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Vagabond / Spindrift 39
“It was 1680 nm down to Panama and I’d say she steered 1500. Light winds, heavy winds on all points of sail she held a tight line.”
From: Jay E.
Sent: April 26, 2020
To: Will Curry
I just wanted to say thank you for all your support. I know I probably called you a handful of times while installing my Hydrovane. Avalon has been the best crew member yet working 24\hours a day out steering everyone. I also like that I don’t need to feed her and she doesn’t drink the last beer. It was 1680 nm down to Panama and I’d say she steered 1500. Light winds, heavy winds on all points of sail she held a tight line.
Catalina 42 Mk I
“I can tell that I will need to build up my library, as the Hydrovane has taken a lot of the work away from me leaving me with plenty more time to read.” 🙂
Catalina 42 Mk 1
Since my recent installation, just before the Covid 19 shutdown, I’ve taken one shakedown sail with the Hydrovane as I’m readying my boat for cruising and I always singlehand. On the trip out the wind started light at 5 to 8 knots and to my surprise the Hydrovane sailed the boat beautifully. By the afternoon, upon approaching the island, the winds had increased to a steady 16 to 20 with an occasional gust of a few knots more. The Hydrovane was again a champ. I tweaked the sails a couple of times and adjusted the vane a few times but for the most part I just laid back and enjoyed the weather and the relaxation. A week later on the return to LA the wind was a pretty steady 10 to 12 and I basically just set the Hydrovane and let it be, except I couldn’t help watching it constantly in awe at how efficient it was. I can tell that I will need to build up my library, as the Hydrovane has taken a lot of the work away from me leaving me with plenty more time to read. Thanks for the advice and great service.
“We are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in route to Hawaii. Not our first choice, but that is a long story.”
From: Randy Dinger
Sent: March 24, 2020
Will & Sarah
We are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in route to Hawaii. Not our first choice, but that is a long story.
Our Hugo (the hydrovane) has been most impressive. 20-30 knots in 10’ seas and just keeps on slugging through it. We are so happy. And so are our fridge and water maker. Because they run anytime they wish.
Hope all is well with your family.
Randy & Shellie
“:We have used in on various passages between Gibraltar and here in the Canaries, via the Algarve and Madeira, and found it to work well in a variety of conditions, from handling gusts and squalls, to steering us downwind in light airs. We would certainly recommend the Hydrovane to anyone looking to install a wind vane on our boat like ours.
However, the installation itself we found extremely challenging and frustrating, taking the two of us seven long days.”
From: Alex Mansfield <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, November 22, 2019 5:54 AM
To: John Curry; Will Curry; Sara Curry
Subject: Hydrovane performance and installation on Moody 376 Twoflower
Dear Hydrovane team,
It’s been a few months now since we installed our Hydrovane, which has given us some time to test its performance on our Moody 376. And we can say that we are very happy with the performance and usability of the Hydrovane.
We have used in on various passages between Gibraltar and here in the Canaries, via the Algarve and Madeira, and found it to work well in a variety of conditions, from handling gusts and squalls, to steering us downwind in light airs. We would certainly recommend the Hydrovane to anyone looking to install a wind vane on our boat like ours.
However, the installation itself we found extremely challenging and frustrating, taking the two of us seven long days. We would like to share with you some of the difficulties we faced along with some feedback that we hope could make the experience easier for other Hydrovane customers in the future.
Problems during installation
We found that there were more constraints in the ways that the joints could move than we had realised from the materials we had read in advance – for example, the constraints on the angles that the joints can rotate through. These constraints eliminated a lot of the ideas about how to mount it – in fact we realised there are only a couple of possible ways a Hydrovane could be mounted without changing the original fittings. This left us mounting in one of the ways used by a Moody 376 before in the proposal you sent us. Some diagrams, animations or videos showing these constraints might have helped us have better ideas and get our expectations right from the start.
