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Monitor Self Steering Wind Vane

I am looking to purchase a Monitor for my 384 Morning Star. Does anyone have one which they would like to sell?

Best,

John F
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Hi John - I don't know if you've considered a Hydrovane, but I know that Stephen Ruell (username: struell) was looking to sell his Hydrovane last month.

I would have purchased it, but I already put $ down as a deposit for a new Hydrovane.

I don't want to kick off a religious war, but I ultimately decided on a Hydrovane for several reasons: 1) it can serve as an emergency tiller, 2) it doesn't use the ships steering system and thus reduces the wear on the ship steering, and 3) it can be mounted offset, so the swim ladder can stay where it is.

Perfectly reasonable people will argue that they prefer a Monitor. It's personal preference. Both have been used over many years for serious ocean voyaging in serious weather. I don't think either would be a "mistake".

If you wanted to IM/contact him, this forum calls it a 'Conversation' and it's accessible thru the little envelope icon in the upper right. 'Start a Converation'

Good luck!
-Mark

 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
As an owner of a Monitor, I can testify that all of those pluses for a Hydrovane are valid. Except, perhaps, the boarding ladder. I have had to make some serious steering repairs and upgrades due to wear. I have had a steering cable break 600 miles from shore, and the emergency rudder option (another $1500) for the monitor proved inadequate to hold a course.

I converted the ladder to one that I can hang from the side of the boat. I greatly prefer this. Especially in an anchorage with a swell, it can be quite difficult to board a dingy from the stern of the boat.

I am confident the Monitor steers the boat better, but if doing it again I would give serious consideration to a Hydrovane.
 
Hi John - I don't know if you've considered a Hydrovane, but I know that Stephen Ruell (username: struell) was looking to sell his Hydrovane last month.

I would have purchased it, but I already put $ down as a deposit for a new Hydrovane.

I don't want to kick off a religious war, but I ultimately decided on a Hydrovane for several reasons: 1) it can serve as an emergency tiller, 2) it doesn't use the ships steering system and thus reduces the wear on the ship steering, and 3) it can be mounted offset, so the swim ladder can stay where it is.

Perfectly reasonable people will argue that they prefer a Monitor. It's personal preference. Both have been used over many years for serious ocean voyaging in serious weather. I don't think either would be a "mistake".

If you wanted to IM/contact him, this forum calls it a 'Conversation' and it's accessible thru the little envelope icon in the upper right. 'Start a Converation'

Good luck!
-Mark

Hi Mark,

Thank you for this excellent information, and for letting me know about Ruell's. I also would like an emergency rudder, but I really like the servo pendulum design as well. I was thinking perhaps a Monitor with the E-Rudder they offer, however see Warren's experience with the E rudder not being adequate to steer his boat. The Windpilot Pacific Plus offers both an independent rudder and servo-pendulum steering, but is expensive, the "Rolls Royce" according to Tom Cunliffe. Warren also had wear problems on his cable steering system which I believe he attributes to wear from the use of the Monitor.

Which vane did you get, the standard or the extendable? Does the independent rudder swivel when no in use or is it fixed in the centerline. I heard that fixed centerline makes is more difficult to turn using the main rudder. Has that been your experience?

Best,

John
 
As an owner of a Monitor, I can testify that all of those pluses for a Hydrovane are valid. Except, perhaps, the boarding ladder. I have had to make some serious steering repairs and upgrades due to wear. I have had a steering cable break 600 miles from shore, and the emergency rudder option (another $1500) for the monitor proved inadequate to hold a course.

I converted the ladder to one that I can hang from the side of the boat. I greatly prefer this. Especially in an anchorage with a swell, it can be quite difficult to board a dingy from the stern of the boat.

I am confident the Monitor steers the boat better, but if doing it again I would give serious consideration to a Hydrovane.
Hi Warren,

Thank you for your sharing your experience and opinion. Do you believe that the Monitor steers better than the Hydrovane because of its servo-pendulum force amplification? Although I can't afford a Windpilot Plus, do you believe that there would be merit in its combination of independent rudder and servo-pendulum mechanism? Would you share more of what you have learned about the better steering of the Monitor over the Hydrovane?

Best,

John
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
John - I got the standard (not the extendable). That was per the company's recommendation.

