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10m Westerly Falcon

“I have since learnt through experience what a perfect helmsman my Hydrovane makes”

From: Julian Mandiwall
Sent: Wednesday, March 01, 2006 10:17 AM
To: John Curry
Subject: Re: Copy email

Hi, yes of course, use my words.

I bought it at a boat show some years ago not knowing how good it would be. I chose it for only one reason, that it gave an auxiliary rudder facility, and that need was paramount in my book. I have since learnt through experience what a perfect helmsman my Hydrovane makes. Just fantastic, never argues, steers a better course than I can and needs no food.

It is fitted to a 10m Westerly Falcon.

Kind Regards
Julian Mandiwall

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Island Packet 45

“So far this thing is a beauty.”

From: Mark Rogers
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2006 10:33 AM
To: Will Curry
Subject: Hydrovane test report

Will & John & Paul

So far this thing is a beauty. Tracks very well even with an offset and underpower. Testing will continue, but so far you were right about how easy this is …

  1. pick and course and stabilze the boat
  2. pull the pins and turn vane leading edge into the wind
  3. and she tracks in a straight line

was able to make small course changes by rotating the vane – boat simply tracked around. more tests under sail on the next windy day

Island Packet 45

 

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Kelly Peterson 44

From the blog http://www.wheatstrong.com/hydrovane.htm

Wheatstrong has a Hydrovane windvane which steered for over 15,000nm during our Pacific voyages. The Hydrovane is an auxiliary rudder type windvane, rather than a servo-pendulum, so it has no lines to the wheel. The idea is that you trim the sails and adjust the boat’s rudder so that the boat is on the point of sail that you want, then use the wheel-brake to lock the boat’s rudder. Then you turn the leading edge of the vane into the wind and engage the mechanism and it steers using its own small rudder (about 36x10x2 inches, nylon).

I ordered a hydrovane with a longer shaft so that the gearbox and head are above my sternbox. The install was very easy. All you have to do is mount the Hydrovane vertically with the bottom of the shaft two inches above the water. It can be mounted off center if you need to. I drilled only four holes in the transom for the bolts for the two mounting brackets: two holes above the deck just below the caprail and two about a foot above the waterline. I made teak pads to fit between the mounting brackets and and the hull and had stainless steel backing plates fabricated to distribute the load on the inboard side of the hull. I faired the lower teak pad with epoxy to keep it from getting too thin on the upper edge.

The vane’s angle of attack, and therefore the heading, are adjusted from the cockpit using a small (1/4″) continuous line that turns the hydrovane head. I ran the line through a sheave with a bungee cord on the end of it; I attached the bungee to the port cleat on the cockpit coaming so you just reach back and to the left from the helm in order to adjust the vane. Course corrections essentially involve steering to the new point of sail, balancing and trimming the sailplan, setting the main rudder trim, and setting the windvane angle of attack. It takes a few iterations to settle down but then you’re good until the wind changes or you need to change course.

The Hydrovane worked very well when sailing to windward, pretty well when broad reaching or running and not so well when beam reaching.

The KP44 sails easily to weather and can be balanced to maintain a beat even without a windvane. It was easy to get the boat balanced and the windvane steering on a close reach or close hauled.

The hydrovane steered well with the wind on the aft quarter or from astern. Even running DDW was no problem for it as long as the sail plan was balanced and the seas were not confused.

I found our KP44 difficult to balance well enough to sail consistently on a beam reach without some main rudder movement. The boat would end up heading up or falling off in gusts or lulls and over-power the hydrovane’s smaller rudder. I think this probably would not have happened with a servo-pendulum type, since they can steer with much more force by moving the ship’s rudder. Hydrovane has since come up with a six-inch longer rudder as an option.

The Hydrovane can be locked with its rudder amidships by inserting a pin in the shaft at the gearbox/head. This is easily done from the deck. Once locked down the Hydrovane rudder exerts no influence. You can motor all you want with the Hydrovane locked down like this but I think it must generate a little drag and is probably needless wear on the Hydrovane as it tends to vibrate from the prop turbulence.

For motoring long distances in calm seas we remove the vane, lock the main rudder ‘midships, and use a Simrad TP30 tiller autopilot to drive the Hydrovane’s tiller. I had a mount and tiller extension built for a tiller autopilot on the pushpit and used that to drive the hydrovane while motoring. This worked very well in fairly calm conditions. But it would get in a feedback loop and spiral off course if seas were big. But then you remove the TP30, fold up the bracket, and sail in those conditions.

