Windvanes 101—Crash Course in Selfsteering Systems

The Vane Gear

The mechanical vane gear consists of an air vane sensor and the course correcting device that it activates.

All vane gears use a reasonably similar air vane sensor, but the course correcting methods vary considerably. Therefore, we are firstly going to look at crucial aspects of the air vane itself and then classify and discuss the efficiency of different vane gears according to the features in which they really differ: The steering method used to keep the boat on course.

A couple of obvious truths form the basis for our evaluation of the different types of vane gear and should be stated at once:

1. In order for a vane gear to work the air vane sensor must have enough power to control the course correcting device of the system.

2. In order for a vane gear to work the course correcting device must be powerful enough to steer the boat back on course again.

If one or both of these conditions are not satisfied the vane gear will not perform.

The Air Vane Sensor