Bad weather problems

Peter Matthiesen, (former owner of Aries Denmark) explains bad weather problems with old Aries.

< left: Aries Vane Gear 1969-70. Production was stopped in 1970 due to the bad weather problem. Servo rudder pushed up by waves in bad weather.

AriesPlejl6-1-1Servo rudder corresponds to the vane.* AriesPlejl6-2-2Harbour position, very handy.* AriesPlejl6-3 Waves + movement of the boat push servo rudder out of control: The old Arie Vane Gear is loosing control of the boat which in such weather is very dangerous.*

Strong-1Weak construction*

Strong-2Strong construction*

Strong-3Strong construction*


* based on the experience with the Old Aries.

When I took over the production of the Aries Vane Gear, I had a talk with Nick Franklin about his earlier models. The model to the right was produced for about 1 ½ year. Nick told me the story how he got many nice replies from customers but also the odd ones that had had very bad experiences where the Aries suddenly had lost control of the boat in bad weather. In harbours quite a few of the gears had damages done by bumping against poles or heavy lines getting caught on the gear.

The damages in harbour was quite simple, the construction was not perfect. Imagine that you hold a shaft in one hand, the shaft pointing aft. If something touches the shaft, you have little chance to hold it. If you hold it in one hand and with the other you hold the end sticking out, you are much stronger if something touches your shaft.

Aries vane gear 1969-70. Production was stopped in 1970 due to this bad weather problem.

The bad weather problem was a mystery for a long time. Mr. Franklin had no idea what went wrong. Then one day the weather was very bad. Mr. Franklin sailed out into the Solent in his boat to see what happened. He tried all different courses and finally it happened: The mad movements of the boat + the waves pushed the servo rudder out of the water. Of course this would happen. It was simple law of physics!

Nick Franklin was very “safe at sea” minded and he wanted to fix this problem. To overcome the two problems described in the paragraf Nick Franklin designed his new vane gear, the one that later proved itself to be so good, strong and efficient that he never again managed to make any major improvements. This is the model that we still produce today; Aries Standard:

The shaft is supported in both ends which makes the construction strong against harbour manoeuvres too close to poles and other things (like going reverse into a concrete jetty). The travel of the servo rudder is limited by the two “A” tubes as we call them which prevents the vane gear to loose control of the boat in bad weather.

Fair winds, sailor, I hope your make a sensible choice in vane gear that you will not regret one stormy dark night out there,

Peter Matthiesen, Aries Denmark

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