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
Subject: stiff course setting


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 thought 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.


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 – 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.