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Rustler 36 - Jean-Luc Van Den Heede - GOLDEN GLOBE RACE
Golden Globe Update Day 113:
“[GGR Leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede sailing the Rustler 36 Matmut] was full of praise for his Hydrovane self-steering. “In a gale it has a big advantage because it is not steering the boat’s rudder, but has its own. This little rudder is far more efficient than the big rudder.” ”
Listen to the Soundcloud Phone Call:
DAY 113 – NEWS UPDATE
October 22, 2018
“Jean-Luc Van Den Heede sailing the Rustler 36 Matmut, is now well out in the Pacific, enjoying a 2 week lead over 2nd placed Mark Slats (Ohpen Maverick) who left the BoatShed.com Hobart film gate behind yesterday.
Speaking via Satphone to Race HQ today, the 73-year old Frenchman reported “Good winds today and yesterday…I try to go as fast as possible.”
He made repairs to his gennaker and was full of praise for his Hydrovane self-steering. “In a gale it has a big advantage because it is not steering the boat’s rudder, but has its own. This little rudder is far more efficient than the big rudder.” ”
Amel Santorin 46
“We have safely arrived in New Zealand. Thanks to the very well functioning Hydrovane…”
From: Johan Lemmens
Sent: October 21, 2018
To: Will Curry
Hi Will and Sarah, and parents.
We have safely arrived in New Zealand. Thanks to the very well functioning Hydrovane, which we updated in St Maarten, if you remember well.
I need to change the seals on the Watt and Sea’s.
Johan Lemmens on Ganesha in Opua, Bay of Islands.
“Our most important crew, faithful servant Ananda, got us home. We were one month on a close reach pounding back from Cabo San Lucas to Ucluelet, against strong NW winds.”
“…With Ananda steering the whole way. As many as 6 days went by & never touched the tiller or the vane.”
From: Michael Mullin
Sent: October 11, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Ananda the twice repaired
Will, for your interest:
Our most important crew, faithful servant Ananda, got us home. We were one month on a close reach pounding back from Cabo San Lucas to Ucluelet, against strong NW winds.
On the way down we ran for three days in front of violent 30+ NW. Hydrovane engaged but with assistance to prevent broach. Spent 48 hrs standing, facing aft, tiller in hand. The vane was bent by the end. I straightened it out with clamps. That got us to Mexico, again running in front of NW but less strong.
Then the pile driver crunched into us. The shipyard in Ensenada repaired that, very well.
At which point you sent a new vane. We finally picked it up on Sept 3 rd, the day we left, (another story. )
The second repair got us home.
Will get the new one in service in the spring, hopefully for a trip to Haida Guaii.
Absolutely love your Hydrovane
Keep well, Michael
On Fri, Oct 12, 2018 at 11:38 Will Curry <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to send this report. It sounds like Ananda has been serving you well, aside from the damaged vane frame – Good to see you have a replacement assembly. Normally once the vane tube is damaged it shouldn’t be repaired as the weld creates a weak point which you’ve discovered.
It sounds like you did the clipper route back to the Pacific Northwest. I’ve always been intrigued by this option rather than pounding up the coast. How far offshore did you have to go? I know some people that have sailed half way to Hawaii before changing tacks.
If you get any good photos of the vane and the boat in Haida Gwaii we would love to add them to our library. Cheers.
From: Michael Mullin
Sent: October 12, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Ananda the twice repaired
What you call the clipper route, yes. We had total and steady NW winds. 30 k violent along the coast & out quite a ways. Spent three weeks on stbd tack, close hauled, skirting the bright red and seeking the nice 15k green, on the weather fax. About 300 m out parallel to the coast then ending up 530 out at 136W off Oregon. Then 10 days on port tack back into the coast. Ran 10 hrs downwind once, 100 m out with dolphin escort; then the last morning a wild downwind surf. With Ananda steering the whole way. As many as 6 days went by & never touched the tiller or the vane.
But Ready for a rest. Thinking of painting it, signs of corrosion starting. Suggested paint?
“… light conditions, below 10 knots of wind. All went great, beam reach, broad reach, boom reach. Wind from the back, all OK.”
Sent: September 30, 2018
To: Gloria Anderson
Cc: Will Curry; Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane shipment VERCAUTEREN
Hi, Gloria, Will, Sarah,
I managed to install the Hydrovane, which I named Miche. This weekend was the first test, in very light conditions, below 10 knots of wind. All went great, beam reach, broad reach, boom reach. Wind from the back, all OK.
Just maneuvering in the harbour is a bit more challenging. With the HV locked, my turning circle is to wide get into my box. I went back out and removed the rudder.
Next time i’ll try to maneuver with the HV unlocked, maybe the rudder will just follow.
As soon as I manage to take a decent picture I will send one.
See you on the water.
Sweden Yacht 42
“It is a pleasure to sail without the constant noise and power draw of the autopilot.”
From: Richard M.
