Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar

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10 years 9 months ago #165 by Lisa Cornelius
Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar was created by Lisa Cornelius
Hi,

I know a few of you have the Saye's Rig mechanical steering autopilot.
I have been communicating with Ron Geick at Scanmar in CA.
Concerns over the need for hydraulic bypass and shorten the Mizzen boom have me slightly puzzled. Does anyone have any further comments? photos? Advice?
If you had to do it over, would you get an Auto-Helm?

The Auto-Helm could be mounted on top of my horizon beam on my davits?

Brian on Pilgrims passage has a Saye's Rig www.pilgrimspassages.com/

Rita T, hull 172, 1981, is outfitted with a Sayes Rig Patrick Cornelius O’Donnell and Hannah Gardner

Howard on FARHORIZON

Roy B. S/V Serenade Hull #45

Steve and Janet on Lunacy Hull #230 were going to install?


The Saye's Rig is a hybrid servopendulum system - see the attached mounting drawing. The airvane is rotated about its vertical axis so the airvane sail points into the apparent wind (in the drawing the wind is dead aft). When the boat falls off course the sail is pushed to one side, turning the paddle in the water. The force of the water on the paddle pushes it off to one side, moving the tiller arm that's bolted to the boat's rudder, bringing the boat back on course. If the boat has hydraulic steering a bypass valve has to be fitted around the steering ram, close to it to eliminate back pressure.The airvane mast as shown in the drawing could be shortened to sit under the mizzen boom but the aft railing would have to be removed - remember that the sail has to be able to rotate 360 degrees. Davits could still be a problem, depending on their design - if they foul the airvane swing, it will not work.
The Auto-helm steers with its own rudder, that's bolted to the boat's transom. The boat's own rudder is usually locked on boat centerline. The airvane is pointed into the apparent wind and when the boat falls off course its movement turns a trimtab on the auxiliary rudder, moving the rudder to the opposite side & bringing the boat back on course. The airvane mast (see attached drawing) can be mounted anywhere convenient on the stern, and as noted on the drawing, its mast can be cut down to 24" high. The mast base could be set up just forward of the aft railing or on a boomkin extension aft of the rail and/or the aft railing could be removed to facilitate airvane swing. You can take off measurements from these drawings & see which would be preferable to install on your boat - the Auto-helm and the Saye's Rig would both work, but given the davits with a crossbar, aft railing and overhanging mizzen boom either one would need some modifications done to the boat.

Thanks,

Patrick Cornelius Gaia #332 with davits and long Mizzen boom

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10 years 9 months ago #166 by Larry Donaldson
Replied by Larry Donaldson on topic Re:Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
Patrick and all those that are thinking of wind vane steering system I would just like to make some points on this thread. The use of wind vanes is mainly for long distance passages, when the boat can remain on the same course relative to the wind. As we all know, the Whitby is not the best boat to sail on a close hauled course for long periods of time and we also know that this is not the most comfortable point of sail on a long passage. Most of our long passages will be off the wind, beam reach to a run. This is where those wind vane systems excel. Rigs such as the Sayes and the Monitor operate using a "sail" to sense wind direction and transfer any changes or course deviation into a rudder to correct the course relative to the wind. If you think about it, on any course other than an extreme close hauled course the mizzen boom is not any where near centerline and therfor is not interferring with the "sail" of the wind vane. Thus there is no need to create work and shorten the mizzen boom, it will never be in the way. This was confirmed by Steve and Marg on Lion's Paw when, in Annopolis, they spoke directly to the Monitor people on this issue. My point is don't make work and incur expences by shortening a boom that will not interfer with these systems. I am of the school that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Larry Donaldson
S/V Star Shadow
Whitby 42 #333

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10 years 9 months ago #167 by Gerry O'Donoghue
Replied by Gerry O'Donoghue on topic Re:Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
Larry and Patrick

As you know the Mizzen boom will not be a problem for me as I will not have one. One option, however, that you should consider is the use of a simple tiller pilot in conjunction with the wind vane.

