No 3 - The Standard Vane Gear (1970 - 1990)
It was never discovered why this version
acquired this name but some 8,000 were produced and sold all
around the world and can be seen in every harbour. They have
a very strong brutal construction and has no other purpose in
life but to steer an ocean going yacht in all conditions including
survival. All were sold on recommendation with almost no advertising.
If you buy a used Aries it will probably
be one of these although the rebuilding
hints still apply to the other models as shown in this information.
The assumption in this website is that you have an Aries between
10 and 30 years old and wish to rebuild it and sail around the
world. This is a very practical matter which most owners should
be able to supervise or do themselves. (If you are not capable
of doing this you should not be in charge of the boat anyway).
Spare parts are available from Helen Franklin
(Nick Franklin's daughter) who has been selling the spare parts
since 1990 when Nick retired.
Aries No 4 - Stainless and Bronze
Produced in 1975/76 the stainless and bronze
model works the same as the Standard Aries. There were 400 made
but manufacturing stopped due to production difficulties,
therefore spares are very
limited. However, you can use the present servo rudder
without adaptor sleeve needed in coupling. It is a very beautiful
product and again would make excellent maritime museum material.
Close up of First Aries
Vane Gear - Nov 1968.
No 5 - Lift Up Vane Gear
Produced from 1981 - 1992. 2,500 sold.
Complete break through in design. Has a 'sub frame' bolted to
the stern or deck upon which the mainframe part of the Gear hinges
on making it easy to swing the servo rudder up to vertical from
deck level. The entire Vane Gear can be quickly removed leaving
the sub frame in place.
Most installations were fitted to the transom
with four mounting tubes of which the forward ends were bolted
to the transom skin with universal brackets. The earlier brackets
were a hard anodised ball and socket arrangement. Later ones
were a stainless toggle design. If buying a Lift Up you may have
to either shorten the tubes or buy longer ones to suit your transom
angle. Spares still
available standard rudder and coupling fits. Very strong. Hinge part between sub frame and
main frame does not wear out.
Aries No 6 - The Circumnavigator
Produced from 1988 - 1992 the Circumnavigator
was designed for large 'difficult' or hard to steer yachts. There
were 400 made and they had a stronger servo rudder shafting,
with four tube mountings as with the Lift Up. The most important
feature was the introduction of needle roller bearings on rudder
spindle giving improved performance (these are impossible to
fit to any other Aries). Spares
are still available as for Standard Aries.