Self Steering


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Dick
Dick
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Hi Charles,
Ketches are always a challenge for self steering gear, but your boat is common enough so that others may have tried it. I would try Hans at Scanmar in the US as they are the vendor for Monitor windvanes and may have worked with your design boat.
Good luck and let us know what you find out, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
Daria Blackwell
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I can second Dick's suggestion. We have a Monitor on our Bowman 57 ketch and have been impressed with its performance and Scanmar's service - the best we've ever experienced. See Alex's post below.

Vice Commodore, OCC 
Thomas.Rolph
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Just to add a bit of balance to the Hydrovane camp, I fitted one to my Bavaria Vision 46 a couple of months ago.
I've only done one trip with it - Gibraltar to Madeira (600 nm) but it has performed impeccably. 
This is a 2021 model so maybe improved on the 2008 version.
The pole should never slip if the clamps are tightened up correctly.
if the fittings start to pull out of the stern then the stern needed reinforcing and backing plates
I glassed at least 6 layers on the inside before using the factory supplied aluminium backing plates.

Still its early days the trip to Tenerife should test it some more
Dick
Dick
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Thomas.Rolph - 17 Jun 2022
Just to add a bit of balance to the Hydrovane camp, I fitted one to my Bavaria Vision 46 a couple of months ago.
I've only done one trip with it - Gibraltar to Madeira (600 nm) but it has performed impeccably. 
This is a 2021 model so maybe improved on the 2008 version.
The pole should never slip if the clamps are tightened up correctly.
if the fittings start to pull out of the stern then the stern needed reinforcing and backing plates
I glassed at least 6 layers on the inside before using the factory supplied aluminium backing plates.

Still its early days the trip to Tenerife should test it some more

Hi all,
I think a case can be made for passage making using a below decks autopilot, particularly as the size of the boat increases: this is especially the case where there are ample resources for replacing the amps used by the autopilot. This is often not a problem on an increasing number of sailboats: either by hydro, wind, or solar. And many boats have generators (the argument for a generator is if the boat has either a big freezer or wants aircon at anchor) which can be run on passage when the batteries need topping off.
Add to the above, that below deck autopilots have become (and are becoming) more efficient in their use of power, are more robust and reliable, and are very easy to use and adjust and I think the argument for passage making under electric autopilot takes shape.
We have, and have used, a Monitor, but in recent years and during our last Atlantic crossing, we used our electric autopilot exclusively: it was just far less fussy and more predictable in adjusting under the pressure or a squall or event of some sort.. We do have a big freezer, so genset use daily is a given: I suspect that the autopilot just adds a few minutes extra run time.
There is the above, and the fact that, like most cruising boats, we cruise and that means coastal cruising, where the electric autopilot shines and wind vanes, who like the steady breezes of open ocean, do not shine. For example, we have ~~70k miles on Alchemy, and ~~70 countries visited, but only 2 Atlantic crossings (and those were broken up with stops along the way). So the vast majority of our cruising miles were not where a wind vane would have been used (and yes, I know some few skippers use wind vanes for shorter hops, but most of us are intolerant of the work and attention that entails). And in all those miles, our autopilot has never let us down (tempting the fates now, I am)
So, sad to say, our Monitor remains with us as a back-up for a lightening strike or another sort of electrical catastrophe.
Not sure what I would do now, but I would certainly consider having no wind vane: perhaps buy a second autopilot with the money saved.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

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