The prices commanded by used Windpilot systems warm my heart; I could almost print out the ads and paper my walls with them. Having spent decades trying to build up the market and supply the products it needs, it is wonderful for me to see demand so strong. I have a database stretching back quite a few years that lists literally hundreds of enquiries I would have been only too happy to satisfy, were it not quite impossible for me to produce used systems.

Used Windpilot units are out there changing hands nevertheless, so I thought it might be worthwhile to give potential second-hand buyers a little primer on points to look out for (and how to avoid disappointment) when hunting a pre-loved Windpilot.

The most important thing I have to say is this: if you want to understand exactly what your potential seller is offering and whether it will work for you, ask Peter Foerthmann. But be prepared to accept a direct answer – even if I can’t give you the news you wanted to hear!

Some of the prices asked and paid for sales both private and via eBay are remarkable, which is always great for sellers, but only great for buyers if their purchase turns out to be exactly what they thought they were getting and they don’t end up having to spend even more to arrive at a functional steering system for their particular situation.

The first point to note here is that every Windpilot system consists of a series of separate modules assembled to suit the original purchaser’s boat.

Each of the models in production since 1998 involves a number of options
2 installation options
3 rudder shaft lengths
1 windvane shaft length
3 transmission variants

5 installation options
7 rudder shaft lengths
2 windvane shaft lengths
5 transmission variants

3 rudder shaft lengths
1 windvane shaft length
33 installation variants

The story of the development of the PACIFIC PLUS can be found HERE:


This wealth of options and variants considerably reduces the chances of finding a used system ideal for your requirements. It may very well be necessary, in other words, to buy certain additional components (the cost of which could well take some of the gloss off the original deal) to make the system purchased compatible with the boat it is to steer.

Our database includes system codes for all of the yacht designs ever to be produced on a significant scale around the world. An e-mail or call to us should be all it takes to discover whether a system you have seen advertised is compatible with your boat (or can be made compatible at an acceptable cost). The simplest course is to send us an e-mail with a photo of the used system that has caught your eye and the details of the type of boat you have.

Sailors are not always as diligent in maintaining their equipment as second-hand buyers would hope. A Windpilot system that has been left untended for a long time and rarely cleaned may have many years of accumulated dirt and salt in its bearings when eventually sold on to a new owner. It is important not to underestimate the amount of work that can be involved in ridding sensitive system components of these tenacious residues.

Plenty of sailors have already grasped the opportunities and pitfalls inherent in the second-hand market and taken the time to clarify the details of potential purchases with us in advance and avoid disappointment down the line. Good advice costs NOTHING: we welcome the chance to help sailors out and understand very well that if you come to us asking about second-hand systems, you would not thank us for trying to flog you a new one instead!

One other point to bear in mind is that used units are generally not supplied with the full complement of lines, blocks, shackles, adjusters, etc. required for the transmission system.

It would be remiss of me in this context not also to mention that there has been relatively little change in our prices since we stopped attending the world’s boat shows in 2003…








14 Responses to Pre-loved

  1. Roald Iversen says:

    Hi, I retired last year (67), have bought a sailing boat, a Wauquiez Gladiateur 33 (1980), and I am looking for windpilot for this boat, hopefully I can find a used one. Do you have any? There is a ten year old Hydrovane for sale in Norway, priced rather high (40.000 NOK). But now I have been looking at a Windpilot Pasific as well. My boat weighs 6 tons.

    Kind regards
    Roald Iversen, Trondheim, Norway

    PS Since my boat needs a lot of other equipment, I primarily was looking for a second hand windpilot

  2. Henning Nissen says:

    I have a Windpilot from around 1987 mounted on a Phantom 42, 42 feet, 11 tons. You can see it on this link:

    Before I bought the boat, it has brought the boat safely 4 times over the Atlantic (Denmark – Carribean) with a 2 man crew. Since i bought the boat in 2001 it has been mounted two summers and has worked very well the 10 times it has been used for cruising. However as I sail only short trips in crowded waters and have given up plans for longer trips, I really do not need it.
    It is for sale – but I have to find a price – will find one if you are interested. Can provide more details and pictures. Is in full working condition for a boat with a steearing weel

  3. Sylvester Lopez says:

    Dear Mr. Henning, you still have the wind vane?? am interested in buying it from you, please revert with information and price.
    Kind regards
    Sylvester Lopez

  4. Tom says:

    I have a sadler 29 feet, 3.8 tons. Would like a windpilot pacific, mount 0, i will make my own bracket to bridge the stern mounted rudder, the stern in nearly vertival. Has anyone fitted a windpilot to a sadler 29 or simalier and does anyone have a suitable used unit for sale.

  5. Antony says:

    I am after a used windpilot for my Uk based boat. Anyone want to sell one? Must be in good condition.

  6. peter says:

    Good morning to the UK, perhaps you should start sending your inquiry to me with some details about your vessel …
    Peter Foerthmann peter(at)

  7. Ramiro Salom says:

    Dear Peter Foerthmann

    I am based in East Coast UK .
    My boat is a Beneteau Oceanis 43 and I am considering to have a windpilot install in my boat.
    I understand windpilot can be stored away from the stern when not in use.
    I am also interested in the rudder version.
    Any chance we could have a telephone conversation about it?

  8. Mike Freauf says:

    Looking for pre-loved Hydrovane for my C&C 36.

    Anyone in Australia have one?

  9. Javier Mestre says:

    Hello! Happy to find your contact.. Im Javier from barcelona, and I have an iron frans maas 39ft, 8,5 Tn and Im willing to instal an hydrovane. Do you have any available?

  10. engin baydar says:

    Hello, i am in Turkey Bodrum. I have a pacific plus wind pilot (still in good condition) which i sailed for many years with my old sailboat. Now i want to sell the wind pilot to a sailor who needs.

  11. Robert Gilday says:

    Looking to acquire a wind pilot pacific plus that is no longer needed or used.

  12. casper Holst says:

    Hello, I am hoping to install a windpilot pacific to my ovni 43. Due to budget restrictions trying to find a second hand one. Anything available?
    Many thanks for looking at this, all the best
    Casper Holst

  13. Derek Gemmell says:


    I have a complete Windpilot Pacific MF 0 supplied 2001 for my 34′ Rival Sailing boat.
    My boat had a canoe stern and tiller.

    I kept the boat for 3 years sailing around Scotland and upgraded to a Moody 38 wheel steering which wasnt compatible. I removed the Windpilot and stored it in my garage.
    I’m now of an age I no longer sail.

    The system is complete with two windvanes and timber rudder together with installation instructions and bill of sale.

    Contact me if interested

  14. I have a WindPilot Pacific Plus that I would be willing to sell. Post 2000.

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