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Hunter 31

“I’ve taken it on two test runs in light wind, and the vane performed awesomely!”

From: Connor Jackson
Sent: October 12, 2017
To: Gloria Anderson
Cc: Will Curry; Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane delivery JACKSON

Hi guys,

Got the vane installed on Saturday/Sunday. No major issues installing — I had to shape a larger teak pad than the one that was supplied to give the rudder enough clearance from the transom, and I also had to build a truss to support the panels outboard, but other than that, all good. Pictures attached, and hopefully many more coming.

I’ve taken it on two test runs in light wind, and the vane performed awesomely!

One question though — right now there’s only 2 or 3 mm of clearance between the rudder and the transom. I’m worried in heavy seas that transom might flex and cause the rudder to rub against the bottom of the transom. I’m guessing it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I ground out a small notch in the rudder to allow it to pass? I won’t do it unless it becomes an issue, which I don’t think it will, but just in case — think that would be reasonable?

[Editor’s note: it is no problem to cut a notch off the top corner.  The rudder is solid nylon so fairly easy to modify although you need to use a slow speed saw or the plastic melts. ]

Thanks again guys — I’m really, really, really stoked on this. I screenshotted a trial run from last night of messing around with it. Pretty sweet! Hopefully many more photos coming on www.sailingseacasa.com soon!

Cheers,
Connor

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Pan Oceanic 43 with Davits

“…works incredibly well!”

From: Richard Delfosse
Sent: October 12, 2017
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: HV pictures of Pan Oceanic 43 with davits

Hi Sarah,  attached are pictures I promised…

Great product, works incredibly well!

Thanks, Rick

Richard Delfosse
203-216-7800

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Fontaine Pajot 43 Catamaran

“nothing to say but great things about the HV and Watt & Sea”

From: Rebecca Trantham
Sent: October 8, 2017
To: Will Curry

Hi Will,

You can always refer fellow sailors to us, we have nothing to say but great things about the HV and Watt & Sea AND of course you guys & your company.

Loving Hawaii – also, received new HV sail.

Say Hey to Sarah!

Cheers,

Becky & Mark

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Delivery Skipper

Dave Skolnick is an experienced delivery skipper and marine communications expert.

“always happy to see a Hydrovane”

From: Dave Skolnick
Sent: October 1, 2017
To: Sarah Curry
Cc: Jimmy Cornell; Will Curry
Subject: Re: Logistics

Hello Sarah,

I think your product is wonderful. Always happy to see a Hydrovane on the back of the boat when I show up for a delivery.

Best,
Dave

sail fast and eat well
Dave Skolnick S/V Auspicious
AuspiciousWorks.com
443-327-9084

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Sent: September 24, 2017
To: Will Curry

I just sailed from Holland to the Caribbean in a 35 ft Westerly. Your Hydrovane was fantastic in all weathers and I was really impressed when it handled winds that were so strong that hand steering was a challenge.

On arrival I took the vane off and took it for dinner! It had its own chair and was toasted profusely.

Regards,

Trevor

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Fisher 34 - another poem!

Vera’s First Voyage

“I’ve been Christened Vera, I’m Wight Mistress’s steerer
From Hydrovane I came this year.
With drilling and fitting and spirit levels flitting
I now hang upright at her rear…”

From: Stephen White
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2017
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Summer/Fall 2017: New Website, Free Tickets, and the Golden Gate Bridge

Hi Sarah,

Many thanks for your message,  this is going to be very pleasant reading.   Thank you and Will also for your video clips, which helped me a great deal with fitting ‘Vera’  to Wight Mistress.

I noted a poem here,  and being of a mind to waxy lyrical myself from time to time,  a poem about Vera popped into my head, so I scratched here for you if you would like it.

Vera’s First Voyage

I’ve been Christened Vera, I’m Wight Mistress’s steerer
From Hydrovane I came this year.
With drilling and fitting and spirit levels flitting
I now hang upright at her rear.

My first task this season was a cross Channel bimble
From Hamble to Normandy’s coast.
Some river close handling and cross traffic gambling
The wind of which I made the most.

For 10 hours solid with winds moist and squalid
I steered for my people with ease
The wind dropped a tad, which wasn’t too bad
Under motor, my performance still pleased.

About 6 hours later the wind dropped much further
It simply had run out of puff
But George was employed and for 6 hours he toyed
Thank goodness for batteries and stuff.

So if you are thinking of wind powered steering
There simply is no better way
So Hydrovane ‘Vera’s a permanent crew member
I really am now here to stay.

