Hebridean Servo Pendulum Wind Vane Testimonials
Below are some
recent testimonials received, a comprehensive test and review by Ian Kirkwood
and details of an Atlantic trip with Thomas Fisher can be read
by clicking here
Yes my Hebridean going strong! Steered me single handed from U.K. with no
problems but I have lengthen paddle because long overhang means it could spend
time suspended in mid air in steep waves. Now very powerful so moved attachment
to tiller back so quicker response in big following seas. Haven't noticed over
steer. Now at Papeete after three months French Polynesia. Going Tonga next
couple days after 4.5m swell and 3.3 m waves subside off Cooks. But Steering
gear handles that stuff brilliantly as when knocked around at stern instantly
put back on course as the event takes place - no delay. However my Boat always
well balanced and steers easily demonstrated by still on original cheap tiller
lines still in perfect condition.
My little 36 ft Seabreeze centre boarder has made some remarkable journeys under
the gear! Averaged 139 nautical miles per day fr Marquesas to Tahiti. Best 24
run 156 miles so vane can handle the high speeds. Best run was 114 mile in 14
hrs- equivalent to over 190 miles in a day! Pays to have a yacht which is a copy
of famous Finisterre!
Peculiar to my boat is mostly in lighter winds a lashed tiller to windward
better that vane as tries to steer boat as wind fluctuating speeds influence
apparent wind making gear too too sensitive when should just leave it steer the
average. Any ideas John?
You know I converted my boat to a junk schooner in Falmouth two years ago. Do
not regret! Set as much sail area as under spinnaker in light (sails in whisper
used 5 gals fuel since Panama!), never go on deck, reef instantly. My wife flew
out Tahiti. We went to Moorea. On way back 18 knots and rough we beat back the
two yachts to Papeete when hard on the wind after overhauling one. Don't know
how as was surprised as not racing! Both longer! Vane handled it well. Hebridean
Helmsman meant no loss speed perhaps? Now tested to 35 plus knot winds and
rotten seas off Columbia. Under bare poles. Boat will not lie a hull but rockets
off downwind by self. I do set vane then to help. Have a series drogue will
employ if have to. Expect same on way to NZ
Use news on site. Will send more. Hope final leg NZ mid October.
Brilliant bit of kit John!
Yesterday was the big day and I tried out the gear for the first time. And it
worked just brilliantly! A few things need to be finalised still but already I
am totally amazed by its performance. We even steered through narrow tidal
channels in the changeable and fluky winds in the lee of islands just by
readjusting the vane base. Then tried downwind at about 165° app wind angle. At
boat speed around 5 knots the app wind was almost non existent, maybe 2 or 3
knots and the Hebridean just kept us on a straight line without any problems.
Many thanks and best wishes Andre
Finally I can report back on my 'Hebridean', I finished it last May, I took a
long time as I got a lot of enjoyment making the kit and finishing it to the
best of my ability, the result was an impressive object much admired by all
whose gaze fell upon the shiny gleaming unusual object.
There were no time for sea trials, we set off for Wick in June from Findhorn,
attached the wind vane and it worked straight away. It took me about an hour
experimenting and getting used to it and with a westerly force 4/5 sailed sixty
odd miles hands free except for adjusting the vane when apparent wind altered. I
found it very sensitive and the smallest adjustment alters the course
With regards Alex Hunt (another satisfied customer)
20:10, Kristian Møller Pedersen wrote:
I just want to inform you that today was the big day, where I took the
Hebridean to the seas for the very first time. And I would say that it was a
great success. I started out by motoring as slow as possible and ended up
sailing nearly 6 knots.
The wind vane
worked as hoped for all the way! see video
The link below is
a video of someone crossing the bay of Biscay with the Hebridean wind vane
The link below
shows the Hebridean under test.
Read Tom Fisher's
blog about his trip to the Azores with his Hebridean wind vane he built and
From Peter Lawson June 2015 ref:
It worked beautifully, with either main or jib alone and with both together. I
don't know how you figured out the system but it is magic.
On 02/05/15 09:58,
Robert Wilson wrote:
Just to let you know I had an exhilarating sail yesterday from Clogherhead to
Howth. A beat for the first 14 miles then a fantastic beam reach for the next
16nm. The wind was F4-F6 and quite big seas, I had to helm the beat because I
really needed to make Skerries without tacking or getting to close to the lee
After rounding Skerries I bore away onto a reach/beam reach and scooted at 6 –
7kts with the vane set. Big beam seas (3m?) and brilliant sunshine made it one
of the most enjoyable sails I’ve had for many a year. I set the vane at Skerries
and didn’t touch the helm for 16 miles to Howth. It performed flawlessly.
My favourite place on the boat when it’s like that (and safe) is sitting on the
pushpit, clipped on of course, watching the sea and day go by. Made only
possible by your vane.
Many thanks indeed. Robert
Mine is in action. Present in Isle of Wight waiting weather cross
channel to Jersey Islands. Used gear in light conditions all points. Worked "
out of box" superbly. Amazed at light wind performance. As I am on way back
to New Zealand I will learn more and feed back.
The kit arrived this morning. Nicely put together kit with very clear plans.
Fred (license number 4)
I had vane out for a test sail today,wow Im very impressed by your design it
worked first time and is user friendly.
Thanks John Meldrum. (license number 2)
Hello again John,
I just had the best weekend or sailing with the hebridean, its wonderful, the
best piece of kit I've put on my boat.
I went out of Cork harbour against an incoming tide at 4.5 kn, a full knot
faster than l could manage at the helm myself. I tried the vane on all points of
sail and it performed better than I expected .
My boat does not like dead down wind, wing and wing but the vane held my course.
So you've designed a great device well done take a bow John.
On 22/10/14 00:16, John Meldrum wrote:
Hi there John,
What made me willing to give your design a go, well I looked at lots of others
commercial and diy vanes, I also have read several books on self steering
systems. I had my previous boat self steering on sheet to tiller system,
that was ok but a bit finicky with lines crossing over and back.
I had begun to design my own servo pendulum wind vane when I saw your
hebradean and searched through what information you had on site, read the
reviews and liked very much what I saw. It made perfect sense to me to use a
proven design. I had no problem building from the plans and all the metal
parts + fixings are in the kit, it saved me a lot of time, gathering the bits
There are a lot of bits in the kit. All I needed was the wood, not a problem,
Im a carpenter! so off I went on an adventure. I was like a kid at Christmas
with a mechano set and carpentry set, to make the wind my tiller slave .
Oh to use the heads without rushing back to the lashed tiller. Freedom to
cook lunch to stroll around the boat, all 30 foot of her, wow!
I often sail alone, or with my wife and three daughters 8, 5 and 2 1/2. Now
we can have a lot more time looking around at the scenery, wildlife and
Basically your kit is a very good deal. I have built one and it worked first
time out, I could hardly believe it but it did.
I had expected a period of setting up and learning by trial and error, none
of that, away she went first time, amazing !
I managed round up a couple of times, my own fault, too much main sheet
tension. I backed off the main a bit and off we went. Some commercial
vanes take months to get to know and a lot wont work down wind, not the
Hebradean she did down wind superb.
I look forward to flying my spinnaker next.
good night , John.
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