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Sceptre 43

“…a real joy to have aboard.”

“…has performed well in all of the conditions that we have used it for, even relatively light apparent winds from the quarters while flying the spinnaker.”

 

From: Kirk Doyle
Sent: March 11, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: Need a part

Hello Will,

This is Kirk Doyle from S/V Linger Longer, formerly of Seattle WA. We bought our Hydrovane, I believe, sometime in 2012 and it has been a real joy to have aboard. We have not been in any really nasty weather but it has performed well in all of the conditions that we have used it for, even relatively light apparent winds from the quarters while flying the spinnaker.

We seem to have stripped part of the fastener that locks the vane to the top of the unit. It is a plastic wheel with threads. We are currently in Mexico and it can be challenging to receive parts in a timely manner

Thank you

Kirk And Kris Doyle
S/V Linger Longer

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Hallberg Rassy 39

“I sailed to the Caribbean with the ARC in 2013 and the Hydrovane was great!”

From: David Mitchison
Sent: March 6, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Echo Tec Watermaker for HR 39

Hi Will,

Thanks for your email. I will have a look at my engine and see how it will all work. I won’t be ordering in the near future but hopefully in due course.

I sailed to the Caribbean with the ARC in 2013 and the Hydrovane was great!

May see you at the Southampton boat show.

Best regards,
David

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40ft Wooden Ketch

“We installed Hydrovane in 2009 on our long-keeled, canoe-stern 40 ft ketch Vesterviking from 1957, before we left from Helsinki, Finland to the Mediterranean. Have to say that Hydrovane worked all the way superbly.”

“As an elderly couple sailing on a tiller-steered yacht with an unbalanced rudder, which makes it quite heavy to steer in stronger winds, we always use Hydrovane when we have to sail a longer stretch in the open sea.”

From: Jaakko Toiviainen
Sent: February 26, 2017
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Hydrovane in use

Hi,

We installed Hydrovane in 2009 on our long-keeled, canoe-stern 40 ft ketch Vesterviking from 1957, before we left from Helsinki, Finland to the Mediterranean. Have to say that Hydrovane worked all the way superbly. Since having returned from there we have continued sailing in the Baltic waters from our home base Helsinki, Finland to Sweden and Denmark and also crossing the North Sea to Norway.

As an elderly couple sailing on a tiller-steered yacht with an unbalanced rudder, which makes it quite heavy to steer in stronger winds, we always use Hydrovane when we have to sail a longer stretch in the open sea. Sailing in the Finnish archipelago we cannot use it often because of the changing winds and winding routes.

We are very happy with Hydrovane. I enclose a photo of a satisfied sailor and another photo which shows our yacht in the harbour of Ste Marin, France. In the first photo you see a a rope we have to attach to the backstay to draw it a bit forward to make clearance for the vane in certin wind angles. Also we have to tilt our reserve vhf antenna (the other in in the mizzen top) to make clearance, but that is perfectly ok.

Best Regards,

Jaakko Toiviainen
Helsinki, Finland

Blue Hound Schooner 23 Tons - VIDEO

“The unit was in command for almost the whole voyage, 3,200 miles. We had 12 days of F6-7 gusting 8 with big seas. Had to use high gain setting on unit in heavy conditions. 3-10 degrees of rudder offset worked fine depending on conditions.”

“We had absolute confidence in the Hydrovane, and when we snared a fishing net round the main rudder with 1000 miles to go it was relief to think that we had the ‘spare rudder’ ”

“Overall absolutely delighted. Bonus was not having to generate 200 AH per day for main electro-hydraulic autopilot.”

From: Phil
Sent: February 18, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Blue Hound schooner 14.6 m; 23 T

Hi Will

Just a quick update. Got delayed in fitting the unit, finally completed in Las Palmas because I was very fussy about alignment. Fitted vane and left for Barbados same day, 19 Jan. The unit was in command for almost the whole voyage, 3,200 miles. We had 12 days of F6-7 gusting 8 with big seas. Had to use high gain setting on unit in heavy conditions. 3-10 degrees of rudder offset worked fine depending on conditions.

Backwash from the main meant that the unit was less responsive on port gybe (we gybe downwind, never run). We had absolute confidence in the Hydrovane, and when we snared a fishing net round the main rudder with 1000 miles to go it was relief to think that we had the ‘spare rudder’ – conditions were too rough to attempt removal and anyway, we still had steerage with the main rudder and the net eventually disappeared after 800 miles during a gybe.

