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Hamble 50

“I wish all the others equipments on board were of the same brilliant efficiency”

From: Pierre-Henry Mahul
Sent: August 25, 2022
To: Will Curry
Subject: Hydrovane

Hello John, Will, Sarah, Brooklyn and all your team

This is to report about the HV and the W&S I have installed on my new Hamble 50 Whisper of Michaella last week in Guernsey.

Some stories have a happy end, our one had a happy start with a two days delivery to Guernsey which I couldn’t think was possible. Note that UPS is the carrier described by the locals as to be the most effective on the island. They delivered on behalf of DLC right down to Victoria marina and the driver let me use her trolley to bring the parcels to the boat. With 107kgs of stuff to carry when you are alone, you do appreciate this.

First of all you have now a very good and helpful man on Guernesey island with David Le Cras of DLC marine equipment. He supplied and installed my new Garmin electronics to my full satisfaction and despite being very busy he took the time to make all the wiring of the W&S for me while I was making very good use of his two trainees/apprentices, mostly Charley, to install the W&S ad the HV whose seven packs (very well made) were looking impressive taking the most part of my deck space. Charley is now proud to be the HV specialist in the island.

This job was done in two days with no major trouble except that I could not find a 50mm pipe on the island, the one I have been sold for a 50 was too big so I decided to use the small tubes of the brakets as a template and it worked good this way. Fortunately the transom of Whisper of Michaella is nearly flat and the sanding I did start in order to gain half a millimeter on the H bracket mounting plate proved worse than the original so I went back to the original un-sanded socket, thanks for supplying two. For the A brackets I did not use the mounting pads as they fitted nicely and this allows to have the control unit mounted closer inboard to the cockpit always better for safety.

After two days of intensive work the beast was looking great in the starboard side of the boat … when I realized that this was the side of the radar mast that had been dismounted by Dave working on it at the time of my decision… too late !

The next day, actually last Friday the 19th, I was due for a trail from Guernsey to Cadiz Spain about 1200nm to bring the boat to the yard where she is going to be refitted. It was at the same time the opportunity for me to discover her singlehanded. I left at 7pm with 25knt of wind against me. As we all know close hauled is the favorite situation for vanes and I was happy to discover the HV working perfectly since the first second despite a very powerful boat with a huge mainsail. Since then I am sailing with a growing admiration for your very fine engineering kit which is able to cope with a 165° route with 25knts of real wind 18 apparent without a gybe. I only discovered the far right position yesterday … what a power she gives !

I am now totally confident in the HV, I have always been doubting about her self steering strength or lack of it reported to me by an English guy with a Beneteau 57 who was altogether not unhappy with the HV Now I do not doubt any more in her possibilities and I am eager to be in the GSC in the screaming fifties planning with her, by the way she is Brigitte, and the AP in second as you suggest. In fact during those past days it appeared to me that the HV is enhancing the sheer pleasure I have in  sailing which is all about fine tuning the boat, the rigging, the sails, the rudder to make the best of the elements.

I wish all the others equipments on board were of the same brilliant efficiency. thank you guys !

About the W &S it is my second and I had many troubles making work the first one on my trimaran but the factory had been here to help me, I am happy that  this time it worked perfectly since the beginning. In this boat its noise is hopefully far less aggressive than it was in my little tri, or could it be my ears with age ? Their instruction manual is nothing compared to yours and I although I mounted it 300mm into the water on the opposite tack it is very often cavitating so I will have to put it 100mm deeper. Their mounting kit proved useless as its does not take into account the transom curvature, I had one mounting braket superbly made to measure in s/s by Nigel in Guernsey (see Dave)

Well you are the first mail I am sending while I get some network in front of Peniche Portugal as the Iridium and its related software is no HV and these equipments  does need more running-in time that I had to give them

all the best

Pierre Henry Mahul

From: Belinda Vernon
Sent: July 19, 2022
To: Will Curry
Subject: Advice please – Chili III

Hi Will,

You may not remember, but we fitted a Hydrovane to our Malo 47 last winter. I have to tell you it has been absolutely brilliant and has coped well in most conditions.