Automate the wind vane



I used this system on my last boat and it worked very well. I had a remote control in the cockpit and could use the wind vane in harbor / while motoring / no wind condition etc. I almost never fitted the wind sail. I had three tiller pilots on-board, two of which I picked up second hand.

I do not plan to have a below decks autopilot on-board Simbi, and will invest the money in a wind vane instead.

I believe that Pilgrims wind vane is an Auto-Helm.

Best Regards

Gerry
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10 years 9 months ago #169 by Deborah Streeter
Replied by Deborah Streeter on topic Re:Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
Interestingly enough 'Free N Clear' #70 had its transom reinforced during commissioning to accommodate a RVG windvane, which is VERY similar to the Auto-Helm that Scanmar sells. This method of steering was used by the original owners to take the boat to the Med and back. Once the Haupt's (original owners) returned they had the RVG rudder/system removed to avoid catching crab pots and to facilitate ease of steering in close coastal quarters.

On my 'wish list' is a Saye's Rig which would eliminate both issues of crab pots and close quarters maneuverability with its easily removable trim-tab which attaches to the boat's existing rudder. http://www.selfsteer.com/products/sayes/index.php
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Free N Clear
Whitby 42, #70
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10 years 9 months ago #170 by Brian Stewart
Replied by Brian Stewart on topic Re:Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
Comments regarding the "auto-helm". I think they use small letters to
avoid confusion with a well known auto pilot system which many of us
also use.
We purchased a unit from the manufacturer before we set off in 2005 for
Lake Superior and prior to our current adventure. We had looked at the
Saye's Rig but felt the independent rudder/trim tab system to provide
extra insurance in case we lost the main rudder.

On the plus side:

- The unit is well built and the instructions are complete and accurate.
- The mounting tubes can be used as a boarding ladder.
- The unit was installed without too much difficulty however vertical
alignment is difficult with the slight port heel of the Whitby.
- The unit can be used with a tiller pilot instead of the wind vane and
thus can be tied into the Sea Talk system or equivalent.
- It worked when we lost our hydraulic system while crossing the Atlantic
- No boom modifications were required and we use davits for our dink.
You need to be careful when tacking/Gybing if the windvane is vertical.

On the negative side:

- Some of the required holes were not drilled into 3 of the stock elbows
which are not modified during installation. Caused excessive mount
movement which lead to noise and tracking problems.
- The fiberglass shell on the leading edge of the rudder is showing
signs of stress cracking. I'll be adding a few layers of glass in the
spring to repair it.
- You need to use lines to lock the auto-helm rudder in place when not
in use otherwise your steering will be impacted as well as the ability
to reverse (but who would ever notice on a Whitby). The trim tab is
locked when you lock the wind vane in place. That leads to breakage of
the control wires that connect the wind vane to the trim tab.
- The rudder/trim tab are VERY active when dockside with any waves or in
a wind against current anchorage. The noise can keep you awake if you
use the aft bunk.
- The rudder/trim tab can't be removed quickly and is a problem to store
once removed. Most other auto helms allow removal to reduce drag and
prevent damage.
- The rudder seems to be too small to effectively steer the boat unless
you have PERFECT sail trim. Downwind is a joke with 40 degrees of yaw
...try that a night in a following sea.

We met with the manufacturer at the Annapolis boat show in 2006 to
complain and were basically told that's the way it works. In fact they
denied shipping the undrilled parts. Interestingly they had exactly the
same parts without the drill holes on display. When I pointed that out
they just shrugged. So ... would I recommend it? Let's put it this way
if anyone wants to buy mine it is available.

We like the Auto Helm 6000+ and use it whenever we can afford the power.
Maybe I should look at cable steering and install a real windvane.

