Setting up self steering

There are basically two parts in setting up a self steering system on your boat.

  1. Mount the system to the transom
  2. Arrange the steering lines

Mounting the system

Mounting height

A servo pendulum system has to have the pendulum rudder a a certain depth. With the Mister Vee system this is about 50 cm or 1'8" when the boat is at rest. This determines the height of the mounting. If this height does not suit your transom (which usually means it needs to be lower), the rudder stock can be shortened or a short-blade pendulum rudder is required (option at no extra charge). If you need an extra long pendulum rudder for an extra high transom, this is possible as an option.

The Mister Vee systems offer mounting solutions for different situations.

Y&B standard
The most universal system ever. Usable on just about every transom, with or without a transom hung rudder, and even with some off centre outboard engine mountings.
Some mountings require an extra carbon fibre mounting tube for extra distance from the transom.
Buy Y&B

Y&B basic
Y&B without the vane base and mounting kit.
Design and build your own custom vanebase and mount it to your boat, saving some money in the process. Order an extended axle set and include Y&B basic in to your existing swimming platform! An extra low mounting may require a short pendulum rudder.
Buy Y&B

WALT BYO
A cross between Y&B standard and Y&B Basic in stainless steel, meant to be finished in to a custom solution. If you have some stainless steel gear on the transom and want to include a self steering system, this may be your easiest option! It comes with a stainless steel vanebase but without mounting tubes which are to be sourced locally. You can use either 25 mm or 1" tubes.
Buy WALT BYO

Mr. Vane
Mr. Vane is good choice for the smallest of sailing boat. It has a flat configuration which allows for some mountings underneath and in front of an outboard engine. Mr. Vane can be mounted to a flat and (almost) vertical transom with the use of some spacers. Order the Basic mounting kit and it can be mounted to a negative transom, with most of guiding of the steering lines also taken care of.
Buy Mr. Vane

Setting up the steering lines

After the system has been mounted to the transom, you will need to set up the steering lines. The lines are connected to the pendulum rudder and are lead to the tiller or steering wheel. Movement of the pendulum rudder moves the boats main rudder.

The best results are achieved by:

  • Using the least amount of guide blocks
  • Using low stretch lines like dyneema/spectra or Aramid
  • Giving the steering lines the shortest paths

Because the low stretch lines are generally difficult to knot, it is best to use thin lines in stead of thicker ones. you can go ahead and start with 4 mm, even on bigger boats. Only if that breaks, try thicker ones.

Tiller steering
This is the easiest to set up, even if that is an emergency tiller on a boat with wheel steering. The guide blocks that are needed on the boat are not included with the systems.

The path of the steering lines is more or less free, with these general points:

  • The fewer blocks you are able to use and the shorter the lines, the smaller the chance of lack of tension in the lines resulting in slow responses to the systems input.
  • The steering lines connect to a point about 30 cm/1' from the rudder stock/-hinge (All stystems except Mr. Vane) or 12 cm/5" (Mr. Vane only)
  • The blocks on either side of the tiller need to be a bit (like between 2 and 4") behind that point (so towards the rear of the boat) and need to allow enough room for the tiller to give enough rudder angle. It is prefered to have these points below the point where the lines connect to the tiller.

Y&B and WALT BYO allow for the steering lines to be lead up as well as down. For guiding them up they are connected to the top of the pendulum arm, for guiding them down to the bottom of the pendulum arm.

  • When connecting the steering lines to the top of the pendulum arm, the starboard line connects to the tiller from starboard.
  • When connecting the steering lines to the bottom of the pendulum arm, the starboard line connects to the tiller from port-side so the lines need to cross somewhere.

Wheel steering
Wheel steering needs a few more guide blocks to get the steering lines in the correct paths. The most common paths are coming up from the cockpit floor (blue in the diagram) or from the side (green in the diagram).

Because of the long lenths of line and great number of guide blocks that would be required for a boat with a centre cockpit, using a standard servopendulum system is not recommended on this kind of boat. These are better off with an auxiliary rudder type system (not on offer from Mister Vee).

Maybe your question is answered in our Frequently Asked Questions, if not, please send us an email!

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