Frequently Asked Questions
In this section we try to help you out with all the common questions about the Aries wind vane. If you can’t find your answers here please don’t hesitate to contact us. firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Can I buy a rebuild kit for my Aries?
A: We only sell rebuild kits for the Danish and Dutch built models. The earlier Aries models were built in the UK with imperial units. Since the Danish models, the Aries is built according to the metric system. Another reason is that over the years, many sailors have ‘customized’ and altered their boats and Aries gear with available tools and parts. Because of that, most of the older models are far from original and the success of rebuilding them cannot be guaranteed. Revision of older models is only possible in the workshop in Amsterdam.
Q: Does Aries steer on hydraulic systems?
A: Aries have already been mounted on Hydraulic systems. There is one condition; the wheel is not allowed to slip. You try this by turning the wheel to hard over and then see if you slowly can continue the turning against the stop. If you can, the pump in the wheel house is not tight, it slips. This does not matter when hand steering but is no good for vane gear steering.
Q: Aries has by far the best name in the world. Why?
A: To build equipment for using at sea long term is not easy. You never know what can happen. Many builders and customers do forget that you do not always have normal conditions out there. You can not say “the gear will manage to steer from force 1 till 12”. This is not enough. Every part of the gear has to withstand rough misuse. Then the gear will survive year after year like the Aries.
Q: What is the difference between Aries and other gears?
A: Well, this is hard to answer. There are many types of gears today. One difference however is that the Aries gear is the gear with the most castings. The patterns for making castings are so very expensive that to build them up again would be impossible. They were made 30 years ago when Aries was sold in huge numbers (there were few other gears to buy) and the really big money was there to cover the costs. And the castings is really what made the Aries such an excellent product.
Q: How does the Aries gear cope with corrosion ?
A: Well, to say that corrosion on the Aries does not exist would be a lie. Aluminum has many advantages like being very tough in strength, does not get “tired” like stainless, aluminum is not very heavy and it is good to machine for the manufacturer. One disadvantage is that it can corrode. To minimize this, we have isolated all stainless parts with Delrin bushes and by anodizing the aluminum. Also today’s alloys are very corrosion resistant. The Aries vane gear has the advantage of being on the ocean so long that we can prove that the corrosion is not a problem.
Q: I do not like all those lines in the cockpit !
A: Well, the sailors that say this have never tried to sail with a vane gear. When the vane gear is working, you do not have to go to the wheel. They are easily made to quickly release and put away in harbour. Sure there are gears on the market that do not have lines, where you fix the tiller/wheel and the gear steers by itself, but we say that a boat is steered best by its own rudder.
Q: Can I use the emergency tiller for the vane gear ?
A: Sure. We have done this when the wheel has hydraulic connection with the Quadrant and the hydraulic slips.
Q: Can I put the gear off center ?
A: Preferably not. Up to the 10 cm it’s OK but not more (unless you have a multi hull). What happens is that the servo rudder is lifted out of the water when on one tack and very deep on the other tack.