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Beneteau Oceanis 36 CC

“Two years ago did we retire, and found our beloved yacht for sale, with the good old Hydrovane intact.

It was a sign from above, we had to buy her back…”

From: Liv og Hans Otto Johansen
Sent: November 6, 2017
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: hydrovane parts for Norway

Hi Sarah!

After one wonderful circumnavigation, we need a few maintenance parts for our beloved Hydrovane.

We purchased it late 1998, and it steered our Beneteau Oceanis 36 CC safely over the oceans, until SY Kepha II in 2002 was safely back in Norway. Then we sold the yacht and the new owner never used the Hydrovane.

One night when we were motoring up the west side of the Red Sea the Admiral managed to use Hydrovane instead of the autopilot. When the captain came on duty, she told him so, but the captain claimed that it was impossible to steer with a windvane while motoring…

But the beloved Hydrovane did not hear that, and to the captains disbelief, did steer the yacht perfectly through the night… The Autopilot could not have steered more accurately.

We were motoring close to the shore, and thus little sea, in spite of that it was a good breeze, from the shore.

We tried it again later, but no success. Maybe the Hydrovane wanted us out of that area quickly?

Two years ago did we retire, and found our beloved yacht for sale, with the good old Hydrovane intact.

It was a sign from above, we had to buy her back…

This summer have we enjoyed sailing, and the Hydrovane took care of the steering, as usual.

Could you please ship me the following parts?

#19# 25 and ball socket #20, (2ps) + the Hydrovane sticker at the rear end….

Best regards
Hans Otto Johansen

Fra: Sarah Curry
Sendt: 7. november 2017
Til: ‘Liv og Hans Otto Johansen’
Emne: RE: hydrovane parts for Norway

Hi Hans,

What a lovely story and photo! No doubt both Kepha II and the Hydrovane were taking care of you and your family in the Red Sea. What and ideal scenario to be reunited after all these years! Do you mind if we post your email on our website?

I’ve attached a quote for the parts.

The Frame Case has been redesigned and now has an oval sticker – but I have some horizontal stickers in our Canadian office that should fit – so I will post those to you from here.

Cheers,
Sarah

Thanks Sarah!

You are welcome to use.

Enclosed is image of the Installation. I made large aluminum backing plates for the inside.

I think we can lift the yacht with the Hydrovane as handle… It worked amazingly well, from dead calm, when we attached a tiller autopilot to it (worked for 1 hour until water entered the autopilot….), and during heavy weather in Pacific. Not to forget rest of the journey around the globe, but then with generally nice wind!

Also enclosed is a photo of the Admiral with the magic control of the Hydrovane (and me…)

Best Regards
Hans

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Rival 32

“I have included a photo from last year dealing with storm Colin between Bermuda and Azores. “

From: Oliver Kinchin
Sent: November 6, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: Hydrovane Cover

Good Evening Will.

I hope you are well.  It has been as while since we have spoken, I hope you, your family and business are doing well.

Our Rival 32 Troskala completed another ocean crossing last year much to the success of our Hydrovane.

I now need to order two more vane covers.

I have included a photo from last year dealing with storm Colin between Bermuda and Azores.  Enjoy.

Best wishes,

Oliver Kinchin

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Pearson 424

“The Hydrovane is one of the best additions we have made in our 8 yrs world cruising.”

“…continues to be our best bit of kit.”

From: Stephen Parry
Sent: October 26, 2017
To: sarah@hydrovane.com
Subject: Blue Pelican Hydrovane parts

Good Morning,

We have an older Hydrovane, which has been wonderful.

I am interested in ordering some parts, and also getting some advice on how to best loosen the allen keyed grub screws.

We are interested in the replacement drive sleeve part, and bottom collar.

Thanks

Stephen Parry
SV Blue Pelican

Hi Sarah

As you can see we have replaced the cover on the blade with ripstop. The Hydrovane is one of the best additions we have made in our 8 yrs world cruising.

Jody  and Stephen Parry
SV Blue Pelican

Hi Sarah

Vane has worked well over many ocean voyages and continues to be our best bit of kit. It is starting to get a few little rattles, and so we are working on that. We take both blade and rudder off at anchor for their preservation.

Regards

Jody and Stephen Parry
SV Blue Pelican

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34'-er with External Rudder

“Have been out in 25 / 30 knots and steered like a dream.”

“…getting the teak block to fit both the horizontal and vertical curves of the transom was the most time consuming of the whole install.”

From: Kevin Borley
Sent: October 15, 2017
To: Gloria Anderson
Subject: Hydrovane order

Hi Gloria and the team there

Just to let you know that the Hydrovane is installed. Took a bit longer than I anticipated for various reasons, but it is up and working now. Have been out in 25 / 30 knots and steered like a dream.

As per the instructions, fitting the E bracket was the hardest part – well not the bracket exactly, but getting the teak block to fit both the horizontal and vertical curves of the transom was the most time consuming of the whole install. Everything else was just so easy.

Please advise all there that I have been extremely pleased with both the product and the support. I will certainly recommend Hydrovane to anyone who is looking for wind vane self steering.

Only outstanding issue now, is to give the vane a name!!

Cheers
Kevin Borley
SV Gypsy Soul

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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

Contact

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

Contact

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

Contact

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

Contact

Westerly 35

Hydrovane taken on a Dinner Date!

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

Contact

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

Contact

Swan 40 - Light Airs

“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

Contact

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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