In cases where we are not going to use the Hydrovane for extended periods of sailing or motoring we take the hydrovane rudder off. This involves pulling a pin from the base of the shaft where it goes through the top of the rudder. You have to be at water level to do this so being in a dinghy or stern-to at a dock or quay is helpful. But if you’re agile you can climb over the transom and squat on the hydrovane support; hang on with one hand and use the other to pull the pin. The rudder is heavier than water so I have it secured with a length of line as a precaution at all times. Once the pin is pulled I just pull the rudder up using the line. Putting the rudder back on is the reverse process and is a little trickier when hanging on with one hand because you need to hold the rudder at the right orientation to line up the holes for the pin.

Pros:

  • No lines to steering wheel
  • Can serve as emergency rudder
  • Almost maintenance free, no rust or corrosion
  • Simple install, unobtrusive

Cons:

  • Requires a light touch to get everything balanced and staying on course, but extremely reliable once it’s ‘dialed in’.
  • Cost $4500
  • Finicky on a beam reach
  • Cannot pull rudder up easily, have to pull a pin and remove it from the base of the shaft (unlike other types which can swing the rudder up out of the water)

We had to handsteer on only one passage, to the Va’vau Group, Tonga, when it was 35-40 knots from astern with 25 foot following seas. The boat would surf down the waves and spin out at the bottom in the windshadow of the wave if the helmsman didn’t take corrective action. So we had probably 20 hours of hand steering over the course of a year. Not bad.

Our passage from Hawaii to San Francisco included a heavy gale in the last 600 nm with winds up to 50kts true (according to B&G). “Irene” stayed on the same point of sail, with a triple-reefed main and a storm stays’l, while we stayed below, only popping up every 15 minutes to scan the horizon and marvel at the size of the waves.

KP44s are well known for weather helm – in San Francisco bay we often sail with too much canvas up in ‘the slot’ and end up having to wrestle the wheel to leeward to maintain course. Reefing and trimming properly eliminates this problem, and saves the arm muscles. A servo-pendulum rig will turn the wheel against a large force in a strong wind so you may get away with an over-powered rig for longer than you will with the Hydrovane. In that same wind the Hydrovane will be overpowered by the weather helm. The vane will go all the way over and turn the Hydrovane rudder until it is stalled and the boat will head up anyways. Once you reef and trim, the Hydrovane does fine in pretty much any wind.

I think having the Hydrovane made me much more aware of helm trim and sailplan balance simply because it was essential to the proper operation of the device. In fact, we had a crew member on for our passage through Mexico to the Galapagos and he never did get the hang of adjusting the Hydrovane.

Hydrovane is now producing the bigger rudder (six inches longer with the same profile). If I start another refit to go cruising again the bigger rudder will be on my ‘buy’ list ($625 ugh). Also on my list would be the new ‘stubby’ vane (12 inches shorter and 8 inches wider) because the standard vane collides with my wind generator mast/outboard crane on certain points of sail.

One important thing that I really like about the Hydrovane is the simplicity of the system and its heavy-duty, bullet proof constuction. It’s just really well built and not a lot can go wrong with it. It requires no maintenance other than to wash it with fresh water and detergent, let dry, and spray with WD40 – ONCE A YEAR. Nice.

Contessa 32 - Single-handed

“Believe me, single-handedly, single-handed in storms up to Force 12 was not fun and I would have betrothed myself to my “Harry” Hydrovane once I got back to land safely!”

Thanks John,

I’d be more than happy to endorse the hydrovane and I can lend some little authority to an endorsement. I sailed single handed from Southampton to the Indian Ocean in 1999 in a Contessa 32 but unfortunately had to beat back into Cape Town after breaking my hand. Believe me, single-handedly, single-handed in storms up to Force 12 was not fun and I would have betrothed myself to my “Harry” Hydrovane once I got back to land safely!

Regards Graham

Hydrovane in the Baja Ha-ha

“I was impressed at how comfortable the crew on the other boat was. They knew their Hydrovane was up to the task.”

From: denny flannigan
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 11:22 AM
To: John Curry
Subject: self steering

John, I was recently racing a boat in the 2005 baja ha ha. We were under spinnaker in 20 to 25 kts of wind with mixed seas and I was hand steering a 47 ft boat.

Next to us was a 44 ft boat that had a Hydrovane driving. The wind and seas were such that our auto pilot was of little use. I was impressed at how comfortable the crew on the other boat was. They knew their Hydrovane was up to the task. Soon I will be embarking on my own voyage and self steering is something I want on my boat. Will you be at the Seattle boat show this January? If not when is the next time you plan to do the Seattle show?

