“The Fleming Minor I purchased has proven to be a marvellous machine. It is a perfect match for my Dana 24.”
“I just wanted to let you know that the (Fleming) vane worked perfectly all the way to Hawaii and back on out Columbia 50: no difficulties whatsoever. We encountered a full range of wind velocities to a little over thirty, and the vane steered continuously in all but the lightest winds.”
“Thanks again for a great product!”
Kevin D. Reilly LT, USN
“We sailed ‘Hobson’ from Cabo San Lucas to Puget Sound using our (Fleming) wind vane 99% of the time, our wind vane was superb!”
John H. Phillips
S.V. “Hobson’s Choice II”
“As you know, prior to installing a Global Forty on the back of my She 36, I investigated purchasing a Sailomat, Hydrovane and/or a Monitor wind vane. Having done the installation and now sailed with the (Fleming) vane, I am delighted with my choice. What is most striking about the Fleming is how well it steers even down wind and even in the extremely light airs that are seen during the summer in New England”
“From what I see so far, I am most delighted with your product.”
Lee I. Corwin, M.D.
“Just a note to let you know how the “Minor” is doing — it’s doing just fine. A lot of the Whitsunday’s in the Barrier Reef was light air downwind and I didn’t steer – I had coffee and took pictures. There was one stretch from Round Hill Creek to whatever the hell island was next that we averaged 2-1/2 knots!!! dead downwind – and it still steered.”
“Now – as soon as I teach it to – - – - make coffee.”
Jim Brown, Yacht “Chapulin”
“How I wish I had had your (Fleming) vane on ‘Quailo’s‘ transom at the beginning of the BOC. My electronic pilot failed at the start and as of the moment, it has still not been repaired. So to steer I relied on the good ability of ‘Quailo’ to steer herself to windward; my ‘X-model’ vane when off the wind with twelve knots or more apparent; and myself in light airs and off the wind with less than twelve knots. It was a real tiring chore and adding to the problem, my ‘X-model’ vane required constant repairs.”
“The (Fleming) vane was a joy from day one. The only times we had to steer was in very light airs.”
BOC competitive vessel “Quailo“
Just a short note to tell you how happy we are with you wind vane. Unlike some cruisers our vane is used 90% of the time and its looked after our steering chores in every condition there is from 50 knots know to drifting conditions. Our main auto-pilot has failed so many times over the last few years that the only steering I can rely on has been the Fleming Vane. It has required a couple of small repairs over the years (what doesn’t in these conditions) but they have been easy to accomplish and because you have sent us the parts even the repairs were inexpensive for us. Its just proven that the day we decided to buy the Fleming Vane was one of the better ones when it came to making wise decisions. Thanks for a great product and the service to back it up
Robert Cardinal Yacht S/V Cardinal Sin (currently in the Marshall Islands Saturday 24 July, 2004)
Here are (finally) the promised photos of the 301A fitted to our 35′ Ganley. As I said on the phone a couple of weeks ago, it’s behaving very well. As long as we have a minimum of 2.5 to 3 knots of boat speed and a relative wind of 8 to 10 knots and keep the rig balanced it steers a good course. We have not had seas over 1.5 metres yet, or winds above 23 knots, but I’m confident it’ll be fine.
David Julian Yacht Tygress (Queensland)
**** WINNER SINGLE-HANDED TRANSPAC RACE 2002 ****
Subject: Glowing Testimonial
I purchased a Fleming Global Major 501 windvane unit from your company in the fall of 2001 and in preparation for extended offshore cruising, installed the unit on my boat, a Spencer 35, in February of 2002.
On my initial shakedown trip it steered the boat to first place in the Single-handed Transpac race, from San Francisco to Hawaii in the summer of that year, after which I returned to my home in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
I left British Columbia again June 1 of 2004, did the S/H Transpac once again (2nd place this time) and continued on from Hawaii, with the intention completing a solo circumnavigation. I have just arrived in Sydney, Australia a few days ago via the Southern Cooks, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand.
