Monitor wind vanes are an essential part of an ocean going cruising boat. They will keep a well balanced boat sailing along on a straight course (with relation to the wind). They are simple, reliable, and easy to trouble shoot and repair! What is there not to love about these units? The price.
You get what you pay for, and you certainly do get a solid and well built unit for the price; but the price is still on the high side. A new unit will set you back around $5,000, plus installation. Added accessories will set you back even further.
One such accessory is called the M-Rud, which is an emergency rudder that can be connected to the monitor. I have heard people say that they like using the M-Rud over the standard servo pendulum rudder because its longer length makes it more responsive.
One boat owner on a Fallmouth Cutter came up with his own clever way of having the longer rudder without the extraordinary cost: a wooden rudder!
Sailors are a creative group, and wood is a wonderful medium to work with to construct your creative thoughts. I love seeing the ingenuity that different sailors will come up with to solve the most basic of problems!