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Hi all,
We would like to fit windvane steering to our Tiki 30 at some point and I am trying to work out the best way to do it. Unfortnalely I do not think we have suitable deckspace for the wharram design solution and we need something that we can adjust without leaving the cockpit. We have a old boom as a aft netting beam which we could put a fitting on but not sure if it would be adequate as I can't see how to triangulate the fitting.

Any suggestions?


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Hi Robert,

We put a windvane on Peace Iv - a Monitor just like the one on my old boat which was a single hander monohull which I sailed extensively before meeting Nev. The Monitor is an excellent vane on a monohull and I found no fault with the Monitor on my old Shannon, but when it is on a boat that accellerates, it has a problem. Any wind vane will have the same problem. As the boat speed changes, as on a gusty day, the direction of the apparent wind also changes. And often that will cause the windvane to alter the direction of the boat even though the true wind direction has not changed at all. So with a boat that accelerates with every little gust like a good Wharram will, the windvane changes direction frequently also. You will make a zig zag course.

I spoke with Rory McDougall who took his Wharram Tiki 21 around the world using a wind vane he made himself. He told me he dragged a device to slow him down so the wind vane would not zig zag him during ocean crossings. That is one solution which worked but we did not like that idea of slow speed.

Another solution was invented by the editor of Yachting Monthly - Geoff Pack. He had a multihull cruiser and a good wind vane on the back of his boat. What he did was to remove the air paddle that senses the direction of the wind. Then he put a short stub of plywood in its place and attached a long pole to it leading to the cockpit. The end of this long, light pole was attached to a small, least costly tiller pilot which uses a compass course normally to steer a boat's tiller. On Geoff Pack's boat, it steered the pole that moved the plywood paddle in the top end of the wind vane using almost no electricity. It worked well for him and works excellent on our own boat, Peace where the long pole is a discarded emergency radio antenna. I do not have any way of putting a photograph of this installation on computers, but likely one of our many friends on this web site can just put up a photo for me here.

Our aft beam is wood instead of the alloy pipe in the design. It is similar to one you can see on Jacques Pierret's Tiki 38 and photos of that are here on his page. He got the idea from us.

Nev wanted a plank from the aft beam to the back of the cockpit, so we built one using 9mm ply on top, some 18mm foam in the middle, and 9 mm ply underneath with fir sides to help stiffen it and fiberglass over all. It holds both our weights and stabilizes the wind vane which has an attachment underneath the plank about half way between the aft beam and the back end of the cockpit. On a Tiki 30, you would likely get good service from a couple of 2 x 4s

Our tiller pilot came with a remote control which we operate from the forward end of the cockpit but we could just as well use the buttons on the tiller pilot itself which is located in the aft end of the cockpit. Ours is a Raymarine and the smallest and cheapest one we could find because it only has to move the air paddle. The power to steer the boat comes from the water paddle which is twisted by the gears in the Monitor so it slants against the rushing water under the boat. This slant causes tremendous force which runs through the Monitor ropes onto the tiller bar of the boat itself and that moves the rudders.

Nev also put a short length of chain onto the rope from the wheel steering which fits over a bolt sticking out of our tiller bar. Another rope is on the Monitor and it also has a short length of chain which can be fitted on to the same tiller bar bolt. About 20 links of chain in each. So when we want the Monitor to steer the boat, we lift the wheel steering rope''s chain off of that tiller bar bolt and put the Monitor rope's chain on the bolt instead. This disables and removes the wheel steering drag so the Monitor can work better. When we tack the boat, we do need to select a different link of chain for the Monitor. You will experience this and understand it better yourself then.

All Vane systems are extremely sensitive and do not want any drag on their steering lines. When you place blocks on the wind vane steering system, be extra careful that the ropes run perfectly. The steering lines themselves can be too tight also. Make them so there is no sloppy steering, but not so tight as to cause resistance. I do not know how to explain the Monitor's need to kind of "lean" on one side of the rope. I guess it is a type of weather helm you will figure out eventually. Without it the boat has sloppy steering no matter how tight the rope.

Hope this helps, Ann and Nev
Thanks for the input, I had forgotten about the idea of linking a tiller pilot to the assembley instead of the wind vane. We have found a couple of light weight Windvanes which may be suitable for the Tiki 30, when we looked at the monitor etc. at the Southampton boat show it was a scarey weight of metal to have hanging off the back of the boat.

When you connect the aft beam to the cockpit I assume that means that there is no problems with flex provided you get your straps tight enough? I was being cautious because of the potential flex.


You are exactly right that the Monitor is too heavy for your Tiki 30. I am so out of date, but perhaps there is some vane similar to the olde feather weight Navic that was popular years ago which would be light weight or else you might consider the home made design if it works out for Jacques. I have two books on self steering if you want more info. I would seriously consider stitching some trim tabs on your rudders using the figure eight rope stitch rudder hinges in our plans that work so well. This would best go on new rudders with a vertical aft edge. Nev complains that this method involves a short delay in steering due to steering the boat the other way for a tiny moment before making the needed correction. I feel more positive about them than he does especially on the Wharrams because of their easy way of tending to steer straight naturally.

In the photo that Jacques kindly provided, you can see how we connected the plank we have between the aft beam and the beam at the aft end of the cockpit. The plank goes under the aft beam and over the beam at the aft end of the cockpit but has been connected in similar way. A thick sheet of ply on top and underneath are pressed hard onto the beam using four long bolts with large washers that simply pinch the beam and do not go into the beam itself which would weaken it. The plank is hooked at each end so the pressure is just to keep it secure. Ours are very tight and very secure. Perhaps you could get lighter weight rope lashings to be as tight. We were in a hurry and Nev had the bolts...

