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Pearson Invicta 38 - EMERGENCY RUDDER
“We capsized the other night.
Lost our rudder.
Made it safe to an anchorage with our hydrovane rudder.
Forever your advocate.”
From: Jessie Z
Sent: Saturday, April 14, 2018
To: Will Curry; Sarah Curry; Luke Yeates
Subject: Knock down
Hey guys 🙂
Just wanted to give your company a quick thanks.
We capsized the other night. Lost our rudder. Made it safe to an anchorage with our hydrovane rudder. Forever your advocate.
I have some good footage and photos to send you all. Laptop gone, but when I’m up and running I’ll send them your way.
Enjoy Richmond boat show ! Swing by and Say hi to bob and Jody at cruising outpost for us !
-Jess & lukeContact
Beneteau Oceanis 400
A photo tells the whole story
From: Athos d’Olivier
Sent:April 21, 2018
To: John Curry
Subject: Re: Beneteau Oceanis 400
So nice to see you at the boat show!
Here’s a more recent shot that tells the whole story of my mechanical self-steering in one tidy image:
“Hydrovane: All systems Go!”
From: Andrew Robertson
Sent: April 6, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Re Bluewater 400 – Hydrovane: All systems Go!
Belated hello from Polaris 2 and our recent adventures in Tasmania where we have finally managed to get the right conditions for setting up our new crew member, Harry the Hydrovane (I bet we are the only ones to come up with this name??).
Here is a link to our recently created blog which features a segment on Harry. Some more photos are included in our blog gallery
So far so good – we look forward to extending Harry’s obvious talents on our next voyage.
Heritage West Indies 36
“We don’t have an electric autopilot so we rely heavily on the hydrovane and it has been one of very few systems that have needed almost no maintenance.”
From: SV Bob
Date: Sat, Feb 24, 2018
Subject: Parts Order A Brooks
To: Sarah Curry
First of all I should let you know that the hydrovane you sent me in a hurry when I was in Sint Maarten in January 2016 has been performing beautifully since then. We don’t have an electric autopilot so we rely heavily on the hydrovane and it has been one of very few systems that have needed almost no maintenance. We’re now in New Zealand and plan on setting out for the Torres Straits and the Indian Ocean in June. I’d like to get my hands on a couple of minor parts if possible:
1) A new fabric cover. Its for a standard vane.
2) I hear you have an upgraded retaining pin for the rudder? We do have a problem with the pin shearing through due to vibration caused by the prop wash (yes, I know, I should have installed it off-center but it’s too late now……). How much do they go for?
Very best wishes,
Alex Brooks (S/V Bob) – in New ZealandContact
Amel Santorin 46
“The new Hydrovane works very well even in 8 knots apparent wind in the doldrums from Panama to Galapagos.”
From: johan lemmens (Iridium)
Sent: Monday, April 2, 2018
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovnane box delivered
Hi Sarah and Will.
We are sailing from Galapagos to the Marquises and have 2200 miles more to go.
The new Hydrovane works very well even in 8 knots apparent wind in the doldrums from Panama to Galapagos.
Now we have a fast beam reach with 8 knots average.
We are very happy with the new Hydrovane and especially its’ ability to keep the boat on the straight in very light winds.
Many greetings Johan.
Ps Watt and Sea work well too.
Sail Magazine - Emergency Rudder Article - March 2018
“We shadowed Rosinante for 10 days and more than 1,000 miles before making landfall in Hiva Oa, in the Marquesas. While steering with the auxiliary Hydrovane rudder was fraught with difficulty, it is unlikely they could have continued without it.”
From: Sarah Curry
Sent: March 8, 2018
To: ‘John Curry’, ‘Will Curry
Subject: Rigging Emergency Rudders article – SAIL March 2018
KNOW HOW – Rigging Emergency Rudder
We were 1,100 miles from the nearest land when we received a text message on our Iridium GO: “Rudder gone. Water in bilge. Worried pumps can’t keep up. Please call!”
