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Pete Goss' Frances 34 PH

“My wife, Tracey, and I have just completed a two month cruise with our new Hydrovane and it has performed beyond all expectations.”

“If cruising I wouldn’t go to sea without one: strong, simple, reliable, an emergency helm and an extra crew member who never complains and doesn’t need a watch system.”

From: Pete Goss
Sent: September 6, 2016
To: Diane Beveridge
Subject: Re: Hydrovane

Hi Diane,

We are back from a two month cruise with the new Hydrovane and thought you might like the following.

My wife, Tracey, and I have just completed a two month cruise with our new Hydrovane and it has performed beyond all expectations.

If cruising I wouldn’t go to sea without one: strong, simple, reliable, an emergency helm and an extra crew member who never complains and doesn’t need a watch system.

We encountered all weathers but it was a night sail in the Bay of Biscay with a force seven up the chuff and big seas that did it for me. We have a 34ft cruiser and the Hydrovane steered us through it all, we were surfing up to twelve knots. It kept us on course and was able to correct the consequence of random cross seas. I sat there with a cup of tea and slowly fell in love with something that is inanimate and yet gave us confidence and comfort.

Cheers Pete

Pete Goss MBE
wwww.petegoss.com

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Hanse 400

“It would be absolutely perfect if it could also stand watches during the night!”

From: Neil Anderson
Sent: September 17, 2016
To: Will Curry
Subject: RE: Silver Lininig – Hydrovane – photo

Hi Will

Sorry about the delay in replying. I wanted to be able to use the vane before responding.

We have now sailed from Falmouth(UK) via Spain and Portugal to Lanzarote.

The vane has been used for a number of overnight passages and has been working well.

It would be absolutely perfect if it could also stand watches during the night!

I have attached some photos as well

Cheers Neil

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Vintage 35' Ketch

“Had steering gear torn apart on my vintage 35′ ketch and needed to pull the boat for repairs.”

“Great emergency rudder!”

From: Steve Gibson
Sent: September 16, 2016
To: Sarah Curry

Sarah,

Had steering gear torn apart on my vintage 35′ ketch and needed to pull the boat for repairs. Used my Hydrovane, with a 5′ length of 1-1/2″ PVC as a tiller handle, with minimum way on in order to maneuver through a tight channel with several turns, to haul out ramp. Great emergency rudder!

Regards,

Steven

Steven E. Gibson
Captain, U.S. Navy (retired)

Niagara 35

Singlehanded to French Polynesia

“My Hydrovane was definitely my best friend and only crew. It performed perfectly, although I do have a bit too much weather helm.”

From: Greg Lakes
Date: Aug 2, 2016
Subject: Parts
To: sarah AT hydrovane.com

Hey Sarah,

The crossing was good. I think I got pretty lucky. I even snuck across the equator at 4 knots on a close reach.

My Hydrovane was definitely my best friend and only crew. It performed perfectly, although I do have a bit too much weather helm.

