Beneteau Oceanis 461 - EMERGENCY

“The Hydrovane quite literally saved us and our boat.”

@svleeann on 29 May 2022
The Hydrovane is by far the best investment we have made on LeeAnn so far. It really saved our bacon out there. If we didn’t have it, I honestly don’t know what we would’ve done.  
As you know, our rudder tube failed while at sea and our only option was to drop our main rudder as it was causing too much stress on the tube. Then sail home 550 miles with the Hydrovane rudder only. The Hydrovane quite literally saved us and our boat.  
We specifically decided on the Hydrovane because of the fact that it has it’s own rudder!! There are many windvanes out there but a lot  of them work by steering the boats own rudder. With the Hydrovane, you lock off your wheel and the Hydrovane does all the work, saving wear and tear on your boats steering system which is a huge plus!
We bought ours at the Seattle boat show in 2019 from Will and Sarah Curry, the Hydrovane company’s owner/ operators. Their customer service was incredible from the ordering process to installation help and advice on use. We ended up becoming great friends!
We finally met up with Will and Sarah  in Barra de Navidad Mexico a couple months ago while they were cruising on their boat. Will even made it a point to come over and make sure our Hydrovane was in correct adjustment. The one piece of advice he gave us that we wish we would’ve taken was, GET A TILLER PILOT! Even if you have a great electric autopilot and backups, that isn’t going to help you if you lose your rudder. Jamie and I had to handsteer the Hydrovane rudder 12 hrs a day each for 5 days. Not fun! A tiller pilot could’ve done most of that work for us.
We will never go to sea again without a Hydrovane, tiller pilot for the vane, and a small drogue. (A drogue to aid in rudderless steering). We put together a makeshift drogue and bridal (pics 5 &6) and it really helped but the real thing would’ve been better 😉 Will and Sarah were there for us with advice on our sat phone the whole way home on our rudderless journey.  We owe a big THANK YOU to our good friends Will, Sarah and the Hydrovane company.  If you are on the fence on a self steering windvane,  get a Hydrovane. You won’t regret it!! #hydrovane