Frequently Asked Questions - Fitting self steering to my boat

Is it suitable for beneteau first 42 built 1982?

Generally speaking, Y&B in combination with a wheel adapter should be able to steer this boat. For the negative transom an extra mounting tube is probably also needed.

my 20 ft. sailboat has a transom held rudder. do i want Mr. Vane or Y&B ? thank you.

For a boat with a transom hung rudder I recommend Y&B standard with an extra mounting tube.
This system has a mounting kit included that together with the extra mounting tube allows for mounting around and behind the rudder.

For fitting to smaller boats Y&B can be ordered with a short pendulum rudder, which is a free option.

I have been researching these wind vanes till my eyes are cross and my brain is fried. I tried looking at you site and you advise to move the swim ladder but you say the vane was designed for a centre motor, so I am confused. so here is my question. Is it worth me examining further your vane for a Catalina 36 with wheel, about 16,000 lbs with sugar scoop stern and center swim ladder? If this is a 'probably yes" I will look into it further.

The system that is advised for a centre motor is Mr. Vane, but that is for a centrally mounted outboard engine.

For a central swim ladder on a scoop Y&B standard + an extra mounting tube may work, but that depends on how the ladder deploys.
The blue boat on the Y&B product page has a telescopic slide out ladder:

If the ladder has to swing up over the top before it passes the system, it will depend on how high the system can be mounted compared to the swing height of the ladder.

I REALLY hope your self steering will work with my boat.....

I have a sailboat with outboard engine mounted to a vertically articulating hinge arrangement, at center of transom.
I noticed your mounting apparatus that accommodates a low mounted swim platform, and it gave me hope that self steering may still be possible without removing or relocating my existing engine.
What do I need to present to you to proceed with a decision as to whether your self steering will work?
Desired outcome: Maintain tilt arrangement of outboard engine.
Add self steering. Achieve self steering system with no problems between the engine and self steering.
Questions: Does this sound like something that will work? Will turbulence and thrust of engine damage/destroy blade of self steering/ cause other issues? Does/can water blade retract for engine operations?
Please indicate whether you can advise how to proceed. Thank you.

The Mr. Vane self steering system was designed to be mounted below and in front of an outboard engine fitted on a specific type of outboard bracket.

For this purpose, the vane mast can be fitted to the vane base off centre, allowing the engine to be lifted up (outboard bracket) and tilted (engine mechanism).

This can be seen in the Mister Vee brochure available from the download section.

If this does not suit the situation on your boat, please use send us an email to explain the situation.

Do you have experience of these units fitted to Mini650?
I am in the UK , North Essex, if you think your product would be suitable are there any localy I could inspect?

The mini 650 type of boat has the ability to plane.
This allows for big changes in speed with small wind speed increase, and that gives a big change in apparent wind direction.

This leads to a zig-zag course which is very unsatisfying.

This is why a windvane self steering system is not recommended for this type of boat.

My boat is a jeanneau sun shine 38, built 1986. I will be sailing her around the world and want to know if Mister Vee is right for me.

The mounting kit that is included with Y&B standard does allow for the kind of mounting a sugar scoop requires. From the pictures on the internet it is unclear if you would need just 1 extra mounting tube or more, the scoop seems to extend quite a bit.

If your boat has wheel steering, you would also need a wheel adapter. But if the boat has an option to connect the self steering system to an emergency tiller, that would be easier to realize and easier to use.

The emergency tiller would need to be about 30 cm/1' long and can point backwards if that makes things easier.

Sven, I'm getting ready to order a Y&B. Think I may be on the edge of needing an extra mounting tube. Top of transom to water at rest is about 30". Transom type 3 with approximately 16 degree angle, so it's about 8" from vertical at top of transom. What's your thoughts?

For the transom described in the question the single tube that is included with Y&B standard should be enough.
The Y&B vane base is about 200mm/8" long so the pendulum rudder will well behind the rear of the transom.

As long as the rudder does not stick out behind the transom, that distance should suffice.
If you like to examine these kinds of questions before contacting us, there is a drawing with dimensions in the download section of the website.

There is a veedeo available of mounting Stainless WALT, the predecessor of Y&B. It can be found on Youtube and the video section of this website.

The best advice would be to remove the ladder, then fit self steering, then find a new solution for the boarding the boat, either by relocating the old ladder or fitting a new one.

Trying to combine self steering with an existing ladder almost always means much more work to fit, less satisfying performance or use of the self steering system and more difficult use of the ladder.

The vane mast can be shortened by about 70 cm to suit a specific situation.

But just to state the obvious, the windvane still needs to get wind.

To reduce the height of the vane mast, the pushrod that runs inside the vane mast needs to be shortened. It comes in two pieces, to be glued by the customer. Best to leave that to be the last task, after assembly and installation.

The manual for using your Vee (and servo pendulum systems in general) can be found in the Mister Vee brochure in the download section.

The assembly manuals are available as PDF files. Access to these files is enabled when your system is shipped.
You need to be logged in to access them. They can be reached from a menu further down the website.

Your system comes pre-assembled. Final assembly normally takes about an hour in total. Watching the glue dry will take a day but you can do other stuff during that time too.

You may be wondering if windvane self steering will work on your boat. What weight will work, or what length?

Well, neither weight nor length are used as a general guideline.
Servo pendulum self steering systems were designed to take over the steering from a human helmsman. That means that the forces and movement that need to be generated by the system are comparable.
That leads to a two-part answer. If your boat has tiller steering, and the boat can be properly trimmed so that you do not have to fight the tiller to keep the boat on course, than a servo pendulum system like the ones on offer from Mister Vee should have no problem to do the same.
On a wheel steered boat there often is a reduction between the wheel and the rudder. If that reduction is too high it may be difficult or even impossible to set up self steering. However, if there is an option of connecting the self steering system to an emergency rudder, things get easier.
There is a separate FAQ about wheel steering.