We had been in contact with the owners of Rosinante, a 38ft Island Packet, since they had first announced over the Pacific Puddle Jump net that they were having problems with their rudder. We were only 60 miles from them, so we let them know our position and gave them our Iridium Go number in case they needed assistance. Two days later, they did.
We sailed as quickly as we could to their position, making room onboard in case the crew had to abandon ship. By the time we arrived, though, they had the boat under control and were making headway toward the Marquesas. They were steering with their Hydrovane self-steering gear, but complained they couldn’t hold a straight line. They could see the rudder fluttering around under the boat, seemingly barely attached. Three days later, the gooseneck connecting the boom to the mast ripped off because of the way the boom had been slamming back and forth during the many uncontrolled course changes.
We shadowed Rosinante for 10 days and more than 1,000 miles before making landfall in Hiva Oa, in the Marquesas. While steering with the auxiliary Hydrovane rudder was fraught with difficulty, it is unlikely they could have continued without it.
“…the Hydrovane is working great!”
From: Connor Jackson
Sent: March 5, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Checking In!
Just wanted to check in and let you know the Hydrovane is working great!
We’re crazy enough to be jumping off for the South Pacific, so we’ll keep you posted on how the vane works out on our little 31′ Hunter. Thanks again for the install advice and help!
S/V Sea Casa
Whitby 42 - Emergency Rudder
“I found a reef with my [main] rudder in the San Blas which was not fun.
Anyway made the 150 mile trip over 6 days pulling into anchorages in the evenings and had great maneuverability. It was a total non-event and sailed half the way so didn’t have to use my foot to steer for a good portion of the miles.”
From: Pat Salvucci
To: John Curry
Cc: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Tiller Pilot
Date: Sun, 04 Feb 2018
Several things I want to write about:
1. The pin that holds the rudder in a fixed position can rattle loose while I sit on anchor. If I catch it soon enough then I just put it back in and everything is fine. But if I don’t pay attention it can rattle far enough out that it will bend and I even had one break. Is there a trick on keeping them in place? I’m currently in Panama getting ready to transit the canal and head west.
[Editor’s note: use a heavy duty bungee in a line to cinch the Hydrovane rudder up when not in use (or when motoring) – reduces any rattle and Shaft Locking Pin breakage]
2. After sailing 1000 miles downwind using the hydrovane 100% of the time, I think I have it figured out. You had some great videos on installing the hydrovane but I didn’t see any that showed how to use one. I’m guessing you are all sailors so the learning curve on using the hydrovane was short one. Not so for us non-sailors. My AHA moment was when I realized that I needed to reposition the sail on the hydrovane to the future position I wanted the boat to take in relation to the wind. Sort of increasing and decreasing the angle of attack. A short video on how to think about positioning the hydrovane sail so the boat moves more to port or starboard would be a great help for us learning to sail types.
3. I found a reef with my [main] rudder in the San Blas which was not fun. It jammed the rudder into the prop which bent the hell out of it. I was able to take the prop off, get in fixed in Panama City and flown back. But we still had to go 150 miles to get to Colon to get hauled out and I had to fix the rudder in place so that it didn’t get into the prop again. I rigged two pulleys on either side of the stern with ropes leading to the cockpit (center cockpit) and headed out. I quickly realized that my system was awkward at best since I had to move both lines every time I wanted to move the rudder. I then rigged bungee cords to pull the hydrovane rudder to one side and one rope to the cockpit that I pulled to go in the other direction. It worked perfectly. I later tied a loop in the rope and I sat with the loop around my foot and just used my foot pulling to steer. I thought I was a genius to figure that out until I got here and read another account of someone losing their rudder and came up with the same system. So to suggest another video idea – how to use a hydrovane as an emergency rudder and what you need to set it up. I would also suggest to have the pump handle that fits into the hydrovane handle pre drilled so that it can be bolted onto the hydrovane handle so you don’t have to worry about the handle falling off.
