“Rounding Barbuda at the end, we were able to make the necessary course corrections (probably like 30degrees) entirely on the Hydrovane and sailtrim.”

From: Ludwig Hoogstoel
Sent: December 05, 2022
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: RE: HOOGSTOEL – Testimonial Etap 46 DS

Hello Sarah,

10K nm these last 12 months since we got the Hydrovane installed. On this last trip, from Hampton VA to Antigua we were VERY happy we had it as we had some issues with the upper bearing of the main rudder. So we managed the main rudder (which stayed functional for the trip) as to alleviate all pressure on it and had the Hydrovane do all the work, as is more or less our habit on ocean passages.

One remark/question though : we notice that the housing which needs to be 90degrees of the centerline of the boat keeps ‘shifting’.  We had that when we arrived after the Transat, then again when we arrived in New England for the summer. Now on this last passage, we made sure, prior to departure that we had ‘aligned’ everything as per your instructions and tightened everything we could possibly tighten. The result was indeed that we had our best sail yet with the Hydrovane. Rounding Barbuda at the end, we were able to make the necessary course corrections (probably like 30degrees) entirely on the Hydrovane and sailtrim. We thought we had this finally figured out. Then, upon arrival, when we checked the housing…it had shifted again. So, despite that shift, the Hydrovane performed better than ever.

Any input ? Should we not care as much about this “90 degree to centerline” ?

Best regards


From: Richard Minielly
Sent: December 5, 2022
To: ‘ludwig hoogstoel’
Subject: RE: HOOGSTOEL – Testimonial Etap 46 DS

Hi Ludwig,

Great to hear from you. Sarah and Will pass on their best, and we all congratulate you on the incredible distance traveled in the past year!

Your story is an amazing testament to your abilities as sailors and the Hydrovane. Do you mind if we add it to our True Stories page on our website?

Regarding the issue of the Drive Unit rotating, it sounds like there might be some residue or lubricating substance sitting between the Drive Unit and the shaft. I recommend removing the drive unit, wiping the shaft and the inside of the Drive Unit with alcohol or another quick evaporating solvent, then re-attaching the drive unit. You shouldn’t need to tighten the bolts extremely tight, as the unit should have a tight friction fit on the shaft assembly. We recommend going only to “snug, plus ¼ turn” on the bolts.

Another good idea is to replace the M10 nyloc nuts. Repeated tightening and loosening will wear down the nylon and make the nuts more likely to come loose again. By removing the old nuts, cleaning the threads, and replacing with a new nut, you should reduce the risk of loosening.

When adjusting the bolts at all, please be very careful to always adjust evening, keeping the gap in the casting equal, and not applying excessive force. If the casting is stressed unevenly it can crack.

If you are in good service, please send me some photos of your unit showing the upper portion and where it connects to the shaft. This can be helpful to spot any more obvious issues.


Richard Minielly