I haven't installed it yet, so I have zero experience with it. I spent a lot of time reading & chatting with people who had one or the other, and/or had used both (and others). Most of the people who have used both seemed to have started out with Monitor and gone to Hydrovane. Most I have encountered were singing the praises of the Hydrovane, but there are people who prefer the Monitor too. I used a Monitor for small periods many moons ago, with success. I'm looking forward to battle testing the Hydrovane. I reckon if you build skills/experience with either one they will be great. There is a bit of a learning curve with either.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Scanmar, which makes and sells Monitor, also sells Autohelm. It is an auxiliary rudder, trim tab system. I know fellow who sailed all over the Pacific and soloed across the Indian Ocean in a Morgan 382 using an Autohelm. He thought it worked extremely well and it helped to deal with the sometimes squirrely downwind tendencies of the Morgan. It is a big rudder farther aft, so it has more leverage. Unfortunately, he hit a reef entering the Red Sea and lost his vessel.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
And Mark, I just looked at the hydrovane specs. I think I might not be able to use one because of my over the stern solar mounts. Is that correct? I assume the split backstay is not an issue. The website gives no price. Are you willing to let us know what you paid. If not, I understand.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Terry - on Zia, they recommended the "stubby" vane, which supposedly gives adequate clearance of our radar mast on the stern. They say the performance is the same as the other model. That might give clearance for your solar mounts. The HV folks are really easy to deal with and if you are considering it, you can send them a photo with measurements of your solar mounts, etc. and they can tell you what works.

Including all the do-dads (brackets, backing plate, mounting pads, offshore spares kit, etc.) mine came to $5,355. Supposedly that included an Annapolis Boat show discount.

We've got Zia hauled out at Rocky Pointe right now for a bottom job. I'm going to ask Dave about costs for fiberglassing the torpedo tube like you did. It's probably not going to happen though, because I've already spent Zia's annual budget for the next 10 years. :)
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
They charged me $7200. It is really hard to get in there to work. Luckily Adavida was being painted at the time, so the overlapping glass on the outside of the hull was easily covered over with paint.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
They charged me $7200. It is really hard to get in there to work. Luckily Adavida was being painted at the time, so the overlapping glass on the outside of the hull was easily covered over with paint.
Yeah, I was looking at your photos and thinking it would be nice to do a hull painting / torpedo tube fiberglassing at the same time. I think I'm going to need to pause to save up some more boat bucks.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Oh, on wind vanes, the Monitor words very well going upwind, but reaching and running sometimess struggles with the Morgan. We were able to balance the boat, however. For instance, as the wind piped up, we would reef the main first. Often we ran with a triple reefed main and a full 135% geona. I understand the Hydrovane expects you to set the rudder to steer and then set the Hydrovane. Not sure how that would work in conditions when the wind varies regularly. But they were used on the BOC round the world race--but with boats with greater directional stability than a Morgan 382.
 
Yeah, I was looking at your photos and thinking it would be nice to do a hull painting / torpedo tube fiberglassing at the same time. I think I'm going to need to pause to save up some more boat bucks.
Mark,

You might wish to price plumbing to thru hulls with seacocks. It might be more economical as well as ABYC compliant and safer. That is what I am going to do. You can always use separate thru hulls for some of the different things being drained. Remember that the shower sump pump requires that its thru hull be at least 12" above waterline (theoretically healed waterline, impossible on a sailboat), and needs to have a vented ant- syphon loop.

I am leaning towards the Hydrovane. As much as I like the servo-pendulum mechanism, I realize that its force amplification is necessary for turning the main rudder, and is not needed for the Hydrovane's auxillary rudder, especially if it is a balanced rudder with minimal friction. I have yet to speak with the folks at Hydrovane, but will ask them.

Best,

John
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Oh, on wind vanes, the Monitor words very well going upwind, but reaching and running sometimess struggles with the Morgan. We were able to balance the boat, however. For instance, as the wind piped up, we would reef the main first. Often we ran with a triple reefed main and a full 135% geona. I understand the Hydrovane expects you to set the rudder to steer and then set the Hydrovane. Not sure how that would work in conditions when the wind varies regularly. But they were used on the BOC round the world race--but with boats with greater directional stability than a Morgan 382.
The monitor certainly works better upwind than downwind, and better with more wind than less. Anything higher than a beam reach in good wind, you really don't need a windvane at all, the boat will balance fine and hold a course, and even come back to it if a wave knocks it off course.

It took a lot of practice and learning, but I can make the monitor work to DDW with a TWS of 6 or 7 kts, with a boat speed of 1.5-2 kts. At one point in very light wind I had a 135% to leeward, using the boom as a pole for it, a 95% poled to windward, and a full main. The main mostly provided stability to help with the boat rocking.

The hydrovane as I understand it does expect you to set the rudder to account for any weather-helm, because it isn't large or powerful enough to deal with it. So, the hydrovane is more sensitive to boat balance, especially as wind picks up and weather helm increases. The monitor, as wind picks up, gets more powerful and is able to keep steering through most wind changes. I only needed to worry when a powerful squall hit, and the wind speed suddenly doubled to more than 30 kts.