All the best
Brian

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10 years 9 months ago #171 by Gerry O'Donoghue
Replied by Gerry O'Donoghue on topic Re:Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
Brian,

Outstanding report.

Thank You

Gerry


theincrediblehull.blogspot.com/

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10 years 9 months ago #172 by Gerry O'Donoghue
Replied by Gerry O'Donoghue on topic Re:Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
Island Time, a Brewer 12.8 has a Wind pilot (Pacific Plus) installed.

The install looked good and this is probably my favorite option (despite the $9K price tag). It stands pretty far back off the stern, however, and will affect the dinghy davits.

I am concerned about Brian's comments about the ineffectiveness of the small steering rudder, especially in a following sea. I will be installing Edson Pull/Pull steering, which should allow me to lock the main rudder to trim the boat.
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10 years 9 months ago #173 by Roy Belcher
Replied by Roy Belcher on topic Re:Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
When we bought Serenade, it came with a Sayes Rig and a tiller-pilot that would operate the Sayes Rig when there was no wind, or when motoring if the primary autopilot had failed. The design is simple, and makes sense. We haven't used it yet, so I can't comment further. The previous owner liked it.

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10 years 9 months ago #209 by Hannah Gardner
Replied by Hannah Gardner on topic Re:Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
We have a Saye's Rig on Rita T, installed in 1994 or 95. I don't know that I have much to add because we don't have davits. We just hauled up a little on the mizzen boom topping lift and didn't shorten it. Offshore the rig works really well. The only trick to using the Saye's Rig is to get the sail taut. We installed a Morswe sender that comes up to the cockpit locker to disconnect the hydraulics when we use the Rig.

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10 years 5 months ago #377 by Dave Kuchenbecker
Replied by Dave Kuchenbecker on topic Re:Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
I have been following the self steering thread for awhile and have a couple of questions.

1) With hydraulic steering, how do you "lock" the wheel. when you engage the self steering.


I don't see any comments about the "hydro vane" It looks pretty simple. and can be mounted slightly off center.

Thanks

Dave

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3 years 3 months ago - 3 years 3 months ago #2536 by William Weigel
Replied by William Weigel on topic Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
I just installed the Hydrovane on our W42. It works wonderfully so far. We purchased the vane used but it is the latest configuration. More specifically, it has the larger shaft and the latest balanced rudder. We mounted it slightly off-center to allow room for the boarding ladder and also to simplify the location of the mounting bolts. The Hydrovane has a large top bracket that has 2 bolts 6 1/2" apart. One bolt goes through the transom on centerline just above the vents. I actually removed the topmost vent because it was not being used (2 remaining). The 2nd bolt for the top bracket goes through the transom and enters the stbd lazarette. I am using the "A" frame bottom bracket system. Both of the bottom brackets bolt through the transom above the bilge pump discharge thru-hulls.

We were concerned about interference with the mizzen. We were pleased to discover that the vane itself can be tilted back far enough to clear the mizzen when not in use for short durations. If we are not planning to use the Hydrovane for longer durations, the vane is easily removed and stowed below. When in use, the vane definitely interferes with the mizzen so we are careful to attach a preventer at all times just in case we forget it is there and come into the wind.

We have found that the vane and rudder stow nicely below the aft companionway ladder.

Photos attached
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Last edit: 3 years 3 months ago by William Weigel. Reason: Added Photos
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3 years 3 months ago - 3 years 3 months ago #2538 by Melissa S White
Replied by Melissa S White on topic Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
WKWeigel - This is a timely post. We are preparing to install our Hydrovane on our 1974 Olympic Adventure, which is a stretched Whitby 42. How did you solve the problem of the boom on your rig? Looking forward to photos. If you have the time and inclination, I'd appreciate seeing several photos of your installation. We already have so much going on at the aft deck area. I'm kind of sorry to add one more thing.
Last edit: 3 years 3 months ago by Melissa S White. Reason: added the name of the person I'm responding to

