Warning: if you sail a mono-hull, none of this will make sense. Pointy bows and all that.
Prindle 16. I tried a few styles but settled on a Telo Cat vane that hung just below the jib bridle. It was sturdy enough to withstand trailering, was out of the way of the jib sheets, and since it was also below the bowsprit, it was protected from the spinnaker sheets.
Stiletto. The location just below the bridle was out: the jib was a hank-on and would hit it when lowered and there was no bowsprit to guard it from the spinnaker sheets. We settled on a conventional fly on the port bow; it was beyond the reach of the jib sheets, and because we did inside jibes with the chute, safe from spinnaker sheets. We did break it every 5 years or so, generally anchoring or such, since it was only a few inches from the bow cleat.
PDQ 32. I started out with the conventional fly on the port bow railing; I had 2 from yard sales and I liked the location. Unfortunately, we do outside jibes with the PDQ. Scratch 2 vanes (including a few repairs) within a year. We even had a provision to rotate it out of the way when jibing, which of course defeated the whole purpose.
I tried yarn on the remaining stump of the vane. Better, but I broke the stump off and should have, by all rights, torn the chute several times.
So I invented the 5-minute flexible mount shown here. It's been in service for 6 years with no failures, took only 10 minutes to make 4 (2 spares), and consumed nothing but scraps.
- The top is 8 inches of fiberglass tent pole from a wrecked tent.
- The flex is 3 inches of polyethylene 1/4-inch ID airbrake tubing. Just a good press fit.
- The bottom is another short bit of tent pole and some cable ties.
- The yarn is... yarn. Acrylic stays dry and thus flies better than wool. Dark colors are best.
I also keep yarn on the shrouds; it's personal tradition, not function. The airflow is messed up by the cabin and I seldom look at them.