Nautitech 40 Open - Catamaran

“Best purchase ever…”

“The best part of the experience though was how the vane started to teach us how to sail again”

From: Trevor Giles (via inReach)
Sent: January 13, 2022
To: Will Curry
Subject: inReach message from Trevor Giles


Hey Will and the team, all electronics lost on the ARC, Hydrovane taken over steering, best purchase ever…

Trevor Giles – Kiwi Cat


From: Kiwi Catamaran
Sent: February 01, 2022
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane Report on Nautitech Open 40

Hi Will,

I will send a better report invite coming days, we have just arrived and had way too many rum punches.

But you do have a brilliant product..

We ran out of auto pilot 7 days into a 23 day crossing.  The Hydrovane did 98% of the driving.

The only time we struggled is adding engine power on dead wind days as we could not find a happy medium for it to take the boat generated apparent wind, as soon as there was he slightest puff we would head off the wrong way, but hey, that’s us trying something it was not designed for.

I will send more pics and a report and you are free to use the info I send

Thanks to your brochure in the ARC pack we found an invaluable crew mate



Kiwi Cat

From: Kiwi Catamaran
Sent: February 06, 2022
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane Report on Nautitech Open 40

Will, and the team at Hydrovane

The inaugural ARC rally January crossing was my bucket list project that took the best part of a year of planning,  I left New Zealand for Greece in October 2021 and had 802 items on my check list to look at, come to understand or to implement.

The Hydrovane steering was one of those projects.  We had been introduced to them via the ARC skippers manual and decided it was a necessity rather than a nice to have option.

Sure there were cheap options of fashioning oars into some form of steering but what if the steering failed at the beginning of the rally, there was 2700 miles ahead of us and redundancy was essential

All it took to order our Hydrovane was a couple of photos to give Hydrovane something upon which to price and design our vane.

Installing it on the Open 40 Catamaran saw us having to change the design as the underwater shape of the hull was so square that we were able to get full lock one way but only about 80% the other way.

So a rear mount was decided upon.

Greece to Las Palmas was our first leg and we managed to get the idea of how to tune it to make it work for our boat.  I still did not have the confidence to raise our Parasailor with it just yet but was confident we had a very good option should our steering fail.

The coach roof did provide a bit of dirty air and cause some confusion for the vane but for down wind and wind from the same side as the vane there was no issues.  It does steer ok on the other tack it’s but that there are times when the dirty air took us off track.  The method to fix that would be a vane slightly higher than the design we have.

Turning to port did have a bit of a vibration above 5 knots and subsequent reading and follow up service forms the team has the solution for this.

The vibration was enough to loosen the through hull bolts but a bit of lock tite and a second locking nut has solved that issue.

The two weeks from Greece to the Canaries went without issue however that wasn’t to be on the ARC

One week into the ARC we were hit by a rogue wave that forced out a windscreen, flooded the electronics and ripped our Parisailor to shreds.

The electronics was our biggest issue once we had secured the window,  with no autopilot we had 2200 miles to go to get to Saint Lucia or the alternative turn back.

So we took a leap of faith and set up the Hydrovane.

With the exception of 1 day of motoring the Hydrovane took over and with only minor adjustments every few hours as the wind direction changed and we started heading off our planned route

The biggest impact was on our ability to sleep now that George, our trusty vane had taken over.  Second was the amount of power we were saving which significantly reduced the hours our engines had to run to generate power

The best part of the experience though was how the vane started to teach us how to sail again.

All too often, especially sailors who come on board a catamaran, tend to strap the sails down hard.  What the Hydrovane taught us was to get the sails balanced, have a light wheel with no weather helm and to let the boat flow.. We found speed increases and have re thought our numbers based on what were were taught about setting our sails.

Prize giving came for the ARC and we achieved 2nd Multihull on handicap, although I like to think the trimaran that won doesn’t count and should be in a class of their own.  Making us the first catamaran with serious wounds, to finish but the prize we hold closest is the Seymour award for Safety being the best prepared yacht prior to inspection.

Being the best prepared yacht helped us get across the Atlantic but the real hero as far as the crew are concerned is our Hydrovane George.. who sailed without food or refreshment for some 2,000 miles

Well done Hydrovane on a great product…

Kind Regards

Trevor Giles