We consider a self-steering wind-vane system as essential on a small cruising sailboat: you are usually short-handed and electric energy is also a limited ressource.

During our previous cruises with VIA (a 35ft sloop with centerboard) we used a lot our "Windpilot" Pacific. Since the Nor'Sea has an outboard rudder, I first contemplated to design a simple trim-tab system with a vertical vane. After realizing that this "simple" project would already take weeks and large number of trial and adjustments, we decided to follow the same "safe" path than so many other Nor'Sea took: buy a Monitor wind-vane...

The installation of the Monitor was pretty straight-forward, assuming that you follow carefully the procedures and allocate enough time to achieve a proper job. The most difficult part was probably to drill all the necessary holes in the high quality stainless tubes (at this time we did not have a good drill, so we learn the lesson and bought one since).
Of course, you have to be careful to avoid loosing any small piece in the water. Deploying a tarp like you can see on this picture can help to avoid an embarrassing "plouf". For the record, I did not loose any small part, but one of the main tube in the water! It happened when removing the wind-vane after a first fitting: I forgot that the tubes were not bolted yet... Well, I recovered my big mistake by diving in the muddy waters of the marina (I could not see anything, and only found the tube by touch with my hand).

The installation of the lines requires also some careful thinking and always need to be adjusted to the specifics of your own boat. Beside that, the Monitor performed really well from our first trial. It steers really well, even downwind (much better than our Windpilot at this). But the stability of the Nor'Sea also probably help.

Some pictures of our installation can be seen in the photo gallery.