Big week

So this time we had to rent a van!

When last we reported the starboard-side demo was done, the bulkhead was overbuilt, the bike was stolen and the boat was leaning hard to port… Ok we didn’t report the listing to port part but you have to know that when you remove all the cabinetry from one side of a boat but not the other without balancing it out with some kind of opposing ballast you get a list, a serious list and it looks very sad. So sad in fact that I’m not even going to show you a picture of it… Anyway, we’ll get that taken care of soon enough but for now we had to fill a van with some very cool boat stuff.

All week long we couldn’t stop thinking about how wonderful this boat would sail with a Monitor Windvane self-steering system, hell, Dena even dreamed about it! If you remember we found a practically new Monitor in the consignment chandlery in Rhode Island a few weeks ago. Well, we had to go back and pick that thing up. That ingenues machine retails for almost $5g’s and the one we found in RI was only $1,800. bucks so at that price we couldn’t pass this one up.  We also had to pick up our new 12volt refrigerator at the Mystic consignment chandlery, a couple of sheets of 4×8 PVC “plywood” and some other odds-n-ends for putting the boat back together.

We went back to the consignment shop in Rhode Island and some how talked the owner of the shop into selling us the Monitor for only $1600. bucks! We were stoked.

The next day we went to the consignment shop in Mystic and managed to talk them down to $240. bucks on the refrigerator (originally marked at $300.), man, we were on a roll!

And of course that inspired us to demo the old (not worth a shit) Aries Windvane, you know, the one that we never, not even once, used. And of course we did that project in the freezing rain! Inspiration can make you do some crazy shit.

After sailing to Hawaii with the Monitor windvane self-steering system (below) in 2006 and only having to be at the helm, actually hand-steering the boat, for only 20 hours out of the 20 days it took us to to get there we knew what kind of self-steering system we wanted to replace this (above) non-functioning one.

…And, if we were going to go through all that trouble of taking the old Aries off the boat we might-as-well take the wind-generator down and rebuild that while we’re at it. A project that is long over due.

We’ve never really been satisfied with the aft deck situation. Although we’ve made use of it for quite a few year now it’s always been just a little too cluttered for our tastes.

One of the well meaning but vastly oblivious former owners of our boat installed a Rutland 913 wind-generator, which is a super system, but the installation was shabby at best with an old aluminum support-pole kind of fucked together and stuck on the deck with some epoxy and a bunch of superfluous fasteners. The Aries was installed right on top of the already over stuffed fantail, buy another clueless ex-owner, making the entire aft deck a big (kind of cool looking) mess.

Well, this will not do!

Please keep in mind that this demo was done in the freezing rain and the above photo doesn’t even come close to representing  the magnitude of this project. We stripped the Aries and the wind-generator off the deck and temporarily filled all the holes with butyl tape. Wow, that one sentence makes it sound so easy. Anyway this project kicked our asses so we packed up the rental van with all the stuff we took off the boat and took it back to the community.

Back at the community we have access to a really cool woodworking shop so last night we pulled the Rutland 913 wind-generator apart and got her ready for a proper rebuild.

First we set it up on the work table…

…Then we very carefully pulled it apart using a deconstruction schematic we found on line.

Then we laid it all out on the work table for a pretty picture.

What an incredibly elegant and easy to understand system the Rutland 913 wind-generator turned out to be! I mean this is technology that was invented 115 years ago by Tesla so it should be easy to understand by now, right?

Now we’re going to clean, epoxy, and re-paint the wind-generator and after that we’ll figure out a better way to install it on the aft deck. We’re not really sure what it is we’re going to do, we might have to buy or fabricate a new support pole or we might just be able to find a good used support system at one of the local chandleries. We’ll see. The new Monitor windvane is a much better and cleaner installation and will hopefully go off without a hitch, the last time we installed one it took us about 4 hours and we were being hyper-careful not to mess anything up. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Stay tuned!



  1. I don’t think so Dean. The new Monitor is set up for an inverted, fared transom like ours so I think it will bolt right on. Dena sent them, (Scanmar) an email asking them for the spec’s on the install on the Chesapeake just in case. Of course they have the spec’s on their site but for some reason the link wasn’t coming up so she had to email them. As you know the photo of the Monitor that I posted above is on the Scanmar site, I love that picture!

  2. That would be awesome if it fit without major trouble. When I originally bought the monitor at the factory they had a couple ‘dry’ pictures of an installation on a Gulf-32 in dry dock. I don’t blame them for using yours.

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