My hydrovane is hands-down the best improvement I’ve made to my boat. And the after-sales service and the relationship with the staff is exceptional. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, you folks rock!

~~~~~

Thanks Greg!!

Wauquiez 42 - XT Vane

“I was very pleased!”

“I would say that the vane was effective in relative winds down to five knots, maybe less.”

From: William Wickman
Subject: XT-Vane performance
Date: March 5, 2016
To: Hydrovane International Marine

Hi John, Hi Will,

We’re in Bonaire after completing the Atlantic crossing to St. Lucia and then the 450nm trip to this nice island. I thought you might be interested in my impressions of the XT-Vane which we used exclusively during the voyages other than when we were motoring.

I was very pleased! In any conditions in which we chose to sail the vane responded quite well. During most of this roughly 3500nm we had 15-20 knots from nearly astern and I used the vane only slightly extended and with the rudder set to the most sensitive and least powerful position (all the way left) and this worked very well, maybe better than the stubby or standard vane would have worked. In the really light air I extended the vane all the way if the wind was well aft and as far as I could without banging into the arch if we were a little off the wind. IMHO this was a big improvement over the past vanes. At no time did the vane fail to respond adequately to any winds in which we chose to sail. I would say that the vane was effective in relative winds down to five knots, maybe less. So I don’t know how much more powerful the XT vane really is but to me it seemed significantly better for our boat. We never had any winds forward of the beam so how it works going to weather I cannot say but I’d be surprised if there were any problems.

Give our blog a visit at: airstreamvoyages.blogspot.com and go back a couple posts and you’ll read about the Atlantic and Bonaire passages.

Hope you’re all doing very well.

Bill & Janet Wickman
SV Airstream

Custom Gaff 36

Adding a tiller pilot?

“I purchased one of your Hydrovanes a couple of years ago and I think it is the best bit of kit I ever bought.”

From: Steven Slater
Sent: August 04, 2016
To: Will@hydrovane.com
Subject: Advice

Hi Will

I purchased one of your Hydrovanes a couple of years ago and I think it is the best bit of kit I ever bought.

I have had a tiller made for the Hydrovane and I can fix my tiller pilot to it.

Am I correct in assuming that I can use this system to steer the boat whilst motoring, I am in the Med. at the moment so do a lot of motoring depending on where you want to go, there is a reason why galley slaves were popular here before motors!

[Editor’s note: Absolutely! It’s a great option for motoring or light airs]

Take care Steve (Lovely Edith)

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Victor 40

Stumbling upon our website, 30 years later…

“The idea of a separate rudder and a self-steering gear which did not use the main steering gear was most attractive, and that’s why we chose it.”

“So it’s Hurrah for the Hydrovane! Give it my best wishes, and long may Derek’s brilliantly subtle invention continue to keep the adventurous on course.”

How cool is it to receive an email like this! Photos pulled from the album.

From: Michael Burch
Sent: July 8, 2016
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Yacht Ngaio

Hi,

How delightful to come across your website by accident! I had no idea that the Hydrovane was still being made.

I bought mine in England from Derek Daniels in 1986, and fitted it just to starboard of the boarding ladder on my yacht Ngaio (launched 16 July 1986 — thirty years ago next Saturday).

Ngaio is a Victor 40 which my wife and I built from a bare GRP hull and deck. The idea of a separate rudder and a self-steering gear which did not use the main steering gear was most attractive, and that’s why we chose it. In September 1986 we set off from Falmouth in SW England to sail around the world. We arrived in our native New Zealand in November 1987, ran out of money, got jobs, got a mortgage, built a house – and never left!

The Hydrovane (Horatio – the anglicised version of Horatius, he who kept the bridge in Macaulay’s poem: a lousy pun, but mine own…) steered all but about 100 of the 12,000 miles of that trip. The only fault it developed was that the spinnaker cloth covering the vane rotted out pretty quickly in the tropics, and I had to sew a replacement from ordinary sailcloth. The extra weight did not seem to make any difference.

