From Our Auto-Helm CustomersAutohelm

 

Photos of "Night Watch" can be found on the Moody 425 page




Christopher Cournoyer
S/V JENNY GORDON
PORTLAND, OREGON 97204

September 21, 1994

Scanmar Marine
Sausalito, California 94965

Dear Folks,

It was a pleasure to stop into your headquarters the other day as my wife Susan and I cruised South from our homeport of Portland. As I mentioned, I purchased our boat, Jenny Gordon, a Morgan 382 with fin keel and skeg protected rudder with your auto-helm windvane already installed by the boat’s prior owner. In the past two years we have had the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate the unit’s performance under all points of sail and in wind conditions up to 40 knots. We were told by the Jenny Gordon’s prior owners we would love the vane and we do.

My pre-auto-helm vane experience involved a year and one half of cruising on a 42 foot sloop that was equipped with an Aries vane. That too was an excellent unit that performed consistently and well in heavy seas, light airs and under all points of sail.

I had initially expected that the auto-helm might not be able to compete with my earlier very positive Aries experience. The auto-helm not only steers the vessel as well as the Aries, but it offers some very significant advantages when it comes to connecting the auto-helm vane to various types of electronic self-steering mechanisms, which allow electronic control of the boat both under sail and while motoring. The beauty of the auto-helm system is that the minuscule forces required to steer the boat with the “trim tab” allow the use of small tiller control electronic steering units such as the old Tiller Master units or the newer Autohelm ST 1000. The latter allow coupling to a GPS so that the auto-helm vane can be simply and effectively connected with an integrated system and will cause the boat to steer to GPS waypoints on miliamps of electricity under sail or motor power.

The auto-helm also offers the distinct advantage of providing a stout and easily used, permanently installed auxiliary ship’s rudder. It is hard to imagine how much wear and tear is saved on the vessel’s primary rudder system by using the auto-helm vane and the exclusive steering mechanism whenever it is activated.

The wind vane and light load electronic steering options yield a system so effective and convenient that our boat’s primary rudder is utilized for the most part in areas of congestion or during docking and mooring procedures.

The construction of our auto-helm vane is probably best described as bullet proof. Ours is a 1988 or “early” version of your product. The boat has been cruised by its prior owners in Mexico and Central America for several years using the vane and also using a Tiller-Master electronic tiller steering mechanism. Our unit is your original anodized aluminum mounting system rather than your current stainless steel. After six years of salt water use the vane does not require repair. I never hesitate to climb on ours when boarding or mucking about on the stern. The fiberglass work on the external rudder itself has proven equally durable with no deterioration or blistering in exposure to tropical as well as 48 degree North latitude sailing.

In short, if someone were to offer me another vane new and installed without cost I would refuse. The auto-helm meets or exceeds all my expectations and I have full faith and confidence in its continued service. In fact, Susan and I are beginning what we expect to be a 5-7 year attempt at circumnavigation with the unit. We’ll keep you posted on our progress. Your courteous and efficient service coupled with your company’s readiness to provide any spares or repairs on short notice is really the icing on the cake. We couldn’t be happier with what we view as a critically important piece of gear.

Thank you for providing such a quality product.

Sincerely,
Christopher Cournoyer



Christopher Cournoyer
S/V JENNY GORDON
PORTLAND, OREGON 97204

September 21, 1994

Scanmar Marine
Sausalito, California 94965

Dear Folks,

It was a pleasure to stop into your headquarters the other day as my wife Susan and I cruised South from our homeport of Portland. As I mentioned, I purchased our boat, Jenny Gordon, a Morgan 382 with fin keel and skeg protected rudder with your auto-helm windvane already installed by the boat’s prior owner. In the past two years we have had the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate the unit’s performance under all points of sail and in wind conditions up to 40 knots. We were told by the Jenny Gordon’s prior owners we would love the vane and we do.

My pre-auto-helm vane experience involved a year and one half of cruising on a 42 foot sloop that was equipped with an Aries vane. That too was an excellent unit that performed consistently and well in heavy seas, light airs and under all points of sail.

I had initially expected that the auto-helm might not be able to compete with my earlier very positive Aries experience. The auto-helm not only steers the vessel as well as the Aries, but it offers some very significant advantages when it comes to connecting the auto-helm vane to various types of electronic self-steering mechanisms, which allow electronic control of the boat both under sail and while motoring. The beauty of the auto-helm system is that the minuscule forces required to steer the boat with the “trim tab” allow the use of small tiller control electronic steering units such as the old Tiller Master units or the newer Autohelm ST 1000. The latter allow coupling to a GPS so that the auto-helm vane can be simply and effectively connected with an integrated system and will cause the boat to steer to GPS waypoints on miliamps of electricity under sail or motor power.

The auto-helm also offers the distinct advantage of providing a stout and easily used, permanently installed auxiliary ship’s rudder. It is hard to imagine how much wear and tear is saved on the vessel’s primary rudder system by using the auto-helm vane and the exclusive steering mechanism whenever it is activated.

The wind vane and light load electronic steering options yield a system so effective and convenient that our boat’s primary rudder is utilized for the most part in areas of congestion or during docking and mooring procedures.

The construction of our auto-helm vane is probably best described as bullet proof. Ours is a 1988 or “early” version of your product. The boat has been cruised by its prior owners in Mexico and Central America for several years using the vane and also using a Tiller-Master electronic tiller steering mechanism. Our unit is your original anodized aluminum mounting system rather than your current stainless steel. After six years of salt water use the vane does not require repair. I never hesitate to climb on ours when boarding or mucking about on the stern. The fiberglass work on the external rudder itself has proven equally durable with no deterioration or blistering in exposure to tropical as well as 48 degree North latitude sailing.

In short, if someone were to offer me another vane new and installed without cost I would refuse. The auto-helm meets or exceeds all my expectations and I have full faith and confidence in its continued service. In fact, Susan and I are beginning what we expect to be a 5-7 year attempt at circumnavigation with the unit. We’ll keep you posted on our progress. Your courteous and efficient service coupled with your company’s readiness to provide any spares or repairs on short notice is really the icing on the cake. We couldn’t be happier with what we view as a critically important piece of gear.

Thank you for providing such a quality product.

Sincerely,

Christopher Cournoyer

 

YACHT NIGHT WATCH
April 20, 1997
Scanmar International
Attention: Hans

Dear Hans,

I would like to advise you that we have just completed a very sucessful two-year circumnavigation in Night Watch, our Moody 425.  We equipped the boat with Scanmar's Auto-Helm self steering vane.

The vane steered about 95% of the time, I would estimate.  It handled our center cockpit 24,000 lb sloop extremly well in the varied conditions one encounters on a trip of this sort.  Without difficulty it steered on beam reaches in winds of thirty-five knots and above.  Many or our routes (e.g., the Atlantic crossing) were dead downwind; here we learned to trust the vane to keep the boat within five degrees plus or minus, even when the meter showed 180 degrees!

Maintenance was minimal, once we got the hang of properly adjusting the cable tension to suit wind conditions.  Upon arrival in San Francisco the vane is in fine operating condition.

I think you have a very fine piece of equipment in the Auto-Helm, and I would without hesitation use it again on a similar voyage.

Very sincerely,

Gerald R. Knecht
Yacht NIGHT WATCH