Modifications - Windvane & Emergency Rudder

Needing a wind vane system I looked around the market with the following criteria in mind:

The system best matching these criteria was the Sailomat.. It’s a powerful servo pendulum, it’s oar can be raised or lowered from the cockpit, it is mounted to the transom using a base plate with a small foot print, and an emergency aluminium rudder can be fitted over the system’s oar. The photo below shows the system having just been fitted – slightly obscured by the foot of the mast and the stainless steel post carrying Navtex aerials.

The view below shows Balstara’s transom from which can be seen the teak under the systems base plate (which takes up the curve of the transom as well as protecting the gel coat). The two lines of oversize washers and bolts indicate that the steel framework located within the aft locker, is through-bolted in the vicinity of the hull to deck joint (i.e. where the lay up is greatest). Ideally the wind vane should be placed on the centreline of the boat. On the Sadler 32's small transom the wind vanes brackets will be close to the backstay as the shot below shows. Note that teak pads shaped to fit the curve of the transom have been fitted beneath the wind vane brackets

For piece of mind that the loads on this area of the transom would not be too great, especially since an emergency rudder can be slipped over the wind vane oar, a steel frame was created and fitted into the stern locker. Note that the frame includes a fifth vertical piece of steel which is obscured in the photo by the rudder stock and to which the backstay is attached. The frame is bolted at its edges where the transom and hull mouldings overlap.

The view below shows a stainless steel fabrication which is not part of the Sailomat as delivered, but which I believe gives a better route for the steering lines to blocks mounted each side of the cockpit.

View of Sailomat oar in raised position ...

Verdict of the Sailomat and the way it is fitted as described above – “No problems encountered so far”.

Tip for Sadler 32 owners:

Don’t remove your tiller and let the rudder swing to and fro in the wind. The large rudder will swing and strike the aft face of the skeg and wherever it stands proudest – take a chip out of it. It also logically applies that if you need to heave to, to make sure that the tiller is securely tied so that the same thing doesn’t happen if the boat starts making stern way.