Windvaneonly systems

The steering impulse and steering force from the windvane are transmitted directly to the tiller via lines and there is no servo or additional rudder blade.

Steering impulse



Steering force



Steering element


main rudder

Power leverage (PL)


0 cm

This type of system was originally developed for model yachts. It is not very efficient and generates too little force to steer a sailing boat in all conditions.

Francis Chichester's first self-steering gear on Miranda was a windvane only system with

a 4 m / 43 ft vane and a 12 kg / 26 V2 lb counterweight. This system was not particularly successful, as we mentioned, since it was unable to generate sufficient steering force to control the tiller properly.

Windvane only systems can be used on smaller boats (up to 6 m) to help with upwind steering. Off the wind and in any kind of sea the forces generated by the vane are too low.

Windvane only: QME, NORDSEE I

Production ceased on systems like this many years ago. They are mentioned only to give the reader a complete picture.

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