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Thread: I am making a windvane

  1. #36
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    I dont see the reason for the big oar pendulum in the link photos. When they are using an auxillary rudder, it would have worked with just a small tab on its aft edge. Seems more complicated than it needs to be.

  2. #37
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    I am a bit unclear about aspects of this design too, following this thread in the hope of learning something.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    I just went out and pulled the clamps and wax paper off of the pendulum rudder. Yesterdays attempts at fixing the un-bonded bits worked a treat. I have a good solid 'glassing job now, if not the ultimate in resin/glass ratio.

    ===========

    Gentlemen, did you read Jan's paper? He explains why he designed the system, and why he likes it better than a trim tab. For one thing, the action of a trim tab works in the exact opposite direction than the action of the rudder. Since a trim tab is usually around 15% of the area of the rudder it controls, it reduces the effectiveness of the rudder by about 15%. I expect that number varies as a function of the distance behind the rudder that the trim tab is located....the further away it is, the less of that effect it has...or rather, you can use a smaller tab to get the same function.

    I race my boat. A lot. In fact almost ALL I do is race the boat. I don't want to drag around a trim tab on the boat for the 8-12 singlehanded races I do on San Francisco Bay every year, just so I have a windvane on the ONE RACE every OTHER year, that I want the windvane for. I'm making this now because COVID-19 has me locked at home, and the 2020 Singlehanded TransPac might be cancelled. It might get moved to 2021, or skipped entirely and go to 2022. I want a windvane for the 400-mile qualifying sail I have to do for the SHTP, and I want a vane for the passage to Hawaii. THAT'S IT. I'm not cruising. I can make a windvane for next to nothing. They don't fail when the boats electrical system dies. They're redundant backups to the backup of the backup autopilot for me. This might, possibly work so well that it will steer BETTER than a simple tillerpilot will steer in windy conditions, and it won't drain the battery.

    I DON'T want a windvane to race around San Francisco Bay.
    And I DON'T want a trim tab on the back of the rudder that I race with.

    If I was cruising with a boat with a transom-hung rudder, I might use a trim-tab system. If was was cruising with a boat that had an inboard rudder and a solid transom, I would pretty surely install an auxiliary rudder with a trim-tab, as I like the simplicity....just like you suggest.

    AND....

    I still have the One Design rudder. There is no racing handicap rating different in my boat between using the One Design rudder and the one I built. The one I built is actually ideal for a trim-tab system. So if all else fails, I can put a trim-tab on the rudder I made....race with the One Design rudder around the Bay....put on the rudder I made when I race past the Golden Gate, which is when I'd want to use the windvane, anyway.
    Last edited by Alan H; 04-13-2020 at 04:40 PM.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Also, gentlemen, Jan Alkema has a Westerly Konsort....that's his boat. Here's a photograph of a Westerly Konsort.

    sailing.jpg


    and a picture of the transom....that's not an auxiliary, rudder, skaraborcraft! It's THE rudder!

    maxresdefault.jpg

  5. #40
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Read the paper. Found it a bit hard to see how it attaches to the boat and therefore how it pivots around the restraining line attachment point... but I'm thinking that might become clear as your build progresses.

  6. #41
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Yeah i read his paper. I have more experience with tabs on the back of rudders, wether on a servo or trim set up. That oar is more like the system on the old Sailomat 601. Im not suggesting its design is flawed or does not work, just that the set up in the link you provided looks over the top. His set up on his Konsort is much like the tab set up i used on my waterwitch ketch, though i used an inclined horizontal vane. I would be tempted to try the USD vane on my next project.....

    EDIT: The auxillary rudder i was referring to was the boat in your link, not the Konsort.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    Yeah i read his paper. I have more experience with tabs on the back of rudders, wether on a servo or trim set up. That oar is more like the system on the old Sailomat 601. Im not suggesting its design is flawed or does not work, just that the set up in the link you provided looks over the top. His set up on his Konsort is much like the tab set up i used on my waterwitch ketch, though i used an inclined horizontal vane. I would be tempted to try the USD vane on my next project.....