Sent: 16 September 2018
To: Will Curry
Cc: Gloria Anderson; ‘John Curry’; ‘Sarah Curry’
Subject: Tests after impact
I’m pleased to say that the Hydrovane performed well the very first time we used it on a 480-mile trip from Rabat in Morocco to Arrecife on Lanzarote. It is a pleasure to sail without the constant noise and power draw of the autopilot.
I’m not so pleased to report that this morning the vane was hit by another boat whilst the other boat was attempting to dock. (We were securely berthed at the time.) I was present throughout and the impact was to the drive unit cover which is now broken – I am hoping that there is no other damage.
The shaft still spins freely and everything appears to work. However, I’d like to check that nothing is even slightly bent or out of alignment. What tests should I do to check the vane thoroughly before declaring it ok?
[Editor’s note: Luckily the damage was just to the plastic Frame Case Cover. Phew!]
“The Hydrovane was probably the most appreciated gear on board during our 14.000 NM Atlantic Circuit.”
From: Evelien van Winsen
Sent: September 12, 2018
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Order part Hydrovane
The hydrovane was probably the most appreciated gear on board during our 14.000 NM Atlantic Circuit. The vane steered tirelessly wave after wave and day after day. During our 24-day Atlantic Crossing, we used the vane for 90% of all the steering! Also, when we started having trouble with our batteries in the Caribbean, it was an invaluable tool to get from A to B before we found a good spot to replace the batteries. Most of the trips we sailed with just the two of us, I can’t imagine having to hand steer the whole way!
“When settled in, the experience was amazing.”
“Pinning the rudder literally extended the keel…”
From: Arby B
Sent: September 11, 2018
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Rudder Pin
I’ll pass along your greetings.
We tried the Hydrovane in SF Bay Sunday for the first time. It took a little tuning to get familiar with sensitivity and response. When settled in, the experience was amazing. We literally set course under the Bay Bridge for Sausalito and crossed the slot (winds focused by the Golden Gate Bridge) without a single adjustment. Pinning the rudder literally extended the keel, the boat picked up at least a knot or two. Even getting on beam ends, the vane held a steady course. Amazing. Silent command. Worth every nickel.
“Within 15 mins we had it all working and were very comfortable with it. We beat, we ran, we tacked and gave it a good test.”
From: Mike Crummy
Sent: August 20, 2018
To: John Curry
Subject: Re: Jammed Worm Gear
Just as an aside, when I did my first test run after fitting the Hydrovane [2 years ago], 3 of us went out with none of us having any experience of a Hydrovane at all. All we had was your instruction manual and had watched your utube videos. Within 15 mins we had it all working and were very comfortable with it. We beat, we ran, we tacked and gave it a good test. I think I read somewhere that “it just works” and it does.
“…it performed great, no adjustments needed, just set it and forget it.”
From: Christian Tirtirau
Sent: August 16, 2018
To: John Curry; Will Curry
Subject: HV fans on the east coast
Your product is inspiring others here on the Atlantic coast of Canada, and I know of at least one sailor who’s made a decision to place an order with you.
I tested the vane this summer and it performed great, no adjustments needed, just set it and forget it. It steered in very light winds with less than 5 knots of wind from behind, with a cross swell and it did fine.
Anyways, your product is fantastic, couldn’t be happier. I will do a review and a little video on my youtube channel soon.
In the meantime, check out this film I shot this summer, and THANK YOU:
SV Northern Light
“…a strong advocate for your magnificent product which I love.”
Looking for advice on Tillerpilots
From: Terry Low
Sent: August 16, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Tiller pilot
Hello Will, I have been a proud owner of a Hydrovane on my Najad 390 for years now and I have also been a strong advocate for your magnificent product which I love.
However, the wind doesn’t blow all the time and my ancient Autohelm 6000 has packed up. I don’t really want to spend thousands replacing it when I believe I can use a tiller pilot in conjunction with the Hydrovane to steer the boat under power.
Can you recommend which model I should buy to steer my boat which is 9.5 Tonnes displacement but more like 11 tonnes with all the gear on board!
I’m hoping a basic and small integrated model will suffice.
[Editor’s Note: Adding the tillerpilot to the Hydrovane works surprisingly well. Because it is driving the semi balance Hydrovane rudder it does not matter what the pilot is rated for. We used the Raymarine 1000 on our last boat which worked well. For center cockpits some prefer one that has remote adjustment capabilities. You can view photos of what others have done here – https://hydrovane.com/galleries/tiller-pilot-addition/
Soon we hope to have tiller extensions available that are setup for tillerpilots. You need to have a minimum of 15 inches fore/aft from the shaft pivot to tillerpilot attachment.]
“…our first leg, 750 miles to A Coruña, and the Hydrovane was a great success…”
“Being new both to ocean sailing and to self steering gear it was very reassuring to see the vane coping with everything, and it steered us virtually the whole way.”