[Editor’s note – Many thanks, Steve! We love this one too.  You’ll have to recite it for us at the boat show! ]

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Baba 35 - A good story!

A passing ship tracks Kevin’s Baba 35 on AIS, and can’t understand how his sailing course is so straight!

From: Kevin
Sent:  July 26, 2017
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: First Trip

Sarah,

I had the Hydrovane installed on my boat while I was in Florida. I was tired of the Wind Pilot’s wandering.

At the same time, I installed a new AIS transponder.

The plan was to sail from the Florida Keys to the Chesapeake Bay. I would be sailing solo. So, the Hydrovane was a key element in this plan. It should take the Baba 35 about 10 days. The forecast was for fair weather offshore, and late day thunderstorms all over the south east, which is typical during the summer.

While the weather would allow, I would use the Gulf Stream for a little push. I was shocked the first time I raised the mainsail. The Windpilot would not hold the boat into the wind long enough to raise the mainsail. So, I would make 2-3 trips back to the cockpit to make adjustments during the process. With the sail ready, I prepared the halyard. I looked up to check the wind… on the nose. I was liking the Hydrovane already. I raised the mainsail with no trips to the cockpit and was shocked that we were still in irons as I tidied up the halyard.

I sat on the cabin top, looking around… checking for traffic, and enjoying the scenery. I looked up again… the sail was gently luffing… still in irons. It was an amazing experience and I hadn’t started sailing yet!

I spent most of the day babysitting the Hydrovane. It didn’t need my attention, but it was a perfect day to get acquainted.

I spent the night taking cat naps; watching for traffic; enjoying mother nature’s light show (thunderstorms over land… stars above); watching the chartplotter for AIS targets and verifying them with radar. Periodically, I would gaze astern and watch the Hydrovane as it kept me on course… no attention required. I was between the Florida keys and Cuba. I only saw three ships the whole night.

The next morning, I was rounding the bend in the Straits of Florida. I was off Key Largo. I was finally heading north!

There was bound to be much more shipping traffic. I was nearing the channel entry for Miami.

The winds were light, the sky above blue, but there was a heavy haze along the horizon in all directions.

This weather persisted through most of the day. The thunderstorms came early; still over land. Only, Florida was to my left, the Bahamas to my right, and visibility was very low ahead.

My chartplotter showed a ship heading south. I decided to hail them and verify my AIS was truly transmitting. The response came quickly: “Oh, yes! We picked you up at 26 miles out. You didn’t show up on the radar until 8 miles. “The next response shocked me! “Since you are a sailing vessel, we keep a close eye on you. Sailboats tend to wander like a snake and change direction at inappropriate times. You however, you have been different. We have a running bet going… What kind of autopilot do you have; electric or hydraulic? Your course has been as straight as an arrow.”

My response was simple, “I don’t have an autopilot.” The tone of the voice on the other end changed. “You can’t be hand steering!”

I said, “No. I’m using a windvane steering system.” I had their attention now. He immediately wanted to know what kind. His brother-in-law was a sailor and wanted a windvane for his boat.

For the next 20 minutes, we chatted all about the Hydrovane and why I thought is was better than a servo pendulum.

–Kevin

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Swan 40 - Light Airs and Good Q's Answered

“I can only say FANTASTIC !”

“Why did I wait so long to get one?”

From: richard forrest
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 10:57 AM
To: John Curry <john@hydrovane.com>
Subject: Re: SWAN 40 FIRST IMPRESSIONS

After the first few months with my Swan in the Med (mainly < 10 knots true) I can only say FANTASTIC ! The Hydrovane works well down to around 4-5 knots apparent, close hauled through to broad reach. Below that I’d probably start the engine anyway. I have time to cook, have a shower, wash the decks, etc and know that I’m not consuming precious ampere-hours. Why did I wait so long to get one ?

Questions:

1. When motoring, with the Hydrovane rudder locked, the wheel has to be turned 4 degrees to port to compensate for the bias created by the Hydrovane rudder. This does not occur when the Hydrovane rudder is removed. Can I do anything to eliminate this bias ?

A: 4-degree bias – Yes, afraid to say you are stuck with it. Another reason for a big offset – to get away from propwash.

2. With the sails balanced and the wheel locked what is the best way of setting up the vane with the correct angle to the wind ? Maybe a telltale on the vane ?

A: Telltales are always helpful. With an autopilot on and the seas throwing the boat around the final setting position is only a guess. But once the HV is engaged with the wheel locked a little tweaking solves it all. Ditto for the sail trim – tweaking is most interesting. One very experienced racer reported to us that it wasn’t until he had a Hydrovane that he finally discovered that he had always been over sheeting and over canvassed.