Once back in NZ, I fitted the remote course-setting pulley and endless loop which I should have had from the start. I intended to convert it to an electric motor, but had not got around to doing so before selling the boat in 1996.

So it’s Hurrah for the Hydrovane! Give it my best wishes, and long may Derek’s brilliantly subtle invention continue to keep the adventurous on course.

Yours,

Mike Burch

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Liberty 458 - 32 day passage

“Well, we made it to Trinidad from Namibia and our Hydrovane did it all for us – again.”

“…slammed by waves on the beam, over and over. It still kept blowing at 30-35 knots and James just kept on working, 24 hours a day for days on end.”

From: Bill Hudson
Date: July 31, 2016
To: John Curry
Subject: James, our Hydrovane

Well, we made it to Trinidad from Namibia and our Hydrovane did it all for us – again.

We left Luederitz heading out for St. Helena with a great wind off the port stern quarter. About 20 knots. During the trip, we hoisted numerous different sail combinations, from a simple poled out genoa and main, to our spinnaker. The trip (1600 miles) was a piece of cake thanks to James (our Hydrovane).

From there we were off for Trinidad this time in 30 to 35 knot winds for weeks on end. Add in a beam sea hitting us repeatedly on the starboard side. The winds during the first three weeks were off the stern. Once we neared the coast of South America we stowed the genoa and pulled up the forestaysail and changed course heading northwest. Now we were getting slammed by waves on the beam, over and over. It still kept blowing at 30-35 knots and James just kept on working, 24 hours a day for days on end. We continually flew along making great time all the while James just kept doing what he does so well-steer the boat.

In the end, we covered the 3600 miles from St Helena to Trinidad in 32 days. Not bad for a boat weighing in at 23 ton. Who says wind vanes can’t steer a heavy boat even when it’s of set on the stern. Not us!!!

With out our Hydrovane, the trip would have been a whole lot harder. We only had to steer the boat when we left or entered each harbor. The rest, it was our Hydrovane that did the work.

As I’ve told other boaters, don’t leave a harbor with out a Hydrovane. Thanks for making a great piece of equipment. In the 40,000 miles we’ve covered, the only repair we’ve had to do was replace the pin that holds the rudder onto the steering shafts and it sheared off in 35 knot winds off the stern starboard quarter along time ago.

Bill and Tracy Hudson
SV Zephyr

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Allied Princess 36 Ketch

“…even a bear can keep the boat on course.”

From: Michael Carder
Sent: July 16, 2016
To: Will Curry
Date: Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 4:03 PM
Subject: Fw: Teddy and Hydrovane

Here’s our mascot making an adjustment to the hydrovane. Teddy doesn’t know how to sail but with a hydrovane even a bear can keep the boat on course.

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Roberts 44

“The Hydrovane actually had so much power that it was over steering until I put it the middle gear. Then it was perfect again.”

“My setup is so cool… Hydrovane, davits, and 350 watts of solar panels. I didn’t have to compromise!”

From: Jason Hedges
Sent: July 01, 2016
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Quick Question

Will,

I’m about 5 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard right now. We’ve been sailing 3 days non stop to get here. Not a big trip for most of your customers but a big one for us as we are working to build our experience to sail to the Caribbean next year.

When there was enough wind to sail, we used the Hydrovane. It has performed flawlessly so far. From some of what I’ve read, many say you have to learn how to use a wind vane (any of them) for it to be useful. To be honest, it just seems to work for me (even though I’m sure I could balance the boat better).

Most of the wind has been light (6-10 knots) but one evening we had 6 hours of 18-20 knots with 4-5 foot following seas. The Hydrovane actually had so much power that it was over steering until I put it the middle gear. Then it was perfect again. I mention that b/c I almost didn’t buy the Hydrovane b/c I was worried about it having enough power to steer.

I’ll send you some pics soon. My setup is so cool… Hydrovane, davits, and 350 watts of solar panels. I didn’t have to compromise!

Thanks for all your help!

Contact

