Malo 36 - AZAB 2019

“I recently finished the AZAB2019 race singlehanded and I would like to say to you all how well my Hydrovane, Baldric, behaved.”

From: W. J. Irwin & Son, Solicitors
Sent:  July 17, 2019
Subject: Pins

Hello Sarah,

I recently finished the AZAB2019 race singlehanded and I would like to say to you all how well my Hydrovane, Baldric, behaved. Both in light winds and boad reaching or running in 35 knots, there was never a moment when I doubted his ability to keep us safely on course. Easy to set up, easy to adjust, it was simple to check the course, make sure the vane was not being held over one way for long periods and adjust sails and vane according to the conditions.

However, I do need to order two new pins. They are the weakest point in the system, and I am not sure why they are not twice the diameter they are. I believe Jen-Luc van den Heede replaced his rudder pin with a bolt and self locking nut, having drilled out a much greater diameter hole in the rudder and shaft. I do put a bungee on the safety line when at anchor to stop any rattling and I find that the pin bends over a period of a few days, so I am not surprised that they break after few years. Please send me two pins.



Tony Irwin
W. J. Irwin & Son


Date: Wed, Jul 17, 2019, 3:54 PM
To: Solicitors, Will, john

Hi Tony,

Congratulations on your successful AZAB! We are glad to hear it! May we post your experience on our website? The feedback is wonderful.

The Locking Pins are a designed weak point – meant to break before anything else does. Usually it is the Shaft Locking Pin that is most prone to metal fatigue from the vibration while motoring.

That being said, prior to the start of the Golden Globe Race 2018 we began manufacturing the Pins out of Super Duplex stainless steel, 3 x stronger than 316.

You are correct that Jean-Luc replaced his Rudder Locking Pin with a bolt (same diameter), and it was his only failed component on the Hydrovane. Jean-Luc’s report: “Just to tell you that I was VERY happy with my Hydrovane. I change absolutely NOTHING since the start of the race except fixation of the rudder … but it’s my fault. I replace your shaft by a bolt made in a special stainless steel which supposed to be very strong and … it breaks after canarias! So I install (not easy at sea!) your original one and it doesn’t break!”

Here is a quote, in GBP:

28.00 – 2 Super Duplex Locking Pins
8.00 – Royal Mail
43.20 TOTAL including VAT


Sarah Curry
Hydrovane International Marine Inc.
Office: 2424 Haywood Ave. | West Vancouver, BC | V7V 1Y1 | Canada | +1 604-925-2660
Manufacturing: Nottingham | United Kingdom |