Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Older Aries Vane"
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Thread: "Older Aries Vane"

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


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Older Aries Vane


Hi Y'all- I have an older Aries that I am planning on mounting soon on a 32. I need to rebuild the vane, and although I found the source for parts, I have not been able to locate a manual for the use, care, installation, etc. Does anyone have an Aries manual that they would be willing to copy and share? Obviously more than happy to pay for the cost. Thanks!

Aaron Norlund


Check this link:
Aries Windvane diagram

That will take you to an exploded diagram of an Aries vane. Nothing major has changed about them through the years. Further, you should be able to contact the company (it's the website that diagram is on) and get one of the old manuals - I understand they are still available.

If not, I suggest downloading the Monitor Windvane manual and have a look through. Though they're designed a bit differently, they still run on the same principle. Good for understanding the "big picture" of windvane use.

Have fun with the rebuild!

Fair leads,
Aaron N.

Michael Dougan

All I had was a paper copy of that same diagram. I was able to replace the bushings (parts 26-30 or so) just by looking at the diagram and talking with the lady (Mary?) there, who is the daughter of the guy who designed the vanes... she knew what parts I'd need and made sure I ordered them correctly.

She was a little slow to respond to e-mails, but if you can call her, you might get faster service.

If you replace those bushings... be careful, they have dozens of these little teflon roller bearings that are just loose in the cup...


i also had an old aires that needed parts (everything UV eaten) and i could NEVER get a hold of her. why they still don't have someone stateside to rep for them is a question for the ages. after some careful and drunken cost/time/benefit analysis, i'm donated the aires to a couple in need and am biting the cape horn bullet.

Rich Morpurgo

you have to call mary. She is very helpful.

email it working now, but if you don't get thru, call her.


Randell 'Randy' Kocurek

Just spent the morning online researching
Aries and etc..., plus more time reading the monitor manual.
A great for me as the Aries was apparently AOK on moving parts and accepted lubrication, and even on the blocks and lines were good. Plus, I got the one with the hinge. So, after an hour scratching my head on the boat, and really, reallly focusing on how not to drop into Davy JOnes' locker the irreplacable rascals, the thing was in the back of my pickup (remember I'm in Texas), and an hour later is on my picnic table in the back yard ready for full, unfettered attention.

Randell 'Randy' Kocurek

A few hours ago, I posted a message that I probably could rebuild the old windvane.
Then I ate.
Now, after dinner, and letting the old WD40 hit it all afternoon, to my pleasant surprise, every component on the vane that moves in action is freed up, even a couple of springs I thought may cause a rebuild.
Moral: wait and see, and maybe get a spare parts kit for later, but not necessarily now.
My contemplation would be to get it out to sea, and get it some serious exercise, and see what happens. I sure don't wanna buy a new one.

Randell 'Randy' Kocurek

It looks like the old Aries has come through paying dividends. I've checked around the marina, but not many windvanes in these waters. Still, there were four I found installed on boats. Two were Aries, one was a monitor, and one was either home-made or a make of unknown origin (even to the boat owner). My Aries which boasts the annodized alloy construction is just awesome in appearance and apparent function (though not yet seatrialed). George Shaunfield said he could not believe how good it looked and felt. I took it to his house to compare it and to study his installed Monitor on his W28.
Of all the vanes I saw, George's monitor looked the best, then my repolished and lubed Aries, then the other Monitor at my marina, then the old SS Aries (standard vane, they call it), looked pretty neglected.
What I learned is that Aries' has a good website and spare parts provider (in United Kingdom). The approached I went with was to get a Monitor owner's manual and use it, but Mostly George, to figure out how the thing works. The Monitor manual is 48 pp. long and filled with installation and operating tips that anyone could use. They are both servopendulum units, so fundamentally they operate the same way. If you read the Lechter book on self steering you'll learn about it all and Blondie Hasler.
I also now know what a bunch of spare parts that I could not formerly identify are to be used for. My inventory will be much more meaningful now that I have done the ship bow to stern + windvane.
Total cost to refurbish the old Aries: $69.95, including tax (1/4" Spectra line 40')(don't find any indication Monitor provides line, by the way), plus about a buck's worth of lubricants and three (3) hours work finding a $.30 SS "roll pin" I really, really needed (local fastener supply) to reinstall it with proper peace of mind, plus about one day and a half studying up, removing, cleaning, lubricating, reinstalling. Visiting George added to that time, but heck George is fun to visit and has an awesome boat.
End of story. I'd stick with the Aries if I had a head start. Otherwise, I would have to try to choose between a Monitor (first choice) and Cape Horn, or something else. Problem is they all cost alot of money and installation is a problem. George's mount is custom made SS, very nice.

Jim Focha and Julie Gwin

We have had both. When leaving two years ago we discovered the lower fittings cracked on the Aris. We returned to SF and installed a new monitor. It has been wonderful, but so was the Aris. The main difference is the Monitor doesn't use a gear for course adjustment but a wheel which gives a finer adjustment. It's also SS without the corrision problems that have been a problem on some Aris. I can't honestly say one performs better thean the other so if I had a good Aris I'd stick with it.

Gary and Charlotte Burton

Randy you have the "lift up" model Aries. I also have one that I bought from another WOA member..... I have not installed mine yet.

Anyone else have one installed and care to comment on its performance? The lift up model that is....

Michael Dougan

I have the lift-up model and it performs very well. In light wind, it doesn't work as well, as it needs air over the vane paddle to keep the vane centered, but then, in light wind, steering isn't much of an issue either. Some say, with the wind dead astern, they don't perform as well, but I don't trust any mechanical device to steer on that point of sail, because I really don't want to accidentally gybe.

All other points of sail, they are great, and, they do a better job steering the boat, particularly in heavy wind, than I do.

Just be sure to have spare vane paddles aboard (they do break off sometimes).

Gary and Charlotte Burton

Thanks for the reply Mike

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