Identifying this Windvane - Aries???

  • June 23, 2014 4:15 PM
    Message # 1562818
    Deleted user

    I have this wind vane on my Westsail32 and a manual that says it's a Aries. When I go online and try to ID it, I can't figure out what model it is or if it's a knock-off of some sort. I'm trying to find if I can get parts (if needed) and how to layout the lines for it. Does anyone have any ideas (I'm sure someone does)? Have a look at the link to my wife's flicker account.
  • June 23, 2014 10:47 PM
    Reply # 1562841 on 1562818
    Deleted user
    Sorry, found the model, no.4 only 400 made.
  • August 05, 2015 4:28 PM
    Reply # 3467215 on 1562818
    Deleted user


    Please enlighten me: Is this the bronze geared model? 

    There is a box with three bronze bevel gears. The Servo paddle is attached to the center bevel gear, which in turn moves the two bevel gears on the side of the box. On top of the box is the wind vane which turns the servo paddle through an ingenious linkage passing through the aft bevel gear. As the servo paddle moves with the course deviation, the bevel gear  to which it is attached with, turns the side bevel gears on which have one lever each. Each adjustable lever has a control line connected to the tiller or drum if there is a steering wheel. This allows to change the ratio of movement of the tiller when the lines are not in the optimum location on the tiller. The adjustment of the vane is also well executed: A wheel with a worm gear moves it in infinite positions. I think this is overdone, but the rest of the design has the advantage that one can swing the servo paddle out of the water. I had to reattach the servo paddle on my aluminum Aries in mid ocean  when the screw connecting the paddle fell out. Luckily I had the paddle attached with the lanyard that came with the Aries. With the bronze bevel gear vane, one just swings the servo arm out of the water and sticks the paddle with the breakaway link back on. I had to put on my face mask, as the boat was wallowing in the big waves trying to shove the paddle up against the servo arm and place the retaining screw into the assembly. The servo paddle floats, making it in the moving water difficult to line up.

    I wanted to buy one, when the aluminum contraption started to become sticky, but Aries stopped making it. They told me that there is a chance that the servo section could rotate  beyond the horizontal with the paddle and cause problems that way. I have not used one, but to me that seems unlikely.

    When I have my cruising kitty built up again, I might be in the market of one...Any one know what the going price of a used one is?



  • January 01, 2018 1:42 PM
    Reply # 5654890 on 1562818
    Deleted user

    So far nobody made an offer for the stainless and bronze Aries to me. I am now at the point of my life where I will reconsider my plans and go beyond building an experimental "one off" to exploring the possibility of making a production. I am in the investment casting mold business, that is building molds to produce wax patterns for the lost wax casting foundries. My company builds molds for everything from orthopedic prostheses to jet engine components. That is why I wrote a lengthy post about this previously in 2014 or 2015. I could never find someone who was willing to sell their vane or knew of one for sale. In the 1990s I also talked to the widow of Nick Franklin on the Isle of Wight (off Portsmouth, Southern England), and Mrs. Franklin was very accommodating and she said that the production was stopped since the parts were too expensive and that some people claimed that when the servo paddle swung too far over, there was a problem to undo the control lines. None at that time were available for purchase, as the stainless and bronze were all sold already).  In my own experience, that servo paddle issue should not happen when someone is on deck and not sleeping. The problem does not occur in an instant and then the sails will likely also flop as the boat will dramatically go off its course. If one is willing to be in control of the boat, then this ought not be an issue. At least not for me "again", as I have fallen asleep once sailing down the coast with my Tillermaster autopilot on the Catalina (on a starboard tack) I owned previously and barely missed getting run over by a large schooner coming from the opposite direction. The schooner's large crew had a deck sweeper genny that "obstructed their view" and then they saw me in the last moment. The Boy Scout lesson: Be prepared!.

    I do not know what the pricing at the time of the production of the bronze and stainless steel vane for the castings had been, as today the tooling costs have come down due to technological advances such as CNC metal cutting machinery and other labor saving devices. One does not have to do too many metal gymnastics by planning.  I am one of the last dinosaurs with a relatively wide ranging collection of machines (CNC mills, lathes, edm  sinkers  and others). I certain when someone needs spare parts, there are always guys with a bunch of basic mills and lathes, saws and drilling machines. There are even groups that one can find in "Maker Magazine" who try to reinvent the world.  They are a good place for networking and even learning a thing or two!  I missed out on electronic design, as I have a terrific autopilot that gave up it's ghost single handing down the coast between Monterey and San Luis Obispo. That had an old fashioned relay operated circuit  and a drum that had several winding of control line and worked great on the W32 as it was also very powerful, had various course adjustments to reduce the range of course correction. Unfortunately no one that I knew could find the problem with that unit. It was also British made, and the company that made it, is no more. In conclusion, I don't rely on electrical components that can get wet and a mechanical operational device seems to be most reliable for the Westsail.

    Having spent quite a long time in Hawaii, all my video and audio cassettes, fax machines paint collections went bad from the salt water moisture.

    I wish everyone a full cruising kitty, fair winds and good health in the news year! MZ / SV Polaris.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software