From: Andrew Cooper
Sent: August 16, 2018
To: Will Curry; Sarah Curry; Gloria Anderson
Cc: John Curry
Subject: Re: Najad 391 – Hydrovane
Dear Will, Sarah and Gloria
I’m back briefly from our first leg, 750 miles to A Coruña, and the Hydrovane was a great success, throughout a range of light following winds to some solid 25 knot winds close hauled. Your device is an extremely accomplished piece of engineering!
I had prepared a grid of basic instructions compiled from your operation manual which we all read once, but hardly needed again: we found setup and adjustment entirely intuitive and also a great reason to concentrate better on balancing sails. Being new both to ocean sailing and to self steering gear it was very reassuring to see the vane coping with everything, and it steered us virtually the whole way.
A highlight was when we were joined by Minke whales, whilst Bert the Hydrovane held course, allowing us all to watch. (It is called Bert after my father’s middle name, which doesn’t get much other use.)
Another highlight is that just with solar panels and a fairly primitive wind generator we are electricity positive, and it’s great to supplant the very old Autohelm with brand new heavy engineering that doesn’t consume amps.
Here are a few photos of the installation, and my beginner’s guide. Please use any for your gallery. In the rush of departing we could have done better photographically and I will send smarter ones from blue waters.
We leave Lisbon for the Canaries next week and then the ARC in November for St. Vincent via Cap Verde.
Many thanks for your help and advice so far.
Skeleton Crew Sailing - Watkins 36 CC
ROARING FORTIES: “…the Hydrovane held up above any expectations. In the heat of my last 4 days before pulling into Valdivia, Chile I was in 65ft seas and 50 gusting 60 kts of wind.”
Documentary in the works for SKELETON CREW SAILING: Skeleton Crew Sailing is a living, evolving story about a Navy Veteran and his friend breaking from a near decade of confinement by embarking on an Odyssey to circumnavigate South America. Partnered with the non-profit MISSION 22, our aim is to expose the lack of any transitionary program for veterans in their return to civilian life.
Check out: https://www.skeletoncrewsailing.com/
From: Skeleton Crew Sailing
Sent: July 31, 2018
Subject: Re: Hydrovane SKELETON CREW
Taylor here. Our team is all over the states now. Raising funds for our documentary doing speaking events and what not.
Winter time set in hard down in the Roaring Forties… I must say, the Hydrovane held up above any expectations. In the heat of my last 4 days before pulling into Valdivia, Chile I was in 65ft seas and 50 gusting 60 kts of wind. Beyond impressed with the ease of installation and performance of your product, I’ll be recommending it to every person I meet on the water.
One man I met in Valdivia said he’s already in talks with y’all about installing one on his own boat down there.
Anyways, as I said before, we’re all over the states now. If y’all have any events or such you’d like us to speak at and tell everyone first hand how well the Hydrovane holds up, please give me a call or email anytime.
Until then, Hold Fast.
Skeleton Crew Sailing
“…we managed to install the Hydrovane last weekend and used it while sailing from Gibraltar to Morocco without any problems”
From: Jan Reichel
Sent: August 2, 2018
To: Will Curry
Cc: John Curry ; Sarah Curry
Subject: Moody 38 – Hydrovane model VXA2D Pictures
I’d just to inform you, we managed to install the Hydrovane last weekend and used it while sailing from Gibraltar to Morocco without any problems. Just with very light wind from the back we had to adjust it sometimes. I’m really happy so far and will use it hopefully most of the time during sailing to South Africa via Brazil the next month.
Thank you again for your support!
She is everything I had hoped for… and more. Working perfectly in light or heavy air on all points of sail. …despite the massive offset on our stern.”
From: Ian Miller
Date: August 2, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: RE: XC-38 – Hydrovane model VXA2D L(shaft length)/H/E Photos and spares
I just wanted to report back to you about our FAB-YOU-LUS Hydrovane.
She is everything I had hoped for… and more. Working perfectly in light or heavy air on all points of sail. …despite the massive offset on our stern.
I am attaching some photos and sending a short video in another email.
All best wishes
“Came thru a gale on day 3. HydroVane performed great.”
From: Dave Sitarski
Sent: June 30, 2018
To: HydroVane Will Curry
Subject: Stuck Pin
I have the HydroVane installed on my 2002 Beneteau First 47.7. Installed last year in Alameda CA.
We just sailed from Portland Oregon back to Alameda. Came thru a gale on day 3. HydroVane performed great.
I was going to move the rudder, only to find the pin stuck. Tried giving it a nudge with a light plastic hammer. Moved just a bit. By using a screw driver in the loop end it did move around but still not wanting to come out.
It installed as usual with no problems. I installed in Astoria Oregon just before heading out to sea.
Is it possible the pin bent? Hard to tell.
Any suggestions so I do not damage any thing.
[Editor’s Reponse: If the rudder pin is stuck it could be that a bit of metal or debris is jammed inside the pin hole or the pin is bent. If bent, you may have to try and hammer the pin tip straight or cut off the end that might be damaged. Hopefully you can get it sorted without too much force. We now have new super duplex locking pins that are over 200% stronger than the old 316 type. We recommend using those for both the shaft and rudder pin.]