Impressed,

Denny Flannigan

Pearson 35

“I am extremely pleased; if the unit had not functioned well my marriage would be on the rocks.”

From: Daniel Paull
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 4:00 PM
To: John Curry
Subject: My Hydrovane

I purchased a Hydrovane about one year ago. My boat, which is a Pearson 35 sloop has been out of the water in Raiatea, French Polynesia. I recently went there from Seattle, carrying the Hydrovane as airplane luggage and installed the unit. The components you provided were definitely the correct size and combination for my boat.

As soon as the installation was complete, we sailed 1200 miles to American Samoa without any “trials”. The moment we left the breakwater and had the sails up, I engaged the unit and it sailed a good course. There was no drama or learning curve. On that passage we hand steered for a total of about 3 hours, during which the boat was very unbalanced by an unfavorable sail combination. We mostly had light following winds. We did not jibe once! I guess I should be ashamed, but when we were well away from any land in the tradewind, we just slept all night. I am extremely pleased; if the unit had not functioned well my marriage would be on the rocks.

I did have one problem about which I would like your comments. On two occasions I either hove to briefly or backed the boat up to set an anchor without putting in the rudder lock pin and I discovered that the whole control unit had shifted in position on the rudder tube. I presume it was twised out of position by the tiller. This occurred even though the bolts were all quite tight. I guess the bottom line is that the system will not tolerate any backward movement of the boat at all without the rudder locked? Any comments or suggestions? (EDITOR’S NOTE – The answer is yes to locking the rudder when hoved to)

I had one observation which might be of value to other owners: We had about 12 hours of strong wind during which we sailed downwind with only a small “spitfire” jib. I started out with the jib trimmed far out but the boat kept rounding up and the unit could not hold a good course. I then sheeted the jib in tight, even though we were running, and that kept the bow from rounding up and allowed the Hydrovane to steer a good course with us travelling about 5 knots.

It is obvious that a great deal of thought has gone into the design and manufacture of this extraordinary device. The lack of lines running through the cockpit to the wheel is a big plus. Thanks very much. You may quote me however you see fit.

Dan Paull

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RORC 39

“Having no previous experience (with self-steering) we set out to sea, balanced the sails, set the vane and watched in awe as the hydrovane steered the boat on all points of sail.”

From: Terry Wilson – yacht ‘MOONSTONE’
Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 12:58 PM
To: sherry@hydrovane.com
Subject: Thanks
Sherry,

Just a quick thank you for your super service. I collected the spares,vane cover & ball race & after overhauling the hydrovane, fitted it to my RORC 39. Having no previous experience (with self-steering) we set out to sea, balanced the sails, set the vane and watched in awe as the hydrovane steered the boat on all points of sail. The only problem was the total disgust from our best helmsman that Harriet, as we fondly now call her, can steer a better course than him!!

Many thanks
Terry Wilson
P.S. The ships chocolate supply lasts longer as well!

Tradewind 35

“As I left harbour I engaged the Hydrovane expecting to experiment and learn how to get it working properly. In fact no experimenting was required – I could not believe how it immediately went into action and has required no fiddling of any sort – first setting was the only setting required over 540 miles. It performed superbly in all conditions.”

“I have to say that the Hydrovane is the best piece of marine engineering that I have used in 35 years of owning boats”

From: Robin Anderson
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2004 10:30 AM
To: John Curry
Subject: Tradewind 35 report

Report herewith on my experience with the new Hydrovane which I recently fitted to my Tradewind 35, “Pleiades of Birdham”.

The unit was very well packaged thanks, and fitting instructions excellent.

Fitting was easy – I fitted it with the boat in the water, assisted by a friend. It was a particular pleasure to dismantle all the blocks and lines from the previous ________ servo pendulum.

I did not get a chance to test the Hydrovane until I set out on my annual cruise. I have just returned after 540 miles cruising to the Isles of Scilly and return to Chichester. Rotten weather including several gales – a good trial.

As I left harbour I engaged the Hydrovane expecting to experiment and learn how to get it working properly. In fact no experimenting was required – I could not believe how it immediately went into action and has required no fiddling of any sort – first setting was the only setting required over 540 miles. It performed superbly in all conditions.