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3 years 3 months ago #2541 by Robert Strickland
Replied by Robert Strickland on topic Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
On Allegria, we have been using a Hydrovane for the past few years. We use it when offshore for longer passages. We set up the wind paddle after the mizzen boom is on the side it will be on for the course we are steering so there is no interference. If we have to tack then we have to remove the paddle, so we don't use it if we are changing course frequently.
We have davits and solar panels, although we put the dinghy on the foredeck when offshore.
Ours is mounted midline, but can be mounted offset like Bills with no decrease in performance. There are lots of pictures on the Hydrovane website and I found them to be very responsive to questions.
It has been one of the most successful additions we have made to Allegria, I think you'll love it.
Dee SV Allegria (199)
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3 years 3 months ago #2542 by William Weigel
Replied by William Weigel on topic Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
See updated post with photos.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Bill W - Alembic (210)
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3 years 3 months ago #2543 by Melissa S White
Replied by Melissa S White on topic Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
We have a swim step on the stern of Galapagos that will have to be modified to accept the vane, and I believe we will be raising our mizzen boom a bit during the aft deck refit in June. We, too, have davits and solar panels. I'll post a photo after we get this rig installed. We area just starting our cruise this summer. Yes, the Windvane folks are very helpful. We've talked to them about one question or another at every boat show for 3 years. Very glad to hear that you've been happy with yours on your boat.

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2 years 10 months ago #2606 by Michael Collins
Replied by Michael Collins on topic Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
We have a Brwer44. After reviewing the earlier posts we are considering buying a Hydrovane. Does anyone have a exprence or knowledge of this type of wind vane on a Brewer 44. We have a super scoop stren , and davits with solar panels.
Thanks
Mike and Sandy

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2 years 10 months ago #2607 by Edwin (Ted) Bovill
Replied by Edwin (Ted) Bovill on topic Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
We have a cutter rigged Brewer 44, Rosa dos Ventos, hull no. 304 (1989). We have a Hydrovane which was mounted 4 years ago. It is mounted off center to starboard to allow for aft boarding. We have a solar panel mounted on our aft arch. Because of the arch we use a "stubby" Hydrovane sail. We built the arch after the Hydrovane and were thus able to design it so it wouldn't interfere with the vane. We also have aft davits. We have been cruising in the Caribbean for 5 years including a number of multiple day passages and our experience with the Hydrovane has been excellent! We have found the company to be responsive to our needs from mounting to various questions and parts needs over the years. Even though we have a center cockpit we can adjust the Hydrovane from the cockpit. We would be happy to answer questions you might have. We will return to Panama from the states in a couple weeks.
Ted Bovill
Barbara Grant
S/v Rosa dos Ventos

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2 years 10 months ago #2608 by Edwin (Ted) Bovill
Replied by Edwin (Ted) Bovill on topic Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
I would make one addition to my immediately preceding comments. We use our hydrovane on long passages but also on day sails with with long periods on one point of sail. The point being that the system is exceptionally easy to set.
Ted and Barbara
S/v Rosa dos Ventos

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2 years 10 months ago #2609 by Michael Collins
Replied by Michael Collins on topic Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
Thank so much! We are really drawn to the Hydrovane because of its rugged simplicity . We already have davits with solar panels mounted across the davits. Do you have any pics of you instillation ?
Thanks
Mike

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2 years 10 months ago #2610 by Melissa S White
Replied by Melissa S White on topic Saye's Rig and Auto-Helm by Scanmar
Mike, we got our hydrovane installed correctly on Galapagos and used it extensively on our recent passage from Neah Bay to San Fransisco. You can contact us through our blog (lLittleCunningPlan.com) if you'd like to ask questions about our installation. Galapagos has a compound curve on her stern, and we had to go through the stainless steel swimstep. We also had to order an additional attachment piece. But it worked like a charm! We're glad we went for it.
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