Bought a GE 400 unit from you late 2012, finally got it installed last month after some unforeseen delays due to work and retirement etc. Anyway just wanted you to know that I did not have to cut or alter any item that you sent with the unit on install.
It was installed as per all your instructions, and set up in accord with the guidelines, and it worked perfectly first time out last month.
I up loaded a few minutes of the footage onto You Tube and have attached the link. I guess you get dozens if not more of them but I was very pleased with the unit, it is easy to engage even on short day sails, and on the first occasion I tried it out on most points of sail and it performed perfectly.
Just a quick note of thanks to let you know how impressed I am with the operation of the Fleming self-steering.
Still early, (maybe 100 solo miles), but I just love to set her up and sit back, or more often scamper around the boat attending to everything other than steering, and watch the whole mechanism react and steer to the prevailing breeze.
“Below is a report on the performance of the KA 45 windvane used during my solo, non-stop sail around the world aboard my yacht “Blackmores First Lady”
“To all intents and purposes the KA 45 worked extremely well, especially in heavy weather and big seas. The medium sized ply sail remained flat and stood up to all conditions. Overall, I was very impressed with the unit’s performance during the 24,500 mile voyage and have no hesitation in recommending it. Also, I think it was the perfect size for my Cavalier 37, “Blackmores First Lady.”
Fleming wind vane steering the first Woman to circumnavigate non stop single handed 12 March 1988
Motion of boat rolly and swerving all over the place, am using the vane to save power.
Solar panels putting in two amps even though it’s cloudy so that should help somewhat.
Tried using Autohelm 3000 but it couldn’t cope with correcting the course so radically in these seas and we ended up with a mangled drive shaft pin. Replaced it with a thick stainless steel pin so will be ready for use again when seas die down.
Pictures of Blackmores First Lady now on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum
Sitrep: 0900hrs 07 Dec 2005 UTC 44’10”S 132’12”E Ref 627
DB: dmg 126 (prudent night) gps 136, dtg 639, margin 637+6=643 day 109, 20 to start, 11 to TI – maybe 5 to SEC.
Once again in hoon mode, this time with attitude. We’ve got a gusty 30 knots directly up the chuff, big swell left over from the big low still trucking through from the west with serious wind waves over the top -so confused, lumpy, steep seas and taxing Kevvo’s trusty arms to the limit - Berri tends to career down the front of a big wave generally off to one side or the other and Kevvo’spaddle goes almost horizontal with the correction but it doesn’t seem too stressful because the twin poled rig just pulls the boat straight as it gets down into the trough and helps him out. Magnificent sight as the rooster tail streams past in a flashing sparkling cascade of foamy blue green water with the sunlight turning it into iridescent glass. Dull to describe the colour as blue green but I can’t think of a simile – amethyst going on jade going on swimming pool all at once and luminous. Lovely – and lethally indifferent to our presence. At times like this, we really dip the lid to Kevin Fleming for his superb and elegant creation bringing us home with accuracy and dependability. We’ve been thinking about the things we could least do without – Kevvo is at the top of the list by an ocean mile. Kevin F. is now only about 500 miles away to the north – Onya Kevin!
A quick note to let you know that the new vane is installed and working fine. Got to try out the vane on a long 25 mile deep reach run, she did the job beautifully ( we have named the vane Rhonda Flemming after the movie actress)
We installed a Fleming KA-60 self steering system on Pelagic in the fall 0f 1989. The system has performed flawlessly over the last 9 years. During that time the boat has averaged about 15,000 sea miles per year. and the KA-60 has been “at the helm” for almost all of those miles.
I would recommend your products to anyone. Please use us as a reference in any situation you may choose.
“We departed San Diego on our Tartan 37 and sailed over 18,000 miles. Our Fleming vane was our only crew member and steered a true course in all conditions and all points of sail in winds from 5 to 50 knots.”
“You have built a strong, seaworthy and valuable device which we recommend wholeheartedly. We hope we will never have to go to sea without one.”
We made it! Looking forward to a sensible and boring winter in St. Johns Nfld which we reached 12 hrs. Before Hurricane Michael hit town. It blew another plywood vane into the woods somewhere but by then we were snugged up to the dock.
Eight thousand miles since Florida, about half of those north of 60 degs., all the conditions you’re ever likely to encounter. The wind vane worked brilliantly the whole time, even in tricky steering situations where I had expected to “baby-sit” it. It sure was nice to sit in our “bomb shelter” inside, saving power whilst watching those freezing winds blow!
One of the best things though was being able to detach it so easily from the transom during the times that we were beset by drift ice and it would have been vulnerable even with the paddle retracted. Remove one bolt and it could be out of the way in an instant. Many times it proved its strength too: from being “attacked” by drift nets in the Atlantic to being “nudged” by ice floes in Baffin Bay. This is one of the really good pieces of gear & we thank you for your part in getting us there & back.
Keri & Greg
We used it (Fleming Auxiliary Rudder) over the Xmas period. We went north in a 20 knot southerly and came south in a 25 knot north easterly so couldn’t have had better sailing conditions. We were the only boat in the fleet that sat down to a full breakfast of bacon and eggs, toast and coffee downstairs in the saloon while thumping along at 8 knots with the vane steering. Greg Cockle Yacht Torestin (Sydney NSW)
02 February, 2004