I wonder if you could give me some advice on fitting the remote control line. Is it possible to rotate the ‘heading knob’ so that it is aft of the shaft inside of to the side of the shaft?  If so, I guess I simply loosen the bolt at the bottom of the photo and turn? The reason for doing this is to get a better angle into the fair leads for the remote control line.

Also – am I missing a nut on the ‘Axis knob’ and am I missing a screw into the ‘heading knob’? If so, please can you tell me the specifications for both.

I can send more photos if helpful.

Many thanks,

Belinda Vernon


From: Richard Minielly
Sent: July 2022
To: Belinda Vernon
Subject: RE: Advice please – Chili III

Hi Belinda,

Thanks for reaching out! We’re so happy to hear that you’ve been getting good performance from the vane. Do you mind if we post your email to our Testimonials Page? If you are not comfortable, no worries.

Yes, you can rotate the Worm Box Casting around so that it faces any direction. Just loosen the Worm Box Stud Set (Part #88) and rotate the casting. This is likely easier said than done. The Stud Set is secured using medium strength Loctite, and will be firmly held in place by salt buildup. I recommend pouring hot water on the casting before attempting to loosen the stud, and maybe applying some penetrating fluid beforehand. I have attached the recommended torque settings for when it is re-tightened.

You are indeed missing a nut from your Vane Axis Bolt Set! That will be a standard 316/A4 stainless-steel M10 Nyloc nut. Its purpose is to keep the Axis knob from flying off. I’m happy to include one free of charge in your next parts order, or you can source one locally or from your own spares.

The Grooved Wheel (Heading Knob) looks like it has the necessary screw inside it. There is a small M10 set screw that fits in that hole and holds the Wheel onto the Worm. It usually sits nearly a centimetre recessed into the hole, as it appears to be now.

Happy to answer any questions. We’re also keen to see any photos or hear any tales of Hydrovane use on the High Seas!

Fair winds,

Richard Minielly

Contact

Nautitech 46 Open

“We were very pleased with the Hydrovane which was our first choice for steering on the long passages.”

From: Robin Gimson
Sent: July 12, 2022
To: Richard Minielly
Subject: RE: ARC 2021 Pre-Departure Hydrovane Consultation

Hello Richard,

Thanks for the offer [of a pre-departure zoom call] below which I didn’t feel was necessary for us as we had used our Hydrovane extensively on the way from UK to Las Palmas.

Eight months later, we have completed our journey around the Atlantic and returned via the Azores to UK. We were very pleased with the Hydrovane which was our first choice for steering on the long passages.

Please could you advise the best way to clean H. as he has become encrusted with spots of white salts on the castings and a white haze on the S.S. tubes. I’ve tried water an vinegar so far. Without much effect.

See photos attached.

Thanks

Robin Gimson

Our Time


From: Richard Minielly
Sent: July 12, 2022
To: Robin Gimson
Subject: RE: ARC 2021 Pre-Departure Hydrovane Consultation

Hi Robin,

Thanks so much for reaching out. Testimonials from larger catamarans such as your Nautitech 46 Open are invaluable to us. Would it be ok if we posted your email and photos to our website? If you are not comfortable, no worries.

Some amount of white spotting is normal as the salt build up and white-looking mild aluminum corrosion permeate the anodized coating. To clean, first use fresh water and a mild boat soap. Then, you can use a fine grit, gentle abrasive pad, lubricated liberally with WD40. The Blue “No-scratch” Scotch-Brite pads work well, or a gentle dish-washing pad. Please avoid the “Heavy Duty” scouring pads as these will wear away the hard anodized coating.

After a very liberal spray-down of the entire unit with WD-40, wipe away the excess, allow to dry, and then apply a corrosion inhibitor such as T9, CorrosionX or CRC. This should keep the castings looking much better.

