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Skookum 53 Ketch

“The Hydrovane works great, it steers a straighter course than me hand steering”

From: Tom Hickey
Sent: 12 June 2024
To: Brooklyn Foster
Subject: Re: Hydrovane model VXA2D X(shaft length)/H/A

The installation was done while my boat was in the yard for bottom paint. My Grandson was in the boat when we tightened the bracket bolts, otherwise I did 90% of the installation myself. The Hydrovane works great, it steers a straighter course than me hand steering, the lateral vane movement is minor only a few degrees with up to 15 knots of breeze. I’ll be exploring more conditions as I encounter them. I’m very happy with the Hydrovane performance on my boat.

[Editor’s Note: This installation features our white powder coating option, adding a layer of heavy-duty white paint over the anodised castings]

Nicholson 35 - Bermuda Triangle - VIDEO

“Charles” Vane was an indispensable lifesaver (perhaps literally)!”

@ed.beard

“The Bermuda Triangle is infamous for many reasons. For me, I will never forget how a typically routine passage from the BVI descended into a 1,054 mile, 9 day battle against relentless gale force northerly winds.

A fight for every single mile. Telemachus was slammed for 2 days by winds in excess of 36kts. Boat and I are safe and well in Bermuda. A good shakedown sail ahead of the Atlantic Crossing.

This passage aged me 20 years!”

@ed.beard “Charles” Vane was an indispensable lifesaver (perhaps literally)!”

Westsail 42

“Tiller Pilot Saves the Day”

“Eight years later and that tiller pilot was exhumed from its tomb in an aft cabin locker and quickly heralded as a king of the sea!”

From: Craig McMaster
Sent: Monday, May 27, 2024
To: sarah@hydrovane.com
Cc: Krystle McMaster
Subject: Tiller Pilot Saves the Day

Hi Sarah!
Trust you and the rest of the gang are well and enjoying life in the Med! It is a joy to click through the sailing.kaia Instagram feed.

We love our Hydrovane. We gave it a name. We remain mesmerized watching it work. We tell all our cruising friends about how great it is. But not until our main autopilot decided to die on night one of a three day passage did we learn just how critical it can be to have a Hydrovane installed on a cruising boat.

Heeding the advice that you and Will probably gave us in person we purchased a tiller autopilot way back in 2016 to serve as a backup to our main unit. It was a few hundred bucks at the time and felt like an easy insurance policy. I ran the wire, installed the exterior mounted power supply plug on Small World’s stern, and then we wrapped the tiller pilot in some plastic bags and buried it under hoards of gear. Eight years later and that tiller pilot was exhumed from its tomb in an aft cabin locker and quickly heralded as a king of the sea!

I had spent a lot of time thinking about how we would mount the tiller pilot if and when the day came that it was needed, but I never felt I had come up with an elegant solution. Confirming the notion that necessity is the mother of invention my makeshift mount turned out to be more than adequate for the minimal loads necessary to trim the Hydrovane rudder.

I’m not sure I can express the relief Krystle and I felt when, after swapping turns hand steering for 10 hours, we kicked on the little tiller pilot and in disbelief watched it hold course like a champ. The Hydrovane/tiller autopilot combo get a solid vote for MVP from the crew of Small World!

Your Steadfast Hydrovane Evangelists,
Craig & Krystle

Jeanneau 42CC

“Last week we had a steering failure and used our emergency tiller and the hydrovane to sail about 15 miles into the nearest port.”

From: Josh Kegan
Sent: May 30, 2024
To: Will Curry
Subject: Thanks!

Good Morning Will,

We’ve just started using our hydrovane and so far it’s been fantastic. Last week we had a steering failure and used our emergency tiller and the hydrovane to sail about 15 miles into the nearest port. It was our first time using it and we were able to get it rigged up and working very easily. We have repaired the steering system and, as I write this email, have been sailing for the last 6 hours on the hydrovane in 25 knots of wind gusting to 30 in about 4’ seas and It‘s working great! We’re still getting used to it and figuring out exactly how to optimize and adjust it, but just wanted to say thanks; you guys make a great piece of equipment!

All the best,

Josh Kegan

Here’s a picture from earlier today before the wind and seas built, and from last week of our set up with the emergency tiller:

Rustler 36

“Was out sailing yesterday in a F6-7 . . . set the boat up, Hydrovane in play and she just tracked line a train.  Absolutely wonderful.”

