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Selfsteering units

On board there's only two of us, so a helping hand for the stupid jobs is not only practical, but also necessary.

We have three selfsteering units on board:
1. Electrical selfsteering unit type Autohelm 4000ST+: too light to steer the boat while sailing or in heavy seas, but good enough to keep track when we use the engine in little or no wind.

2. Electrical selfsteering unit type Autohelm 1000+:
this one can be connected to the Windpilot and it steers the boat using the pendulum, which connects with the wheel. Advantage: low energy consumption in comparison with the Autohelm 4000.
3. Mechanical windvane selfsteering unit, type Windpilot. This one steers the boat when we are sailing and the harder it blows, the better it performs. In light winds we had trouble using it, but we experimented a lot with several types of vanes and now we are extremely happy. In more than 10 knots of apparent wind we use the standard Windpilot vane, but in less wind we use a vane with a "flag". This works perfect, because the flag creates a little more pressure which makes this vane move more easily.

Photo right: Atlantic crossing, true wind 25 kts. The Windpilot did an excellent job.

Updated 10/2006
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