The above is important because it also affects the parts that are actually needed for mounting. In our case, even though we mounted the unit in the same ways as illustrated in the proposal, we still found that two of the parts we bought from you were not the right size.
Firstly, the H bracket pad was not thick enough to make the wedge shape required to get the shaft vertical given the constraints of the H bracket itself and the shape of our hull. We would have required at least a 35mm thick pad.
Secondly, we needed one longer strut for the A bracket, of 88cm i.e. 8cm longer than the shipped 80cm. Given that we ended up mounting the unit in the same way as shown in the proposal (and on several other Moody 376s we have encountered), we would have thought you would have been able to inform us or at least double check with us about these sizes in advance.
To bring that all together, without guidance from you and without knowing about the constraints, I’m not sure how we ourselves would have anticipated these problems before ordering the parts from you. Perhaps for future preference you can make a note of these issues in case you are preparing an order for another Moody 376 or similar boat?
Finally, the teak pads you supplied already had holes drilled for the bolts. However these holes were not perpendicular to the surface of the pads, and the spacing between the holes did not match the spacing of the bracket castings. This caused us a number of headaches – in particular, as we used the actual brackets and mounting pads to guide us drilling the holes through our hull, this alignment caused us to drill holes at the wrong angle
Surely it is possible to improve the drilling of these holes? Otherwise we believe it would be best to leave the pads without any holes drilled to prevent any confusion.
Ideas for installation
Overall our installation was quite challenging because we also had to deal with shaping the outside pads in very tight spaces and filling the very uneven interior surface of the hull. However we found some techniques that worked well for us that we thought might be interesting to share with you too (see also the attached photos).
In order to shape the pads to the hull, we extended the idea you give in the installation guide of ‘holy-stoning’ the pad onto a piece of sandpaper stuck against the hull. We attached the pad to a palm sander using double sided tape and a large piece of velcro. Using this and pressing against some very coarse sandpaper on the hull made short work of shaping the pads, even in very tight corners with barely any space to move the pad. Despite many people saying that shaping the pads is one of the most time consuming aspects, with this method, this took no time at all!
In order to get flat, perpendicular surfaces for the backing plates on the inside, we used a filling compound and moulded it using the actual backing plate and cheap sacrificial bolts. In order to keep these clean from the filling compound, we covered the back of the backing plate with grease and a sheet of cling film, and wrapped the sacrificial bolts in PTFE tape. We then applied the filling compound and bolted everything in place. Once it was cured, and in no rush, we could still easily remove everything and clean off the PTFE tape and cling film to get a good finish.
Overall then, we thank you again for making this great product and for being so responsive and supportive, and we hope that with our feedback you can improve the experience still further for future customers. For us, we look forward to many miles ahead under sail and Hydrovane.
Alex & Angie
SY Twoflower (Moody 376) in Tazacorte, La Palma
“The Hydrovane performed flawlessly.”
From: Dana Markle
Sent: January 6, 2020
To: ‘Will Curry
Subject: Alma Feroz – Hydrovane
We finished our installation of the Hydrovane on our Dufour 412, Alma Feroz last week. Saturday we took it on a trial run. We started out on a broad reach with 6 knots of wind. The Hydrovane performed flawlessly. Later in the afternoon the wind picked up to 13 knots and we were at that point sailing close hauled. Once again the Hydrovane performed flawlessly. I can’t express to you how pleased we are with Hydrovane.
The next trip to Catalina Island we will get some video on the crossing as well as some nice still shots with the beautiful island in the background.
Dana J. Markle
Wauquiez Pretorien 35
“We left St Georges last Thursday on heavy (25kt) 2-3m following sea. Our electronic autopilot soon wanted a break, and stopped working. Instructions said to try on a nice day upwind. We did the opposite. Took about 5 minutes to get it working well.”
Sent: November 25, 2019
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: So happy!
Good Morning from halfway between Antigua and Bermuda! Had a chance to install the unit while waiting for weather window in Bermuda. Piece of cake.
