Reinke Super 11
“After circumnavigation and several years of experience with hydrovane on my Reinke Super 11 (initial doubts on performance because of offset installation and hydraulic steering with no possibility to fix the main rudder in position) i can gladly confirm that “JULIUS” performed reliably, precisely and continuously in all winds and any points of sail.”
From: Alfred Pisa
Sent: August 24, 2018
To: John Curry
Subject: experience hydrovane
After circumnavigation and several years of experience with hydrovane on my Reinke Super 11 (initial doubts on performance because of offset installation and hydraulic steering with no possibility to fix the main rudder in position) i can gladly confirm that “JULIUS” performed reliably,precisely and continuously in all winds and any points of sail. It did not drain the battery,not eat,not drink,not sleep and not talk back while keeping the boat on course better than any human being could.
I experienced some problems in high winds (55-60 knots and more in gusts) and high waves (20 feet and sometimes more) since it does not see the breaking waves you have to avoid and wind conditions vary a lot between crests and troughs; i resolved the problem in relative comfort by laying by under storm jib and reefed main with a hydrovane locked in central position.
In retrospective i have only high praise for the hydrovane and (if i would have known it earlier) would have saved the expensive autopilot (with all its electronics and hydraulic pump and relays) and installed a cheap removable tiller-pilot to act on the hydrovane instead.
However,the only problem i really had was putting the rudder in position:
-when running under engine (in calms sometimes several days) the rudder and therefore the whole installation rattled and vibrated,caused by the propeller vortex which,in my engineering mind,creates wear and tear,vibrations,noise and stress on the material, the skippers mind and therefore on the climate with his fellow sailors.
-so, despite your info that it can withstand that, i removed the hydrovane rudder to avoid all a.m.
-To fix it again,even in calm seas was (to say the least) hell,although i could work from the swimming platform some 15 cm above water level;without this platform,i dare say,it is impossible.
-On my previous boat (Amel 53) i had a Monitor servo pendulum windvane installed, which had a rudder on a hinge,so it was easy to pull out of the water (but had many other disadvantages i will not go into here for reasons of space) although i admit that the forces on the hinge are much smaller because of the servo-pendulum principle.However,this made me think.
-My idea (even on the risk of being the cause of roaring laughter) would be:
-changing the lower circular part of the shaft below the lowest bearing into a square cross section with a u-shaped sleeve pipe in the nylon rudder and fitting over the square part of the shaft by a lower hinge bolt and fixing in place by a upper locking bolt.
– this would also have the advantage of transferring the torque and rudder forces by the square form instead of (as it is now) through the 5-6 mm fixing pin(which position,when fitting the rudder,is difficult to find with regard to height and angle,while boat is moving and waves are flopping the rudder about) and removing the risk of loosing the nylon rudder.
I admit,that there is very little probability and inclination to change a very successful and good selling product but would like submit a.m. for your possible consideration.