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Reply To: Windvane self-steering

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    Bill’s summary and advice are good.
    There is no one perfect windvane. It’s a matter of matching a windvane as “best fit” for the boat. Generally, the servo-pendulum, vertical air vane, design is most powerful and well developed design.
    As Bill points out, lots of Cascade 36 have success with the Monitor. Our antique Aries worked very well on Velic, a Jason 35; a good fit. There are many other windvanes that work quite well. Seriously consider the Windpilot Pacific model, a German design. I saw many of these on boats during our cruise. Elegant, simple, and robust design. Very easy to bring the servo-oar out of the water. Monitors work very well, until they break. Most prone to break, needing repairs, in my casual non-scientific observation.
    You won’t be needing the Monitor “swing gate” version, designed for the wide swim step transom Euro-style boats. Even if Smoothy has a reverse transom, the Cascade 36 stern is narrow and the ‘swing gate’ just adds complication and more chance failure. Emergency rudders, or auxiliary rudders as part of the windvane add complications. Auxiliary rudder designs are a good fit for center cockpit boats. There is value in simplicity, especially because this is a critical piece of kit, and you will be maintaining it. Don’t worry too much about the cat’s cradle of line controlling the tiller. You can find a way to lead them that works, and most critically, is adjustable. You want low friction bearings, low stretch line, and an easy way to pop the control lines off the tiller quickly. Also consider weight aft. Aries was heavy (okay on Velic). Monitor lighter, but less robust. Let me know if you have questions or want to discuss. Good luck, and have fun.