When John Adam set off to cross the Atlantic in a Leisure 17, he must surely have been expecting adventure. He certainly found it: caught in storms for days, the exhausted skipper and his boat were eventually washed up on a Cuban beach. Adam's subsequent arrest by the Cuban military made headlines around the world. This was the height of the Cold War, after all, and the Cubans were perhaps understandably reluctant to believe that anybody would try what Adam claimed to have done just for fun! Locked up for several weeks, Adam had plenty of time to think and it was during this time that he finally decided to go ahead and set up his own self-steering company: WINDPILOT was born!


Friends John Adam and Peter Förthmann set out one day for a sail on Peter's steel yawl Lilofee. By the time they came back, the boat belonged to John and WINDPILOT was Peter's. It was a perfect swap: John had had enough of business and was keen to sail to Australia with his family and Peter was just itching to get his hands on WINDPILOT.

1968 - 1985 THE PRODUCTS

WINDPILOT has been manufacturing windvane steering systems continuously for longer than any other company. Over the course of more than three decades in the business we have gained practical experience with just about every known type of system. The early years were marked by enthusiastic experimentation, trial and error being very much the key to progress.

The following systems made it into large-scale production:

ATLANTIK V vane auxiliary rudder systems 1968 - 1985
PACIFIC V vane servo-pendulum system 1970 - 1975
PACIFIC H vane servo-pendulum system 1973 - 1983
ATLANTIK H vane auxiliary rudder and trim tab system - 1971
PACIFIC trim tab on main rudder system 1971 - 1974

    All of these units were manufactured by hand in stainless steel. It is some testament to their strength that thousands are still in use up to 30 years later!