The main problem to overcome is that when the water paddle is working, it puts pressure on the beam from side to side and also pulling the bottom of the beam aft so there is twist. We needed the bottom of the aft beam to stay put and not be drawn back so that is why our plank hooks under there. I am not great at description... Wish you could just come up and visit!

For our Tiki 46, the Monitor weight is not a problem, the thing worked excellent on our trade wind Atlantic crossing which included some high winds leading up to a Force 10 and some very light air later in the trip with all following seas, or confused seas early in the trip. The little tiller pilot to the pole connected to the ply stub in the vane was no bother at all. We modified and modified as we sailed along the coast of Europe and finally got it right by the time we left for the crossing. I cannot stress too much how important it is to shake down these systems. I have made 5 Atlantic crossings with the highly engineered, robust, and powerful Monitor wind vanes and each one required much modification of the installation which was accomplished on earlier, shorter passages. Block alignment being the biggest concern in each case. There is much "working" of these vanes so be sure to put lock tite on all fastenings else they will fall off.

Wherre are you heading? I trust the Tiki 30 for a circumnavigation and would be tempted on one even at my age perhaps even solo.

Keep us all posted! Ann and Nev
Hello Robert

On my Tiki30 PHA I added the part of a broken aluminum mast for free at the sterns to fix an old second hand Navik wind vane. It works very well and is very sensible even at down wind.
I crossed the Atlantic from Martinique to Brittany and during the last week the blade in the water has been broken by vibrations generated by high speed (our GPS recorded 17kts max speed at this moment). I suppose its' due to interactions of the hull waves converging to the wind vane and these turbulences were amplifying by the flettner.
As I had spares, I repaired it and no problem until our landing after to have reduce the sail and so the max speed.

Look at the pictures ;

You can so have a look at the video showing the wind vane working at down wind I put in my videos :

There is no end to the cleverness of Bertran Fercot. If he says the Navic works great on the Tiki 30, I would go with it. Bertran, did your boat zig zag at all when the wind was gusty? Wow, 17 knots! Ann and Nev

Usually it don't zig zag exept in light down wind. On the video the track is almost constant, the wind wane reacts only to the waves to maintain the track.

In sailing back from the Junk rig rally near Southampton we had a very good surprise in Alderney. We were at anchor when we saw a Wharram cat entering the bay with a junk rig on each hull as PHA. It was Susi and Tom who had modified their second hand Tangaroa "AORAI" with a such rig. ( ).
They were coming from Berlin towards the Quebec via Spain, Canarias, Antillas and their boat has a wind vane "Windpilot PACIFIC" which seems to be very robust and efficiency.

For our Tiki46 I don't know yet which wind vane to choose. The Navik is too light , the Pacific seems good but cost around 3000Euros, or to build as Jacques myself a Wharram windvane with a fletner behind the rudders.


We once saw a windvane which had the air paddle which could be fixed several feet away from the water paddle. Like one could fix the air paddle to the aft net beam on a Tiki 46 aft of station 9.5 and fix the water paddle at the aft end of the cock;it on the beam located at station 7. This would avoid the lifting of the paddle out of the water as we had while downwinding in a full gale off Frying Pan Shoal dong 14 knots with almost no sail up. The waves were high there. You cannot have the air paddle at Station 7 because it would have confused winds off the sail and the pod etc.

I think this might have been a specially made Monitor. You could ask Hans at Monitor. I think they had it on a ketch.

Bertran, do you think the junk rig helps with self steering more than other rigs?

Ann and Nev
Thanks for all the info. Just got back from the boat after another weekend fitting her out - never seems an end to the bits to screw on and I keep going back to the job list and I have done a task that is not on it.

Unfortunately our circumstances mean we can not go off cruising for another year or 2. We have 7 weeks off from Friday this week which we are going to use to see how things work on board and then spend the winter fitting things like a deck tent, better lockers, a cover on the engine, windvane and any thing else we spot so that she is pretty much there with a view to moving her from the North Sea to somewhere more appealling next year, possibly Brittany.

I will be looking into Naviks on Bertrand's recommendation. When we went round the Southampton boat show last year every thing we saw looked like it would be either too heavy or too difficult to fit to a Tiki 30.


I think Plastimo has stopped to product its Navik last year, but there are another products for light boats as the pacific light of WINDPILOT ( ) or the Sea Feaether ( ), etc.

In Martinique we met a Narai with a classic rig which was satisfied with its second hand Pacific wind vane. So I don't think the junk rig is better for wind vane than other cat with classical rigs. The problem is for the majority of the house boats catamarans which disturb the wind around the wind vane.

Thanks Bertrand, my searching for wind vanes had not turned up either of those.

I am being offered a used Windpilot Pacific Light for my Tiki30 in progress and I am worried that it might be too small/weak for the T30 because Peter Forthman the owner/designer of the windpilot company recommends it for boats up to 27ft and max displacement of 2.5 tons. While she certainly fits in the displacment range, the T30 is a bit over in length. I wonder if it would still work. Bertrand, do you have an opinion on that?
Robert, the windpilot site is at http://www.windpilot.de/
Any input would be much appreciated.
A 30 foot wharram would I believe equate to a 27 or 28 foot monohull when you allow for the overhangs.

Ralf said:
I am being offered a used Windpilot Pacific Light for my Tiki30 in progress and I am worried that it might be too small/weak for the T30 because Peter Forthman the owner/designer of the windpilot company recommends it for boats up to 27ft and max displacement of 2.5 tons. While she certainly fits in the displacment range, the T30 is a bit over in length. I wonder if it would still work. Bertrand, do you have an opinion on that?
Robert, the windpilot site is at http://www.windpilot.de/
Any input would be much appreciated.

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