Replacing the Wind Cups

It is easy to replace the wind cups if needed. The cups have a tiny magnet in the flange at the base, and a brass jewel bearing in the top.  The jewel has a tiny inverted V cut into the lower end, that spins on the pin on the end of the axle with virtually no friction.

For removing the wind cups, we do not recommend unscrewing the brass nose cone, which has adhesive so it won’t unscrew accidentally. Just loosen [1] the black dome nut and [2] the brass set screw in the side of the black axle tube.  Use a 2 mm (or 5/64″) Allen key for the brass set screw.

The nylon dome nut can be loosened with a 3/8″ box-end wrench.  Remember to turn counter-clock wise to loosen, to avoid stripping the threads on the nut.  The replacement is quick and simple, but if you do the repair yourself, SailTimer Inc. is not responsible for any damage that is caused.

Once the wind cups are off, any residue can be wiped off the axle.  On models since January 2017 the axle under the wind cups has very precise machining and no lubrication should be used.  The lower axle for wind direction is also maintenance-free and does not need lubrication.  For 2016 and earlier wind cup axles, see Owner’s Manual.

You may not need to replace the axle when putting on new cups, although we usually provide an axle with the cups because of the precision fit.  Try putting your new wind cups onto the old axle, and give them a fast spin or hard blow to see if they are silent and spin perfectly.  If so, the new axle does not need to be installed and can be kept as a backup.  However, if the old axle does need to be replaced, just pull it out (with pliers if needed, possibly wrapped in cardboard or rubber if you want to protect it for future use).  Then put a drop of superglue on the base of the new axle, and press-fit it into the socket.

When putting the new cups on the axle, make sure the cups spin free before reassembling.  If not, check that the pin in the end of the axle is as straight as possible.  Once you put the axle back into place with the cups and spindle, check the gap to make sure the cups and spindle don’t rub.  This is the key part of the adjustment for your new cups:  the gap between the flange and the black C-shaped retaining clip (on both the cups and spindle) should be as small as possible.  Adjust the brass bearing in the cups to make cup flange as close to the retaining clip as possible without touching when it rotates.  Then the cups can’t raise up in the wind when you are heeling over, and jump off the end of the axle.  If the brass screw turns loosely, put UV-resistant adhesive on top of the jewel bearing so it won’t undo itself (e.g., a sealant such as Marine Goop).

During reassembly, put some adhesive (e.g. a small drop of Marine Goop or superglue) on the threads under the dome nut to make sure that nothing comes unscrewed.

Then tighten the brass set screw, and you’re done.  It seats firmly without needing any adhesive.

This will be clearer once you take it apart; don’t worry, it is pretty easy. You just remove the dome nut and loosen the set screw, then pull the tail back, to get the cups off.

SailTimer Newsletter

Thousands of sailors worldwide receive the SailTimer newsletter every month or so.

You have successfully Subscribed