3. You state clearly that rattling at anchor or when motoring is normal but which components will wear because of the play in the system?

A: The big negative of leaving the rudder on when not in use is the constant wear of the shaft hole. If bits of sand or growth get in the bore hole the shaft will act as a grinder. As the hole gets larger the wear accelerates. Then it really rattles. The rest of the rattling of the drive train is not an issue. The plastic #19 Drive Sleeve and #25 Shaft Bottom Bearing are the other parts that wear and can be replaced after 10,000 miles or much more.

I am attaching a short video of “Henry the Navigator” in action. I get hypnotised watching the tiller and ratio rod assembly which seem to “float” in sync with the rudder Does everything look normal ?

A: Yes!

Thanks for your time.

Best regards
Richard Forrest

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Bavaria 49 - Stiff Worm Gear

“…the hydrovane has been the most valuable and useful piece of equipment I have installed on the boat ….. by far.”

From: Adib Sawaya
Sent: August 13, 2017
To: will@hydrovane.com
Subject: stiff course setting

Will,

Before I mention my little problem and sound like i’m complaining, I would like to start with saying that the hydrovane has been the most valuable and useful piece of equipment I have installed on the boat ….. by far. I own a Bavaria 49 and have sailed from the UAE(Dubai) to panama, I honestly believe I would have never made it this far without the Hydrovane, being mostly singlehanded. Although I have faced a little issue that I can’t sort out:

The little wheel that you turn to set the course is usually very stiff (and getting stiffer with time), to the point that it is impossible to use the line in order to spin the wheel and set the course. the line just slips off, even by hand it seems very stiff. When the course is set, the vane works very smoothly, no stiffness or jamming in any other part of the mechanism.
For a while I though that maybe some salt and dust must have stiffened it, even after removal and cleaning, the stiffness doesn’t go away.

Could it be that the plastic material expands from the sun? have you had this problem before?

The hydrovane is about 2 years in use now.

Any input would be helpful.

regards,
Adib

Hi Adib,

Good to hear from you and nice to see that your Hydrovane has been performing its duties as it should. Is it okay if we post your email to the website? If you have any pictures of the Hydrovane installation we would love to add them as well.

Apologies for the nuisance with the worm gear. There was a period where the tolerances on the bushings was too tight and swelled in the tropics. Fortunately, it is a fairly easy fix – If you download the new Operation guide and go to Troubleshooting, page 14  you will find instructions for reaming out the worm gear bushings – See http://hydrovane.com/instructions/ – and download the Operation Guide.

Let me know if any of the instructions need further explanation. Thanks for checking with us.

Kind Regards,

Will Curry
Hydrovane International Marine Inc.

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Hallberg Rassy 382

“The vane is a lovely device, perfect!”

From: SV Peach
Sent: August 11, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: A little of everything

Hi Will,

Using the Hydrovane all the time now. Currently we are heading south along the Spanish west coast. The vane is a lovely device, perfect!

/Göran

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Sunbeam 42DS

“Die Windfahnensteuerung läuft zu meiner vollsten Zufriedenheit.”

“The windvane is running to my full satisfaction.”

Von: Juergen Tittel
Datum: 14. August 2017
An: Tom Logisch [Hydrovane Dealer for Germany: www.tomlogisch.com]
Betreff: Überwinterung Kanaren

Hallo Tom,

Ich hoffe Dir geht es gut und der Verkauf Deiner innovativen Kläranlage ist erfolgreich angelaufen.

Die Windfahnensteuerung läuft zu meiner vollsten Zufriedenheit. Es hat ein wenig gedauert, bis ich die Einstellungen herausgefunden hatte. Jetzt läuft alles super und wir hatten schon Gelegenheit, sie auf längeren Schlägen (Überquerung Nordsee und Biskaya) zu testen. Deine ausführliche Beschreibung, die ich noch im Internet gefunden habe, hat mir dabei sehr geholfen.

Vielen Dank & viele Grüße
Juergen Tittel

Translation to English:

Hello Tom,

I hope you are doing well and the sale of your innovative sewage treatment plant has been successful.

The windvane is running to my full satisfaction. It took me a little time to find the settings. Now everything is going very well and we have already had the opportunity to test them on long beatings (crossing North Sea and Biscay). Your detailed description, which I still found in the Internet, helped me a lot.

