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Self Steering Mystery

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Brian Morrison22/07/2021 14:57:03
4 forum posts
4 photos

Thank you all for considering my conundrum! I think Richard you are on to it. I image it is only a simple set up, the hull of the model is only 36cm long. I'll try riving it up as you suggest and see how it goes.


I don't know if it was a Star model, as it has the builders name Reg

stamped into the underside of the lead weight.

Lola is my granddaughter not quite one, I have a bit of time to sort it out before we go to the pond together.

Gareth Jones22/07/2021 20:18:22
802 forum posts
1081 photos

Hi Brian,

I think what you have is a variation on the reverse tiller mechanism used on many small toy yachts such as Bowmans. The attached diagram may help you understand how to rig the model. I am not sure how the self centering rubber band would be fitted on your model but it possibly goes round the two pins that stick up from the tiller, one on the rudder connection, one at the aft end.

The principle on which it works is that as the sails are let further out to sail across or down wind the steering control line pulls on the tiller and applied rudder in the opposite direction to prevent the yacht tending to turn away from the side where the main boom is out. They are quite tricky to set up, being largely trial and error in balancing the self centering force of the rubber band against the loads on the rudder and sails. However they are good fun and you will get plenty of exercise chasing its random path around the pond

reverse tiller  mechanism resized.jpg.


Gareth Jones22/07/2021 21:02:29
802 forum posts
1081 photos


The attached notes might help when you reach the stage of sailing your little model.

bowman operating instructions.jpg

Have fun,


Brian Morrison23/07/2021 09:34:11
4 forum posts
4 photos

Once again thank you to the brains trust! What a fantastic resource to someone like me, loads of enthusiasm but little knowledge. I am located in Australia and have found it difficult to connect with the right people who share a similar passion. I look at the diagram posted by Gareth and it fits exactly with the model that I have! A photo to follow when I can get to it. Cheers smiley yes

Tony Hadley23/07/2021 12:28:20
914 forum posts
559 photos

Found this other, similar variation of the mechanism, as used by Star Yachts on their Arctic Star. The third photograph in the link shows the best detail.


Pond yachts, such as Star and Bowman are now becoming very collectable and bringing good prices.

Edited By Tony Hadley on 23/07/2021 12:41:35

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