As general maintenance whenever possible, we recommend rinsing the entire unit fresh water after every passage – or essentially whenever there is water to spare – and washing the unit with mild soap and water every few months. After washing, we recommend dousing the entire unit in WD40, letting it sit before wiping away the excess, and then applying a corrosion inhibitor.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out at any point with any operational or technical questions, or any parts orders.

Best regards,

Richard Minielly

Beneteau Oceanis 461

“The Hydrovane quite literally saved us and our boat.”

@svleeann on 29 May 2022
[HYDROVANE APPRECIATION POST!!]
The Hydrovane is by far the best investment we have made on LeeAnn so far. It really saved our bacon out there. If we didn’t have it, I honestly don’t know what we would’ve done.  
As you know, our rudder tube failed while at sea and our only option was to drop our main rudder as it was causing too much stress on the tube. Then sail home 550 miles with the Hydrovane rudder only. The Hydrovane quite literally saved us and our boat.  
We specifically decided on the Hydrovane because of the fact that it has it’s own rudder!! There are many windvanes out there but a lot  of them work by steering the boats own rudder. With the Hydrovane, you lock off your wheel and the Hydrovane does all the work, saving wear and tear on your boats steering system which is a huge plus!
We bought ours at the Seattle boat show in 2019 from Will and Sarah Curry, the Hydrovane company’s owner/ operators. Their customer service was incredible from the ordering process to installation help and advice on use. We ended up becoming great friends!
We finally met up with Will and Sarah  in Barra de Navidad Mexico a couple months ago while they were cruising on their boat. Will even made it a point to come over and make sure our Hydrovane was in correct adjustment. The one piece of advice he gave us that we wish we would’ve taken was, GET A TILLER PILOT! Even if you have a great electric autopilot and backups, that isn’t going to help you if you lose your rudder. Jamie and I had to handsteer the Hydrovane rudder 12 hrs a day each for 5 days. Not fun! A tiller pilot could’ve done most of that work for us.
We will never go to sea again without a Hydrovane, tiller pilot for the vane, and a small drogue. (A drogue to aid in rudderless steering). We put together a makeshift drogue and bridal (pics 5 &6) and it really helped but the real thing would’ve been better 😉 Will and Sarah were there for us with advice on our sat phone the whole way home on our rudderless journey.  We owe a big THANK YOU to our good friends Will, Sarah and the Hydrovane company.  If you are on the fence on a self steering windvane,  get a Hydrovane. You won’t regret it!! #hydrovane
Contact

Kelly Peterson 44

The Hero award goes to Harry the @hydrovane

sailingemerald on 28 June 2022:
We’ve arrived in Porto Santo, 3 days, 1 hour and 45 minutes after departure. That gives us an average speed of 6kts. This was our longest passage, just slightly more than when we crossed Biscay in 2013.
We’re both good, other than being a bit tired.
Emerald is fine too, although she now has a liberal coating of salt and was gifted an enormous pile of bird poo from a Shearwater that crash landed. It struggled to lift off again, but thankfully made it.
Other wildlife seen was a squid that was left on deck by a wave. We also passed a turtle paddling away. Isn’t it amazing to think our paths crossed at that moment in the vastness of the ocean.
The Hero award goes to Harry the @hydrovane who valiantly steered us across, dealing with some big seas at times. It was our first time using it for a long passage and once set up correctly, we were very happy.
The Useless Waste of Space award goes to our engine, which failed to start on our approach to the island. Colin has tried everything he can think of to solve it, but unfortunately it looks like we’re going to have to find external help. We could be here some time….
We were able to sail into the anchorage, thankfully we had a huge area of space to choose from. It was a bit dicey at times as to whether we’d make it as the wind died away as we passed behind the island, before gusting back in the gaps just enough to blow us to a suitable spot.

