Steered By The Wind

One of the things that was left waiting to install this year was the windvane. This spring it was in the front row of the priority list as we need to test it on our summer holiday trip.

Our windvane is Windpilot Pacific Plus. New windvanes cost with transport to Finland easily 5 000€, a new Pacific Plus without freight costs 7 000€. This is why buying a new one wasn’t really an option. And because of the prices, there aren’t any used ones one the market. I checked from several countries and it was hard to find any. So as this one popped up, I grabbed the offer with both hands. Pacific Plus is for a bit bigger boats, but atleast there should be enough force to steer our boat.

Taking the measures from the mounting clamps.

Mounting the windvane proved to be difficult last year and that has caused a lot of stress. In order to install it in the first place, a bracket needs to be welded underneath the swimming platform. In addition, storage boxes and their hatches are on different heights on both sides of the boat, which made it difficult to find an optimal place for installing the brackets.

In order to install it in the first place, a bracket needs to be welded underneath the swimming platform.

Luckily Pete from our yacht club Sindbad is familiar with welding aluminum and we agreed about the welding job already during the winter. Due to timetable issues, the job was done in the last minute.

 

The self-made bracket to be welded underneath the swimming platform.

Pete made such a piece of art of the mounting bracket, that I couldn’t have even imagined it! In addition to the fact that the rear is in dished form, it also narrows to the sides of the boat. But regardless of that, Pete’s bracket fitted like a glove! On top of the lower plate, a 8mm shape cut plate is welded. Very nice!

Getting the bracket welded went to the last minute, as the spring was very cold and also our pro very busy. Luckily there were a few rainless days on the last week before launching the boats and the job could be done.

Welding it on in difficult windy conditions..

I think this is a piece of art!

Pete got the bracket on it’s place and a few nights was left for painting and the mounting job. Very nice job! I couldn’t have dreamed of such a nice implementation. Thank you again Pete!

At the same time the swimming platform and the surroundings of the exhaust pipe was grinded and painted.

After the welding it was my time to turn on the grinding machine and put on some paint.

Mounting the windvane wasn’t easy, because of the storage lockers. The best height is free on the port side, but on the starboard the edge of the locker hatch prevents the installation.

Tuuliperäsimen tukivarren mallausta - Liberta.fi
Trying to find the right spot for the installation.

Then again, installed a bit lower on the starboard, it fits nicely (picture on the left). But on the port side (picture on the right) the bottom of the locker stands in the way. In the end after sparring with Pete, I chose to install the upper bracket above the locker bottom and the lower one underneath. The nut for the lower bolt is still unattached. Possible options are the hole, sized for a child’s hand as seen in the picture in the middle or making a hole in the locker bottom…

Mounting upper the windvane brackets meant shortening the aluminum struts. I played it safe and took only one bit at time so they wouldn’t end up too short… The clamps were very tight and removing them and putting them back on was an effort, requiring some violence.

VIDEO coming later 🙂

After several remodeling rounds, the shaft is finally at its place.

During the late hours of the evening also the rudder was put to it’s place. Or to be exact, I put it on myself, as there was no-one to help lifting it up. I used a truck lashing belt for keeping it still and lifting it up. Finally I got it in. Well in time. The rudder was on some time around eleven on Friday night, launching the boats out began at seven in the next morning…

Some thigs were left to be done on water, for example modifying the cross bar and changing some rusty parts made from wrong metals. I ordered spares from the factory in Germany, to have the originals.

Also the blades found their place in the back. Next up is some final adjustments and most of all, learning how to use the thing! But as there are so many other projects on the list, it takes a few weeks before we get to the testing part…

Blades up!

-Jussi 

For more articles under the category Doing it the hard way, click here!

For more articles under the category Fixing the boat, click here!

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