15 Jul Whiskers v2.0
Apparently nine months alone at sea doesn’t make you any smarter.
I have been staring at the same piece of blue bungee cord and the same 4 or 5 lengths of stainless tubing for the better part of nine months. Nothing I could do or think of seemed to eliminate or at least mitigate the windvane’s tendency to oversteer. How hard could it possibly be?
This is no small problem. By oversteer, I mean wildly careen port and starboard as the vane goes hard over left and then right continuously. For hours. Sometimes days. Other than a good old fashioned becalming, there is nothing more frustrating than knowing a drunken lout could do a better job of steering the boat. All in all, the windvane works wonders. It is a god send. But it could be better. Sometimes a whole lot better.
Two days ago, this popped into my head after watching the air vane flop back and forth ad nauseum as we went left, then right, then left, then right …
It works. It makes sense. It’s simple. One would have to be greedy to ask for more.
Basically, it dampens the non-steering signals generated by the boat’s pitching and rolling in wind waves and swell without adversely affecting the vanes sensitivity to real steering signals. The net result is a much straighter course steered and therefore faster speeds and less distance traveled, less wear and tear on the steering gear, and less wear and tear on the vane control lines. All good. And my kind of Dollar Store cheap to boot.
Sadly, having now invented the Elastic Linear High Frequency Filter for Servo Pendulum Self Steering Devices v2.0 and the Russian Rain Catcher Extreme 2000 High Seas Version, I don’t stand to make a nickel off either.
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