Monday, November 10, 2008

Installing Windvane Self Steering Gear Part 3 - 187

Note: If you have been referred here by another site, this is only part of a multipart series.  To see the rest of the story click here and start from the bottom.
A hole in my Boat

The picture above is what I had to do to install my self steering gear.  Any windvane gear you install entails drilling holes in your vessel.  Drilling the hole was relatively easy.  Figuring out where to drill the hole should be approached with fear and trembling.  I am extremely lucky that Yves wanted to come out to my boat to measure it for his gear.  This was important in two ways:

1. The cape horn gear has many configurations.  I was thinking of a much more complex way than what Yves suggested when he came to my boat.  

2. The time spend measuring the boat for the equipment probably cut my time in half when it came time to install the equipment.

I realize that bringing your boat to Yves, or flying Yves out to your boat is probably not something that is economically feasible, although it is something that Yves will do and the people who do have Yves come out rave about how great a job he does.   It is VERY IMPORTANT to realize that prep time spent now in the initial pre build stages define how everything from here out is going to go.  Installing the vane is actually easy.  Deciding how the vane is going to mount, and where is the hardest part of getting a windvane on your boat.  Slow down, take pictures of your stern, stern lazarette, and rudder and send them to Yves.  Send emails back and forth.  Make drawings with measurements.  Make mock up models out of cardboard shipping tubes.  Do whatever it takes to have a rock solid idea of how the windvane is going to mount and what it is going to take to put it on.  Do this and the job will go easy.  Yves will be patient and encouraging.  You will feel like he wants nothing more than for you to have the best working windvane in the world.  Which he does.  Next up: The windvane arrives.   

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