Seastream 43

“The Hydrovane steered us all the way back to NZ [from the UK].   What an amazing kit!   Love her!”

From: Helen Shrewsbury
Sent: January 14, 2024
To: Richard Minielly
Subject: Hydrovane crack

Happy new year!

We are now back in NZ after a fabulous sailing journey from UK with the help of our trusted Hydrovane.

I’ve just noticed a couple of cracks in one of the brackets.  Picture attached.  What should we do to remedy this please?

Thank you.


From: Richard Minielly
Sent: January 17, 2024
To: Helen Shrewsbury
Subject: Hydrovane crack

Hi Helen,

Nice to hear from you. Congratulations on the long passage back to NZ! Were you able to use the Hydrovane most of the way?

To start with, I would give the Hydrovane a good clean to figure out exactly what is a serious crack and what is just some surface disturbance. Start with mild soap and water, then let that dry and spray the entire unit down with WD40. Use WD40 and a mild abrasive pad (for instance a white ‘light duty’ Scotch-Brite pad instead of the green ‘scouring’ pad) to then remove any white spots left on the unit.

After cleaning, it’s a good practice to use a corrosion inhibitor such as T9, CorrosionX, or wax-based products on the castings to help protect them.

To deal with the cracks, it depends a bit on the severity. At the moment, it looks like the damage is fairly mild. If you clean out all the white build up, you should be able to put some epoxy in to stop the crack spreading. Fill the crack with epoxy and put a spray of grey metal pain on top for protection, and the casting should be good for another few thousand miles. [Editor’s note: Lanocote or TefGel can also be used where the anodized coating has been worn away over a small area]

If the cracks are deeper than they appear or start spreading, we’ll need to replace that specific casting. Unfortunately, there is no reliable method to repair the cast aluminium. Some customers have had good success with brazing, a popular fix in machine shops in Southeast Asia, but we wouldn’t be able to guarantee the part.

Happy to chat further.

Best Regards,


From: Helen Shrewsbury
Sent: January 17, 2024
To: Richard Minielly
Subject: Re: Hydrovane crack

Legend.   Thank you Richard.   We’ll give your suggestions a go.

The Hydrovane steered us all the way back to NZ.   What an amazing kit!   Love her!