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Conciderations on self steering

 

When using Y&B, Mr. Vane, WALT BYO or Stainless WALT:
Keep the pendulum rudder tied to the boat at all times!

It represents more than a third of the value of the entire system and it does not float!
Tie the rope around the pendulum rudder stock, making sure that it does not hinder the movement.
This rope can be used to lift the pendulum rudder out of the water when the boat is not moving.*

When using any servo pendulum self-steering system, keep the following in mind:

Practice before you really need it
Some manoeuvres may go totally different in stronger winds than they would in light winds. Always practice in light winds what you later want to rely on in stronger winds!

Propper trim
If you have trouble to steer the boat yourself, so will the system. Take care to properly trim the sails and reduce sail area in time if the wind picks up.

Moving
The boat must be moving forward for the system to be able to steer.

Reversing the boat
Normally you can reverse the boat with the pendulum rudder in the water. As long as it is not connected it will not affect the boats handling. The pendulum rudder will move to one side and will stay there as long as the boat keeps going backwards. Proceed with caution.*

Locked windvane equals locked system
If the windvane is locked by moving the mast slider down, the system will not steer. If the chain is connected to the chain hook with the windvane locked, the boats rudder is fixed. In order to manually steer the boat the chain must be disconnected from the chain hook.

Pendulum rudder angle
With the boat at dock, make sure that the leading edge of the pendulum rudder points straight forward when it is vertical in the water and the windvane is locked in the neutral position. Adjust by reconnecting the pendulum rudder or for fine tuning, adjust the big gear on the pendulum rudder if needed.

Counterweight
For the best light wind performance the windvane must be perfectly balanced: The counterweight rings inside the windvane (all systems except DIY WALT) or besides the windvane blade (DIY WALT) balance the weight of the pushrod, the ones on top of the windvane balance the windvane blade. If you reduce the length of the pushrod, the pushrod counterweight may need to be reduced in weight.

* With normal steering line configuration it is possible to lift the pendulum rudder out of the water when the boat is not moving. But some steering line configurations will not allow this: the chain will be at one of the guide blocks before the tip of the pendulum rudder leaves the water. If this is the case reversing may put a huge strain on your system/mounting! Contact Mister Vee for advise.