I have to say that the Hydrovane is the best piece of marine engineering that I have used in 35 years of owning boats. In retrospect there is no comparison with the________. The ________ is in my opinion a state of the art servo pendulum but the choice is a matter of whether one wishes to drag a plank through the water attached to your helm or have another rudder. The Hydrovane proved to be so far superior on all points of sailing that it was as if it had been made specifically for the Tradewind 35. It simply never lost the plot – the ________ would often not let me brew a cup of tea before going off course.

So, many thanks to all the Hydrovane people.

Please feel free to use my comments as a testimonial and I enclose herewith a photo which you may make use of as you wish.

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Hartley 39 RORC Sloop

“We are absolutely delighted”

From: E & M Campbell
Sent: Monday, February 07, 2005 10:27 AM
To: John Curry
Subject: Look Ma No Hands

Hi John

The installation pics you asked for and a couple of others. Hope it didn’t jam your computer for too long.

Installation a breeze with no problems at all. The pads were made at home and required only minor adjustments to the concave of the stern, with a sanding disc on an angle grinder for perfect fit. All in all it took 2 of us about 6 hours. The hardest part stretching the cover onto the vane.

As a matter of interest I had no contact with any other owners of a Hydrovane prior to order but as we were taking the vane off the pier and back home for the cover fitting, we were stopped by a couple who recognized the vane. They had sailed out from England in a steel ketch 15 years ago. They sang the praises of Hydrovane having sailed 12,000 miles and only steering 200 miles. Of course they wanted a look at a brand new one straight out of the box. He asked if Derek Daniels had sold it to me.

Last weekend we had the delight of the test sail when 3 blokes had 3 days in Queen Charlotte Sound. The cross over Cook Strait was 10-12 kts on the nose so no problems there. The return trip 28kts reach with some slightly on the beam. Again no problems. With careful reefing and trimming we averaged 7.2kts for the 28 miles home.

We are absolutely delighted. It is now only a month to our departure for the circumnavigation of the South Island, Pacific islands next winter!!

A couple of small points. In the instructions perhaps you could include torque settings for the bolts. I made a guess and took them all down to an even 55 ftlbs.

John if I can be of help as a testimonial or even a demonstrator here in mid NZ I am only too willing.

Regards

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Shearwater 39 - Offshore Advice

“Best and most necessary piece of equipment we have found is the mechanical self steering.”

“We had the drogue ready to go but never deployed it. During all this our Hydrovane self-steering kept us on course and pointed correctly to the seas for 2 days without needing any adjustment.”

From: Winlink
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2004 4:39 PM
Subject: progress report from the Huxhams…

“We are about 700 n miles off the coast of Mexico headed for the equator. The winds are fair from the East and we have the fishing gear out. The fleeces are being stowed.

We know many of you are close to leaving and will give you our experience which may help. Best and most necessary piece of equipment we have found is the mechanical self steering. We were in a gale off Oregon. The 30-35 knot winds were not as much of a problem as the 8-14 foot seas. After heaving to for about five hours to wait for dawn, we shortened sail and ran at 6-7 knots under just staysail. We had the drogue ready to go but never deployed it. During all this our Hydrovane self-steering kept us on course and pointed correctly to the seas for 2 days without needing any adjustment. It has performed well in light conditions as well- well worth the money we spent. The crew was able to get needed rest.

In my opinion very few electric driven pilots could have held us on course in that kind of sea. We have a solar panel but did not see the sun for about 2 weeks so don’t count on it entirely. During the bad weather wind generator did well. Our water and fuel conservation is going well. Fortunately during the gale we were already 200 miles offshore so we did not need engine; don’t think we could have motored in the heavy seas. We are certainly happy we took the offshore route.

Freyja has performed well and apart from a shredded reefing block and line we have not had a major failure of equipment. For us the ham radio has become essential not only for email and weather but also for keeping in contact. Ron Kolody has been a great help and has organized phone patches with loved ones in Vancouver. We have also signed on to Pacific seafarers net.”

Shearwater 39 enroute from Vancouver to Marquesas

Basil and Angela

Swan 46

“As for my experience with the Hydrovane – I’d have to say that it is one of the best pieces of equipment I have on the boat.”

From: Christopher Johnson
Reply-To: Christopher Johnson
To: Charles __________
Subject: Re: Hydrovane Self-steering
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2004 14:52:46 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Charles,

In and of itself, the Hydrovane is a wonderful machine. It’s a, fundamentally simple design that is well engineered and well built, with numerous mounting options. If you can inspect one up close, you’ll see what I mean.

