Category Archives: autopilot

Bungie Tacking

While sailing upwind I find it easy to balance Tammy Norie on course with a bungie between the tiller and the pushpit. A fun thing about this is that you can tack just by moving the bungie. Here’s a video demonstrating the trick.

1 Comment

2015-07-02 · 20:48

Plans for wind vane self-steering

If I’m to solo sail Tammy Norie any great distance I’ll need self-steering gear. I already have an electrical tiller pilot (a Raymarine Autohelm 1000 Micro Tiller) but it uses quite a bit of power and is quite noisy. Also, it’s a good idea to have backup.


Wind vane self-steering is common on long-distance boats and especially junk rigged boats. It uses the direction of the wind and the forward motion of the boat to steer, keeping you going at a constant angle to the wind.

There aren’t many self-steering systems that will work on a boat as small as Tammy Norie. Roger Taylor uses the Pacific Windpilot Lite and swears by it. That was my plan too until I saw the Hebridean in an article in Practical Boat Owner. It’s a cunningly simple design that I can build myself at a fraction of the cost.

This appeals to me because I’ll learn a great deal by making it, and I’ll be able to maintain it myself. Saving half the cost of the boat is also important!

After quite a long correspondence with John Fleming I ordered a copy of the plans and they arrived today.


Very exciting!

I’ll be documenting my progress with building and using the wind vane here on the blog.


Filed under autopilot, Constructing the Hebridean, Equipment, self steering

Tiller pilot mounting repair

I broke the tiller pilot off its mount while attempting to beat into a short sea and force 7 winds a few weeks ago. The pilot has a small steel leg that fits into a post attached to the boat, and allows it to tilt and swivel while it pushes and pulls the tiller. I was standing next to the tiller pilot when a wave made me lean against it, breaking the leg out of its socket.

I kept all the pieces and attempted a repair with epoxy resin the next day, but it didn’t hold. It took me a little while to think of how to repair it properly. In the meantime, I’ve been lashing it to its mount. It works OK that way, but it takes too long to get it out of the way when you want to take over steering yourself.

While wind-bound in Wells-next-the-Sea I visited one of the excellent hardware shops and bought a large washer and a bag of tiny self-tapping screws. I managed to drill holes in the washer using my little hand drill.


I then re-glued the socket back together using Bostik glue for hard plastics. I placed the washer over the top, drilled tiny pilot holes for the screws into undamaged parts of the socket, and screwed the washer down.

That should hold it!



Filed under autopilot, Repairs and Modifications

First tour of Tammy Norie

On the way from Shotley to West Mersea I recorded this little tour of Tammy Norie. Things mentioned:

  • boat layout
  • autopilot
  • solar panel
  • sheeting system
  • deck fittings
  • deck locker contents
  • sail trim
  • mysteriously long burgee halyard
  • oars
  • cockpit drains
  • Coromandel versus Corribee topsides and cabin layout
  • headlining
  • Plastazote® insulation and buoyancy foam
  • mystery flies

There’s plenty more to show for another time.  Let me know if you have anything you particularly want to see or know about.


2014-08-13 · 07:53