Catalina 400

“We have a Garmin autopilot but always prefer our Hydrovane”

From: Sarah Curry

Sent: 04 Aug 2021

Subject: RE: fix?

Hi Fran,

Oh dear! Sorry to hear this!!

If the plywood you have onboard is thick, then yes, it’s probably too heavy.

Could you make a frame with the plywood or something lighter (pvc tubes, a batten, mop handles)? A frame could then be wrapped with saran wrap or a lightweight fabric.

Shape doesn’t matter too much so long as it has a straight leading edge. It could be more triangular with the widest part in the air.

If you can produce something, but it feels heavy, you can compensate by adding weight to the counterweight…. tape on some zincs or ?. Another idea is to use bungee cords on the counter weight down to a bracket to stiffen the flopping movement.

What about plastic container lids off storage boxes? Do you have any of those?

The Vane Knob Bolt is metric. You could bolt the custom Vane right onto the casting.

We will message if we come up with any more ideas. Please let us know how you make out.




From: Fran Sharp

Sent: August 4, 2021

To: Sarah Curry

Subject: Re: RE: fix?

Hi Sarah and all

We were lucky that we had a second Hydrovane cover aboard. So we cut up some boat hooks, used one of our plywood emergency port light covers and made a new vane. Not quite as pretty but we are sailing in 20 kts apparent at 050 apparent and big ocean waves and it’s doing well. Pic attached.

We have a Garmin autopilot but always prefer our Hydrovane .

Thanks for the help and we will be in touch soon about our new boat.

Fran and Jeff Sharp