Monitor windvane

Thank you Ben for your great collection of other BCC photos on your website! It’s great to see the many ways the cats have been skinned, and to have it all in one place.

I did notice that an older picture of your boat showed a Monitor that didn’t have the brace across the lower side arms. In Oct 1989, we arrived in Hilo, HA from Bora Bora, and soon after, 2 more boats came in with Monitors with cracks at the top of the side arms. Soon after that, Monitor came standard with a cross-bar, connecting the 2 arms so that flexing was greatly reduced. They offered a retrofit brace that clamped on to the older models.

So, anyone with one of these older unbraced Monitors would be wise to update before relying on it offshore. A recent pic of BCC Metaphora showed an unbraced Monitor.

Good point Dan, thanks!

I have contacted Scanmar and will report back here with what they tell me. I did search their site for a pic of a BCC with the cross piece like you mention. Looks like Aloha has one… Certainly looks like a good thing to have!

Link to pic:

Here’s Scanmar’s reply. They called me, and we spoke on the phone, then she emailed me this info:

Hi Ben.

Thanks for contacting us.

The Strut Guard worksheet is attached to this email so you can see what is involved. As I said the strut guard was designed to protect the pendulum strut and not for structure. The Strut Guard price is $140 and shipping would be around $15. We provide the welding rod, strut guard and instructions in the shipment.?

We?accept MasterCard, Visa, and personal checks.?Credit card information can be faxed (510-215-5005) at any time, or we can be called at our office phone - 1 888 946-3826. ??We’re here from 9 AM to 5 PM Pacific Coast time, Monday through Friday, or you can use our answering machine at other times.??We can usually ship parts within two days of placing an order.

I hope I’ve answered your immediate questions and I am glad to respond to any other questions or comments you may have.

Here is the PDF she included in the email:

Does anyone have an extra Monitor Wind Vane water paddle, that they are willing to part with ?

Both my main water paddle and a spare were stolen, while in storage.

Sure I can get a replacement from Monitor, but trying to save some cash .


Hi Ben,
First of all, I should say I think Monitor wind vanes (and Scanmar’s other offerings) do a great jobs. I would be happy to have a Monitor on Shaula! They are probably more sensative in light winds than our lift-up Aries, which we bought direct from Nick Franklin in England back in 1985 (and which is still going strong). Their Monitor emergency steering paddle is a great idea, and I think it has been proven to work.

I’m not sure what Scanmar means when they say that the “strut guard was designed to protect the pendulum strut and not for structure”. The fact remains that those 2 side arms flex and work-harden at their upper end, and will eventually fail. The strut guard greatly reduces the flexing, and was needed. What does she mean by the “pendulum strut”?

Of course I hope Scanmar long life, but I’m sure they know that many of us have limited resources and must be inventive. I suspect that you can get a 316 ss strut formed and welded to your elderly Monitor for considerably less than their quoted prices. Although the BCC rudder seems to me to be extremely rubust (and I’ve never heard of a failure of either the wood or plastic versions), the back-up Monitor steering blade, as well as their spare parts kit, seem to me to be good investments for off-shore sailors.


Yeah, I asked her the same question a few times to be sure she was saying what I thought she was saying. I concur with you, and as a non-engineer, it looks rather flexible without that athwartships brace between the lower arms. My understanding of Pendulum Strut is the pipe that connects the paddle to the upper sections of the vane, and protection would be from something hitting it from behind.

I wonder if someone else from Scanmar would give me a different answer.

I also have a freehand vane, and am wondering which would be a better choice to install.

Thanks for the input Dan!

Hi Ben , always be thinking of an emergency rudder capability, when choosing which vane to install.

Have you boarded your BCC from swimming, climbing up through the “vee” of the boomkin ?

I have, many times, as it is much easier than me deploying my swim ladder, to re-board, unless I have scuba diving equip on my body.

Because I mounted my Monitor under the boomkin, I had to shorten, the vane water paddle connecting “break-away” tube, in doing so, this may loose the break-away safety link on the Monitor water paddle ??? Just, don’t know !

I sailed on Mike Anderson’s Blue Moon, “Tansey Lee” , with his Free Hand vane system, and it is simple, and works very well in light air.

I have sailed my BCC in very heavy conditions, with the Monitor, as well as light conditions, and that works well , too !

When I ran aground in Oz, and my rudder carried away, there was no damage to the Monitor vane, because I was using the tiller pilot, at the time,

and I could have continued on, with the Monitor, using it like a small rudder,

if I had re-floated her, and had some wind, too,

but, oh , how much I don’t like the look of a ss oil derrick on the stern of a BCC, ouch !


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