Yachting World July 98:

Blind Faith

Geoff Hilton-Barber sets off on a great adventure, to sail single-handed from his home port of Durban across the Southern Indian Ocean to Fremantle. Quite a feat in itself, but Geoff has additional worries - he is blind.

Jimmy Cornell

"Many sailors agree that Peter's Windpilot is currently the best gear available. Being both the inventor and manufacturer of this ingenious device, Peter has indeed shown that his name should stand alongside those of his great precursors: Blondie Hasler, Marcel Gianoli, Nick Franklin. This book confirms Peter Förthmann's standing as the world authority on wind-operated self-steering gears."


Burghard Pieske

German circumnavigator, prolific author and all-round adventurer Burghard Pieske set off in 1998 to replicate Captain Bligh's extraordinary journey to safety following the mutiny on the Bounty. Pieske's 7m open sloop SY Bounty Bay found its way across the Pacific Ocean with a Windpilot Pacific Light at the reins.

Kris Baranowski / Polen

Polish sailing legend, multiple circumnavigator and designer of famous tall ships Kris Baranowski completed an 11 month solo round the world trip in October 2000. His 18m SY Leba was steered by a Pacific Plus.

Gudrun Calligaro

Sailor and author Gudrun Calligaro became the first German woman to sail around the world singlehanded in 1991. Her yacht Arpege now has more than 60,000 nm under its keel with a Windpilot Pacific at the helm.

Jose Ugarte / Spain

Spanish sailing hero Jose Ugarte took a Pacific along as backup on his ULDB 60 for the 1992 Vendee Globe.

Wolfgang Clemens

Wolfgang Clemens set off on his singlehanded circumnavigation nine years ago - and he's still at it! During this time his 25t steel yacht SY King of Bavaria has notched up more than 70,000 nm in the capable hands of its Pacific Plus.

Tom Cunliffe

41 foot 20 ton heavy displacement Gaff - Cutter "Westernman"

Hi Peter,
I'm just about to launch my website. One page is about Westernman and how Roz and I can now sail her alone thanks to the help of Bertie, our Windpilot.'Bertie' has transformed our cruising. A gaff cutter can be a handful to steer and, before Bertie shipped out with us, we crossed the Atlantic using tiller lines, a traditional answer to a heavy helm. It was extremely tiring. Despite being heavy to steer, the boat is fast and responsive, yet Bertie handles her with firmness and sensitivity. Roz says there are only two things she wouldn't go to sea without: The Windpilot and her cooker!


Rüdiger Nehberg

German survival specialist Rüdiger Nehberg crossed the Atlantic from Mauritania to Brazil in 1999 with a Windpilot Atlantik on his SY The Tree, a lightly modified tree trunk with outriggers and a small cabin.

Bobby Schenk

Multiple circumnavigator and Germany's leading author of sailing books, Bobby Schenk carries a Windpilot Pacific on his new Privilege 465. The Pacific steers through the boat's wheel steering system either using its own windvane signal or in response to a Navico Tillerpilot.

Bobby Schenk: www.yacht.de/schenk

Ingrid und Timm Pfeiffer / Deutschland

Nach neun Jahren um die Welt (1997 - 2006) Ankunft Hamburg 9. August 2006

Beth Leonard
Evans Starzinger / US

Longterm cruisers on SY HAWK / van de Stadt 44

Contributing editor of BLUEWATER SAILING / US

"... one of the most important piece of equipment is a bullet proof windvane gear". Our choice was Windpilot Pacific Plus.

Gerard Dijkstra, NL
on Bestevaer 53

Dear Peter,
Attached two photo’s of your windvane hard at work. We were running in aforce 7-8 off the coast of Noreway back to NL. With reefed main and staysailset. The windvane steered nearly all the way. Thanks.

Best regards,Gerard


John Otterbacher / US

US-based John Otterbacher is a contributing editor for Cruising World magazine. He has been making his way around the world with a 50ft Tripp design SY Grace and a Windpilot Pacific Plus since 1998.

Laurent Bourgent / Frankreich

Legendary French professional yachtsman Laurent Bourgent has had a Windpilot Pacific Plus on his family cruising yacht for many years.