We left St Georges last Thursday on heavy (25kt) 2-3m following sea. Our electronic autopilot soon wanted a break, and stopped working. Instructions said to try on a nice day upwind. We did the opposite. Took about 5 minutes to get it working well. So far we’ve had just about all conditions and I must say this unit works very well indeed. Steers much better than us, and certainly better than the latest garmin autopilot. It’s quiet, and uses no power.
Thanks so much for getting this out to us on short notice. We are very grateful to have this well-engineered unit aboard!
one question… the vane sometimes hits the solar panels if there a sudden change to conditions. Usually an adjustment keeps this from being an issue. Is there a shorter vane we can use, or perhaps I can modify this one?
[A: If the vane makes contact with your solar at the end of its deflection it does not effect performance. You can put a piece of rubber on the solar panel where it makes contact. We do have the stubby vane assembly which is 12 inches shorter than the standard vane. Perhaps you can send a photo showing the contact point and I can see if its worth switching vanes.}
Chris & Kelly Jacques
Photo: Beating across the Atlantic on our Wauquiez Pretorien 35Contact
Beneteau 47.7 - "Monique Sails With Us"
“We first saw Monique on other boats through YouTube channels that we follow or sailing videos that just pop up when you browse the internet. I admit she was pretty cool, standing tall with her red top in all sorts of weather. After browsing some videos of her, I must admit she caught my interest. I started to research north, south, east and west on the internet and explored all the details I could find. And boy, did I find lots of information on Monique. She does have a fan-club.”
Monique sails with us
Published by dhoiland on 11/11/2019
From escape-west.com: https://www.escape-west.com/2019/11/monique-sails-with-us/
We discussed it at home, Theresa and myself. We were busy upgrading sy Escape for our trip and did not really focus on crew. You see, there is this thing about sailing long term. Sometimes you want a crew and sometimes you are fine without. Sometimes it is good to have company for a week or two, but we discussed to bring Monique onboard long term. I was a little apprehensive. Another female onboard long term. Hmmm.
We first saw Monique on other boats through YouTube channels that we follow or sailing videos that just pop up when you browse the internet. I admit she was pretty cool, standing tall with her red top in all sorts of weather. After browsing some videos of her, I must admit she caught my interest. I started to research north, south, east and west on the internet and explored all the details I could find. And boy, did I find lots of information on Monique. She does have a fan-club.
Born in 1968 in England. She put her mark on the sailing community already in ’72 at only 4 years old. Pretty impressing achievement and promesing for what to come. At 34 she moved to a new family in Vancouver, Canada. By then, she was already a seasoned blue water sailor and had crewed on numerous circumnavigations. With her pedigree, any sailor have something to learn from her when riding the Atlantic rollers.
‘She should come with us‘ Theresa said one evening as I was looking at Monique on YouTube. ‘I mean, if you are that facinated, she should come‘. That sounded like a decision to me. I shot off an e-mail directly to her father, Will to hear his thoughts on bringing Monique along. I did not have to wait long for the response.
‘Sure she can come with you on your trip’, Will wrote back. I started to ask direct questions, to fill in the white spots. ‘We sail a first 47.7 and that is a sporty boat. Will Monique handle that in some weather? ‘, I asked Will. Promptly Will replied, ‘Monique is sporty but you have to trim the sails and balance the boat‘.
That made me think back to previous crossings where we tied the steering, balanced the boat and let the wind and waves do the job. And by that, we invited her onboard – long term. A week later she arrived from England. She came with us from the start and four of us are happy she did – Vetle, Theresa, myself and Monique
An here I am. Sitting in the cockpit, sipping my coffee, looking at her red top gently swinging from side to side keeping us on course on our journey. She is fine to steer for hours on end and handels windshifts with grace and ease. It is poetry in motion.
Now that we have some experience after 3.000 nautical miles together, we would never go without her and our expectations for the upcoming thousands of miles are high. We are sure she will perform.
