Sea and is available for download for the outrageous price of $5! It is excellent and well worth your pennies. Seriously just get it!

So for the moment I'm making sketches and taking measurements and I have a couple of ideas in the "cunning plan" department which may or may not work out but for the moment all systems are go!