Friday, August 9, 2013

The S600

After much fussing around windvanes and autopilots we decided to go forward with the S600 from South Atlantic, German technology at his best…  A state of the art piece of engineering… which we hope will steer us out of trouble and for thousands of miles in high seas.
Picture from SouthAtlantic website
We did check all the other brands out there, Monitor, Fleming, Norvane, etc…  In the end choose the S600 because was the only strong model able to steer our 45ft hull and without any cables running to the cockpit… Everything is done at the vane itself and it can work as emergency rudder in case we lose our main rudder (God forbidden!!!)
Also, one of the reasons we choose also this model and brand was because our friend from Tao Boat had one and the experience was good.
Tao without and with S600 SouthAtlantic windvane
The S600 was delivered from Germany to Luperon, in Dominican Republic, under 3 weeks, and the ordering and payment was smooth. After we had the measurements of the transom of Dee we were ready to go and the directions given by Mr Thommas, the owner of the South Atlantic company, were simply and clear. Always helpful to clarify any doubts…
The vane arrived in 2 boxes to the Customs department in Dominican Republic, to be cleared after we paid for the tax duty. Forget the fact that our boat is in transit, therefore should be exempt from the taxes…but it’s Dominican Republic after all! Get use to it…
Storage at Marina Tropical
Together with the vane itself we decided to order the offshore kit.
The vane itself includes: Standard Mounting;  1 Air foil; 1 blade for each shaft; Tools and operation and installation manual.
The Offshore Kit comes with 1 Windvane; 1 Rudder; extra Bearings for windvane;  extra shaft and extra screws, in case of an urgent repair while under way which we hope we will never need!
The next adventure about the windvane will be to install it in Luperpon.
I’m thinking on doing it while the boat it’s on the hard. It will be easier to move around with the tools and parts.
Picture from SouthAtlantic website
I never installed a vane or something similar, however, I will have to be the one doing the work because we can’t afford to pay for someone to do it after we move in to the boat and we need to be resourceful and learn how to solve the problems by ourselves. Wish me luck!
I just hope the directions are clear and easy to follow! A few holes in the transom and we should be ready to go!
Is it advisable to reinforce the transom with some more fiberglass from inside prior to drilling the new holes for the vane? Share your thoughts with me about this…

Will keep you posted on the windvane stuff in due time! Check the Windvane tag!

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