It is also good to know that her family in Canada will support her – and us – wherever in the world we will be thus helping us onwards reaching new horizons across the oceans of the blue planet.
Keep going…. Keep seeking out the uncertain with a no-plan plan
Comment; this is our view and we have no commercial connection to HydrovaneContact
C&C Landfall 38
“The build quality is top notch, and it steers better than I do.”
From: John Sandford
Sent: October 14, 2019
To: Gloria Anderson; John Curry; Will Curry
Subject: Landfall 38 installation
Wanted to share a couple of photos of my hydrovane installation with you.
The only modification I had to make was to move the stern ladder over to port by 150mm
I will need to modify the upright on the stern pulpit to use the emergency tiller extension, but will do that this winter.
The unit works incredibly well and I am extremely satisfied with it.
The build quality is top notch, and it steers better than I do.
Thanks for building such a wonderful piece of equipment !
Hallberg Rassy 42F - Main Rudder Lost at Sea
“We steered the remaining 300 miles with the Hydrovane rudder…”
From: Gerard Van Der Horst
Sent: August 1, 2019
To: Will Curry
Subject: Hydrovane Emergency Rudder
On our way from Azores to England our rudder broke and fell off in a “near Gale” 30-35 knots. We steered the remaining 300 miles with the Hydrovane rudder with a tiller arm and a Raymarine 1000 autopilot and arrived after 3 days in Falmouth.
I prepared this 10 years ago and now it was “plug and play”.
We needed some “motorpower” to have enough steerage in the confused sea without the balance of the main Rudder .
Gerard van der Horst.
Van De Stadt Caribbean 40
“The windvane worked perfectly, my Crew and myself were astonished just how precise it held course…”
From: Langer Martin
Sent: 22 July 2019
To: Simon Hall – (Boatworks+ on Guernsey – recommended installer)
Subject: MY WAY, Hydrovane
I am writing you today to tell you that a week ago we arrived safely in Porto / Portugal. The windvane worked perfectly, my Crew and myself were astonished just how precise it held course, both upwind and on broad reach. There were no vibrations or other side-effects. The Performance of the wind Generator in case of being becalmed needs some improvement, though ;-))
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THIS PERFECT JOB!
Oberarzt der Universitäts-Frauenklinik
Malo 36 - AZAB 2019
“I recently finished the AZAB2019 race singlehanded and I would like to say to you all how well my Hydrovane, Baldric, behaved.”
From: W. J. Irwin & Son, Solicitors
Sent: July 17, 2019
I recently finished the AZAB2019 race singlehanded and I would like to say to you all how well my Hydrovane, Baldric, behaved. Both in light winds and boad reaching or running in 35 knots, there was never a moment when I doubted his ability to keep us safely on course. Easy to set up, easy to adjust, it was simple to check the course, make sure the vane was not being held over one way for long periods and adjust sails and vane according to the conditions.
However, I do need to order two new pins. They are the weakest point in the system, and I am not sure why they are not twice the diameter they are. I believe Jen-Luc van den Heede replaced his rudder pin with a bolt and self locking nut, having drilled out a much greater diameter hole in the rudder and shaft. I do put a bungee on the safety line when at anchor to stop any rattling and I find that the pin bends over a period of a few days, so I am not surprised that they break after few years. Please send me two pins.
W. J. Irwin & Son
Date: Wed, Jul 17, 2019, 3:54 PM
To: Solicitors, Will, john
Congratulations on your successful AZAB! We are glad to hear it! May we post your experience on our website? The feedback is wonderful.
The Locking Pins are a designed weak point – meant to break before anything else does. Usually it is the Shaft Locking Pin that is most prone to metal fatigue from the vibration while motoring.
That being said, prior to the start of the Golden Globe Race 2018 we began manufacturing the Pins out of Super Duplex stainless steel, 3 x stronger than 316.
