23rd October 2021 at 6:04 pm #75922
I have a Nauticat 515 from 2009, which I bought in 2019. Super boat.
1. I plan on starting an extended bluewater cruise in 2022, and would like to replace the current fabric cover over the cockpit with a rigid one — more durable, can put solar panels on top, and avoids a stern arch which I think ruins the view from the cockpit. Also provides cockpit lighting, additional heavy weather handholds and certain other benefits. Has anyone done something similar?
2. Is it conceivable to mount a wind steering vane on a Nauticat 515? As I am contemplating a long voyage solo (trans Pacific), I would like to have a steering backup in the event of electricity failure. Or is this idea laughable?
Rome23rd October 2021 at 6:28 pm #75923
Re Q2. I believe the steering on the 515 is hydraulic. I have a Monitor wind vane which I had intended to fit to my 42 which also has hydraulic steering – until I found out that servo pendulum wind vane steering doesn’t work with hydraulic steering. In theory a hydrovane should work, but I think the 515 is too big. I thought of extending the rudder stock so that the emergency tiller could be fitted on deck – then connecting that to the monitor but in the end decided that multiple electrical sources (generator, solar and wind), good battery storage and plenty of spares would have to do. The only thing I don’t like about the 42 is the hydraulic steering.23rd October 2021 at 6:44 pm #75924
Thank you, Bill, for that rapid and thoughtful reply. Yes, we seem to be in a similar situation with hydraulic steering systems and relatively weighty boats. Your final reliance on strong electrical generation and storage is reasonable, but I would like to be free from dependence on the electrical system if circumstances require.23rd October 2021 at 6:47 pm #75925
It is not possible to connect a wind vane to the hydraulic steering. However a number of boats use a “trim tab” or auxiliary rudder steering system. Please refer to the cruiser forum.23rd October 2021 at 6:53 pm #75926
Thanks, Gordon. I just joined the Association today, so maybe I am not good at this, but the only post I find in the forum that speaks of “trim tab” or “auxiliary steering” is the one you just wrote to me!23rd October 2021 at 6:54 pm #75927John BukowskyParticipant
We also have a 515, she is a 2004. We have the same ideas. A couple of thoughts.
1. A hard cockpit cover would be ideal for all the reasons you suggest. Do you have a windshield? It would make a difference. Is your steering forward or aft? Ours is forward with an walkthru cockpit. Look at the design of your deck salon section. Imagine those same or similar lines carrier over the cockpit and then properly joined with the windshield (if you have one). I think if we’ll done, it could be gorgeous and practical. Needs good design and excellent fabrication in order to not destroy the 515’s beautiful lines.
2. If you like, I’d be open to approaching the Hydrovane company about a solution for our boats. I believe their weight limit is around 50K lbs. but they also suggest they can design a solution for almost any boat. I agree that having an autopilot and a vane makes sense. Hydrovane would be especially useful if steerage is lost. I hate the idea of driving from the owners stateroom. The Hydrovane provides a remedy to that issue.
If you like this dialogue let’s move to email, I can share some pics.
Excuse typos – using mobile phone.23rd October 2021 at 6:58 pm #75928
Hi John, well it seems you and I are very much on the same wavelength. We can go to email, and in the end, I wish to report back to the Association forum so people can benefit from what we learn. I will see you next on email. Thank you. Rome23rd October 2021 at 7:03 pm #75929Ian StaplesParticipant
We’ve just bought a Nauticat 39, which doesn’t have hydraulic steering. We used a Monitor wind vane on our steel 42’ ketch (18 ton) exclusively to cross the Atlantic, Pacific to Tahiti, south to the Austral Islands, to Chile, and later north to Florida. We rarely steered at sea, whether we were in light winds or in the odd fairly violent weather. The Monitor just worked.
We are fitting a Monitor with a swing gate so we can use the stern steps. It won’t work with hydraulic but if you can revert to a Whitlock type system it just works. We’re going to the lay up lunch. Ian S23rd October 2021 at 7:06 pm #75930
Very interesting, Ian. Thank you. Any pictures you may have would be welcome, because the swing gate sounds like a very attractive feature. I am not familiar with Whitlock, but will try to learn. Thanks again.23rd October 2021 at 8:23 pm #75931
This link shows an auxiliary rudder and trim tab https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=205665&d=1577340208
The main rudder remains centred.23rd October 2021 at 8:45 pm #75932John BukowskyParticipant
Is this similar to the Cape Horn system?24th October 2021 at 8:16 am #75933
I am afraid that I don’t know the answer to that one. I have never used this system but it seems that it would be appropriate as long as the auxiliary rudder is of a adequate size.24th October 2021 at 9:06 am #75934
Hi Gordon, thank you for your follow up and the link. I am learning more about the Hydrovane system now, and it may be a solution.24th October 2021 at 10:43 am #75935
Please bear in mind that almost nothing will move the boats rudder while the hydraulics are connected. If the boat is ashore try pushing the rudder – it will not move! It would be possible to disconnect the two hydraulic rams – then the rudder would be free to move – but I suggest that it is not wise to do this.
The only system that maintains the integrity of the yacht is a transom hung auxiliary rudder.24th October 2021 at 10:48 am #75936
If the Hydovane is powerful enough it may do the job.
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