The B&B windvane will soon be available as a set of plans OR a partial kit that will include some of the more fiddly bits. The purpose of a wind-vane self steering device is to allow the skipper to do something other than sitting at the helm. While not practical for many smaller un-ballasted boats it is an essential tool for the cruising sailor. We have been testing our windvane on the Core Sound 17 Mark 3 which has an excess of stability and a perfect candidate for self steering. This design can be adapted to any small boat and will work on any boat in the right conditions. The "vane" portion provides the input. It is rotated to point into the wind on the desired course. The force of the wind cause the vane to "tip" if the course deviates which in turn produces a correcting movement on the auxiliary rudders trim tab thus turning the boat back on course.
Highlighted below on Graham's Core Sound 17 Mark 3 'Carlita'. This design requires open air space above the transom so it won't work on a standard Core Sound 17 due to the proximity of the mizzen sheets. The addition of a boomkin allows the mizzen sheet to be behind the reach of the windvane sail. Scroll down to the bottom to see what is currently available for this design. Features of windvane design include:
Kick-up Auxiliary Rudder: This is a MUST HAVE for our shallow draft boats and not a feature we have seen on ANY other windvane design with an aux. rudder. The rudder pivots on a pin at the top of the transom and is held down with a line on a breakaway cleat.
Trim Tab Control: The aux. rudder is controlled by a trim tab that is actuated by the movement of the wind-vane (the part in the air). Watch the video below to see how this works. It's mesmerizing to watch and works completely without batteries or power.
Adjustable vane:The windvane itself pivots on a horizontal axis that is inclined slightly. This is set to create damping in the actuation of the tab so that as the vane tilts more area is projected to the wind and when it is closer to center less area is projected to the wind this reduces “hunting” or oscillation of the input to the rudder.
Removable vane: The vane is completely removed in seconds and adjustable to it can be tilted back to increase damping for high winds or made more vertical for light air and more power.
Adjustable from anywhere in the cockpit: With the addition of a control wheel we can spin the pylon and winvane 360 degrees using a simple control line routed around the cockpit. This means we can make small adjustments to the direction of the vane from anywhere you can reach the control line.
Plans for this windvane will include full size templates for all parts along with critical dimensions, recommended materials and things to watch out for. Some dimensions of the vane do not matter and allow this design to be fitted to almost all transom shapes and rake angles with proper mounting. The name of the game is LOW FRICTION with windvane self steering devices. We also plan to offer a kit of components to help you get started.