Only concern is that unit seemed to develop a groan after 2000 miles when heavily loaded. I suspect a bearing. Bolts etc are fine. is the bearing just HMPE or ball/roller? I will check for play when we reach Bequia. There was no binding at all when fitted, and none now. Sleeves on the drive fork have always rotated freely (and I checked them under load – still have my fingers…!)

Overall absolutely delighted. Bonus was not having to generate 200 AH per day for main electro-hydraulic autopilot. We only used it to assist with gybes in the heavy winds.

Thanks for all your help, will send video and photos etc in due course

Phil

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Amel Mango 52 - It Saved My Boat

“At 1100nm from Martinique during the night with 30/35 knots of wind and 3 to 5 meters waves we heard 2 big noises like something hitting the boat on the side and almost immediately the autopilot stopped working and the boat went beam to the waves.”

“At the end I am happy I did install the Hydrovane, especially that I saw on YouTube that at the same time 2 sailboats almost the same size as mine with the same problem. The crew had to abandon the the ships and left both boats in the middle of the Atlantic and lost everything.”

“…again thanks to the Hydrovane. It saved my boat.”

From: Jacques Glaser
Sent: January 30, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: RE: Hydrovane Install

Hi Will,
Sorry for the late news but it is a good news for you.

We are now in Martinique. After installing the Hydrovane, we left Tenerife on December 11 and after 18 days at sea we arrived in Martinique.

At 1100nm from Martinique during the night with 30/35 knots of wind and 3 to 5 meters waves we heard 2 big noises like something hitting the boat on the side and almost immediately the autopilot stopped working and the boat went beam to the waves. The steering wheel was blocked and we could no longer steer. Not right not left.

So we put down the sails, started the motor and used the Hydrovane to steer! When the day came I reestablished the sails and we finished the trip with the Hydrovane without any problems.

At the end I am happy I did install the Hydrovane, especially that I saw on YouTube that at the same time 2 sailboats almost the same size as mine with the same problem. The crew had to abandon the the ships and left both boats in the middle of the Atlantic and lost everything.

Now I am telling everybody to install the Hydrovane.

Best regards and again thanks to the Hydrovane. It saved my boat.

– Jacques, Amel Mango 52

Photo of Jacques’ great quick release wheel lock

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Ovni 395

“Have just returned from Antigua and have to say that our best crew member on our Atlantic crossing was – yes, you guessed it, “Jane” our HYDROVANE!!”

From: Graham Marchand
Sent: January 27, 2017
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Parts

Hi Sarah,

Have just returned from Antigua and have to say that our best crew member on our Atlantic crossing was – yes, you guessed it, “Jane” our HYDROVANE!!

Our control line is now very brittle and has been stuck together several times. Can you supply a new one please – and how do you recommend sticking the two ends together?

[Editor’s Note: We recommend a ‘heat weld’ – see the Installation Video Part II – requires two people, a lighter, and just a couple minutes of time.]

Best regards – Graham Marchand

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Tayana 42 cc

“After four years I am still convinced it is one of the best investments I have made on “Lala”.

Set boat up and relax!”

From: Lance Rock
Sent: January 27, 2017
To: John Curry
Subject: Hydrovane setup on Tayana 42′ cc “Lala”

I was asked for info on my Hydrovane installation. Here are photos.

After four years I am still convinced it is one of the best investments I have made on “Lala”. Set boat up and relax!

Thanks again to all the people at Hydrovane!
Lance Rock

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Bavaria 30

“As well as the exceptional performance of the self steering it also improved the overall stability of the boat in gusts.”

From: Stuart Brooks
Date: Jan 15, 2017
Subject: Bavaria 30 – Hydrovane Fit
To: Hydrovane

Hi Diane,

I attach a few photographs of the Hydrovane fit to my Bavaria 30. It was fitted by Peter Anderson from Buckie, along the coast from Lossiemouth.

I didn’t get as much sailing in last year, as I hoped. However, when I used the Hydrovane it performed exceptionally well. I am very pleased with it. As well as the exceptional performance of the self steering it also improved the overall stability of the boat in gusts.

I hope to sail more this coming year.

Many thanks

Best Regards
Stuart

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X 46 - Emergency Rudder

“We are at 600 nm of the Martinique island and we finish only with the help of the Hydrovane.”

From: Jean Vittori
Sent: January 17, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: Emergency Steering

Hi Will ,

To understand the problem you need know the mounting of the [boat’s main] steering system: on the rudderstock we have a tiller with an axis , on the lower part of this axis is the autopilot and on the upper part the steering system connected by a draglink.

During a night (always during the night !) in a thunderstorm this axis was broken just under the tiller arm : it is finished for the autopilot.

We take the wheel and when I can I go down in the aft locker: the problem was that with the movements of the wheel the upper part of the axis moved and risked to leave the tiller arm and therefore more possibility to govern the sailboat.