I have met and talked to a very few sailors who have owned boats with both, and they seem to prefer the Monitor, claiming that the monitor holds a course better, whereas the hydrovane wanders in an S like pattern. But I have no experience with it. I'd like to try one mostly because of the wear and tear on the steering. It was a lot of work tearing it apart and taking it to a machine shop, and the work wasn't cheap. Edson's answer was that our pedestal isn't made for a windvane, and to upgrade and buy a bigger one. There is another thread on that somewhere.

Worth mentioning, I also recently added a Raymarine wheel pilot. Cheap and flimsy POS, but I bought it just for while motoring or in very light winds when the monitor was struggling. It is superior to holding a course in every way, and it works in heavier wind than I expected. It was also very useful to hold a course while I am turned around fussing with the Monitor to get it setup. I will still use the Monitor for distance and ocean crossings, but the cheap autopilot is going to get a lot of use. On my recent trip from St. Thomas to Puerto Rico, it was an 18 hour motor trip. The autopilot followed the course in OpenCPN, from anchorage to anchorage.

In my travels, I probably see more Hydrovanes out there, probably 2-1 over the Monitor. There are also other pendulum type vanes that seem to be more popular than the Monitor once you leave the US.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
I use a CPT autopilot for light wind and powering. It actually works in strong wind too. I love it. It is old fashioned belt driven, but it is silent and strong. About $1800, I think, but my 20 year old model still works. I often use it for sailing in congested inland waters where using the Monitor is inconvenient. I highly recommend it.
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
I use a CPT autopilot for light wind and powering. It actually works in strong wind too. I love it. It is old fashioned belt driven, but it is silent and strong. About $1800, I think, but my 20 year old model still works. I often use it for sailing in congested inland waters where using the Monitor is inconvenient. I highly recommend it.
Yeah, I ultimately might upgrade by replacing the Raymarine wheel unit with a CPT, but keep the Raymarine brains. The CPT seems to be the power and reliability of a below deck unit, but the simplicity of a wheel drive. Windvane mode on the autopilot works really well too, I don't want to lose that feature.
 

struell

Stephen Ruell
I have been following this discussion and thought time to pipe up and offer that used Hydrovane for sale.

I bought Rolf Peterson's Hydrovane in 2019. Rolf separated the Hydrovane from his boat when he sold it. He described it on a thread on this board when he was selling his boat.

I followed up with him and ended up buying it. But I never installed it. At the time I had some cash and thought we would be going on much longer cruises, so I took a flyer on it. Now it seems less likely I will ever use it. I have added a CPT autopilot and that is probably as much as I need. Where we sail in Maine there are so many lobster traps that you can barely use an autopilot in many areas and having any extra rudder down in the water would only be practical on a longer cruise off shore.

Anyway if someone is interested I could resell you this one which came from Rolf, and it should be pretty much already fitted. I have inspected the parts and they seem to be in excellent condition. Rolf sold the boat with the mounting pads on the transom so you would need the make them. I'm not sure that there is anything else needed. He emailed me measurements and a few photos for the locations of those pads plus the manuals.

I haven't thought too much about the price but would like to get my $3500 back. I also paid for shipping which turned out to be a lot since Rolf didn't have a way to build a crate and had it packed at a UPS store. I could build a box and put it on a pallet but the shipping itself would be on the buyer. No warranty of course.

If anyone is interested let me know,
Steve
 
I have been following this discussion and thought time to pipe up and offer that used Hydrovane for sale.

I bought Rolf Peterson's Hydrovane in 2019. Rolf separated the Hydrovane from his boat when he sold it. He described it on a thread on this board when he was selling his boat.

I followed up with him and ended up buying it. But I never installed it. At the time I had some cash and thought we would be going on much longer cruises, so I took a flyer on it. Now it seems less likely I will ever use it. I have added a CPT autopilot and that is probably as much as I need. Where we sail in Maine there are so many lobster traps that you can barely use an autopilot in many areas and having any extra rudder down in the water would only be practical on a longer cruise off shore.

Anyway if someone is interested I could resell you this one which came from Rolf, and it should be pretty much already fitted. I have inspected the parts and they seem to be in excellent condition. Rolf sold the boat with the mounting pads on the transom so you would need the make them. I'm not sure that there is anything else needed. He emailed me measurements and a few photos for the locations of those pads plus the manuals.

I haven't thought too much about the price but would like to get my $3500 back. I also paid for shipping which turned out to be a lot since Rolf didn't have a way to build a crate and had it packed at a UPS store. I could build a box and put it on a pallet but the shipping itself would be on the buyer. No warranty of course.

If anyone is interested let me know,
Steve
Hi Stephen,

I would like to purchase your Hydrovane for my 384 Morning Star. It sounds like it is complete except for the pads, and is in good condition. Do you have an idea what shipping to Bradenton FL might be?

