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Andrew Simpson
Works at Books-for-sail.com
Attended T.S. Mercury, Hamble
Lives in Poole
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Why waste time steering when the wind can do all the work?
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Jacek Mrozowski's profile photo
 
Oh yes ! This article is very useful for me. I'm just at the planning and designing stage of the right wind vane for 27 foot Albin Vega.
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Andrew Simpson
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Activities on deck figure largely in the lives of all offshore sailors, for this the working platform for sailboats at sea. This is not to say that it cannot also do service for the alluring (or otherwise) disporting of bronzing bodies, or for jollying oneself over oysters and a few bottles of Muscadet when at anchor, but its primary function is to provide a convenient and secure base from which to handle the ship.
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Andrew Simpson

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Yacht Shindig, last year in Greece and now in Mallorca aiming to head out of the Med towards the Canaries. The outline plan is to cross back to the Caribbean in 2014 but we all know of cruising plans being written in the sand at low tide.

After a dormant winter my blog kicks off as of now...
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Very few cruising sailors like steering for hours on end. And, if they're like me, they begrudge the electrical drain of electronic autopilots. All of which makes me a huge fan of wind vane self steering, as this article confirms. What are your views?
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Andrew Simpson's profile photoAllen Edwards's profile photoAlan Noble's profile photo
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Nice article.  I guess there is something elegant about using only the wind and water alone to self-steer, but then again, I use the sun to power my autopilot (via solar panels) - and I only ever have a power deficit on very overcast days.

I do rather like the idea of having an "auxiliary rudder" for the purposes of redundancy, although to my knowledge "direct action" systems that employ an auxiliary rudder can't be fitted to cats - which rules me out. A servo system could be fitted, but of course that doesn't offer any redundancy, since it drives the existing steering system.

Then again, cats already have two rudders and (usually) two steering systems (if not two wheels) which is already an excellent measure of redundancy. So I guess I'll stick to my trusty autopilot powered by the sun.
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Writer, marine journalist, illustrator and editor
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  • Books-for-sail.com
    Publisher and editor, present
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Poole
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