    EDIT: The auxillary rudder i was referring to was the boat in your link, not the Konsort.
    BOLD added by me....Ah, now I understand! Yes, I completely agree. In his particular case, that's not how I would have done it, either. In his case, IMHO, a trim-tab on that aux. rudder makes much more sense. I also think his pendulum oar and oar carrier and that massive steel tie-down point at the sheer is way, way overbuilt. Just my opinion...

  8. #43
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Quote Originally Posted by Small boats rock View Post
    Read the paper. Found it a bit hard to see how it attaches to the boat and therefore how it pivots around the restraining line attachment point... but I'm thinking that might become clear as your build progresses.
    Absolutely. It took me about twenty minutes of concentrated head scratching to figure it out, too! I expect that's why the whole system hasn't been made into a commercial product.

  9. #44
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    This incredibly low quality video might help, though it's not the clearest thing in the world, nd offers zero explanation of how it functions..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HO4kVRJ3Rb8

    This fellow posts on Sailing Anarchy, and I watched him develop his vane. The windvane head unit is 3D printed, and he uses cables in housing to link the vane to his trim tab. It's not at all related to Jan Alkema's design, but he does use cables.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLHyAW5HntU
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcDgg_NcDbQ

  10. #45
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Yes that low quality video does help. I think I get the idea of the restraining lines now, and it looks like the whole assembly is attached directly to the rudder head with some kind of hinge arrangement... but of course can't see detail of that attachment in the video.

    I like the simplicity of the cable linkage. The Navik system of push rods and ball joints connected with plastic universal joints was amazingly low friction... but a bit complex and dependent on not repairable fiddly little factory produced items, which is one of the reasons I decided it was not the vane for me.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Quote Originally Posted by Small boats rock View Post
    Yes that low quality video does help. I think I get the idea of the restraining lines now, and it looks like the whole assembly is attached directly to the rudder head with some kind of hinge arrangement... but of course can't see detail of that attachment in the video.

    I like the simplicity of the cable linkage. The Navik system of push rods and ball joints connected with plastic universal joints was amazingly low friction... but a bit complex and dependent on not repairable fiddly little factory produced items, which is one of the reasons I decided it was not the vane for me.
    I also had a Navik and you are spot-on with that part I put in bold and underlined. I actually only lost one of the connectors overboard once, and I had two spares but I lived in fear of dropping them all, as at the time, nobody made replacement parts.

    The other thing about the Navik is that it's essentially impossible to deploy the pendulum oar/trimtab while the boat is moving. Even when it's NOT moving, you risk seriously crushed fingers. The vane worked absolutely great, one took my Ranger 29 all the way to Hawaii, but wow....a stressful piece of kit.

    ======================

    Today I'm just fairing the pendulum oar blade, with 95% of the fairing effort spent below the waterline. I also grabbed a couple of little s.s. bolts and locknuts from the hardware store when I went in for some plumbing pieces, and now the wind vane blade is attached to the carrier. That will be worth a photograph, once I get the counterweight on.

  12. #47
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Ha ha, I'm glad you said that. Thought it was just in my neurotic nature to get stressed out about things which weren't giving any trouble. Although the Navik never actually failed, I find it more pleasant to sail with no wind vane at all than the stress I felt with the Navik on board. I agree about the difficulty gettting the oar down if the boat is moving. Due to my Navik experience, a simple trim tab on the rudder has some appeal even though that would not be very powerful compared to the servo pendulum type.

    Looking forward to the forthcoming photos.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Here's a first look at the Vane assembly, actually in place.

    VaneAssembly-firstlook.jpg

    It's by no means "done" but it's far enough along that I can put it on the pole and clamp it to my sawhorse for a photo.

  14. #49
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Looks good, congratulations!

  15. #50
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley View Post
    Looks good, congratulations!
    Thanks! I can see already what I can improve with just cutting up and drilling one piece of aluminum....which I have, already! It will just be a nasty hacksawing job.....though I do have a reciprocating saw. Hmmm.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    The vane swings from side to side. Does it also pivot in the other direction, in and out from the pole, or is that angle fixed?

