I have completed my evaluation of vane self-steering gear, including discussions with providers at the Southampton Boat Show.
I have decided to go for the Scanmar Monitor. While it is certainly not the cheapest, the weak dollar is helping to reduce the premium significantly at present. Deciding factors were:
- All stainless steel construction
- No significant cast parts, which can fracture and are unrepairable.
- Gear is protected by a tubular cage. While this is more visible than some designs, I have already had my ensign staff broken a couple of times by other boats drifting across my stern and I don’t fanc that happening to steering gear.
- The company is big enough that it can be expected to continue after the key man retires. Some other gear still being sold turned out to be already out of production, and another was made by the key man with just help from a neighbour.
I shall be fitting it over winter and will let you know how I get on with it in the next season.