Monitor Wind Vane Installation: Part 6, Clearing the Transom

The wind vane needs to have access to swing and move without obstruction. This means that all our clutter and gear needs to be relocated and moved away from the transom. The big things that need to go are the stern anchor, davits, and wind sensor pole. 

I cleared off the large components, but left the stern light mounted below the rail. This too had to be removed as it interfered with the counterweight movement. If the Monitor were set on a starboard tack and close reach, the lead weight would bump into the stern light and make the unit get stuck.

The stern light was not that major of a problem since the Monitor has a stern light built into the frame. The other equipment was more of an ordeal to remove and relocate. The stern anchor for instance is frequently used to position our yacht with an East/West orientation. This orientation keeps the cockpit shaded and the solar panels in full sun all day long. 

The davits on the transom were of a different use. They were a royal pain in the stern to use, so I rarely every used them for their intended purpose. I purchased them to hoist the dinghy up and bring it along as we sailed, but it was very inconvenient. The dinghy needed to be tied up well to avoid it from sloshing side to side as we heeled over. It also required a bunch of fenders to avoid damage to the lettering on the stern. This was the first and last time I ever raised the dinghy on the davits!

From then on, the davits served other purposes, like storing our spare lines or raising batteries into the boat while on the hard. 

The davits were removed and disassembled, but they will be stored in a locker. Should we find ourselves on the hard and in need of lifting many heavy items into the boat, we can always assemble and install the davits temporarily. Rope storage will be relocated to another location on the boat, possibly a lazarette organization system for the ropes. Storing the ropes inside a locker fulfills a few tasks: it keeps the ropes away from salt, it keeps the ropes out of the sun, it keeps the rope out of sight.

Salt makes the ropes stiff and harder to use when you need them. The sun eats up the ropes via UV degradation. Keeping the ropes out of sight makes the boat look neater and also reduces the risk of someone else using the rope for their projects on their boat.

The Monitor Wind Vane is the most important piece of equipment on the transom, so its mounting requirements take top priority. If anything impairs its ability to function, that thing must be removed and relocated. Storing ropes or lifting batteries is not the priority while sailing across an ocean! Keeping these priorities in line allows us to maintain the yacht in the most functional of methods and will allow us to sail in the safest method possible.