Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Windvanes"
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Thread: "Windvanes"

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


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Brian Thom

My wife and I are researching windvanes. Any information you could give us would be great. We have a w-42, Nomad. Any positives and negatives about what your are using would be very helpful.
Brian and Megan Thom
Santa Cruz, CA

Dave Kall


We've purchased a sailomat 601. About to launch so haven't used it yet. Center cockpits add some to the requirements of running control lines. Bought it because I like it's small footprint on the stern and that it's easily removable for storage. Further the oar is angled; on our last vane an Aires it would pick up grass and I'm hoping this one will pump it off as we move through the water.

I will say I don't really like their new style and would go with the Voyager which is very similar to the 601 again witht the small footprint.

Will know it's ability to stear the boat in the next year as we begin to do shakedowns.

Brian Smith

to sort of breathe new life back into this post... i would be very interested in hearing views from users on the aries vs monitor wind vanes with the W32- and/or any others out there? need to jump into a windvane here in the next year or so... would be really great if it could also double, as i've heard some can, as an autopilot...

Aaron Norlund


I have experience with both Monitor and Cape Horn windvanes (but only Monitor on W32s). I believe they are both pretty much as bulletproof as possible and wouldn't hesitate to trust my boat to either.

That said, for the W32, I think the Monitor provides equal performance to the CH with an easier installation.

We have a Monitor on our boat - I really like it and have found it forgiving of grievous error on my part, very easy to maintain, and easy to use. The support from Scanmar is fabulous and they have a ridiculous amount of experience doing this. Plus, everyone I've spoken with is nice.

I have not used an Aries system, though having looking at one next to a Monitor, the Monitor appears to have been improved further than the Aries. A blowup of the two shows more bearings and such in the Monitor for friction free use - maybe that's a bad thing. I dunno. I like mine.

Best of luck on your hunt!
Aaron N.
#482 Asia Marie

Brian Smith

Thanks much, Aaron! Does anybody have a good source
for pricing on Monitor vs Aries? I googled Aries and went to the main website- where you can find out just about anything you want to know... except for 'how much'!

Aaron Norlund


I suggest you email them. Also, purpose a "group-buy discount". In the past, companies have provided discounts of 10-15% to purchases of 3+ units. If you could "drum up" a couple other purchases, you've knocked $400 off a new windvane.

I know Monitor and Cape Horn have done discounts like that at least. Unsure of Aries.

Fair leads,
Aaron N.

Rod Lawson

Brian, I'm about to place an order on one of Ken Fleming's new design windvanes. I'm sure if you would like some info Ken is more than happy to talk to customers directly. If you look at the website www.flemingselfsteer.com you will see the autopilot option. This allows a very small and inexpensive autopilot to hook up to the vane. This uses the force of the water to steer the boat resulting in a cheaper auto pilot and less electricity consumption. I did have a monitor on my W32 when I got it but it was going to cost a packet to overhaul and the new fleming vane is a big step forward in the use of cast stainless steel with a very compact footprint. I'll eventually post some photos on my site when it arrives.

Michael McDiarmid

I'll second Aaron's praise of Scanmar. We purchased a Monitor for our W32 (Namida #645) earlier this year. I just got around to getting it installed and spent about 6 hours sailing with it yesterday. I have no previous windvane expience but had absolutely no problem it. Just balance out the sails, hook it to the tiller and go. The folks at Scanmar bent over backwards to assist me. They know these units inside and out. Bud was also a great help with mounting brackets to the SS boomkin. We have a tiller pilot also, but I can see that the Monitor will get far more use.

Mike & Jenny

Norm Rhines

I am not sure on the overhaul costs, as the kit parts for a complete rebuild, is uder 1K and a local Electro polishing shop could clean all metail up (unless bent or missing parts.)

And I do add a third on Arrons Note on the Monitor being a very very good wind vane, and people to work with. Many a mile on Mine without a lick of trouble.

and Rod I do see you pride in the down under products, but That exchange rate, has to be tempting for the US imported products.

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