John Kretschmer’s Kaufman 47

John Kretschmaer has logged more than 300,000 offshore sailing miles. Drawing from his vast bluewater experience, he teaches aspiring voyagers and is author of a number of great reads!

“So, I must tell you, and I mean this sincerely, the Hydrovane is simply a game changer for Quetzal. It’s just great and performs better than I expected.”

“Quetzal is a good sailing boat, often topping 9 knots but the HV handles her very well. It steers like a human, lifting a bit in the puffs, easing in header, always finding her way back to the course line.”

“One other feature of the vane that I really appreciate is that it eases the load on the rudder and rudder bearings.”

From: John Kretschmaer
Sent: June 25, 2016
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane on Quetzal

Will,

So, I must tell you, and I mean this sincerely, the Hydrovane is simply a game changer for Quetzal. It’s just great and performs better than I expected. We’ve now made three passages, St. Martin-Bermuda, Bermuda-Newport, Newport-Bermuda, about 2000 miles, with varying weather, from calms to Force 8/9, and the HV has done almost all the steering.

Quetzal is a good sailing boat, often topping 9 knots but the HV handles her very well. It steers like a human, lifting a bit in the puffs, easing in header, always finding her way back to the course line. And now that I have LED lights, and an efficient fridge, we’re liberated from motoring just to charge the batteries to run the autopilot. The solar array keeps up now.

One other feature of the vane that I really appreciate is that it eases the load on the rudder and rudder bearings. Quetzal was built in 1986 and I just did a big rudder job, rebuilding the rudder and changing the bearings, a big job. But by keeping the wheel locked, the rudder bearings have been loading on these recent passages, which is just fine with me. Also, I don’t feel the need to upgrade the autopilot now, the old one is working fine and not being used very often on passage.

I added a bit of weight, a zinc as you suggested and that took care of most of the humming and vibration. The truth is, now I don’t even notice it, and I don’t really care because the vane does its job so well. In three days my wife Tadji and I are sailing from Bermuda back to Martha’s Vineyard, just the two of us, and knowing that we have the Hydrovane takes a lot of anxiety away.

We took some good pictures, I think, of the vane in action on the last passage and as soon as I receive them, (one of the crew was the best photographer) I will shoot them off to you.

All the best,

John

www.yayablues.com

Sent from my iPhone

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Bavaria 50

“Now we have sailed crossing the Biscay, steering with Hydrovane and are very pleased with it. I think it does a very good job.”

From: Erk
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2016 9:18 AM
To: ‘Valerie Williams’; Will Curry

Hi Will.
Now we have sailed crossing the Biscay, steering with Hydrovane and are very pleased with it. I think it does a very good job. ?

… The condition over Biscay when we used the Hydrovane was from little wind up to 30 knots from 90 degrees. We have also used it with wind from behind.

Regards
Erik.

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Garcia 48 Catamaran

The Garcia 48 weighs 23 metric tons (23,000 kg. or 56,000 lbs.)

“Credit to Tom Logsich of Logisch Yachts for good professional service.”

“The first test was convincing in winds of 5 to 25 knots and for all points of sail. The Hydrovane teaches humility and patience – because it immediately shows any negligence in not attending to sail trim.”

“Often it is better than the electric autopilot ….. even while using a Parasailor with 25 knots of wind.”

Moin !

Ich bin der Projektleiter und Skipper einer Garcia 48, S.Y. Hanna, ein 23 tons Aluminium Katamaran. Zur Vorbereitung der Weltumseglung im Rahmen der WorldARC wurde – nach dem Totalausfall der 12 V DC Anlage an Bord – durch Tom Logisch eine Hydrovane Windsteueranlage installiert.

Gute, professionelle Abwicklung und Installation.

Mit speziellen Halterungen für Aluminiumyachten und einer erhöhten, nach oben verstellbaren Windfahne ( das Deckshaus / festes Bimini ist 3,30 m hoch) hat uns die Hydrovane beim ersten Probeschlag überzeugt. Inzwischen haben wir die Windfahnensteuerung bei Winden von 5 – 25 kn und auf allen Kursen zum Wind ausprobiert.