You are correct that Jean-Luc replaced his Rudder Locking Pin with a bolt (same diameter), and it was his only failed component on the Hydrovane. Jean-Luc’s report: “Just to tell you that I was VERY happy with my Hydrovane. I change absolutely NOTHING since the start of the race except fixation of the rudder … but it’s my fault. I replace your shaft by a bolt made in a special stainless steel which supposed to be very strong and … it breaks after canarias! So I install (not easy at sea!) your original one and it doesn’t break!”
Here is a quote, in GBP:
28.00 – 2 Super Duplex Locking Pins
8.00 – Royal Mail
43.20 TOTAL including VAT
Hydrovane International Marine Inc.
Office: 2424 Haywood Ave. | West Vancouver, BC | V7V 1Y1 | Canada | +1 604-925-2660
Manufacturing: Nottingham | United Kingdom
www.hydrovane.com | http://svkaiquest.com
“…outstanding and completely dependable in every respect, I loved it.”
From: Paul Furneaux
Sent: June 26, 2019
Subject: New quote
Can you please give me a price for a Hydrovave and mounting rig for my Vancouver 32.
I have had an HV on my Nicholson 32 which I have recently sold. I found the rig to be outstanding and completely dependable in every respect, I loved it.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Autopilot Packed it in, and “Our Hydrovane saved our trip on our recent Southport-Noumea passage.”
From: Neil Williams
Sent: July 4, 2019
To: Will Curry
Hi Will and John
Our Hydrovane saved our trip on our recent Southport-Noumea passage. We set out on 15 May into 15-20kts in our Bavaria 46 Sortie, and 2 hours out of Southport our autopilot packed it in. We swung our Hydrovane into action, and it took us to just outside the reef near Noumea, 6 days of upwind sailing into tough 2-3 m swells, without missing a beat. As we were short handed we would otherwise have had to abandon the trip.
Can a Hydrovane be fitted successfully to an Outremer please?
Report and photos of single handed sailor – 1000’s of miles
From our German Dealer Tom Logisch:
The customer with his Reinke 11 sailed from Greece to Germany nonstop (only GIB), single handed, and now Caribbean and back, single handed, only with the Hydrovane. He has hydraulic steering… and it works perfectly.
First time using, four day offshore passage:
“We have a very sophisticated autopilot (Raymarine Evolution) which I love, so I assumed we would test the vane then put her away for emergencies but the performance is so good that roles seem to be reversed.”
From: Graham Openshaw
Sent: July 3, 2019
To: Will Curry
Subject: Hydrovane Commissioned – SV Leela
We never got the opportunity to test our Hydrovane before setting out into the Pacific so we were a bit concerned that it would be a challenge to set up. There was no need to worry. We just put the vane on and away we went. That was four days ago and, apart from a couple of occasions when we needed to motor through squalls she has been in action the whole time.
We have a very sophisticated autopilot (Raymarine Evolution) which I love, so I assumed we would test the vane then put her away for emergencies but the performance is so good that roles seem to be reversed. We are tracking the wind at least as well and it is great to not have the noise and the moving wheel. The power saving is important too, given the continuously overcast weather we are experiencing. At this point all we have done is sail close hauled in 9-18kts TWS so more to learn but all remarkably good so far.
The boat layout has worked remarkably well on our small and congested transom. I was concerned about the dinghy in the davits. It is on the foredeck at the moment but we did get to test that going through the Panama Canal and it is actually better with the HV than before, all good. The only challenging aspect of this installation is that getting the vane on and off above the solar panels is tricky. The panels have very sharp corners so I think another spare vane cover will be a good idea at some point.
I do have a question you might be able to help with. Are there any recommended strategies for tacking and heaving to? Unsurprisingly, the vane does not appear to have the rudder authority to execute the tack so, at the moment, I am switching on the autopilot in wind mode, moving the HV lever to the far right to freeze the vane, executing the tack, settling everything on the new course, aligning the HV to the wind, re-engaging her, switching off the autopilot. This works OK but I’m concerned about the side load on the locked vane.
Please forward my thanks to John and Sarah. You have another very satisfied customer.