Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "Cape Horn Windvanes"
Westsail Westsail Owners Affiliation
 Important information about this site! 

Post: "Cape Horn Windvanes"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


Text Strings  

Full Phrase  


All Words  

Any Word  


Message Text

Text & Author  

Message Author Message Content   (1 of 1)
- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -

Aaron Norlund


I just received this back from Erik about the BCC owners, and I had asked a bit about whether it was worth my selling my Monitor for a Cape Horn. I've decided I will, as long as I can get enough for it to make it worth while:


Dear Aaron

I think there would be no problem if for a few BCC owners to jump in but I think it is important to let the Westsail group be aware of this, since 3 or more newcomers will increase the production and delivery time.

Now for your stuff,
I'm pasting below an extract of our website, written by Yves Gélinas, which explains the performance of our windvane in light air. All I can add is that I myself experienced a newly installed CapeHorn steering a Formosa 44 in a 3 to 4 kts wind.

Before the CapeHorn came on the market, self-steering systems had a reputation of performing poorly downwind, especially in light air. This is understandable : downwind, the apparent wind is at its weakest and the energy developed by the vane is often insufficient to overcome the inertia and the friction inherent in the transmission system.

Windvanes were made of plywood or a comparable material. The CapeHorn windvane is much lighter : spinnaker cloth over a 1/8?? (3 mm) wire and reacts to the lightest impulse. (True, it could prove too light for heavy weather; so a second vane, made of aluminium sheet replaces it when it is time to reef.)

Transmission between the vane and the servo-pendulum was done through a number of gears or connecting rods (or both). The CapeHorn needs only one moving part between the connecting rod and the stock of the servo-pendulum. This reduces friction considerably, making the system even more sensitive. As a bonus, fewer moving parts also means less play between parts, making the whole system much more precise. The travel of the connecting rod is also shorter, which ensures a much quicker transmission to the servo-pendulum of the signals given by the vane.

All this means the CapeHorn is the only windvane that really works downwind in light air. The photo above shows two boats self-steered in light air, wing-on-wing, and there is no whisker pole holding the clew of either genoa to windward. We have all tried to keep the sail from collapsing while steering by hand and seen how difficult it was ! This illustrates how precise a course the CapeHorn steers.
Let me know when you will have done your work on westsail.org. I will add a link to your page or make a special page myself on this topic on the CapeHorn website.

Thanks for your interest in our product

I responded with:



Thank you for getting back to me so promptly. I've already let the association know I was asking BCC owners - no one has objected. I think everyone is crossing their finger for us getting enough that you all give them to us for free!

Anyway, I have three BCC owners who want to purchase, plus another Westsail owner that just decided and myself. That bring the group to 17.

Do you all intend to complete gears for everyone then send them, or will they go out on a rolling basis? I want to be able to tell everyone by how long the BCC owner's addition to the group will extend the production.

Thanks for your time!
Aaron N.

I'll let you all know what I hear back.

Pat, I suggest you paste a list of the names of all the people you have down as planning to purchase. This will let everyone know they are indeed on the list.

Aaron N.

Showing record #1 of 1 matching record

Showing record #1 of 1 matching record

  Forum Archive Home    Back to Previous Page   Show Posts w/ Images   Windbag Newsletter 
This site is provided as service to Westsail Owners by Jack Webb on Westsail 32, Hull #438, at http://HighSeasDrifter.net,
This site is provided as service to Westsail Owners by  Jack Webb (s/v Drifter, Westsail 32, Hull #438)