Tour du monde - Stéphane Narvaez

Stéphane Narvaez finishing his non stop, wrong way around on June 15th 2012 after 246 days on his Sharp 47. www.stephanedefis.com

The Beaufort Adventure One must have experienced a longer ocean passage in order to appreciate the importance of Windvane Self-steering equipment – a silent and undemanding crew member – which is soon taken for granted as long as it all works satisfactorily. An enjoyable passage is soon transformed into a nightmare if it turns out to be a useless piece of decoration. presentation1
presentation2 Just as you will have planned your dream of blue water sailing, or perhaps have already realised it, we translated our dream into fact.
In the spring of 1990 we sailed with our three then still small children from Hamburg out into the Baltic, then via Oslo and the North Sea to La Rochelle on the French Atlantic coast. Then followed La Coruna, Portugal, Madeira, Tenerife and finally Barbados, the Caribbean!
There we sailed among the islands and along the coast of Venezuela before the second Trans-Atlantic passage via the Azores to settle in La Rochelle. These passages enabled us to thoroughly get to know our prototype Windvane. At the beginning and throughout the trip it became necessary to effect several changes and improvements before it was able to steer the boat approximately to our satisfaction.
My experience as mechanical engineer, manufacturer of boat fittings and marine accessories led to a more detailed interest in Windvane equipment. I soon realised that this was only superficially a simple product and took it as a challenge to improve these products, a task for which I had the necessary experience and qualifications.
I commenced the manufacture of the Windvane systems in conjunction with a North American manufacturer – under licence as his European agent.Although this manufacturer emphasised effectiveness and reliability in his design, we found unfortunately that these units did not meet out quality ideals. Also we found that various improvements were required in order to supply our clients with a product which met their expectations. Consequently we dissolved this licence arrangement permanently after six years of cooperation.
Our principal aims are :

  • reduced number of parts to achieve greater reliability and greater robustness in our equipment
  • improved suitability of our equipment to the characteristics of every yacht design
  • simplified mounting and servicing
  • simplified operation and use of our systems for every possible desired course
  • improved course accuracy
  • and all that at a sensible price!
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presentation4 Our product line today consists of six models of Windvane systems: ORION, CASTOR and CASTOR+, POLLUX and POLLUX+ and HERCULE.
Through these we are able to offer the most suitable equipment for your yacht particularly with respect to the yacht’s design, its sea handling and your personal preferences.Following many years development we have fitted Beaufort® Windvane systems to the yachts of numerous clients. Our products are constantly tested against the standards which we have set ourselves.Today you can take advantage of our range of experience in the area of Windvane equipment. Please don’t hesitate to enquire about the possibilities of fitting one to your yacht.

Welcome aboard !
Reinhold Michelly