  17. #52
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Quote Originally Posted by Small boats rock View Post
    The vane swings from side to side. Does it also pivot in the other direction, in and out from the pole, or is that angle fixed?
    Just from side to side.

    I'm glad I put this up and left it up all day. It's obvious that the combined weight of the blade + counterweight + all that aluminum and redwood is too much for the lockwasher that's on the one bolt from which it hangs. I can try replacing it with a "star" lock washer, but honestly I think the thing to do is to re-purpose a solid piece of aluminum that I have, and cut it into a shape that will allow the rod-holding bracket to be bolted in two places, thereby locking in the angle. In other words, replace the triangle that I JB-Welded together, with a solid piece. That's gonna be a PITA hacksawing job. I wish I had a bandsaw, but I don't.

    The Mister Vee wind paddle must be extraordinarily light, as they use a single wing nut to hold it in place.

  18. #53
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Use the bolt as is but glue in with thickened epoxy as well. Wet sand the epoxy into the aluminium or it won't stick. If you ever need to get it apart, heat it up.

  19. #54
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    I've learned that drilling an aluminum part that's stuck together with JB Weld is a great way to break the epoxy bond. (insert rolled eyes, here)...

    When I set up the windvane mast and the vane assembly the other day, I left it up for about 8 hours, clamped to one of my sawhorses. It was very still, there was hardly any wind all day. Come to find out that the weight of the wind blade, the carrier, and the counterweight was too much for the single-screw and lockwasher that I had used to attach it to the little aluminum "triangle" that I made. I needed something stronger. ...something that wouldn't "sag" and change the angle of the pivot rod. I could have tried the JB Weld trick, but instead I measured stuff and eyeballed carefully, and marked up a piece of aluminum stock that I've had forever. Then, since I haven't gotten the workbench cleaned off yet, I clamped it to the fence and hacksawed out this piece.

    It's rock solid, and will NOT move from the 20 degrees I designed it at! It's amazing how a fresh saw blade helps.

    carrier-ver2-2.jpg

    carrier-ver2-1.jpg

  20. #55
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    OK, after doing nothing Thursday, I had two hours on Friday to get some stuff done. I measured, and put the pendulum oar on the table saw, and cut the balance cut-back. . I actually probably should have cut back another 1/4 inch, but we'll see how this works. I also glassed the raw, front edge, and smeared epoxy on the now-bare, trimmed-off top edge to seal it.

    pendulumOarCutback1.jpg

    I also drove beaucoup screws through two sheet metal construction braces, to reinforce the joint on the oar carrier. Until now it was just a butted join glued with PL Premium....strong, but nowhere near strong enough to take the torque-ing loads that will be put on it. Now it's preposterously strong, albeit a bit heavy. Those green plates got straight epoxy smeared on them today, and will be painted again to forestall corrosion.

    Another view.

    pendulumOarCutback2.jpg

    and here's an end view, when I put some 'glass on the bottom to seal and protect it. I am significantly concerned about the amount of asymmetry in the foil. I suspect that this is not just the end of the foil that looks like this, I think most of it will be shaped rather like this. This could be a real problem. I suppose I'll just see!

    foilview.jpg

  21. #56
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    I puttered for about 4 hours but just did little stuff today...JB-welded an aluminum gusset onto the crosspiece that carries the cables. Once that's set up and back on the vane, it should make the push-pull of the cables more solid...less slop. I drilled that crosspiece as well...

    wire brushed, primed and painted the counterweight.

    PL-Premium'ed wood blocks on the pendulum oar carrier to screw the gudgeons into. We are getting close to painting-time for the oar carrier.

    I also knocked a wedge into my emergency rudder cassette, as when the wood dried, it shrank and the plywood sides bowed in a bit. It was impossible to get the rudder more than halfway into it! I'll leave this wedge in there for a week, then take it out and knock it into the other side. That should open things up. I also epoxied the bushings into the gudgeons; a two-minute job that took me three months to do!

