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Thread: Monitor Vane

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Monitor Vane

    Anyone have any experience with a Monitor on a J/120 or similar boat. I have a B&G hydraulic autopilot which works great, esp with app or true wind, but I am looking for an alternative which doesn't draw as much power. Concerned about Monitor when surfing waves with big shifts in apparent wind.
    Feedback would be great.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    I have a monitor windvane on my J120, and also have the B&G hydraulic belowdecks as well. Works pretty well in most conditions, but if you've got a the J120 surfing downwind with the spinnaker up I've found it's better to use the B&G! Even then, I switch the B&G back to compass mode rather than apparent wind, because it won't drive to true wind like some of the later models. But the Monitor will drive a spinnaker just fine so long as you don't start getting crazy with the surfing. But I would expect any windvane would have similar problems, since it's the apparent wind that's the problem.

    Here's a link which shows you how I set up the monitor.

    - Mark/Alchera

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default surfing with a Monitor

    To use a Monitor windvane under surfing conditions, the game is to do two things:

    1. have the boat on a point of sail such that the monitor, when it corrects for the apparent wind shift during the surf, does not push the bow through DDW and into a round down

    2. reduce the monitor's sensitivity to wind shifts

    1 is easy - you reach up a bit higher than you might under electric autopilot.
    2 is also easy - place a downward force on the Monitor's air-paddle counterweight (such as a bungee cord run between the counterweight and the vane's structural tubes).

    Adjust the tension on the bungee as needed to cause the Monitor air-paddle to return to upright quickly. I've used this extensively for running deep under spinnaker (and downwind twins) when I do want to track wind shifts. My boat is 45' IOR 2 ton lead mine, and does not so much surf as surge.

    And I agree with Mark - surfing under spinnaker is not the Monitor's strong point.

    - rob/beetle

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    Thanks for the info and the pictures

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