Photos:
1. Emerald sailing towards Porto Santo
2. Harry working away at sunrise
3. Nichola on the helm, enjoying some sunshine
4. The sunsets were amazing
5. Helms person’s view
6. Emerald starboard view
7. The sea berth
8. Stowaway squid
9. Colin downloading weather GRIB files via SSB
10. Porto Santo from the anchorage

#hydrovaneselfsteering #hydrovane #sailingadventure #instasailing #windvane #sunsetatsea #kellypeterson44 #liveaboardlife #sailing #sailmadeira #sailboatlife #cruising #letsgosailing #sailingatlantic #oceansailing #offshoresailing #portosanto #atlanticocean #sunrisephotography #homeiswheretheanchordrops

Bavaria Vision 46

“Kept us on track the entire way in 25 – 27 kts”

From: Tom Rolph
Sent: May 31, 2022
To: Richard Minielly
Subject: Re: Order 19 September – Questions for Hydrovane team…

Hello to everyone at Hydrovane

I just wanted to let you know we completed the 600 mile trip from Gibraltar to Madeira using our new vane. Kept us on track the entire way in 25 – 27 kts.

We found that your advice on sail balance is spot on. Double reefed most of the way we sailed upright at 7kts with on the middle sensitivity setting.

Just as well we had him as my crew was seasick the entire way.

He was christened Simon – from the song You’re so Vain by Carly Simon.

Thanks for a great product .

Kind regards,

 

Tom Rolph

 

 

 

Contact

Jeanneau SO 379

“When describing the Hydrovane to other boat owners, I sum it up as follows; it doesn’t complain about being cold, or hungry, or tired, and best of all it actually steers the course you ask it to!”

From: Mark Linney
Sent: May 03, 2022
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Mark – Jeanneau SO 379 – Hydrovane model VXA2D L(shaft length)/A/H

Dear all at Hydrovane.

I’ve now fitted the Hydrovane to my Jeanneau 379.

The bottom bracket was a great test of my agility as access was severely limited. I also had to use lots of resin filler and an additional marine ply backing plate as the inside surface was not level. That bottom bracket is also fully submerged when on a starboard tack or motoring, but so far it’s not letting in water. I used lots of marine sealant on the bolt holes; it’ll be interesting to see how long it lasts. Perhaps there is a solution to a submerged mounting plate that you can suggest?? In my experience water usually finds a way in over time.

My test sail went really well and it works perfectly on both tacks, and on upwind, abeam and downwind points of sail. There is no vibration whatsoever under sail or engine.

I’m very impressed with the quality of the gear and the ease (bottom bracket excepted!) of assembly. Although my advice would be to measure twice, cut once! The welding of the remote line took a few attempts and is on a short run from the port helm.

Overall very pleased with the equipment, the service from you and the result.

Best wishes

Mark

 

On 26 May 2022, Will Curry wrote:

Hi Mark,

Great to hear the test sail went well!  Also nice to read that there was no vibration, this means the shaft should be nicely aligned in a vertical plane.

For bedding the brackets if you used Sikalfex 291, 3M 5200 or something similar they shouldn’t leak.  It’s not a problem if the bracket is submerged when underway.  Those adhesives are used to bed keels and underwater thru hulls which are permanently submerged so I suspect you will be okay.

Thanks again for taking the time to send this report.  Can we post your email and photos to our website?

Kind Regards,

Will Curry, BBA

 

On 26 May 2022, Mark Linney wrote:

Thanks Will

Still not leaking, but renewing the sealant from time to time (if it does start weeping) would not be a difficult job.

Happy for you to use my images and text on the website.

You could also add…

“When describing the Hydrovane to other boat owners, I sum it up as follows; it doesn’t complain about being cold, or hungry, or tired, and best of all it actually steers the course you ask it to!”

Regards

Mark

Contact

Catalina 320

“We are just super super happy with our Hydro-Vane. It really IS that good!!!”

From: Mark & Shawnae
Sent: January 28, 2022
To: Richard Minielly
Subject: Re: Congratulations on your new Hydrovane!

Hello Will, Richard, etal:

Well, we’ve had the Hydrovane installed now for a couple of months.