  22. #57
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Yesterday I had a motivational crisis LOL...so between yesterday and the day before all I did was:

    1. prime, then paint the oar carrier
    2. dip the counterweight in a can of marine enamel to get it really thickly coated.
    3. Hacksaw, and round some of the aluminum bits that the hinge on top of the oar will ride on
    4. epoxied the vane carrier assembly to the tube that goes around the mast.
    5. put the piece of redwood that the cable ends will go on, on the belt sander and true'd up some angles, got rid of some saw gouges.

    Today, so far I blew up the budget at the bike shop on ten feet of teflon-lined cable housing, ferrules, and stainless steel brake cable. This was something like 30 bucks.

    no pictures....this is not terribly photogenic stuff.

    I measured the thickness of the pendulum oar and it's 7/8 th's of an inch thick. My free pintles are for a 3/4 inch rudder. I can cram it on there, but I can't shove it all the way on without cutting through the glass and carbon. With it 80% of the way on, the pin is way out in front of the leading edge, and while I can get both of the through-bolts on them, the axis of rotation is going to be pushed forward...what I DON'T want. So today I bought two 1/4 inch bolts, and I will cut the threads off and bury them in redwood and fiberglass, to make DIY pintles which sit very close to the leading edge of the pendulum oar cutback. THAT is photograph worthy!
    Last edited by Alan H; 04-23-2020 at 10:24 AM.

  23. #58
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    For someone having a motivational crisis you still seem to get plenty done.

  24. #59
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    This lousy picture shows the triangular gusset I made to support and increase leverage on the aluminum piece to which the linkage cables are attached. The triangular piece is edge-glued to the main carrier with JB Weld and then I slapped on a couple of gussets to reinforce the attachement, also with JB Weld. It's somewhat less than glamorous, but it will work. I use JB Weld a lot when I'm working with metal, as I don't have welding or silver-soldering/propane brazing capabilities....though I probably should get the relatively inexpensive kit to be able to silver-solder/braze aluminum.


    Attachment 58107

    BLARG!!!!... @#$%^&*()_!!! ... the gudgeons are bigger than 1/4 inch. OK, so they'll have, what we'll call..."bushings" made out of PL Premium. Yesterday I put some redwood on the table saw and VERY carefully, using pusher sticks to keep my fingers away, cut small angled pieces to hold the bolts. I used my Dremel-clone rotary tool to grind grooves in it. Then I hacksawed the threads off of two 1/4 inch stainless steel bolts. I put them on my grinder and rounded off the bottoms, then filed 'em smooth at the bottom. One is about 1/4 inch longer than the other. I scratched up the top inch of the bolt with a hacksaw and then used JB Weld steel-reinforced epoxy to lay them into the grooves I cut in the wood.

    Attachment 58108

    The wood will be epoxied to the leading edge of the rudder, in the cutback area, and then attached with 3-4 straps of 1.25-inch wide glass cloth in epoxy. I wish I had some linear carbon fiber left, but 'glass will be strong enough for this.
    Last edited by Alan H; 04-23-2020 at 11:25 AM.

  25. #60
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Thanks, small boats rock!.... Sometimes I find myself drinking my coffee, sitting on the garage floor staring at bits and pieces with little ooomph to actually forge ahead!
    Last edited by Alan H; 04-23-2020 at 11:29 AM.

  26. #61
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Today was a fun day. After some paint and sanding...drilling out the "bushings" I have in the oar carrier gudgeons, I screwed the gudgeons to the oar carrier and...wow....put the pieces together.

    oar-carrier-assembly1.jpg

    That's a 6-foot tall garden ladder, except that it's more like about 5' 10". The pendulum oar is about 2 inches off the ground. It's got two coats of gloss exterior latex on it. Anything above the waterline on the pendulum oar is hella strong and also hella UGLY. If it all works, I might hit the upper half of the oar with paint stripper, then add a fairing compound to prettify it. Or not.

    Right now the oar is a little tight, but I'll waggle it back and forth a whole lot over the next couple of weeks and see if it eases up.