Thank you and many greetings
Juergen Tittel

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Bavaria Vision 40

“..it’s working perfectly.”

From: Karin Duimel
Sent: July 20, 2017
To: John Curry, Will Curry
Subject: Hydrovane installed and working!

Dear John and Will,

A couple of weeks ago we installed the Hydrovane and last weekends we’ve been testing it. Sometimes we still need some time to get the right combination of the vane settings but once we have this it’s working perfectly.

Attached are some pictures. We still want to make a small platform on the A bracket. Once we fixed these I will send you better pics.

Best, Karin

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Hallberg Rassy 43 - Custom Platform

Will writes: “I’m impressed with the custom platform on top of the ‘A’ bracket.”

From: Fredrik Hallstrom
Sent: July 14, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: Pictures of my Hydrovane

Hi Will!

Please forgive me for being late with the photos I promised to send after completed installation of the Hydrovane. The installation went fine without major problems after I got the missing part from you. The only problem I had was that the steering line you delivered was way too short for my yacht with center cockpit.

At sea the windvane have proved to be a good helmsman on all courses except when the sail gets in lee of my outboard engine (wind from starboard 60-80 degrees).

All the best,
Fredrik Hallström

On Fri, 14 Jul 2017, “Will Curry” wrote:

Hi Fredrik,

Thanks for taking the time to send the installation photos which look great.  I’m impressed with the custom platform on top of the ‘A’ bracket.  Is it okay if we add your photos to our website?

The outboard engine shouldn’t have much effect on the vane as the top of the vane is well above but interesting to hear that.  The more you sail with the Hydrovane, the more in tune you will get.  We look forward to further performance reports.

Kind Regards,

Will Curry

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Elan 40

“The Hydrovane has been fantastic. Sailing from the Caribbean to Europe i was caught in a 60knot plus storm for three days.The hydrovane never faltered and allowed me to concentrate on surviving.”

From: John Andrews
Sent: July 17, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: HYDROVANE PROBLEM ON WIZARD

Hi Will

I bought my Hydrovane in early 2015 when you shipped it to St Lucia, and where it was installed. After getting used to the Hydrovane it has been marvelous. I am now in Menorca. On the sail from Mallorca, the vane and the circular wheel lifted up and the vane swung around 180degrees. Photo of the start of a lift off follows by separate mail. It seemed to happen each time the wind increased in a gust, after having been doing its normal job for say one hour. Any idea what is going on?
Thanks
John
Boat.WIZARD

From: Will Curry
Date: July 19 2017
To: John ANdrews
Subject: RE: HYDROVANE worm gear ON WIZARD

Hi John,

Good to hear from you and nice to see the Hydrovane has served you well….until recently.  Fortunately your fix is fairly simple.  I’ve marked with an arrow on the attached photo what you need to adjust.  That bolt (part 89) needs to be loosened – you need to loosen the nut first as the bolt is threaded into the casting.  You can then re set the worm gear mechanism so there is a small gap above and below the black plastic spacer that sits above the bolt.  You should be able to see the stainless tube behind it both above and below.  You can then re-tighten the bolt set ans wise to put some loctite on the threads.  You can view photos of how it should all look on our parts page – See http://hydrovane.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Part-Schematic-and-List.pdf

On a separate note, can we add your email to the website?  I don’t believe we ever received any photos of your installation?  It would be great to have some for other Elan owners.

Happy to answer further questions.

Kind Regards,

Will Curry

From: John Andrews
Sent: July 19, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: RE: HYDROVANE worm gear ON WIZARD

Thank you Will. Ok yr answer was clear… will try it out in a few days when i set off again. I will be delighted to send a few photos and i stand as a reference. The Hydrovane has been fantastic. Sailing from the Caribbean to Europe i was caught in a 60knot plus storm for three days.The hydrovane never faltered and allowed me to concentrate on surviving.

Thks, john

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Van de Stadt 44

Testimonial in German, forwarded by our German Dealer Tom Logisch.

Hallo Herr Logisch,

Wir haben die Windfahne jetzt ein wenig ausprobiert und selbst uns Novizen ist es problemlos gelungen die Fahne so einzustellen, dass die das tut was sie soll. Gestern dann auch unter Parasailor (Thomas Wibberenz war zur Einführung hier) ohne Probleme.

English translation:

Hello Mr. Logisch,

We have tried the wind vane a bit now, and even for us novices it is easily managed to adjust the vane so that it does what it should.

Yesterday also under Parasailor (Thomas Wibberenz was here) without any problems. Thanks again for the excellent service.

Michael Broemmel

 

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