Unbelievable – what a different world for us.  We love it.  I mean, we’re absolutely totally impressed with the technology and engineering behind it.  Zoe (as we’ve named it) is amazing.  So far, she’s steered us 300 to 400 miles.  and has done great.  It’s just so simple to use, yet the engineering is so complex and robust.  I’m sure we’ll do well with her for many many many miles.

It took us about two days to get her fully installed.  I was able to find some 1-1/2 pvc Schedule 80 electric conduit that was ‘almost’ 2″ outside diameter that we used to dry fit everything.  That was absolutely key.  In your directions to new purchasers, you should make a bigger thing out of that.  Dry fit it first using a mockup.   Once that was done, a grinder and cutoff wheel to make all three pipes the exact size. . . .  and we were good to go.

We’ve got things dialed in pretty darn good with respect to adjust course underway and all that.   I’m sure that in time, this will all become intuitive.    It’s interesting to realize andunderstand the physics behind the wind vane steering.  On a beam reach, for example, as the wind increases, so does the ‘apparent wind’ angle.  So, we’re learning how to “fiddle” with those adjustments.

One thing, we’d like some help with.  At anchor, the rudder ‘clunks’ a lot.  We sleep in the aft-berth, so we are literally right next to the hydrovane.  Even with all three pins in, the rudder rotates slightly and ‘clunks’, especially if there is some wind/waves .   at bed, in the night, it’s pretty obnoxious.   Yes, I know, one obvious solution is to remove the rudder completely, but that’s kind of a hassle.    we were thinking of adding a little SS eye-hook with a a bungee cord to hold it firmly to one side or the other at anchor.    Do have any other suggestions or feedback on this issue??

mark and shawnae

s/v Firefly

Catalina 320


From: Richard Minielly
Sent: January 28, 2022
To: Mark & Shawnae
Subject: RE: Congratulations on your new Hydrovane!

Hi Mark & Shawnae,

I’m so happy to hear that your installation went smoothly, and you have been enjoying using the Hydrovane so far. Thank you for the kind words and feedback on your installation. Do you mind if we post your email onto our Testimonials page? We get asked quite frequently about installation techniques and how to stop some of the “clunking” about at anchor.

Your idea is right on track with our normal recommendation for rudders that clunk at anchor or vibrate excessively while motoring. The best tool we have found is a docking or anchor line with a rubber “snubber”, attached from the rudder handle with a small amount of force over to a corner cleat or other attachment point. A heavy-duty bungee would work for this purpose as well. It won’t completely stop the noise but should seriously limit the back and forth play of the rudder.

If you are leaving the rudder in the water semi-permanently, we also recommend giving it a rough sand and painting with a non-ablative (hard) antifoul paint. This will significantly lessen the maintenance required to keep the rudder and shaft growth-free.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any other questions, performance review (good or bad), and especially photos of your installation! We love receiving pictures and feedback at any time.

Cheers,

Richard Minielly


From: Mark Bratz
Sent: February 28, 2022
To: Richard Minielly
Subject: Re: Congratulations on your new Hydrovane!

Hello again.

We had yet another WONDERFUL run today with Zoe (our name for the Hydro-Vane crew member) at the helm. 30 miles offshore in the Exuma’s, Bahamas.

We are just super super happy with our Hydro-Vane.   It really IS that good!!!

Mark and Shawnae

S/v Firefly

Catalina 320

Contact

Pan Oceanic 46

“Best gear on the boat”

From: Nathan Snyder
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2022 8:05 AM
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane order SNYDER / Vane Swap

Sarah,

I ordered a Hydrovane from your company a few years back, 2017 I think, and crossed the Pacific with it [Editor’s Note: Pan Oceanic 46]. Best gear on the boat. I had no other electric steering gear and had a great experience. I now have a new boat and looking to possibly order another one. My new boat is a 1990 Kanter 51 which weighs about 45,000 pounds. It has a perfect transom to mount a vane just offset. Do you have any recommendations for the set up? I can try to get some pictures to help out.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Nathan Snyder

Lavranos 50

“To say that I was impressed is an extreme understatement”

From: Mike Garlick
Sent: February 16, 2022
To: John Curry
Subject: cornish crabber 22

Dear John,

We have just completed an Atlantic crossing on a 50ft boat fitted with Hydrovane self steering [Non-production Angelo Lavranos 50ft, owner Kim Hartley].  To say that I was impressed is an extreme understatement as we had some very demanding wind and swell conditions, as I can attest from the times when I was hand steering.