From: Brendan Mills
Sent: 15 May 2024
To: Richard Minielly | Hydrovane

Hey Guys

Just to say I am absolutely delighted with the new Hydrovane, thank you.

Was out sailing yesterday in a F6-7 . . . set the boat up, Hydrovane in play and she just tracked line a train.  Absolutely wonderful.   Wouldn’t be without it.

Cheers

Brendan ⛵

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Elan Impression 45

“It saved us because the electric autopilot refused to work 3 days before arrival in Martinique. Thanks to HV we were able to keep moving with a crew of 2.”

From: Carsten Spräner
Sent: February 21, 2024
To: John Curry
Subject: Carsten Spräner | ELAN Impression 45

Want to share our Hydrovane installation which is quite kind of rare. Maybe it helps other boat owners with large platforms at the stern to keep the platform useable AND having the HV not to much off center.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For several reasons, we do not typically recommend through-hull installations. Most drop-down transoms are better accommodated with an offset installation. However, for some very limited boats it is the best option and can work well – as in this case]

We sailed with this through hull installation over the Atlantic east to west and it worked perfect. It saved us because the electric autopilot refused to work 3 days before arrival in Martinique. Thanks to HV we were able to keep moving with a crew of 2.

THANK YOU! The HV is a great tool!

Seastream 43

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

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

Happy new year!

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

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

Thank you.

Helen


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

Hi Helen,

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

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

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

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

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

Happy to chat further.

Best Regards,

Richard


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

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

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

Moody 33 Mk I

“My advice to anyone crossing the pond or Pacific or any other big expanse of deep water: have a Hydrovane fitted.”

From: Trevor & Rebecca Martin
Sent: January 17, 2024
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: hydrovane

Hi

I have the Moody33 Mk1 which you had in your gallery for a while.

Anyway I have to say, the Hydrovane was the best bit of kit I purchased for the boat.

It took a bit of getting used to, especially in marinas and harbours, but out on the sea, oceans it performed like a none sleeping crew member with the accuracy of a pocket computer, 24/7 it steered, for hours on end, with just the odd tweek now and then.

We crossed the Atlantic in 2023, 2100nm, the Hydrovane steered in heavy and light trade winds with minimal adjustments.

My advice to anyone crossing the pond or Pacific or any other big expanse of deep water, have a Hydrovane fitted.

Regards

Trevor Martin

Dignity too of Edinburgh

Hull number 14

Moody 33 Mk1

 


From: Sarah Curry
Sent: January 17, 2024
To: Trevor & Rebecca Martin
Subject: Re: hydrovane

Hi Trevor,

Thank you for reaching out. It is so wonderful to receive such emails and hear what you’ve been up to. We still have the photos of Dignity Too of Edinburgh on our website; it’s a great installation.

We’re thrilled that Hydrovane steered you across the Atlantic.  The Hydrovane sure loves those trade winds and you’re right about it being the sleepless crew member!

I hope you’re enjoying sailing somewhere wonderful.

Would you mind if we post your comments on our website?

Warm regards from a snowy Vancouver,
Sarah

 


From: Trevor & Rebecca Martin
Sent: January 17, 2024
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: hydrovane

Hi Sarah

Sorry forgot to say, we are in Cartagena Colombia.

The Hydrovane took us from UK to Spain, Portugal,  Canaries,  Mindelo,  Martinique,  Caribbean islands, ABC’s, to Colombia.

She didn’t fail us or let us down once.

True and steady, minimally tweaking.

Cheers

Trev

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Moody 47

“We have also used the Hydrovane for 2 x 100Nm legs already here in the Caribbean and so far am very impressed and wish I had purchased one a long time ago.”

From: Lee Adams
Sent: December 17, 2023
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Used hydrovane possibility here in Grenada

Afternoon,

Just to let you know I installed the Hydrovane on our 2001 Moody 47 following the detailed YOUTUBE videos you produced and the excellent installation manual.  Please see some installation pics attached for your reference.

We have also used the Hydrovane for 2 x 100Nm legs already here in the Caribbean and so far am very impressed and wish I had purchased one a long time ago. See video attached of it being used in 20 to 25kt winds.

Finally, met a fellow Hydrovane user here that gave me a top tip:  Before you engage the Hydrovane, balance the sails and then set the electronic autopilot as that can give a good indication of where to lock the wheel off.  Then lock the wheel and engage the Hydrovane.

Regards

Lee Adams

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Moody 40

“Goes great.”