Best.

John
 
Hi John - I don't know if you've considered a Hydrovane, but I know that Stephen Ruell (username: struell) was looking to sell his Hydrovane last month.

I would have purchased it, but I already put $ down as a deposit for a new Hydrovane.

I don't want to kick off a religious war, but I ultimately decided on a Hydrovane for several reasons: 1) it can serve as an emergency tiller, 2) it doesn't use the ships steering system and thus reduces the wear on the ship steering, and 3) it can be mounted offset, so the swim ladder can stay where it is.

Perfectly reasonable people will argue that they prefer a Monitor. It's personal preference. Both have been used over many years for serious ocean voyaging in serious weather. I don't think either would be a "mistake".

If you wanted to IM/contact him, this forum calls it a 'Conversation' and it's accessible thru the little envelope icon in the upper right. 'Start a Converation'

Good luck!
-Mark

Mark,

Thank you for letting me know about Stephen's Hydrovane. I have purchased it from him and look forward to installing it.

Best,

John
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
John, I use a Monitor. Please let us know how the HydroVane works on the Morgan. Especially when the boats get a little squirrelly on a broad reach in heavy stuff.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
I’m glad that worked out, John. I’m guessing now I’ll get my HydroVane installed in the March or April timeframe.

You look like you’re doing a huge amount of work on your Morgan. Please keep us posted on your projects/progress.

I’ve been busy ripping out all the plumbing and replacing with PEX, new water heater, sinks, pump & little hydro tank, etc. My body is sore from all the boat yoga trying trying to reach into tiny places while hanging upside down, etc. I’ve been shooting some video and hope to post it on here when I get done.

Cheers,
-Mark
 
I certainly can relate and share your soreness. I do have several large projects going on simultaneously. I began the plumbing today after sevieing what is there, I will replumb much of it. Several bad things. The seawater was plumber with potable water hose, no acceptable for use with seawater plumbing. The head sink was drained with 1 1/2 inch hose to a dedicated 1 1/2 thru hull with seacock! The shower sump was of course foolishly plumbed to the evil torpedo when there is already a seawater thru hull in the head! The boat was plumbed with no was to pump the holding thank out at sea, crazy. How could Morgan let this happen? I will bring it all to ABYC standards. I will plumb the sink drain, head intake, deck washdown, and shower sump all to the existing 1" thru hull with seacock, and I wiill use the existing 1 1/2 inch thru hull with seacock (which was foolishly used for the sink drain) wir the holding tank pump out hose. I will T into the deck pumpout hose either in the bilge, or wet locker and run along the existing PVC pipe beneath the port settee to the water closet. I will need to raise the deck wash down pump above sea level. I will also add a missing vented loop between the heads bowl and its pump. A siphon break is mandatory there. Remember to use approved hose for your seawater plumbing. I use sanitary hose for both black water and seawater. I notice that we get very hot water from the cold water valve after running the engine. I will need to instal a backflow preventer in the coldwater feed to the hot water heater. It is backing up into the cold line to the sink. Have you had this problem?

Best,

John
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Some of those things don't seem original. Mine had the sink plumbed to the 1", and head to the 1-1/2" through hulls. I also had a backflow preventer/check valve on the hot water tank.
The head bowl is above the waterline, so the siphon break is not mandatory, but not a bad idea.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
... I notice that we get very hot water from the cold water valve after running the engine. I will need to instal a backflow preventer in the coldwater feed to the hot water heater. It is backing up into the cold line to the sink. Have you had this problem?
Interesting. We didn’t have this problem because there was a check valve before the water heater inlet.

We had incredibly hot water spurting from our faucet because the engine heats water in the water heater to 160-190 degrees. Way above “scalding”. I’m excited about a thermostatic mixing valve I’m putting in, which will mix in cold water so it is always 120 degrees before it goes to the taps.

In my complete redo of the plumbing I decided to leave the polybutylene shower drain line in (for now). All of the other polybutylene is being torn out. Except for small lengths that leave the water tanks, because they are extremely difficult to reach. Those lines are also not under pressure so I don’t think I need to worry about the leaks for which polybutylene is so well known.

The other game changer is we just installed our composting toilet. I’m going to do a separate thread about that. It’s dead simple, and now we don’t need to worry about the holding tank, finding a pumpout, tank level sensors, valving, spare parts for the complex marine head, nasty odors seeping out of the vents and hoses, etc.

I hope you get to enjoy your boat after you splash. We have done some really awesome voyaging even with known big deficiencies in our boat. We do one or two big projects per year to make her better. I think a person could get overwhelmed if they try to tackle everything. We have very much enjoyed working on Zia.
 
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