Fast forward, and at home in South Devon we have a very modest boat, the Cornish Crabber 22, which is mostly used for local cruising.  My question is simply whether you have a version of the Hydrovane that would be suitable and light enough for a boat of this size?

She is 22 ft loa with a stern hung rudder on a fairly square transom. The nominal auw is 2 tons though she is probably already rather heavily loaded with extra kit.

The idea of having the availability of self steering is very seductive but I would appreciate your advice as to whether this is feasible without overwhelming this boat?

I would be very happy to provide more details,

With many thanks,

Mike Garlic


From: John Curry
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2022 2:27 PM
To: Mike Garlick
Subject: Mike Garlick – Cornish Crabber 22 – Hydrovane model VXA2D S(shaft length)/H/E

Dear Mike

Many thanks for your interest in Hydrovane. We know that you would not be disappointed with a Hydrovane for your  Cornish Crabber 22.

HOW SMALL A BOAT? – ‘Chubby Girl’ attempted to be the smallest sailboat to sail from San Francisco to Hawaii. He is very experienced and knowledgeable but after a few days and some difficulties he turned around. The boat was under 9 feet long and he did choose a Hydrovane. John Guzzwell did make that passage in the biannual Transpac Race. His boat weighed under 5,000 lbs. There are others. No question that it is not the boat size or weight that determines suitability. It is the application. As you now know that a Hydrovane is the ideal helmsman ….with the help of a locked main rudder for directional stability and balances the boat by offsetting any weatherhelm. Nothing makes a boat more stable than a fixed main rudder. The result is a more natural boat motion and ‘course made good’. Doubly ideal for a solo sailor.

Please see the attached proposal that includes pricing and other installation considerations.

Will or Richard shall follow up with you for the configuration and any issues you might have.

We encourage you to spend some time on our website where you can find answers to most questions and much more.

Please feel free to come back to us with any queries or concerns.

Cheers

John

Moody 31 - Sea Wanderer sails for Sue Ryder

“It is the single best piece of kit that I have ever bought for my boat, Sea Wanderer of Cardiff

From: Mike Hopkins
Sent: February 4, 2022
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Single Handed Sail Around UK for Sue Ryder

Hello there Sarah,

I bought my Hydrovane some four years ago, and it is the single best piece
of kit that I have ever bought for my boat Sea Wanderer of Cardiff.  Her
name is Melissa, as in Me Lovely Interesting Self Steering Assistant.  We
have regular, one sided conversations, and she provides marvelous
companionship.  Without her I could not have contemplated what I am about to
tell you :

On June 4 I begin a round UK single handed sail, including the east coast
of Ireland and Northern Ireland.  I have given myself some 3-4 months to
complete.  I sail a Moody 31, ‘Sea Wanderer of Cardiff’.  She is currently
berthed in Eastbourne UK and it will be from there that the voyage will
begin.

I am making the sail on behalf of the charity Sue Ryder.  I have attached a
letter written jointly with the Sue Ryder charity which offers more detail.
I have set myself the ‘stretch’ target of raising at least £20,000.  Fingers
and toes are crossed to achieve that, and I shall certainly put the ‘graft’
in.

I have also written to several yacht and sailing clubs along the route,
offering to do a presentation as I pass through.  As I write I have received
10 firm commitments, with more in the pipeline.

Additionally, this week Imray, a long-standing and well respected published
of nautical charts and books, has asked me to be their first ‘Ambassador’
an honour that I feel very pleased to accept.

