Windpilot Pacific or Aries...

Design, Construction and Use of Self-Steering Gear

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Windpilot Pacific or Aries...

Postby mick_becht » Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:42 pm


Currently I have the luxury to choose between a second hand Windpilot Pacific and an secondhand Aries (the conventional one). My boat is a 1958 eight meter steel Lemstra Zeekruiser that weighs around 3800 kg empty.
Besides that, it has a positive (?) transom and the rudder is hung to that on the outside, a bit like a Mariholm or Contessa 26.

The Aries looks very robust and strong but is pretty heavy and the WPP looks lighter but might need some extra work to get it behind/around the rudder.

Could anyone based upon above mentioned data, give some advise or tips?

Thank you very much and best regards, Mick Becht (Holland)
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:30 pm

Postby jan alkema » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:42 pm

Hello Mick,
It is for sure that both systems are capable of steering your boat. Both systems have nearly the same linkage so may give the same steering performance. The differences between the systems are the following. Aries has ball bearings, which is a definite advantage in light winds, as it responds better. Also the pendulum area is a bit bigger on the Aries. I suppose your boat has a long keel and an unbalanced rudder, so some more steering power from the Aries could be helpful.
I also suppose the Aries is easier to install at the stern.
The Aries has a limited travel on the pendulum, which is claimed to be an advantage in extreme situations. The Windpilot pendulum can be turned out of the water in an easy way, when not in use.
For serious blue water tracks I should go for the Aries.


jan alkema
Jack Tar
Posts: 193
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2006 3:13 pm
Location: Netherlands

Postby mick_becht » Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:47 am

Hello Jan,

Thank you for your valuable comments. It is very welcome and seen the future circumstances and the fact that only the Aries is available now, it will be the Aries indeed. I had contacted both suppliers on forehand to ask them for information with the given configuration of the boat (this included some pictures) about connecting it to the transome and more. Both were most friendly and had very valuable information to share but again as the Aries is the only one left available it is a mad choice now. Peter Mathiessen will re-create the supporting arms for me with the given angle of the transome, to attach the Aries.
Again Jan, thank you very much and behouden vaart.

Mick Becht
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:30 pm

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