I have taken a bit more time off work to try to complete the Hebridean wind vane self steering gear that I started last week. I’ve also had quite a few visitors to Tammy Norie, and have been doing other work on her, so days 9 to 11 aren’t days of solid workshop, as they have been up to now. However, quite a few important things have been done.
Firstly, I’ve made the mount. I started off by making a template while aboard, based on the position I found for the pivot pin using my foot a few days ago.
Using this I shaped an offcut from the oak planks to make two sides for the mount, that clamp in the socket for the pivot pin.
The pendulum is held down in the water by friction between these blocks, so that if it hits an obstacle in the water it will swing up and save itself.
Having made the mount, I took it and the Hebridean (sans pendulum) to Tammy Norie yesterday. It’s amazing how many people stopped me to ask what it was! It’s quite an unusual contraption. One guy said “If you just told me it was a sculpture I would have believed you.”
I marked up the transom for mounting bolts, took a deep breath, and drilled holes.
Here’s the mount on the transom. You can see that it needs a bit more fitting to make it snug, but this is good enough for a bit of testing.
With that, I was able to attach the Hebridean. Quite a moment.
Of course it’s not rigged up, and so I spend some time that day checking the various angles and lengths. I have not yet cut down the outriggers to get the rudder turn angle correct with respect to the Hebridean’s tilt. I just attached lines to the end of the current outriggers to get an idea.
You can see that I’ve tilted the outriggers down slightly. This is to avoid a potential clash with the anchor light. It will reduce their effective length, but I don’t think it will affect operation. Tammy Norie’s pushpit is very low and so the extra clearance will help.
Then I rigged up some string and blocks to test connection to the tiller.
I realise I haven’t crossed over the lines yet. I was just checking the rudder turn angle, so which way it turned was irrelevant. I decided to re-use the tiller pilot’s pin as the tiller attachment. I should be able to find a clip or chain that will sit nicely on it. I really need to take a protractor to the boat to get a clear idea, but from my measurements the rudder is probably turning about twice as far as it should, and so my outriggers need to be considerably shorter! I will test this under way with a jury rig before I make any cuts.
I’m now back at the workshop to work on the pendulum, counterweights, and a few other details.
A couple of days ago I was planing the pendulum to get the curved profile and realised it was going to take me a very long time. So I did an experiment with a router. By setting it up with a fence and carefully controlling the depth I was able to make a good approximation to the profile curve.
A small amount of planing and sanding then made for a perfect fit.
So I think I’ll extend this technique along the whole length (and the other side) to save a huge amount of work. That’s what I’ll mainly be doing today.