Selfsteering Under Sail

Autopilots and Wind-steering Systems

Peter Christian Förthmann


1 The history of self-steering 9

The first windvane steering system 9

The first cockpit autopilot 11

2 Windvane steering systems versus autopilots 12

Why autopilots? 12

3 Autopilots 14

Cockpit autopilots for tiller steering 15

Cockpit autopilots for wheel steering 15

Inboard autopilots 16

The three modules of an inboard autopilot 16

Integrated systems 21

The windvane transducer 23

Power consumption 23

Range of adjustment of an autopilot 26

The limits of autopilots 26

Autopilots for different purposes 28

Choosing an autopilot 32

4 Windvane steering systems 33

The Windvane 33

The linkage 36

The rudder 37

Damping 38

5 Types of system 43

Windvane-only systems 43

Auxiliary rudder systems 43

Trim-tab-on-auxiliary-rudder systems 48

Trim-tab-on-main-rudder systems 52

Servo-pendulum systems 53

Double rudder systems 78

The ultimate limits of windvane steering 84

6 Choosing a System 87

Materials 87

DIY construction 89

Building a new boat 89

Types of boat 92

Swim ladders, swim platforms and davits 99

Mounting a Windvane gear 101

Vessel size 101

Man overboard function 102

Summary 103

7 Combination Systems 105

8 At a glance 107

System Comparison 107

System comparison: autopilots versus windvane steering systems 107

The ultimate limits of self-steering 108

9 The present situation 110

Trends 111

Practical tips 112

Distribution 114

10 Technical information 115

Technical specifications of selected cockpit autopilots 115

The 12 types of windvane steering system 116

summary of the 12 types of system 118

technical data of selected windvane steering systems 120

11 A to Z of manufacturers 121

Autopilots 121

Windvane steering systems 123

Appendix: Systems Manufacurers 139

Autopilots 139

Windvane steering systems 141

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How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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