Testimonials

Many sailors have tried and tested the Aries Vane Gear. Read about their thoughts on the Aries:

Lean helped me with the kit and providing the gear for the Golden Globe Race 2018. He is an amazing guy and does a great job in Amsterdam and he knows what he’s talking about. The Aries was my best mate on the boat. It did an amazing job and went through all the storms. I remember hand steering for 2 to 3 hours and I was not doing any good, but the Aries steered the boat beautifully. It steered the boat around the world with no problems. I recommend this windvane to any sailor who’s doing some serious ocean sailing. After 30.000 it still would have done another 30.000 miles without any work to it. They are really well thought of, everything is really easy. I think they’re the best of all the windvanes around.

Mark Slats in the GGR - Ohpen Maverick

I had an Aries on my Rival 32 back in the 1970s and 80s. Now I have another Rival 32 – and, of course, another Aries – the lift-up version, about 30 years old. To my mind, it is the best windvane self-steering ever made. It uses the boat's own rudder to steer – there can be nothing more powerful than that, and there will be times when you need all the leverage you can get. Also, being cast aluminium, it is tremendously strong. I have seen quite a few instances of stainless steel steering-gears mangled in marina collisions or because a warp got wrapped around them. There was an occasion when I did this myself, trying to kedge the boat off a mudbank: I had the 1000w electric windlass straining - and then realised that the line was wrapped around the leg of the Aries. If it had been stainless steel, it would have turned into spaghetti. As it was, the thing didn't budge (but I don't think it's ever forgiven me).

John Passmore - Samsara

Lean Nelis is the owner of the Aries brand & business, sells and repairs Aries windvanes – obviously – and provides an excellent service. I had my secondhand Aries installed by Lean. What Lean does not know about the Aries, isn’t worth knowing.

Maxime Maters - @sailinginrussia

My 40 year-old Aries wind vane steered Coconut half way around the world from Les Sables d’Olonne in France to Adelaide in South Australia in the 2018 Golden Globe Race. During this period of 158 days, Aries steered the entire time in a wide range of conditions. The same timber vane was used throughout the voyage and the steering lines between the vane and the tiller were replaced only once, after about 10,000 nautical miles. The Aries performed reliably and steered a consistent course relative to the wind on this solo voyage halfway around the world. I always felt safe having Aries as my best crewmate and never felt alone. I will continue to use Aries on future adventures.

Mark Sinclair in the GGR - Coconut

I got my Aries in 1989 and sailed about 60,000 nautical miles with it. That includes my solo, one stop circumnavigation in 1990-91. The Aries was my most reliable and seaworthy wind vane, and I’m planning to keep the Aries on Salammbo. I might need a complete overhaul on it since I did not have the boat for 15 years. I am planning to keep Salammbo on Lake Balaton for a while because I have a bigger project there but there might be another nonstop, solo ircumnavigation on the remote horizon, this time West bound?

Istvan Kopar - Salambo

During the single-handed circumnavigation, I faced a huge range of conditions and discovered that as long as I made an effort to balance the boat the Aries would handle it all, from gliding along under cruising chute in 7 knots of wind to 50-knot squalls, the Aries was in control. I could not have completed my voyage without the Aries. It proved to be completely dependable though 37,000 nautical miles of sailing and allowed me to spend weeks at sea on passage well-rested and in complete control at all times. I would never cross an ocean without a self-steering gear and the Aries remains my first choice.

Thom D'Arcy- Fathom

I can give Aries my best approval, in strength and quality and durability under any possible wind or sea condition. She will steer your boat better than you can do it yourself. By now I’ve clocked over 200.000 miles, most of them single-handed and steered by Aries. My faithful Aries self-steering gear is called ‘Miss Aries’.

Susanne Huber-Curphey - Nehaj

Aries is simply the best windvane you can get. We had our Aries “Hanni” for 27.000 miles with a Vancouver 27. The Aries steered us to Capetown and back- great. Not a single problem. After that trip Peter from Aries Denmark dismounted everything- just two rings were a bit old and Peter replaced the ropes! Perfect! That’s the strength and reliability you need at sea. Out present boat came with a Windpilot. But some parts look so filigran, so small- we sold that and got a new Aries. And are very happy with that. Because of a ramming arch around the Aries needed some “customizing”. Lean did that in a most friendly and very competent way. Thank you Lean! An Aries is worth more than 5 stars.

Rolf W. Deckena

The Aries Vane is a brutally strong piece of engineering, sculpted from stainless steel and aluminum, and even in these days of electronic autohelms it is a prized possession for ocean-going sailboats. It has no batteries to go flat, no fuses to replace, no wires to corrode. It is the Rube Goldberg of steering systems, stealing its guidance from the wind and its power from the passing water. It is a magical, 90-pound replacement for a human crewmember, but it doesn’t need to be fed three meals a day and it never steals the last cold beer.

John Vigor

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