Frequently Asked Question(s)

Self Steering PRICE - What's included in the windvane price?

When you compare prices you have to look at the complete price of an installed unit. The list price of a windvane includes mounting system that is ready to bolt on the boat, 1 air vane, 1 blade and a comprehensive installation and operation manual. The wheel adapter are sold separately, and there's a spare parts kit available. There's uncomplicated set of special mounting brackets for different transom to choose from. The only parts we do not supply are the blocks needed to run the operating lines from the windvane to the steering adapter - there's too much variation in installation possibilities and owner's equipment preferences. Again, our manual gives complete installation guidelines. 95% of wind vans are owner installed following the manual instructions, avoiding extra yard and installation costs, and providing professional results. Installation need not more than two hours!.

Self Steering SPARE PARTS KIT - You recommend buying the spare parts kit. Should I expect to have to repair my windvane?

Not really, we have many examples of wind vanes making complete circumnavigations without the owner touching the spare parts kit. However, preparation can turn a major difficulty into a minor one. There is an extensive maintenance, troubleshooting and repair section in the windvane manual just in case a problem should arise. Together with the manual, the spare parts kit and regular hand tools any normal sailor can completely disassemble and reassemble the windvane. The spares kit contains replacements for parts that would show wear after extensive use, and many small, hard-to-find replacement parts - bearings, bushings, spring clips, etc. As any experienced sailor would agree, being prepared for any eventuality at sea is basic sea manship and common sense. We sell the spares kit because we believe that an offshore sailor should be prepared for any contingency.


INSTALLATION AND MANUAL - Where do I get instructions for installation and operation? Do I have to haul my boat? Does a yard have to do it?

We supply a comprehensive installation and operation manual . It has a step-by-step installation procedure for a typical mount.


How simple is it to install a South Atlantic?

It is quite simple. Most customers do the installation themselves. Basically, you only have to drill the four holes in the transom and follow the instructions in the manual. The fact that the South Atlantic uses a universal mounting principle, you are always sure that the mast tube will be vertical, as required.

OFFSET WINDVANE MOUNT? - I have a centrally-mounted stern ladder! Some of your competitors say that off center mounting is OK. Can the windvane be mounted off center?

The idea of an offset mount is appealing to some sailors because of their swim ladder. It's been done, but it would be totally wrong unless you only talk about a few inches or if you have a multi hull. We strongly advise that a windvane - any windvane, of any manufacturer - be installed on boat centerline. On a reach or upwind most boats heel a lot and with off center mounting the paddle would be too deep on one tack and possibly entirely out of the water on the other tack if the boat is pitching in heavy weather - which could be disastrous.

CAN I USE A windvane ON A CATAMARAN? I've seen articles that state that a windvane won't work on one!

Several years ago the accepted opinion was that a windvane - any windvane - could not work on a catamaran. What was overlooked was the fact that a windvane will fail to function on any racing boat, mono- or multi-hull, if it's capable of achieving speeds at which the apparent wind falls to near zero. Cruising catamarans, even fast ones, do not usually achieve such speeds, so they are prime candidates for using wind vanes. They have the additional advantage of greater leeway in how a windvane can be mounted.The standard position on boat centerline can be done, fitting the windvane on the after edge of the bridge deck. However, since a catamaran does not heel to any appreciable amount, the general rule against mounting a windvane off boat centerline can be ignored.


CUSTOMER SERVICE - What service can I expect after I buy a windvane?

You only need to send us an e-mail, we'll get back to you the as soon as possible. We have 20 years of experience shipping parts and complete windvane orders - We have a three-year parts and workmanship warranty on all our wind vanes. Advice for windvane owners and anyone else with self steering questions are of course free.

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OPERATING LINE SETUP - I do not want lines in the cockpit. It´s that possible?

The South Atlantic S 600 work very well and have no lines. We strongly recommend
The South Atlantic S 600 when your boat steers over a hydraulic wheel.

LEARNING TO USE A windvane - How long does it take to learn how to use a windvane?

As with any new piece of equipment, there can be subtleties and refinements to be acquired in the use of a windvane, but if you are comfortable with handling your own boat the basics are simple - get your boat on your chosen course, and use a reasonably balanced sail plan to eliminate excessive weather or lee helm. Point the air vane into the apparent wind, drop the paddle into the water and engage the wheel or tiller adapter - that's it.

CENTER-COCKPIT BOATS - I have a center-cockpit boat. I've been told that I can't run the operating lines that far forward. What can I do?

If good-quality low-friction blocks are used and some thought is given to the run of the operating lines, quite large center-cockpit boats can be fitted with wind vanes. However we recommend The South Atlantic S 600 when your boat have center cockpit or steers over a hydraulic wheel.

We have a ketch with low mizzen boom that extends aft of the transom. Can we use a South Atlantic ?

Yes. Please contact our us for a custom design solution that may include a special mast tube, special air vanes, or modified mounting platforms or other components.

HYDRAULIC STEERING: We have hydraulic steering. Can we use the South Atlantic ?

The South Atlantic S 600 when your boat steers over a hydraulic wheel.


Windvane and automatic pilot
Almost 100% of windvane buyers had an automatic pilot on board before the purchase! " The windvane is used 90% of the times after both systems have been installed! " When a ship sails with sails set, the wind steers it better!