Sie lehrt Demut und Geduld – denn sie zeigt sofort jede Nachlässigkeit bei nicht ausbalanciertem Segeltrimm auf. Stimmt der Segeltrimm, ist es nur noch eine Sache des Probierens in welchem Gang und mit wie weit ausgefahrener Windfahne die Anlage am besten läuft. Sie macht das dann oft besser als der elektrische Autopilot…

Auch unter Parasailor bei 25 kn von Achtern.

Da die Yacht mit kleiner Crew gesegelt wird, ist eine zuverlässige Steuerung mehr als willkommen und in Verbindung mit der Hydrogeneratorhalterung auch sehr praktisch.

Kein Stromverbrauch durch den elektrischen Autopiloten und noch Stromerzeugung durch den Watt&Sea.

Wieder zwei redundante Systeme mehr.

Weitere Auskünfte oder Fragen gerne an Thomas.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

Hello !

I am the project manager and skipper of a Garcia 48, ‘S.Y. Hanna’, a 25 ton/23,000 kg. aluminum catamaran which has a Hydrovane wind vane provided by Tom Logisch. We are preparing for a circumnavigation with WorldARC. The Hydrovane installation was inspired by the total failure of the boat’s 12 V DC system.

Credit to Tom Logsich of Logisch Yachts for good professional service. The installation of the Hydrovane included suitable fittings for the aluminum and extra structure to accommodate the bimini which is 3.3 m. above the water.

The first test was convincing in winds of 5 to 25 knots and for all points of sail. The Hydrovane teaches humility and patience – because it immediately shows any negligence in not attending to sail trim. Some experimenting is required as to sail trim and the Vane settings. Often it is better than the electric autopilot … even while using a Parasailor with 25 knots of wind.

Because the yacht is sailed with a small crew, more reliable steering control is welcome as is the hydro generator (Watt & Sea) that is conveniently attached to the Hydrovane with a bracket designed for that purpose.

All in one package two redundant systems: no power consumed by the self steering and electric power generated by the Watt & Sea.

For further information or questions contact Thomas Wibberenz – Tel: 040 / 819 565 71 –  www.proyacht.de/

Someday we intend to create a video sailing with the Parasailor.

Regards from Hamburg

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Allied Princess 36 Ketch

“We really like our Hydrovane.”

“We had it steering the boat within ten minutes. It’s finest hour was a 24 hour run across the Gulf of Maine in 20 plus knots of wind on the starboard quarter, with gusts to 35, and confused 6 foot seas. We are thoroughly pleased with it.”

From: Michael Carder
Sent: May 24, 2016
To: will AT hydrovane.com
Subject: watt and sea generator

Hi Will,

We really like our Hydrovane. Installation was done on the hard. The instructions were clear and comprehensive – I think I might have called you once. We had it steering the boat within ten minutes. It’s finest hour was a 24 hour run across the Gulf of Maine in 20 plus knots of wind on the starboard quarter, with gusts to 35, and confused 6 foot seas. We are thoroughly pleased with it.

We are interested in a watt and sea water generator. Like the sound of the cruising version, mounted on the hydrovane shaft. Please send a quote.

Our boat has its rudder attached to the keel so we slid over the crab pots we didn’t see when we were in Maine last year. But the ones with the double floats snagged the hydrovane rudder a couple of times. Could I round off the leading edge of the hydrovane rudder?

[Editor’s note: Yes, no problem on rounding off the bottom of the rudder – you can use an angle grinder or something similar.  If you take off too much the vane might get over powered by the rudder so just do what is needed to make the corner round.]  

I have an old style belt driven autopilot which worked just fine going round Vancouver island on a previous boat. It was however 26′ long and was a lot lighter than the Princess. I plan to try it this summer. If it doesn’t work we will get a tiller pilot and hook it up to the hydrovane tiller. What size would you recommend?

[Adding a tillerpilot is a great solution because it takes very little power to turn the Hydrovane semi balanced rudder. We’ve used Raymarine ST1000 – It doesn’t need to be a large pilot]

Regards, Michael Carder

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Garcia 48 Catamaran - VIDEO

From Tom Logisch, our German dealer:

“It works perfectly on a 23 tons aluminum cat – GARCIA 48, entered in the next WORLD ARC”

And later: “This week we tested the GARCIA with 25 knots wind from behind – excellent with your XT vane!!!!!!”

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