Off shore miles logged since installation – over 17,000 – for the vast majority of those miles the Fleming has done a flawless job of handling all of the steering.
On any offshore boat, reliable self-steering is a must. For myself, as a single hander, it is a vital necessity, without question the most important factor in a successful voyage (apart, of course, from the keeping the ocean out of the boat).
The Fleming 501 has proven to be well designed, non-temperamental and robust piece of equipment.
Thank you Jim Kellam – S/V Haulback 08January, 2005
Denise and Kevin:
Here’s my problem. I installed a Global 40 on my 30-foot cutter AVE DEL MAR while hauled in Opua, New Zealand nearly ten years ago in preparation for a round-trip voyage to Australia and later from New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, across the Southern Ocean to Chile and Cape Horn and on up to the Caribbean and east coast U.S. The Fleming replaced an Auto-Helm separate rudder steering gear which saw us around the world from Alaska to Alaska from 1983-88. The Auto-Helm was a pretty good rig but did not steer well downwind in a breeze. I wanted to remedy this and did, with the Fleming.
Since I installed the Fleming it has steered AVE about 90 per cent of the time in excess of 20,000 miles.
My problem? After all those miles — some of them in very rough conditions — I can’t see anything loose or broken or ready to break on the vane. It is still operating as new. By the way, this model has no grease fittings and is sealed permanently, the manual tells me. What should I look for in the way of wear at this point?
By the way, the vane was named “Mrs. Fleming” by a Kiwi sailor, Ron Cooke, who accompanied me across the Southern Ocean, because, he said, we needed to be mothered in this lively stretch of water — and we were. Mrs. Fleming steered most of the trip but needed a little help in the rougher downwind battles when we ran bare poles or with a tiny patch of a yankee set. Later, I sailed alone from Cape Horn to Antigua in the Caribbean with one stop, at Mar Del Plata. The last leg was 5100 miles in 48 days and Mrs. Fleming sailed virtually all of it, flawlessly. How I praised her. Congratulations on an amazing product.
Jamie Bryson of AVE DEL MAR May 2005
Hi Kevin & Denise
Picked up the wind vane from Brisbane and have fitted it with the minimum of fuss to Clark Gable and named it Scarlet O’Hara.
We had been very busy with work and hadn’t had a chance to do any testing prior to our Christmas Cruise. So our first trail with the vane was in 20-30 knots on the stern quarter. The wind vane handled it well considering the inexperience of the crew (with wind vanes). We have now travelled over 300 miles with Scarlet in charge and are still learning the finer points of balancing the boat and vane. We are both very impressed and have decide it is one of the most valuable pieces of gear we have purchased for the boat. I have attached a photo of the windvane working hard in 30 knots.
Thanks for a great self steering system. Also thanks for dinner in Auckland in it was nice to met you and put a name to a face. We will stay in touch and maybe send some more photos.
Terry & Amanda Morris
“Well, we’re back from Hawaii and having a difficult time getting into a ‘normal’ life of work etc! We had a long (28 day) passage punctuate by 15 days of squalls, with 2 gales. Not exactly what we had planned, but a very good experience nonetheless.”
“One of the real delights of the trip was watching our Fleming Minor ‘do its thing’. We experienced absolutely no breakdowns in the vane, an enviable track record considering it steered well over 98% of the 28-day voyage. ‘Flem’ as he became known to us was a tireless and invaluable addition to the crew. I found it remarkable just how steady a course he maintained, even in the sloppiest of sea conditions. One of my major concerns prior to the trip was the ability of your vane to steer a fin keel, spade rudder boat in heavy following seas. I have sailed these Catalina 27s for many years now, and am quite familiar with their difficult downwind handling, so my concern seemed justifiable. However, ‘Flem’ performed flawlessly, steering a steady course even in 22 foot seas and 40+ knots of wind (verified with NOAA)!”
With much appreciation,
B. Scott Diener, Ph. D.