I locked the axle with a clamp and installed the safety tiller on the top of the rudderstock .
We finish the night at the wheel , at the sunrise I go in the water to install the rudder of the hydrovane, not easy with the swell .

We are at 600 nm of the Martinique island and we finish only with the help of the Hydrovane.

Moral: install the rudder before leaving!

Best regards

jd

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Prout Snowgoose 37 Catamaran

“I had an incredible 4 days 7 hours non-stop sail from San Francisco to San Diego, CA last month and used the vane for the first time. It performed flawlessly.”

From: Kevin St. Laurent
Sent: January 8, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Flexible Solar Panels Inquiry

Hey Will,

I’ve got two questions:

1. I’m sailing down to Mexico from San Deigo, CA starting February 2nd so my window for getting some solar panels shipped in the US is closing. Also, I want to have them installed before I depart. Any progress?

2. I’ve attached two photos of my boat sitting on a mooring ball in flat calm without the rudder installed. As you can see, about 1 of the shaft is in the water. Is this a problem? Did install too low?

[Editor’s note: Having the Hydrovane shaft sit below the waterline is not an issue, you just have to periodically clean it.  You could also raise it an inch or two by loosening the bracket clamps and adjusting as needed.  The shaft is isolated from the unit so no issues with electrolysis or anything like that.]

In other news, I had an incredible 4 days 7 hours non-stop sail from San Francisco to San Diego, CA last month and used the vane for the first time. It performed flawlessly.

Cheers,

Kevin

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Hallberg Rassy 48 - VIDEO & DAVITS

“We hope the photos and video help allay peoples concerns about offset mounting, a boat the size of ours (49ft, 21Ton); a dinghy on davits adjacent and a radar pole on stern – all turned out not to be a problem!”

From: Ian Cook (via Dropbox)
Sent: January 5, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: Ian Cook shared “Sea Cloud hydrovane HR48.m4v” with you

Dear Will

Hope you can access these video clips on hydrovane on Sea Cloud (Hallberg-Rassy 48). We’ve used it now almost continuously for over 4,500 miles and we are very happy with it! We hope the photos and video help allay peoples concerns about offset mounting, a boat the size of ours (49ft, 21t); a dinghy on davits adjacent and a radar pole on stern – all turned out not to be a problem!

Happy New Year Ian and Cathy Cook”

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Tartan 3800

“…demonstrates how well our Hydrovane handles even in rough seas and strong winds. This is my son, Bob and I on the Pacific Puddle Jump to French Polynesia.”

A letter to Latitude 38 about gear on the Pacific Puddle Jump:

“Gear I liked… My Hydrovane self-steering system worked flawlessly. I mounted a tiller-pilot to it for windless days. It worked well so I seldom used my Raymarine ST-6000 autopilot.”

From: Joel Sorum
Sent: December 22, 2016
To: Sarah & Will
Subject: Compañera

​Hi Sarah & Will, This is a large file but it demonstrates how well our Hydrovane handles even in rough seas and strong winds. This is my son, Bob and I on the Pacific Puddle Jump to French Polynesia. We made the 3,000 mile hop from Cabo San Jose to Hiva Oa in 21 days on Compañera, my Tartan 3800.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and really hope to see you both in 2017. Maybe I’ll sail to BC on my way back from Hawaii.

Joel

Joel’s Letter in LATITUDE 38 January 2017

YOU DON’T WANT FLUFFY TOWELS

I did a 21-day Puddle Jump with my Tartan 3800 OC Compañera last spring starting from Cabo, and loved how my boat did. She’s still in Tahiti, and I’m planning to bring her home this summer so I can do another Baja Ha-Ha in 2017. Gear I liked:

  1. The cruising gennaker on the Selden CX25 furler, as it provided great performance in a variety of conditions.
  2. My DeLorme InReach satellite communicator, which interfaced well with my iPad. It fact, it worked so well that I never activated my Iridium satphone.
  3. My Hydrovane self-steering system worked flawlessly. I mounted a tiller-pilot to it for windless days. It worked well so I seldom used my Raymarine ST-6000 autopilot.
  4. My Spectra watermaker worked great — but you have to change the filters.

