Cape Horn Windvane Self-Steering System

We used a Cape Horn Windvane on our Nor'star Flicka with great success - Galveston Bay and Chesapeake Bay.  On one of many occasions, the Cape Horn steered the boat on a 20 mile broad reach with the main and a spinnaker set in 6 to 8 knots of wind, boat speed was 3 to 4 knots.  Note, our Nor'star Flicka mast length is 33 ft - .  The only time the unit would not steer the boat was when we were flying a large tri-radial spinnaker from an Evenly 26.  As we progressed north on a broadreach, the wind continued to build.  By late afternoon, African Moon's bow was "boiling" through the water and the boat started to drift from side to side.  It became apparent why the system would not hold a course, when I decided to release the windvane control lines from the tiller.  As soon as the control lines were released, the weather helm almost yanked by arm out of its socket.  There is not a windvane on the market or off the market that could have steered the boat in these conditions.  We used our Cape Horn with great success in conditions ranging from ghosting to hard on the wind in 30 knots of wind with a 3 to 4 ft. chop on the bow.
Cape Horn was the only company that said "no problem" when we explained that our Flicka had a bumpkin.  The unit weighed about 32 lb. compared to 60 lb. for the Monitor.  With the Monitor, the rudder  folds back and sticks aft when stored, whereas the Cape Horn's servo rudder folds to the side and stores next to the windvane's vertical control tower.  Cape Horn was also the unit the Westsail Owners Association purchased for seven of their boats. Cape Horn may be found at .
Regardless of which model windvane one uses, the boat (sails) must be balanced for the unit to work.  The better the boat is balanced the better the unit will steer the boat.  Most windvanes will work if the boat has a limited amount of weather helm.  When necessary, we would cock-in a small amount of weather helm to help the boat go to weather.  This was easily done, by moving the tiller to weather while pulling the weather side windvane control line connected to the tiller by a cam-cleat.
If IDUNA were not equipped with a windvane, I would select the Cape Horn unit again based on our experience, the experience of other Cape Horn owners, the relative low cost of the unit, "clean" mounting arrangement and the excellent product support from the manufacturer.

Fair Winds,