    I also made these two little thingamabobs, the function of which you'll just have to wait and see!

    stopper-donuts1.jpg

    stopper-donuts2.jpg
    Last edited by Alan H; 04-25-2020 at 09:56 PM.

  27. #62
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Mmmmmmmmm donuts!

  28. #63
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    OK, I just took a deep breath and epoxied/tabbed a mess of stuff together today. I bent some aluminum bits, drilled them, and threaded on the bicycle brake cable housing stops. Then I eyeballed like crazy, drilled some holes and voila, they're ON....and pretty darned well, too. When I look through the holes in the cable stops I see the bolts/nuts where the cable will terminate. With some work with the round wood rasp and sandpaper, one of yesterdays donuts was made ready..

    Everything is now epoxied and tabbed to the fiberglass tube.
    carrierblock-epoxied.jpg

    cablestop-epoxied.jpg

    cablestop-endplate-epoxied.jpg

    I am getting close! I've started to think about a jury-rig wood bracket I can build from junk wood to try this out, as the Wildcat of Loch Awe (boat name....) doesn't have her pushpit, yet.

  29. #64
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    I watch this guy from time to time and I'm impressed with how reliable and very simple his windvane system is. Really remarkable.
    Go about 5mins in.

    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

  30. #65
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    gypsie, the "trim tab on the main rudder" route is great. But like all things, it has disadvanges, too. One very large disadvantage is that you can't remove that trim tab. It's there. It's permanent...you have to sail with the extra drag ALL the time. You screw up the pretty shape of your rudder with the trim tab brackets.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a good solution for some people. But it's not the ONLY way to do things, and it has downsides, too. Even if I had a boat withj an inclined external rudder, like a Contessa 26 or an Invicta 26... or my own personal wooden boat dream little cruiser, an Ostkust, I still wouldn't put a trim tab on the main rudder. It's simple, but I just don't want to bog up my rudder like that. I don't sail hundreds of miles offshore, every time I leave the harbor.

    But that's just me.

    If someone has a boat like that and they're specifically heading off to cross oceans, and that's the whole point of what they do...and they sail very little of anything else, then for sure, a trim tab on the main rudder might make a whole lot of sense.
    Last edited by Alan H; 04-27-2020 at 01:49 AM.

  31. #66
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    If you want an accurate way of plotting foils, try something like http://airfoiltools.com/plotter/index
    Something like the naca 0012 foil probably isn't a million miles from what you want. This thing has an enormous list of foils you can choose from.
    Cool project, by the way!

    Pete

  32. #67
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    epoxyboy, when I made my rudder....the one I'll be using while I use this windvane, I followed this method.

    https://duckworksmagazine.com/09/howto/foils/index.htm

  33. #68
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Trim tabs, foils, very interesting... but what about the other donut?

  34. #69
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Ah, Small boats rock, you'll see that today, if I have time!

    I dropped back in this morning to revise my long note to gypsie, to say that there ARE ways to make a "trim tab on the main rudder" system on a rudder like mine, without messing up the foil shape. Note that my rudder is not much like the rudder on a traditionally transom-hung rudder. You have to attach the lower bracket to the bottom of the rudder, which will mess with how the attached flow exits the blade at the bottom, but is much less destructive than putting two great lumps of brackets squarely in the middle of the foils trailing edge.

  35. #70
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    Default Re: I am making a windvane

    Aaaaand, the purpose of the donuts is revealed. The windvane part of the system is Done...except for some paint! All the bits and bobs are made and glued/screwed in place. I am stoked!

    windvane-done1.jpg

    windvane-done2.jpg

    How to set the course? At the top of the green "mast" is fiberglassed one of those wood doughuts. At the bottom of the fiberglass tube that I made to fit around the "mast" is another one of the wood doughnuts. The weight of the whole assembly rests on those two doughnuts. The entire thing rotates around the mast.

    How to lock the thing down, on course? Easy.

    2491280master.jpg

    It's very sensitive, now that the counterweight is on....video later tonight, hopefully!

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