As for my experience with the Hydrovane – I’d have to say that it is one of the best pieces of equipment I have on the boat. I have an ’84 Swan 46 that I have sailed perhaps 25k nm on, from the Caribbean to the Chesapeake, and from California to NZ. In these past ten years the Hydrovane has required almost no maintenance, yet has provided countless hours of dependable service. I have often sailed short-handed because of my confidence in this “third crew member”.

I believe that at 49′ you are at the upper limit of the machine’s capability. However, to really get optimal performance – no matter what size boat you are on – you have to be able to balance your boat out well. The Hydrovane merely tips the scale this way or that, so to speak. If the boat is over canvassed, or the sails not trimmed properly, then the Hydrovane will have a hard time compensating, especially in a larger boat. A key control factor seems to be the offset of the main rudder to steer the boat a bit leeward to compensate for the boat’s tendency to head up as it hits small bursts of speed.

IF THE BOAT IS WELL BALANCED, the Hydrovane will work in practically all points of sail, and all wind speeds. I have used it in light air with a spinnaker, and fully reefed in 40 kts of wind in the Southern Ocean. The conditions that challenge it occur when the wind velocity is changing frequently, or when there are significant and sudden wind shifts. But this is probably true with all wind vane steering units. Dead down wind in light air can be tricky as the apparent wind is so low, and provides little energy to turn the rudder.

That said, the other features I like about the Hydrovane is that it can immediately function as an emergency rudder, and it is also easy to add a small tiller autopilot for motoring in calms, and to have as a backup to another mechanical unit you may have.

If you have any more specific questions, let me know. I have no complaints whatsoever with this product. It is a great thing that John Curry and family have become involved making access to information and parts more easily available than ever.

All the best, and good luck with your planning – it’s all well worth it.

Christopher Johnson
Owner of a Swan 46 (20 tons)
Sausilito, CA
(currently in New Zealand)

Van de Stadt 35

“It’s simplicity of design was nothing short of a miracle and it worked! It did exactly what it I wanted it to do, day after day, month after month with barely a glance as maintenance.”

From: Dr. Will Cave
Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2006 1:39 PM
To: John Curry
Subject: Searching for a yacht

Dear Hydrovane,

I owned an old steel Van der Stadt in the early 90’s and she took me round the world. Without the hydrovane welded onto the stern it would not have been possible. On my return I sold her to a Scot who was on the run from a spell at her majesty’s pleasure and when he was nicked and banged up she was bought again, by another Scot. I think the boat now owned by David de Moray who has written on your testimonials page is the same Romalo. Do you have his e-mail? I would love to contact him. (editor’s note – see David de Moray’s email below)

If it is the same yacht the hydrovane gear must be over 25 years old and done countless thousands of miles. It’s simplicity of design was nothing short of a miracle and it worked! It did exactly what it I wanted it to do, day after day, month after month with barely a glance as maintenance. Belated thanks for this. Sincerely,

Dr Will Cave, Stranded GP in Dorset, UK.

Van de Stadt 35

“It is quite fun to watch other blue water sailors pouring over their more flimsily-built units which have not survived the savage conditions of the atlantic! Of course, I don’t laugh – no, not at all!!”

“Many people say that such units are like having an extra hand on-board… I would put it more strongly since I am sure we have all had experiences of extra hands who were not much use! The Hydrovane unit is an utterly reliable extra hand … I trust my life to it without fear and without hesitation.”

From: David Moray
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2005 4:05 AM
To: John Curry
Subject: Hydrovane Company

I am currently ‘on leave’ back in the UK having left my yacht (a van de Stadt 35) in Rota, Spain. I have completed three years of single-handed sailing in the Med and on the west coast of Africa with most of the work being done by an aged but still fully-functional Hydrovane unit. When I was about to embark I visited the famous “production unit” in Nottingham (to get a replacement rudder) and was a little concerned to find that the company’s future was in some doubt.

Today I came across your web-site and the excellent news that you have bought the Hydrovane company, thus ensuring the continued supply of parts.

I cannot tell you how relieved I am … not that I expect any serious trouble from ‘the old lady at the stern’ you understand, but more from the point of view that you have saved a premier product from the scrapyard. I would swear by my Hydrovane unit and have on many occasions been grateful for its simple robustness. It is quite fun to watch other blue water sailors pouring over their more flimsily-built units which have not survived the savage conditions of the atlantic! Of course, I don’t laugh – no, not at all!!

As a Scotsman I have to confess that I am only a little disturbed by the company being acquired by a Canadian cousin – I’m sure that whisky must flow in your veins for otherwise I doubt if you would have been prompted to take the action you have!

