Self-steering concerns- multihull vs monohull

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Seafarer24, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. Seafarer24
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Tampa Bay

    Seafarer24 Sunset Chaser

    I understand how a monohull can be controlled with a windvane, but how could something like a multihull make use of similar self-steering gear (without resorting to electronic means). Wouldn't the greater speed (relative to the wind) make a windvane less sensitive and finicky?

    I am typing this in regards to use on 40' cruising boats. An open bridge-deck cruising catamaran vs a typical performance-cruising monohull, perhaps with more emphasis on cruising than performance...
     
  2. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    Autopilot is the only way to go.... modern ones for cats (around 40ft) are not such a great problem to set up... solar panels & possibly better batteries (AGM) & have separate sets (Engine, House, Nav) which can be cross linked if necessary...
     
  3. TeddyDiver
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    Location: Finland/Norway

    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Are there real reasons against WindVane or? Just wondering..
     
  4. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    I have only seen windvane steering on small monohull yachts cruising the pacific (Thru Melanesian Islands) and never, anywhere on a cat... Never thought to ask why, as my choice is for autopilot- less to F**k up. Electronics work perfectly until they bugger up then all is lost. but they only bugger-up if something really bad happens, whereas the windvanes were always giving little problems. - - Windvane-steering is not the sort of thing I would be comfortable with or inclined to rely upon. If the wind changes, you follow the wind. If you want to go that way just make sure your boat is well balanced and set the sails...
     
  5. Seafarer24
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Tampa Bay

    Seafarer24 Sunset Chaser

    I've heard exactly the opposite in regards to self-steering:

    That windvanes were very reliable while the autopilots were always breaking down and behaving erratically.

    I know of at least one windvane that has a warranty of 27,000 miles or one circumnavigation...
     

  6. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Self-steering

    Windvanes do not work so well on cats because the apparent wind rotates around when doing anything offwind. This isn't usually the case for a cruising mono.

    Use this URL: http://steamradio.com/pipermail/multihulls/ Located here, you will find an archive of all the posted messages over the last several years. There have been some very good discussions regarding autopilot use on a multihull which may be helpful.

    Chris
     
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