Wind vane steering

Lady Cindy was fitted with a monitor wind vane steering system in 2006 by the previous owner. Just before I bought the boat it was removed and sold separately from the boat. Wind vane steering uses the power of the wind to keep a boat on course much like an autopilot would. If the yacht wanders off course, the perceived wind direction changes, which pushes a vane over, which adjusts the steering to bring the boat back on course. It requires no power so is perfect for long voyages.

I managed to contact the buyer to see if he had fitted it to his boat and would he be willing to sell it back to me. After several months, he agreed so today I sailed to Portsmouth, did the deal and together we fitted it back on Lady Cindy. Fortunately I was able to redrill out the original mounting holes so the whole process was completed in less than three hours.

The trip back was ‘fun’. 25 knot headwinds and 3-4 meter swells. I decided to motor back rather than sail and I am glad I did. Another yacht was under sail and had to tack about a mile to my starboard side and back several times. I overtook him and got back before him plus had a more comfortable ride with my bow to the waves, he had the waves on his beam giving him a very rolly ride.

I was involved with another emergency with the coast guard on the return. A mayday call came across the radio but the vessel did not respond to the Coast Guard calling back, a DSC distress message also came up on the radio. A short while later a yacht about 1/2 mile behind me made a pan pan call saying they were taking on water but pumps were controlling it. I thought it was all related but later the Coastguard put out a call asking if anyone else heard the mayday. It turns out they were seperate incidents. I reported what I had heard and gave the MMSI number from the DSC message. Later they reported the incident was closed.

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