A264 Clytie 10:17am, 26 August 2013
Which is the most practical wind vane system these days with Narvik being out of production, there doesn't seem to be an obvious choice at the 24' end of the market!
hotfoot_24 5 years ago

My dad had one and I believe it was pretty good.
Mike A1 Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Mike A1 (member) 5 years ago
I've been meaning to add something about my Sea Feather system for a while and your question has reminded me about this. There are some pictures and a couple of poor videos of it in use in this set: www.flickr.com/photos/17203802@N00/sets/72157629560653850/. I've also added these to the group pool.

It's my only experience of wind vane steering but I'm very pleased with it.

To answer the inevitable question - it cost £1600.

A264 Clytie 5 years ago
Very interesting Mike, it does indeed appear to function well.

I came across the 'South Atlantic' system as well but the videos only show it working in a mere breeze. www.south-atlantic.com.ar/en/s301.html

and by chance there's a Navik system on eBay at the moment at GBP650, not cheap but better than a new price!

busy home [deleted] 5 years ago
I sailed direct from Hayle to Groves and Gutterage Cowes using a Navic
42 kts for one whole day and night. Navic was excellent .
Will Garnier used a Navic.
Ebay one looks cheap to me.
Out of curiosity why go for a wind vane instead of a tiller pilot? i know the main differences, just wondered what your reasons where for choosing the wind vane.
busy home [deleted] 5 years ago
Tiller pilots are totally unreliable, gobble batterys. and cant cope with higher wind/wave
In rough conditions they are prone to getting tangled in sheets warps and bodys.
but are great for harbour/rivers.
In 1985 I sailed a Bell Seamew from Peter Port to Salcome (mates boat) in 6/7/8winds
She had a home made verticle S/s on the pulpit .Steered perfectly till we caught a crabpot 5mls off Salcome ,ripped it off completly. We were doin 5kts storm jib bailing with a bucket
(hull split 10hrs previous. ) Without the third hand (steering ) we would have been right in the sh..t..
People think sailing can be boring sitting about and doing nothing for hours on end!

Tiller pilot for me then (mainly solent sailing), but reading the jester challenge forums is dangerous for future plans!
NormanKlipspringer 5 years ago
I single hand much of the time. Tiller pilot can hold boat to wind under engine when putting mainsail up. Tiller pilot can steer boat all day when no wind under engine. Tiller pilot works most of the time when sailing and when conditions are not suitable I am happy to steer. Would not be without mine - Raymarine 2000+.
Mike A1 5 years ago
>>> ... why go for a wind vane instead of a tiller pilot?

I already had a tiller pilot before I got the Sea Feather, and found that it wasn't able to hold a course when sailing even in moderate conditions, say F3+, except in sheltered water. I sail alone virtually all the time, and although my most ambitious trips are between the East coast estuaries this still meant at least several hours helming. The theory was that a wind vane would be able to do most of the steering for these trips.

And this is exactly what I have found. I don't often use it for sailing in the rivers - too much traffic and it doesn't cope with variable winds very well. But I'll set it up and use it for even short coastal trips. I find plenty of things to do apart from helming: make something to eat or drink, have a pee, shelter from the rain/spray, do a bit of boat maintenance, or just relax and watch the world go by.

Overall, for me and my type of sailing I don't regret buying it at all. The main downside is that if I was ever to change boats, wind vane steering would probably be top of my must-have equipment list.

>>> ...reading the jester challenge forums is dangerous...

I agree with this! Maybe one day...

spearhead_027 5 years ago
I agree - if you can, have both (and a big battery). Extra weight aft is of little account if you are single-handing; indeed it's a good idea from the point-of-view of performance then anyway.
matthewA750 5 years ago
My Seafeather also works well
Matthew (Gremlin)
s j carter 5 years ago
I also have a sea feather, which has moved from boat to boat with me, a wonderful piece of kit, works a treat on Trojan, unfortunately Paul is giving up making them wants to devote more time to sailing , cant say i blame him.
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