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Aries Wind Vane

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 - By: Keith Jenner
I have owned Sage Rival 34D for about 18 months and have never managed to get the Aries to work properly ..... until now!

To someone like me who has never sailed using an Aries there is very little available on the internet to answer even the most basic questions. Many of the clips of Aries in action just miss the very thing you want to see!

However after having recently seen Peter Matteisen's excellent video I was encouraged to completely dismantle my old Aries.

His use of a small hammer and heat to remove the most stubborn shaft has to be seen to be believed - it certainly is magic! I can confirm that no big hammer is required!

Once in pieces I had to do a good deal of cleaning of years of accumulated salts.

There were two broken parts, seized joints on the ladder, some grub screw points that required a new thread to be cut, most of the bearing bushes were badly worn or missing, and of course much scraping was needed to remove the oxides from beneath the bushes before reassembly. I purchased all the new parts from Helen Franklin in Penryn 01326 377467

I used a lot of light oil in reassembly and found that the vane holder would rock 6 times if fully deflected and released! Previously it would hardly return return to the vertical.

So I refitted to the boat and went for a sail. It was very disappointing as there was still too much play and the course was varying wildly.

I could see that the problem was with the bevel gears not meshing correctly. I made a couple of extra packing washers to fit behind the upper bevel so that the gears were better aligned.

This week I took another test sail and the results can be seen here;

So now I'm looking forward to sailing in stronger winds to give her a proper test!


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