All monies given for Sue Ryder, will be received by Sue Ryder.  There is
already a Justgiving account which, as I write, has received £1004 + £157.50
Grant Aid, some 120 days before I set sail.  All costs therefore associated
with the voyage eg food, marina’s diesel where necessary, boat maintenance
and equipment is being financed by myself.  I am undoubtedly lucky to have a
boat, but I am not a wealthy person.

In June I have a long article appearing in Yachting Monthly.  I hope that
this is the first of many in different nautical and other magazines and
journals since I enjoy writing, and during the next few years, with various
‘adventures’ will have a lot to write about.

I recognise that the ‘Hydrovane’, given its distinctive character and
colour advertises itself, and I also recognise that Hydrovane is advertised
by world famous yachts people.  I’m also a terrible poker player, and
whether you are able to support Sue Ryder or not, I shall always speak and
write highly of Melissa.  But, if the companies budget could stretch to
making a contribution then I’d be thrilled.

My Justgiving account is at:
www.Justgiving.com/fundraising/aroundthebritishisles

I wish you and your company very well.

Mike (Hopkins)


From: Sarah Curry
Sent: February 08, 2022
To: Mike Hopkins
Subject: Re: Single Handed Sail Around UK for Sue Ryder

Hi Mike,

Thank you for reaching out!

We so admire those who sail in support of greater causes, and Sue Ryder
is very worthy of your fundraising efforts. A contribution has been
made.

Hydrovane is happy to be a part of your adventure. We wish you a wonderful journey and look forward to following along!

Cheers,

Sarah


From: Mike Hopkins
Sent:  February 08, 2022
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Single Handed Sail Around UK for Sue Ryder

Sarah, and all.  I am so utterly grateful for your action. I wish that I could give you all a huge hug.

Those of an cynical disposition, won’t believe me when I post on social media, that the purchase of the Hydrovane was the single best spend that I have made on my my boat.

It gives me independence, not drawing in limited battery space, it is completely consonant with the beauty of sailing, relying only on nature, and, in a potentially hostile environment (though wonderful too), it is a robustly manufactured and beautifully designed piece of kit.

My love and compassion to you Sarah and all.

Mike

Contact

Bavaria 36 - Extended Heading Tube Upgrade (VIDEO)

“It’s all fitted & a thing of beauty!”

From: Diane Moulden
Sent: February 07, 2022
To: Richard Minielly
Subject: Fitted!- Extended Heading Tube

Thank you everyone for all your help, it’s all fitted & a thing of beauty!  It will work perfectly In all wind directions!  I’ve attached a little video of it, (the rudder isn’t on, but we set it into the wind today & it had a little play).

There may also be some other Bavaria owners getting in touch with similar issues.  There was a request for help on the owners forum as a few people are having arches fitted but won’t have clearance anymore.  I’ve reminded them that you’re really helpful and will guide them to the best solution for their situation.

 

Kindest regards

Diane 

Bavaria 36 – XHTH Installation

Contact

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

Cheers

Trevor

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

KiwiCat

Contact

Gibsea 43

“I can’t stop staring at how it keeps us on track!”

From: Sander De Hoogh
Sent: February 2, 2022
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Pics of Installation

Hi Sarah,

Long overdue- I promised to share pictures of our installation after we finished it. By now we’ve put ‘ROB’ to the test and are very content with the result, I can’t stop staring at how it keeps us on track!

We’ve done some more things on the boat and I will try to get better pictures to give people some idea how to work with an installation that requires a lot of items on the stern.

Let me know if you have questions / if this is helpful.

Cheers

Sander

Contact

Cartwright 40

It is a wonderful piece of gear and crucial to long single hand passages.”

@trammell.paul on 29 November, 2021:

Here is a brief moment from my sail from Panama to Jamaica. The Hydrovane is a wind-powered autopilot. It steers the boat relative to the wind. As the boat wanders off course, the red vane immediately gets pushed over by the wind and turns a rudder. The result is excellent steering and no usage of electricity. It is a wonderful piece of gear and crucial to long single hand passages.
#hydrovane #sailing

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