The Hebridean wind vane self-steering gear

The Hebridean wind vane is a very affordable DIY servo pendulum self-steering gear that has a few (at least somewhat) unique details compared to the competition. I have been researching affordable alternatives for a few years now and considered different DIY solutions but this is the first one that speaks to me.

Some features of the Hebridean wind vane worth mentioning:

  • Highly affordable (most DIY solutions costs more, not to mention commercial ones)
  • Comes in one unit that is easily detachable (my current boat has an offset transom mounted outboard engine which wouldn’t play nice together with the servo-pendulum)
  • True horizontal pivot, the vane pivots with the rest of the assembly, providing damping
  • No bearings used
  • Weighs 12 kg


  • No way of remotely adjusting the vane (the course is adjusted by looseing two wing nuts and rotating the vane platform), I would like to try improving this aspect of the design

Edit (May 15th 2023): There is now a remote course adjustment kit available!

Adjusting the Hebridean

Adjusting the vane angle is done by loosening these wing nuts

The Hebridean without the vane

The Hebridean without the vane

The Hebridean detached and stowed

The Hebridean detached and stowed

Kit or plans?

The Hebridean kit

The Hebridean kit

The Hebridean is sold as either a kit or plans. The kit starts at £430 (plus VAT in the UK) (price updated May 15th 2023, check the website for the most recent pricing) and comes with the stainless steel parts cut to length, nuts and bolts, lead weights as well as the carbon fibre tubes for the vane and the push-rod. The only thing not included is the timber, which won’t add a lot to the final costs. The plans only option will set you back £150. (Edit May 15th 2023: I don’t see a plan option on the website anymore) I have now decided to buy the kit and will build the self-steering gear during the spring. I will probably make some reinforcements, at least reinforce the wooden parts with GRP.

13 comments on “The Hebridean wind vane self-steering gear
  1. is this a servo penulum version? 12 kg is not much. the one we have is 25 kg i think and i will say its its flimsy (monitor) i think weight is everything when it comes to such stuff. weight in metal = strength.

    • Yeah, it’s a servo pendulum, which is the only thing that makes sense in my opinion, unless you have a transom hung rudder. An auxiliary rudder gear would be too heavy and cumbersome for a small boat like mine. I’ve ordered the kit and I’ll get it tomorrow. I also have my doubts about its strength but the designer trusts it. As I said I will probably do some reinforcements to the design and I’ll keep y’all updated once I get it and start building!

  2. They work very nicely , I have one .
    I built it in less than two weeks, and fitted it to my boat, the whole unit pivots on a 20 mm spindle and dampens the over correction (snaking).
    The best addition I have put on my boat.
    Hummingbird 30 .
    Good luck with your wind vane!

  3. are the plans still available for this vane i am in south africa, and there are no windvanes produced here, and second hand vanes are are scarce as chickens teeth,,,a kit form would be much better, along with the plans,

  4. Need to update your review as there is a remote control (line controlled) update kit that will allow remote adjustment of the vane course setting

  5. Sadly my friend John Fleming died in the spring of 2023. The H2 Kit (for which you source the wood yourself) is now available. Please see the site for details and costs. My name is Ian Kirkwood. I was John’s first customer. We sailed in company to e.g. the Faroes on three occasions. (9m and 10m yachts).Unique features of the Hebridean make it pivot away from strong forces from any direction.

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