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FREE Wind Vane Steering Plans 
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Fay Marine


Yacht & Plan Details



The Fay 32 to 44ft steel yachts are medium displacement cruisers that have evolved from long experience of design, building and sailing.

A modern hull shape with a three quarter length keel gives excellent performance to these ocean cruisers. The sharp bow, full amidships section and flat run off aft give the yachts their high all round performance. Windward ability is good and the yachts are fast and stiff. Off the wind they sail quickly with little heeling. Down wind, such as in the trade winds, very high daily mileage's have been recorded. The  yachts sail fast with little rolling.


Designed for long distance cruising, the interiors are spacious with a good allowance for stores built into the designs.

The long keel enables the yacht to maintain good tracking, even in severe conditions. These yachts have been proved in storms with 60 knots of wind, sailing themselves using  wind vane self steering. The ability of a yacht to easily steer herself is of paramount importance to the ocean sailor, the short handed crew and the sailing family.


The recent addition to the list of designs, the twin keel, radius chine Fay 40  is an incredible blue water cruiser. It was originally conceived for Mo and I to sail easily, maintain easily, and visit shoal draught anchorages as we cruise. We have opted for the easily handled 'junk' rig on our version.


The complete range of yachts have semi balanced transom hung rudders and scoop sterns.  Putting a semi balanced rudder this far back has specific advantages.  It gives greater leverage than a rudder further forward and needs less effort to turn than an unbalanced rudder. A rudder on the stern allows the use of trim tab self steering. The balance part of the rudder helps to guide the flow of water from the propeller more efficiently than an unbalanced rudder, aiding the yacht's manoeuvrability.


A semi balance rudder close to the stern, reduces the strain on the steering gear to a minimum whichever type of self steering is chosen. If the owner uses a trim tab, then a small inexpensive electronic tiller pilot can be used to control the tab. All the Fay  plans include guidance notes of how to build your own wind vane steering system that has proved itself to be efficient in all conditions.


An engine of 4hp per ton of vessel is the maximum that is required to push these yachts to windward at hull speed.


The scoop stern provides excellent protection for the rudder in harbour and makes a boarding platform that gives easy access to the yacht from the dinghy, when swimming or moored stern towards a quay. For an alternanative more traditional transom the 'scoop' which includes the boarding platform, may be omitted.


A flush deck gives a large area for sunbathing and room to carry a rigid or permanently inflated RIB dinghy. Inside, the space given by a flush deck makes the yacht feel large and airy. On the smaller yachts, below the 'doghouse' the cabin sole may be raised to give a greater than normal area of flat floor and allow all round visibility from the galley. On the larger yachts the 'doghouse' can be raised to make a wheel-house and the cabin sole lifted to make a comfortable saloon with an interior steering position, chart table and instrument station.


Fresh water tanks are fitted into the accommodation amidships and the aft end of the keel forms the fuel tank which gives these easily moved yachts a good range under power.


The twin keel, radius chine Fay 40 built for us has fuel in both keels and a reserve in the skeg. This gives a total of 150 UK gallons. ( 165 USA galls, 675 litres ) In calms, when motoring is required, if the speed is kept to between 4 and 5 knots, the fuel will give between 700 to 1100 miles range. There is 230 UK gallons of water (250 USA gallons, 1030 litres ) Allowing for showers for two people and washing dishes in freshwater, this gives several months supply, allowing those elusive, out of the way places to be visited without running short of water. 


The designs are easy to build by both home and professional builders.


Both the multi chine and radius chine construction make initial building and any repairs quick and easy.


All the construction methods have been tried and approved by Fay Marine, ensuring that the builder can quickly and economically produce a high performance, safe, cruising yacht.


Our plans consist of numerous sheets of drawings and include all versions of that particular yacht. You will also receive all sail plans, cutter, ketch, schooner etc., as applicable. Together with detailed descriptions of the procedure to follow and many other valuable pages of information to assist the home builder.


All Fay plans include many alternative construction methods, allowing you to choose precisely what you desire for your yacht. A CD containing photographs, plans for wind vane steering, fire plans and drawings of various parts is included.


Free technical support is available to all Fay Marine customers. There is no limit to the number of times you can contact me should you need my help. I do not offer this service lightly. With the many plans we have sold there are remarkably few calls for assistance. We believe this is due to the comprehensive details of our plans.


The Fay 2000 is a more traditional yacht that incorporates most of the features found in all the Fay range.  Construction details are standard with all Fay yachts. 




Building your own yacht or asking a yard to build a yacht for you personally, gives the opportunity to alter the rig, interior layout, deck plan and keel configuration to suit your own requirements.


All alterations must be viable; they must work in practice and be designed correctly.


As everyone has their own ideas of exactly what they require, all of our plans may be slightly altered to suite yourself. To assist you and take the worry out of this you can always contact us by email or post and we will comment on your proposals.


Here are examples of things that can be changed: -


New interior layout

(Ensures a comfortable pleasing interior)

Deck layout

(Positions for dinghy, life raft, hatches, & ropes led back to the cockpit)

Sail plan & alternative rigs

(Size & position of sails, position of mast,)

Engine & propeller sizes

Stretching a design

(Fit the yacht to suit your requirements, all our designs can be stretched by up to 10%)


ŠPaul Fay 2004