Anyway made the 150 mile trip over 6 days pulling into anchorages in the evenings and had great maneuverability. It was a total non-event and sailed half the way so didn’t have to use my foot to steer for a good portion of the miles. I have put in a plug for the hydrovane when I tell my story. Nice to have a back up
Okay done with my long email
“We would have most definitely had a really hard time without (Wilson) the hydrovane
We had near gales all the time apart from 3/4 days”
From: Chris Glaves
Sent: March 6, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Norseman 447
Having crossed the Atlantic from lanzarote
In the canaries to St Lucia
I am so pleased that I purchased the hydrovane
I did the crossing in 19 days
We would have most definitely had a really hard time without (Wilson) the hydrovane
We had near gales all the time apart from 3/4 days
I have some go pro videos on the laptop
Hope to get them across to you
Hallberg Rassy 382 - Emergency Rudder en route to Caribbean
“We used our Hydrovane rudder as an emergency rudder in 35-40 kn.
We balanced the rudder with a rather small sail area and it worked!”
From: Karin och Göran
Sent: January 5, 2018
To: Will Curry
… Moreover, which I have not told you, we had a rudder problem 300 nm northwest of Cape Verde on our direct route to the Caribbean – why we changed course for the Cape Verde. We used our Hydrovane rudder as an emergency rudder in 35-40 kn. We balanced the rudder with a rather small sail area and it worked!
You can read all about it on www.sypeach.se Unfortunately this particular text is in Swedish when we sent the text to some Swedish sailing organizations. You may be able to read the text via Google translate.
Från: Will Curry
Skickat: den 6 januari 2018
Till: ‘Karin och Göran’
Wow, good to hear the Hydrovane saved the day! Can we add this to our website? We will attach your link which will be helpful to other Swedish boats. Did you pass the story onto the OSK sailing club? I google translated the story and got the main idea but was hard to fully understand. What was the cause of the Main steering failure? Was it a broken quadrant?
I’m sure you are busy with repairs but would love to hear further details. Thanks for passing that along.
Hydrovane International Marine Inc.
From: Karin och Göran
Sent: January 6, 2018
To: Will Curry
It turned out that it was the steel cables that became very loose why the chain jumped out of place. I was dead worried that it was the rudder itself. It was extremely difficult to do anything when it happened when the wind was close to 40 kn. The conclusion for us is to check the cables every day! Along with a lot of other stuff of course.
Yes, the OSK got the article as did the JRSK which is a smaller club located in Gothenburg. We are members of both clubs.
You can add this to your website. Hopefully it might prevent this to happen to other boats if the crew learn to check Everything on basically a daily basis as we have learned.
Moreover, plan to leave Cape Verde on Monday. And, to find competent mechanics on this Islands is very difficult.
From: Mattis Voss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Jan 25, 2018
Subject: RE: Hydrovane installation photos contessa 32
To: Sarah Curry
I hope you are well. We have just arrived in French Guyana, steered all the way by our Hydrovane. Magic!
Yes please feel free to use the photographs.
I think we are talking about different kinds of vibration. What we had initially was a fairly high frequency hum, which would stop when you held onto the frame of the vane. When down below it sounded like a faint engine noise. It would set the whole stern of the boat off!
We also have a much slower vibration of the rudder, maybe 5 degrees about the centreline and at a frequency of say 5Hz. This did indeed get much better when I added some weight to the tiller (I fastened a big lump hammer to it with a jubilee clip for the moment).
All the best and thank you very much for your help,
Alan Pape 42
“…served us well across the Atlantic!”
From: Richard Bessey
Sent: January 23, 2018
Subject: Offshore spares kit for Ambition II
Could I please order a spares kit for delivery to …
I am happy to say the Hydrovane has served us well across the Atlantic!
“We crossed the Pacific this year and once again the Hydrovane was far and away the most important bit of kit we had.