Now for things that either didn’t work or weren’t adequate:

  1. The Yanmar 38-hp diesel wasn’t powerful enough in demanding conditions.
  2. While the engine had been well maintained, spare parts were critical.
  3. My 300-watt solar panels worked great, but were insufficient.
  4. My Primus Air Silent X Wind Turbine generated little power when sailing downwind. I replaced it with a Primus Air Breeze and had better results. I regret that I didn’t have a Honda 2000 portable generator.
  5. My Adler-Barbour refrigerator was a power hog. Performance improved after I re-insulated the interior, reducing the volume.
  6. The most frustrating was a short in the microphone for my SSB, which meant I could listen to the other boats in the Puddle Jump, but I couldn’t communicate with them!
  7. Several bilge-pump float switches failed during the crossing.
  8. You don’t want fluffy towels in the tropics. Replace them with easy-to-dry backpacker towels.
  9. I brought way too many blankets, comforters and clothes.
  10. I didn’t use my paper charts a single time.

A carefully planned-out medical kit, including several types of antibiotics, is essential. I developed a seriously infected finger that required a trip back to the States from the Marquesas. Upon arrival in the States, I had to undergo emergency surgery and was hospitalized for several days.

Remember, there are no West Marine or similar stores in French Polynesia; it’s all 220-volt, so there are no 30- or 50-amp outlets; the currency is different; and they use the metric system. The navigation system is different, too. ‘Red, right, returning’ in French Polynesia will put your boat on the reef. The French also use butane rather than propane, and the fittings are different.

Joel Sorum
Compañera, Tartan 3800 OC
Vallejo

Latitude 38 Response: Readers — We can’t recall a respondent who didn’t love their windvane, and many reported great success using a tiller-pilot to drive when motoring.

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Prout 39 Catamaran

From our German Dealer, Tom Logisch: “The cat lost his hydraulic steering short after ARC start and the rest of 3000 miles he used the HYDROVANE”

From: Tom Logisch
Sent: December 23, 2016
To: John Curry, Will Curry
Subject: News

Dear all,

we wish you all mary christmas time and a good start in 2017!!

Here the news from today:

Gute Nachrichten heute aus St. Lucia von Karl-Heinz:"Lieber Tom,nachdem Du bei mir in Las Palmas an Bord warst und…

Posted by tom logisch on Friday, December 23, 2016

The cat lost his hydraulic steering short after ARC start and the rest of 3000 miles he used the HYDROVANE

English Translation:

Dear Tom,
After you were with me in Las Palmas on board and still gave a few good tips for the hydrovane, we were then also the next day started and the hydraulic steering promptly fell 2 days, no wheel. We had no autopilot. We then decided to try steering with the Hydrovane and after some getting used it, it worked quite well. We have used it the entire Atlantic crossing, which together with the course has given us a total of over 4000 nm through the water. Anyway, we have made it then to the party. All in all it was a good investment. Best greetings from St Lucia, Karl Heinz “

Gern hören wir wieder von Ihnen!!

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

with best regards

tom logisch – exploring the world in a better way UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
rodelberg 47
14532 kleinmachnow
germany
tel.: +49 33203 71501
www.tomlogisch.com

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Island Packet 35

“…Oh yes and we love our HydroVane!”

Custom 36 - Modified XT Vane

“This is our first cruise with our new Hydrovane and during its course I have fallen deeply in love with our Hydrovane ! It has steered us in ALL conditions, even the most demanding, and is beautifully SILENT!”

From: Peter Moffitt
Sent: December 20, 2016
To: Will Curry
Subject: XT vane

Hi Will

We have just returned from a 3,500 NM cruise from Sydney to Lizard Island in Far North Queensland (about 280 NM south of Cape York) and return to Sydney. This is our first cruise with our new Hydrovane and during its course I have fallen deeply in love with our Hydrovane ! It has steered us in ALL conditions, even the most demanding, and is beautifully SILENT !

You would be interested to know that I cut 90mm off the top of the XT vane to allow it to clear the obstruction by the corner of a solar panel on the radar arch (in its un-extended form). I removed this 90mm height from both the tubular frame and the nylon cover. You wouldn’t know the difference in the photo I previously sent you, and I have found that it works fine un-extended despite the slight shortening.

However I have one issue with the XT vane – no matter how tightly I screw the knob on the bottom of the movable part of the vane frame to hold it in an extended position, when it is fully tightened it still doesn’t grip to hold it extended. It was OK in the beginning but over time it has lost its grip. I’ve tried lubricating the thread with silicone grease to make sure that the thread tightens right up, but it still doesn’t quite grip. Do you have a fix for this please ?

[Editor’s note: First thought was the ‘olive’ went missing. Wasn’t that… Turned out to be that the olive was installed correctly, but where the olive bears against the male threaded part attached to the bottom of the aluminium tube, the aluminium tube was recessed slightly from the plastic male thread element. Added a coupling ]

Cheers from Peter

Peter Moffitt
Yacht PIXIE
Sydney, Australia

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