Frequently Asked Questions
DAMAGE CONTROL - What happens if the servo paddle hits something when you are sailing in full speed? Does the paddle kick up?
Several overload protections systems are employed by windvane manufacturers, and some windvanes have no overload protection at all. Auxiliary rudder steering systems are particularly vulnerable - most are rigid spade rudders with no lower support. Some competitor's systems have no 'breakaway tube' in case of a heavy impact. We do not like the system that has a water vane paddle that's held by spring pressure, and kicks up, falls off and trails by a line when a heavy load is applied - that is not acceptable if you have a fast boat. If the weather is bad you could hit high speed and if the paddle kicks up you are in trouble - it's like a ski binding that could release when you are going fast. A blade that falls off on impact and trails by a line also presents the problem of reattaching the paddle, and there is always a chance that the line could snap.
Some vanes claim that they are protected because the paddle can swing sideways out of the water, but such a mechanism would only protect the servo blade from a side impact. The Monitor has a safety tube that is located between the hinge and the water paddle. This safety tube acts as a 'mechanical fuse', and will work with an impact from ANY direction. It does not break, it simply collapses or buckles. If this happens you take the entire hinge and paddle assembly on deck with the safety line (by simply removing the hinge pivot pin) and replace the safety tube. An extra safety tube is shipped with each Monitor and replacement cost is only $35.00 or $45.00, depending on size. This system works very well. There is documentation for BOC boats surfing in 25 knots without bending the safety tube. In an average circumnavigation it is highly unlikely that you have to replace the safety tube. If it was a common occurrence we would include several safety tubes, or make them stronger, but from experience we know that this is not needed.