After tusselling with 3 x 40 knot squalls I quickly learned to…”
From: Terry Osborne
Sent: December 22, 2017
To: Will Curry
Our Hydrovane has started to shudder and shake when on a beam reach, with significant seas also on the beam.
I can’t find anything wrongly loose, I can see it’s all meant to be loose jointed for good reasons. But could there be wear and tear in the system somewhere? Or something else? Or simply the force of ocean seas 3 / 4 metres, hitting the rudder beam on and transmitted through the system to the upper parts?
[Editor’s note: Hydrovane has steering almost 30,000 nm. Recommended checking Rudder hole for wear, replacing Drive Sleeve and Bottom Bearing, and also adding some weight on the Hydrovane tiller (a shaft zinc works) to prevent any harmonics and help dampen this shudder]
We crossed the Pacific this year and once again the Hydrovane was far and away the most important bit of kit we had.
After tusselling with 3 x 40 knot squalls I quickly learned to let the Hydrovane hold our wind angle, take us off as the breeze swept in and backed, then bring us back on course as it passed. No fuss let life go on…Wonderful Stuff.
Yacht Little Dove
Roberts 40 'NANDJI' on YouTube
It’s awesome that Bonita & Yoshi chose a Hydrovane as their windvane (after an autopilot failure!). Check out their videos on youtube and follow along with their crazy adventures.
“We are so happy already. We struggle to believe that we have been sailing for so long without Robbo.”
From: Sailing Nandji – Frothlyfe
Sent: November 26, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane order LAVER
We have just reached reception again after sailing 180nm with Robbo. Wow, are we impressed and very happy! We got to put the vane well and truly through its paces on the trip. We left in the afternoon and had a quick play with the vane in the bay. Once i realized i had the vane facing the wrong way, we were instantly in business.
The wind was consistently 20 knots or more and we found that the vane setting all the way to left was a little light and not powerful enough for Nandji, then when we changed gears into second, we were having a great time. We had that much confidence in the vane straight away that we entered into our first night with Robbo extremely relaxed even though the seas had built 2-3m and the wind reached 30 knots during the night, but we did not touch the steering wheel once! It was a great night sail! We got to test today with some into the wind sailing and had 20 knots on the nose as we approached the passage into our anchorage and Robbo loved it. We are so happy already. We struggle to believe that we have been sailing for so long without Robbo.
Cheers Will, we already have plenty of photos and are currently editing our video of the installation and will have another video soon of our test voyage with Robbo. We will send some photos through soon!
From: Will Curry
Date: Mon, Nov 27, 2017
Subject: RE: Hydrovane order 170207 LAVER
To: Sailing Nandji – Frothlyfe
That’s awesome! So good to hear that Robbo has been performing as he should and not consuming any of your ships stores (ie. Rum). Good call on getting the ratio knob into the second gear and getting it dialed in. Yes, once you’ve sailed with a good windvane you wonder why it would be done any other way.
Can we add your email to our website? Looking forward to seeing photos of the installation. You guys make great videos and we would love to post the install on our website if that’s possible? It would probably be beneficial to you as it will drive a ton of offshore sailors and aspiring ones to your Channel.
Thanks for taking the time to send the initial report and we look forward to seeing more.
Wauquiez Pretorian 35
Reporting on Passage from Pacific Northwest to southern California.
“As long as we were moving the Hydrovane kept us on course.”
From: Terry Spencer
Sent: November 22, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Wauquiez Pretorian 35
… We were in conditions of light wind in which the impediment to progress was rolling in the swells that had our sails popping, As long as we were moving the Hydrovane kept us on course. It was fantastic in the middle and upper ranges that we experienced. In 10-18 knots the boat really got moving the sails stayed full and the vane was outstanding. We got winds up into the 20-24 knot range off the Oregon coast and again north of Point Conception. Same thing, the vane was very reliable.
I named my vane Wally. He is considered the most reliable crew member aboard and the designated driver, given that his alcohol consumption is nil.