My Sailing with ‘Miss Aries’
I can give ARIES my best approval, in strength and quality and durability under any possible wind or sea condition. She will steer your boat better than you can do it yourself. By now I’ve clocked over 200.000 miles, most of them single-handed and steered by ARIES. My faithful ARIES self steering gear is called ‘Miss Aries’
I first met ‘Miss Aries’ in the year 1992, she puzzled me in her mechanism and in her strength. In the year 2000 I met her sister on my Rhodes 41 called ‘So Long’, this ARIES was also still built in the Isle of Wight. She had already steered around the world with her previous owners and we then developed a close relationship for the following 80.000 miles, another time around.
Three years ago I started a new journey on my home-built Koopmans 39′ Aluminium cutter called ‘Nehaj’. Starting in Sneek/The Netherlands in June 2015, this ARIES steered ‘Nehaj’ over the top of Iceland, then down the Atlantic and via the Southern Ocean to New Zealand. After a detour to the South Pacific Islands ‘Miss Aries’ steered from Tasmania to Hawaii and Alaska. On her way through the famous Northwest Passage in the summer of 2017 I was lucky enough to sail 75% of the 3.683 miles above the Arctic Circle, only eight single-handed man managed that challenge before me.
By now ‘Nehaj’ has clocked 42.000 miles, I just about finished my third circumnavigation, and ‘Miss Aries’ is ready for new adventures!
But being a real Blue Water Lady ‘Miss Aries’ wants your attention and she wants to sail the Oceans of the World. She doesn’t like to be neglected for years – that makes her stiff and unwilling! While under way, give her a few drops of oil once or twice a week and keep the direction of the steering ropes in line with the blocks. Shorten the steering ropes every 5.000 miles and Have a new set of steering ropes ready every 20.000 miles or so.
The new lift-up leg is great to take off the pendulum rudder completely! Either while in port, to keep her from damage in case you are becalmed in heavy swells or in case you have to survive a storm with your ‘Jordan Series Drogue’
– ‘Miss Aries’ is not getting tired
– She is incredibly strong
– She steers fine in calm winds down to 1⁄2 knot of boat speed, and she will steer better and better the more wind there is
– She uses no electricity
– She doesn’t get seasick, she wants no food, she never complaints and she does exactly what I tell her to do – she is my perfect crew!
No wonder that I’m a happy single-hander!
Name her whatever you like, but take her out for a day sail, for a holiday, or around the world and she will show you what she can do!Susanne Huber-Curphey
© text and pictures, Susanne Huber-Curphey