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“…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
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’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:
- The cruising gennaker on the Selden CX25 furler, as it provided great performance in a variety of conditions.
- My DeLorme InReach satellite communicator, which interfaced well with my iPad. It fact, it worked so well that I never activated my Iridium satphone.
- 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.
- My Spectra watermaker worked great — but you have to change the filters.
Now for things that either didn’t work or weren’t adequate:
- The Yanmar 38-hp diesel wasn’t powerful enough in demanding conditions.
- While the engine had been well maintained, spare parts were critical.
- My 300-watt solar panels worked great, but were insufficient.
- 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.
- My Adler-Barbour refrigerator was a power hog. Performance improved after I re-insulated the interior, reducing the volume.
- 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!
- Several bilge-pump float switches failed during the crossing.
- You don’t want fluffy towels in the tropics. Replace them with easy-to-dry backpacker towels.
- I brought way too many blankets, comforters and clothes.
- 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.
Compañera, Tartan 3800 OC
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.Contact
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
we wish you all mary christmas time and a good start in 2017!!
Here the news from today:
The cat lost his hydraulic steering short after ARC start and the rest of 3000 miles he used the HYDROVANE
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)
tel.: +49 33203 71501
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
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
“Making course adjustments is super simple, I don’t even need to put down my coffee cup to do it.”
From: Mark Hibdon
Sent: November 30, 2016
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Rawson 30 Hydrovane Photos
I am very pleased with our new Hydrovane. We have had it out several times now in light conditions only, winds of 20kts or less, but it has worked great on all points of sail. Making course adjustments is super simple, I don’t even need to put down my coffee cup to do it. Here are a couple photos of the completed install.Contact
“We left our home in Hood River, OR in October, 2015. Since then we’ve put quite a few miles on our Hydrovane…”
“In general, our vane has been amazing – really a life saver.”
From: Arpag Family
Sent: November 25, 2016
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Batu – Spare Parts Order
Dear Sarah & Will,
I’m sorry we never made it up to Barkley last year to hang out with you guys as intended, but we were scrambling to get ready to go. We left our home in Hood River, OR in October, 2015. Since then we’ve put quite a few miles on our Hydrovane, heading down to mainland, MX, then puddle jumping through the islands, and now spending the cyclone season here in New Zealand. In general, our vane has been amazing – really a life saver. But, we are in need of some spare parts to keep things functioning well.
I’ve assembled what I believe are the necessary parts…
Regarding comments on the website, of course! We’re outspoken Hydrovane supporters and have already converted at least a couple boats. In this age of cheap, disposable gear, it’s an incredibly well-built piece of equipment!Contact
“Our Hydrovane is our workhorse, either with a simple electronic tiller pilot or with the vane.”
From: Tony Maslin
Sent: November 19, 2016
To: John Curry
Subject: Hydrovane overhaul
Our Hydrovane is our workhorse, either with a simple electronic tiller pilot or with the vane.
We are at 40,000 miles now and it’s still in pretty good shape, just a series of plastic washers are cracking up – please see photos – and I can’t find the part numbers.
Also, please will you advise about how slack the bottom bearing can come before I should replace that.
S/V Tana Vika
“We have tested it this summer on our trip from the Netherlands to UK london,
it was perfect!”
From: Michel Tonino
Sent: September 11, 2016
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Hydrovane on Winner 1120
Here are some photos of our sailing yacht Syrinx, with the hydrovane. Our
yacht is a Winner 1120, dutch design.
We have tested it this summer on our trip from the Netherlands to UK london,
it was perfect!
Allures 45 - VIDEO
“…very happy and it is brilliant on passage.”
From: Martyn Morris
Sent: September 21, 2016
To: Will Curry ; Sarah Curry ; John Curry
Subject: Some feedback Allures 45
Here is a little video that says it all, I think.
This video was taken some months ago in Atlantic France, north of La Rochelle. We are now on the Costa del Sol in Spain and getting ready to winter the boat. We used the Hydrovane extensively across Biscay and down the length of Portugal. We have now stowed the main mechanism as have been doing coast hoping for the past month. I have made a little wooden cap for it and it is now a very useful step for getting off the boat in these Mediterranean marinas.
So in summary, very happy and it is brilliant on passage.
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
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.
Pete Goss MBE
“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
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
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
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!
Steven E. Gibson
Captain, U.S. Navy (retired)
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
To: sarah AT hydrovane.com
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!
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
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
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)Contact