This is just a wee note of thanks – simple as that. I applaud your actions, sir!

Slainte mhar,
David de Moray
SV “Romalo”

~

From: David Moray
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 4:03 AM
To: john@hydrovane.com
Subject: RE: Hydrovane Company

Firstly, “Slainte Mhar” means “good health to you”. It is Gaelic, as you probably guessed, and is the sort of thing one would say when parting from a friend. It is also what you might say when “raising a glass” as a sort of toast.

I am sorry to hear of your ‘disability’ (preference for Irish beer) but I have many very good friends who are Irish and they hide the affliction well – in fact it does not seem to inhibit their abilities at all! I have spent many happy days sailing on the west coast of Eire and it is certainly here, in these somewhat rumbustuous waters, that the Hydrovane unit earned its spurs as far as I was concerned.

When I first picked up my boat from Silvers Marine on the Clyde my maiden voyage with her was a fairly slow, single-handed, trip down to Valentia Island and Cahersiveen to work out all her ‘blemishes’. I had never used a Hydrovane unit before and was thrilled by the ease with which it operated and how quickly I could put my absolute trust in it. Many people say that such units are like having an extra hand on-board… I would put it more strongly since I am sure we have all had experiences of extra hands who were not much use! The Hydrovane unit is an utterly reliable extra hand … I trust my life to it without fear and without hesitation.

My unit is old … as is my boat … and as am I, if the truth ever comes out! It does not have the fancy new multicoloured PVC (or whatever) wind-vane but a simply piece of carefully shaped marine-ply. This is eminently replacable wherever in the world I am, although I have only ever broken one, and I carry a spare as you might expect. Low tech is certainly best on African shores in my experience, plus you can happily paint it ridiculous colours at a whim!

I am glad to see you have ‘modernized’ the pin which secures the rudder onto the shaft – I also have a lanyard binding the handle of the rudder-blade to the hull just in case. My rudder-blade did once fall off – much to my embarassment and everyone else’s hilarity – but my safety measure prevented its loss and my consequent bankruptcy!

Yes of course you may use any of the nonsense I have written. It is the least I can to re-pay you a) for saving the company and b) for continuing to produce such a wonderful product.

In lowland Scots dialect they sometimes say “lang may yer lum reek”. Well, I don’t know about that but I do wish you all the best and also your son when he joins in the venture. If ever you see a Hydrovane unit perched on the stern of a scruffy, vaguely white-hulled, Van de Stadt 35, unashamedly displaying the most gaudy and colourful of designs on the vane, give a shout .. aye, it’ll be me, nae doot!!

Slainte mhar,
David de Moray BSc(Eng) MEd FSA(Scot)
Currently on shore-leave but soon to return to W Africa with “Romalo”.

Transworld 41 Ketch - Around the World

“I am pleased to report that in all conditions, in anything of a breeze and above, the Hydrovane worked perfectly.”

“Since last seeing you I have sailed around the world…

Your Hydrovane worked splendidly throughout the entire voyage and when crossing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans I was able to go for many days without having to touch the helm… With wind from a whisper to 45 knots (the strongest I experienced) she held to the course far better than if I had hand steered.”

“During the entire cruise I think we had the wind from every conceivable direction and at every possible strength from flat calm to Force 6 … I am pleased to report that in all conditions, in anything of a breeze and above, the Hydrovane worked perfectly. You may remember that my boat has a long straight keel and displaces about 16 tons so it had a fair amount of work to do.”

Owner of a Transworld 41
Southsea, England

Westerly Ocean 49

“Congratulations on turning out a first class product.”

“…the main reason for writing is to say that if there are any doubters out there, undecided whether or not to fit a Hydrovane because it would mean fitting it off-centre, let me reassure them.”

Congratulations on turning out a first class product. From an engineering and quality standpoint it has no equal, right down to the lowliest pin. The quality of material used throughout is remarkable and the stainless steel comes pretty close to being ‘stainfree’…..

However, the main reason for writing is to say that if there are any doubters out there, undecided whether or not to fit a Hydrovane because it would mean fitting it off-centre, let me reassure them.

To preserve the swim platform and central boarding ladder on my 48′ Westerly, I fitted mine 15” off-centre and found no detriment whatsoever, regardless of sea state and wind speed, including an Atlantic crossing. None that I can detect, anyway, even though 15” is a little more than you [used to] recommend!”

Owner of a Westerly 49
Green Cove Springs, Florida, U.S.A

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