From: Bernie Trim
Sent: December 16, 2023
To: Will Curry
Subject: Awesome

Here’s a few pics of the unit.
Goes great.
Install was ok.
The instructions were great
Needed to make a second hardwood wedge for top bracket and there was a decent epoxy pad made for inside .

Can i change the angle of the course adjuster so the line runs more direct ?
Looks like a quick adjust but I thought I would ask first , just loosen the 13mm nut and twist ?

I’ve used it in Moreton Bay with 15-20kn
Great
Around 6 kn wind and it struggles.

Departing on the 20th for South Pacific 12 month adventure

Regards

Bernie

Hunter 356

“The Vane has been an excellent companion in all weather conditions.”

From: Damien Tremolet
Sent: December 8, 2023
To: Richard Minielly
Subject: Question on keyway pin

Hi Richard and all,

I hope you and the team are well.

We made our way safely and pleasantly to West Indies, currently in St Vincent. The Vane has been an excellent companion in all weather conditions. Sometimes challenging to tune but we learnt and improved over time !

We found recently an issue with the key way pin (on the shaft meant to ease the insertion of the rudder) photo attached. There are signs of corrosion and now it does not fit correctly (too loose in the hole). We found this out when removing temporarily the rudder.

What is your advice ?

Kind regards,

Damien


From: Richard Minielly
Sent: December 8, 2023
To: Damien Tremolet
Subject: Question on keyway pin

Hi Damien,

Great to hear from you, and I’m happy to hear that your Hydrovane was a valuable companion across the Atlantic! There is definitely a learning curve to sailing with a windvane, but once dialled in the process is generally quite rewarding. Do you mind if we post your email to our True Stories page? No worries if you prefer to remain private.

That’s very interesting that the pin fell out. We haven’t seen that before, although some corrosion in that area is quite normal. The pins are originally glued in place, and it’s likely that yours had an issue with the bond that allowed it to come out and for water to penetrate in and speed up the corrosion process. It can be glued back in place with a strong epoxy, which should also fill any gaps from the lost material.

If you’d like, we’re happy to provide a new keyway pin. However, as it would be the same spec and subject to high shipping costs to St. Vincent, I would recommend re-using the existing pin with a thick epoxy adhesive instead. If you have any technical questions on the process, I’m happy to help.

Best Regards,

Richard Minielly

Contact

Hallberg Rassy 42E Ketch - Video

“Too rough for the hammock?”

“Even with conditions like this the hydrovane is completely reliable and does it’s job. No more handsteering necessary. So what to do with our time? To rough for the hammock?”

John Kretschmer Sailing - Kaufman 47 - Video

“1000 miles sailing a serious ocean in the Southern Atlantic! I experienced my first Storm Force 10 with +4m waves and lightning, which was every bit as real and terrifying as John’s books!”

Repost @ejcrosse @johnkretschmersailing

“As billed, truly epic “heavy weather” training passage from Rio de Janeiro to Punta Del Est in Uruguay with #johnkretschmersailing on the beautiful Quetzal.

1000 miles sailing a serious ocean in the Southern Atlantic! I experienced my first Storm Force 10 with +4m waves and lightning, which was every bit as real and terrifying as John’s books!

We’ve just arrived safely in Punta Del Est and will be heading to Argentina in two days time.

What was my biggest takeaway from this experience…? I need a bigger boat!” ⛵️

From @sailingsofa ⁠

On our way from Lagos down to Las Palmas we had awesome weather, Sharon took the helm and played on the waves, we then tried the Hydrovane self steering which as you’ll hear from the video I was quite impressed with……. 👍🙂⁠

Kirsten Neuschager - WINNER Golden Globe Race 2022

“[The Hydrovane] saw Kirsten and Minnehaha all the way through the Golden Globe Race (non stop, solo, around the world) and over the finish line!”

From @kirstenggr

Thinking back on the sailing, and missing it! Thanks to @hydrovane for having serviced Minnehaha’s hydrovane, which did about 45 000 nm before having any major overhaul – possibly more than any hydrovane has ever done before without a significant service. It saw Kirsten and Minnehaha all the way through the GGR and over the finish line! The unit is as good as new again, and it was smooth sailing all the way down to Madeira! Also, a big thanks to Eddie Arsenault, for having built such a solid mounting bracket for the hydrovane! Without Eddie, Minnehaha would just not be the strong boat that she is today!

Minnehaha – Cape George 36

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