Wind vanes repaired with Vesconite Hilube
20 February 2024

When boating aficionado Roy McBride decided to develop repair kits for the Aries Wind Vane, he chose Vesconite Hilube for the bearings.

Aries Wind Vane self-operating steering systems are robust and can operate for 30,000 miles from purchase. When they need to be repaired, however, it is often only the POM (acetal) bearings that need to be replaced as they may have experienced sun damage and may have become immovable due to being fitted to stainless steel components that have seized due to corrosion or a lack of lubrication.

As a result, McBride decided to choose a premier self-lubricating low-friction material, known as Vesconite Hilube, for the bearings that he would install in refurbished wind vanes.

“It doesn’t make sense to use inferior products for the bearings since this is the only part that wears out,” says Mc Bride, noting that the bearings are only lubricated with water, so Vesconite Hilube’s self-lubricating properties are advantageous since some bearings tend to only be lubricated with water as they are not accessible.

Mc Bride has refurbished five Aries Wind Vanes since he started repairing this specific component two years ago.

Engineers who have seen his choice of bearings for the refurbishments have “backed him up 100%” on his choice, he says.

Several bearings may need to be replaced during any refurbishment, including bearings that fit to the cross shaft that the wind vane is fitted to and the top-hat bush that fits to the cross shaft that links to the water paddle below it.

These are all exposed to harsh environmental conditions, including salt water and UV radiation.

Mc Bride has extensive experience with Aries Wind Vanes having completed several South Atlantic crossings using what has become known as the “silent helmsman” –  a servo-pendulum rudder mechanism, connected to a wind vane, that steers through the ship’s rudder through ropes connected to the tiller arm.

He specialises in repairing UK-made Aries Wind Vanes that require imperial parts that are difficult to obtain.

More BushTalk Articles
Want to know more?

    Name *
    Email *
    Tel *
    Country *
    Street Address *
    Street Line 2
    Post Code *
    Province/State *