is the manufacturer of our windvane. If we can get it to work, it will steer the boat on its own, relative to the wind and without any energy from the boat. So very efficient and no power drain like our hydraulic system.
so far we have not managed to get it to work. Two winters in a row we removed the rudder, looking for ways to reduce friction. This winter, we finally managed to address that. Last year in Cuttyhunk, John and I had taken the Aries itself apart to service it and reduce any other problems. So in theory we should be good to go.
Unfortunately, we did not have much time on the water this year, and when we had time on the water we did not have any wind. Thursday, the last evening before our departure, there was finally an opportunity to put it all together and try it out.
I motored to keep the boat moving (and save time getting the sail in and out) and as you can see in the video below, the movement of the windvane did turn the steering wheel as needed. So, in principle it all works. I am not that happy with the wooden vane turning quickly enough in the wind yet; I think there is still some friction in the windvane itself that we can work on, but at least all the effort to get the rudder out, the bearings sanded etc paid off.
We’ll see how it goes over the next 2 weeks.