Autopilots and Wind-steering Systems

Peter Foerthmann
Travel & Adventure

If you are thinking of fitting an autopilot or windvane steering system to your boat but are baffled as to which is the most suitable, then this is the book for you.
Peter Forthmann, a long-term expert on this subject, explains the difference between tiller, wheel and inboard autopilots, as well as the 12 windvane steering options available, and considers their suitability for various types of boat and sea conditions.
Which self-steering systems are more suitable for cruising and which for racing?
What are their limitations in terms of sea conditions and power consumption?
What is yaw damping?
Why are windvane steering systems unsuitable for ULDBs?
How do you steer a catamaran without running into power consumption problems?
Why is good sail trim so important for good self-steering?
What self-steering provisions should you make when building a boat?
Is DIY windvane gear construction still a feasible option?
All these questions and many more are answered in this very comprehensive book, which concludes with a comparison of all the alternatives available and a list of manufacturers of practically every self-steering system made anywhere in the world.

Peter Christian Forthmann has a unique knowledge of self-steering. Born in 1947, he learned to sail as soon as he learned to walk, growing up by the water in Hamburg. An engineer and a highly practical man, Peter Forthmann’s creative contribution to the evolution of windvane steering systems is virtually unparalleled. lt is thanks in no small part to him that these systems are still thriving in the age of bits and bytes.