Saturday, November 21, 2020

On the subject of DIY self-steering...

A good point being made, “We don’t comment on pending investigations.” has a nice ring to it, and in the "Just in case you haven't been paying attention." department...

I've been following a forum thread where a guy is building a self-steering gear based on a very simple established commercial design and another design from the Walt Murray stable. The thing is that the person building the windvane has no real experience with self-steering and, instead of just building either one or the other, he's decided to combine the two and "improve" them in the process. 

Unsurprisingly the self-steering gear in question does not seem to work.

More importantly, I'll be getting emails using this windvane project as a justification of why you should not build a self-steering gear and buy a new one next time I write about DIYing a windvane and yes, Dear Readers, I'll be writing a lot of DIY self-steering gear stuff in 2021.

Which is a not all that unusual state of affairs where boat projects are concerned. It seems people just can't resist screwing around with something that works just fine. Which is not to say that a thing can't be improved upon or refined but it is important to keep in mind that improving something that works really well requires a lot of talent and experience with how something actually works to accomplish that sort of development.

I've been told, more than I appreciate, that I over-champion the idea that folks on boats should DIY more and throw money at problems less. Truth be told, I have a deep abiding faith that most all boat projects are within the capabilities of just about anyone with the will to take on a project, the willingness to do the needful research to suss out how to actually do the thing right, and the realization that there's always a learning curve in the mix.

Listening to the Drive-By Truckers

So it goes...