www.kp44.org — The official website of the Peterson Cutter Owner's Group



The Cape Horn windvane, invented by solo sailor Yves G´┐Żlinas has been installed on at least three of the KP44s.  The "Spray" model appeared to be a good windvane for the Peterson Cutter for the following reasons:

  1. It doesn't need ropes tied to the wheel.
  2. It uses the existing rudder to steer by connecting through Its own vertically mounted quadrant.
  3. It can be mounted just off the centerline and doesn't affect the swim ladder.
  4. the paddle swings up out of the way and can be removed.
  5. It is made of stainless steel (not aluminum), is simple and rugged and.
  6. It apparently steers very well (an important quality in a windvane)

Three of the KP44's have since removed the Cape Horn because it did not perform well on the Peterson Cutter. Several boats have since installed Hyrdovanes with great success.


Tim Balfour's installed a Cape Horn windvane when he owned KP44 Canopus (now Taj) and has sent some pictures. Here's what Tim had to say about his installation.

Fitting the Cape Horn was made easier for me due to the fact that there had been a lot of rot in the back end of the aft cabin due to leaks through the capping. I therefore had to rip out a lot of stuff any way.  In order to keep it tight to the transom I used a 9" tube through  it, got the support struts as close to the inner end as possible, and ended-up losing about 2" of length on the aft bunk. I epoxied and taped a 1" pad on the inside of the transom to give a better gluing surface for the tube.  If I hadn't done this I might have saved 3/4" of lost bunk space! 

I mounted the tube through the transom about 26" above waterline and offset to port.  The steering oar can be swung up 180 degrees to port for stowage and has enough swing to starboard for adequate operation before hitting the boarding ladder.  I have a 78" tower to get the wind vane above the level of the Bimini.  I have an 11" quadrant (to correspond with the similar size steering quadrant). I think the photos show how the lines go - there may be other ways to do this, but this seemed to work to get them down in the tight space behind the aft liners and below the bunk.  The space beside the steering quadrant limits the movement before it hits the turning blocks, but I think it will be enough.  It shouldn't limit full movement when steering by hand. 

Since taking the photos, I have substituted some blocks in place if the fairleads for the lines coming from the steering quadrant to the aft companionway, and I am substituting the line shown for single strand spectra (no cover).  Even before Jeff's message from Tom on 'Mahurangi',   I realized there was too much friction for so great a run. Again, there may be better ways to get those lines to the helmsman, but this keeps them out of the way - it remains to be seen whether it will all work.  I don't expect to get in the water till the summer. Also since the photos, I have made a hole in the upper aft lining for the autopilot arm to protrude through  (Yves is exchanging the standard fitting for a longer one.  This will allow installation of the smallest possible tiller pilot, though I'm not sure how to disconnect it in a hurry without having to clamber down from the helm and do it manually. On my previous boat, I used the same idea on my Aries and it worked wonderfully using virtually no power.  The electric autopilot was a godsend when motoring.

Last modified: May 08 2014 05:05