WINDPILOT – PROPERLY EFFECTIVE WINDVANE STEERING SYSTEMS
WINDPILOT – PROPERLY EFFECTIVE WINDVANE STEERING SYSTEMS
IN EXTREMIS – LOSING THE RUDDER
THE HOW AND THE WHY
From the harbour tug operator to the car driver with an empty tank, anyone with first-hand experience knows the best way to set a large load moving in the right direction is to push it from directly behind or pull it from directly in front.
INFLUENCERS AND INFLUENZA – THE SILENT POWER
Influencers and influenza: both have the capacity to render one powerless, but while influenza’s challenge to the immune system is impossible to overlook, the influence on our thought processes of sources we trust can be far more insidious.
RUDDER, TILLER, WHEEL STEERING, EMERGENCY TILLER
Is overconfidence the order of the day? Have we lost our respect for the forces of nature? Naively succumbed to the marketers’ forked tongue? Is the new really always better than the old? Are today’s boats objectively better than yesterday’s?
PLANNING A LONG VOYAGE
Six months is really quite a long time, at least when it comes to travel planning.
EXPERIENCES WITH A BRAND NEW HANSE 588
I know Ariana und Jayme Souza since about 9 years, and of course it has been about transom ornaments. Jayme, living and working as surgeon in Salvador at that time and a sailor on his Bavaria 38 has purchased a Windpilot to leave for distant destinations.
APPEARANCE AND REALITY
A tour of European trade fairs and marinas reveals which marketing campaigns and promotions have gained the most traction and highlights the latest trends and developments to have been packaged up, badged (invariably) as important improvements and sold on to the sailing public.
GENESIS OF THE LONGUE ROUTE 2018
To plagiarize shamelessly Jack London – or his wife Charmian, both wrote exactly the same sentence without specifying the author – “it’s all the fault of Captain Joshua Slocum and his ship the Spray!”
THE EARLY BIRD AND THE WORM
The time is racing away. Watch out or you might find yourself left behind, washed up – a social outcast even. You have to keep up, everyone says so. Perhaps there’s comfort to be had from the crowd, all paddling frantically all the time trying to keep up with each other.
PETER FOERTHMANN – 70 Years – UNPLUGGED
With 70 years on the clock, my life’s drone has soared to a height at which one could be forgiven for expecting a measure of wisdom, a modicum of life experience.
THE CHANGE FROM ARIES TO WINDPILOT MADE SIMPLE
As the years have passed, innumerable UK-based boats that once had an Aries in pride of place have switched to the Windpilot Pacific. The differences are striking – time marches on (at Windpilot at least).
Relief from manual steering for catamaran crews
Catamaran sailors too have the right to close their eyes once in a while. Ocean-going catamarans at sea are almost without exception steered by electric autopilots, with permanently installed inboard autopilot systems generally the preferred way of sparing the crew a life of drudgery.
BIMINI – PERSONEL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
The bluewater dream is a dream of sun and warmth – and the less sun and warmth you have in your daily life, the more you dream of basking in them on your travels. That much makes perfect sense from my vantage point in Hamburg, but it surprises me how many sailors completely fail to anticipate the downside of trying to live and sail in the glare of the midday tropical sun. A perfunctory survey of the sun protection solutions on the market indicates that – not for the first time – compromise is the name of the game. Even those investing in new builds, for whom the cost of a bimini is presumably just one more drop in the ocean, have little in the way of attractive options. Why are bluewater sailors so poorly served in this respect? I put it down mainly – not for the first time – to a lack of good information.CONTINUE READING
INSTALLATION, OBSERVATIONS, ( OVER ) ANALYSIS
Everybody knows that appearance-wise, one sailor’s dream yacht is another’s blot on the seascape and that we all have our own personal priorities. My professional interest centres on the after end (where else can a Windpilot go?). Like some Don Quixote of the pontoons, I have been impudently annexing the prime spot in the middle of the transom for decades. Sometimes it takes all my cunning and reason (not to mention a measure of courage on occasion) to bring people accustomed to knowing their stuff and having their way (including the odd know-it-all) round to my way of thinking. It can be a painful process (painful, that is, for people who haven’t spent a large part of their life wrestling with the issues involved).
I have become used to sharing my opinion in direct fashion. Politeness has its place no doubt, but the risk of being misunderstood or brushed aside is just too high. I would keep my opinion to myself if I didn’t think I could back it up, but with the weight of evidence on my side and a receptive audience I find the effort is well worthwhile. I run into some, of course, who know it all already, but of what possible interest could my blog be to someone who knows they know everything already?CONTINUE
MY CHRISTMAS PRESENT
In my (ever more swiftly flowing) life, it is moments of human contact and personal connection that truly touch my soul, warm my heart and provide lifelong pleasure. Continue reading
HALF WAY DONE
after sailing more than 15000 miles in 16 months, we’ve arrived in New Zealand. Our Windpilot did almost every mile of steering during our trip and she is one of the best purchases we made before leaving! We’d never take off without a Windpilot, that’s for sure.
Ivan onboard SV Vaguebond CONTINUE
I have now sailed my Koopmans 43, Sea Otter, to the Eastern Caribbean from Texas several times, about 14,000 miles total, always using the Windpilot, and I was always sailing singlehanded. I could not do that without the Windpilot.
I have attached a photo that was taken as I approached Bequia. Unfortunately, I was hand steering and did not have the servo rudder in the water. I plan to head towards Panama soon.
You have a great product, but what makes it even better is your personal attention, dedication and incredible service and advice, all of which is very difficult to find these days. I enjoy reading the website, and it is good to see someone with a sense of humor.
YOUR PRODUCT IS JUST TOO GOOD
Just a quick update.
Depending on your perspective, I have either good or bad news. Your product is simply too good. Despite being several decades old and having been rammed by a 36 ton motor yacht, I got it working fine again. I just arrived in New Zealand after a 7 day passage from New Caledonia, including some pretty rough weather. My trusted mechanical helmsman got me safely to Opua. So, unfortunately for me, I feel I cannot justifiably claim a replacement.
Anyway, thanks for getting the pro forma invoice to me so quickly.
Menno van Loon continue