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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.


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


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


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.


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.



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

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’

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:

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

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



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.



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


Bavaria 36 – XHTH Installation


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



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



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.




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

Tayana Vancouver 42 - Sailing Millennial Falcon

“Our crew member who never sleeps, never complains, is always on time for his watch”

@sailingmillennialfalcon on 31 January, 2022:

Our crew member who never sleeps, never complains, is always on time for his watch and lets us not have to run our engine on passage to keep up with draining batteries… we affectionately dubbed him ‘Happy’ and after a fair few miles watching our back he is officially our third mate! @hydrovane

Countess 37 Cutter Rigged Ketch

“Island Drifter lay on her side for what felt like an age (but was probably only 20 seconds), righted herself and continued sailing steered by the Hydrovane on the intended course.”

From: Mike Norris
Sent: January 27, 2022
To: Richard Minielly

Hello, Richard

Our boat, Island Drifter, is a 37ft Countess cutter-rigged ketch. We’ve owned her since 1999, have done two Atlantic Circuits (1999-2000 and 2009-2010), one circumnavigation of Great Britain and Ireland (2011), two summers (2012 and 2013) cruising in Sweden and Norway (as far north as Trömso), three winters cruising in the Canary Islands and since June 2017 we have been based in the Aegean, cruising for 3 months in spring and again in the autumn.

The previous owner/builder of the boat called the Hydrovane SID (Steering Island Drifter).  We re-named it Vera, because it always steers so true!

During our Atlantic Crossing in 2010, we were knocked flat in a F9.  Island Drifter lay on her side for what felt like an age (but was probably only 20 seconds), righted herself and continued sailing steered by the Hydrovane on the intended course.  It really is an invaluable member of crew!

Kind regards



Morgan 382

“I am very impressed and absolutely convinced that the Hydrovane is the best product on the market.”

From: Jan Kamenz
Sent: January 04, 2022
To: Will Curry
Subject: New Boat, new bracket

Good morning Will,

I hope you had great Christmas holidays and a fantastic nye.

As planned I get back to you because I purchased a new boat. It’s the Sun Odyssey 43 from 2003 I was writing about when we were in contact the first time in 2021. And it’s seems as she is the same model as Kaiquest is. Which is a nice coincidence.

I’m getting ready to prepare the installation of my Hydrovane to the new boat. Therefore I will need the A-bracket as I purchased the E-bracket last time for mostly financial reasons.

How long does shipping take at the moment. It would be great, when I can get started with installing by the beginning of March. I also will need three metal backing plates and three wooden mounting pads. Can you send me an cost estimate for these items including the A-bracket.

We also talked about the possibilities of selling my E-bracket back. It is in very good condition. We only used it for one atlantic crossing and uninstalled it right afterwards. What’s the best way to sell this item? Do you have experience with that? Do buy those parts back or can you connect me to someone?

I also want to let you know that your Hydrovane played a big role for us successfully crossing the Atlantic. Without it we would not have been able to make it. This device did 95% of the steering work, no matter what kind of conditions we were in. I am very impressed and absolutely convinced that the Hydrovane is the best product on the market. Thank you!

All the best

Jan Kamenz

From: Richard Minielly
Sent: January 05, 2022
To: Jan Kamenz
Subject: New Boat, new bracket

Hi Jan,

Happy New Year to yourself as well! Thank you so much for the glowing review of your Hydrovane on the transatlantic crossing! We love to hear of Hydrovanes performing well, and we are especially pleased when customers such as yourself move their Hydrovanes to a new boat.

Would it be all right if we posted your email on our testimonials page? I am sure other Morgan owners would be thrilled to see your positive experience.

I’ve quoted the A bracket and pads below. We can ship A brackets within a few days of full payment, so should have no issue getting the bracket to you before March. Where is the new boat located?

We do buy back some parts, but with the shipping costs and discounted prices involved to return them to us, it is usually more profitable to sell the bracket on Ebay or another similar site. There is quite a strong market for used Hydrovanes online.

Orders typically ship from our facility in England within 1-2 days of receiving full payment and confirmation of shipping address.

Please let us know if you have any other questions.


Richard Minielly

Hydrovane International Marine Inc. 

C-Yacht 1250

“Best piece and most valued equipment on board!”

From: Hans de Man
Sent: December 25, 2021
To: John Curry
Subject: Re: Question about shifted tiller.

Hi John,

In one or another way the tiller of our hydrovane has shifted. Where it always was exactly in the middle it has now shifted to starboard. Strange as it is still firmly attached to the shaft and cannot be moved without loosening the bolt.

I will reallign the tiller by loosening the bolt but was wondering what torque should be applied.

Can you see a reason why it shifted and can you advice on the torque to fasten the bolt again?

Kind regards,


From: John Curry
Sent: December 25, 2021
To: Hans de Man
Subject: Re: Question about shifted tiller.

Hi Hans

Something probably hit the rudder – maybe an errant dinghy. Torque setting is 30 lbs/ft. Or I would say using a 6 inch wrench about as hard as a 75 year old can crank it without over exerting.

You can find the settings in the INSTRUCTION section on our website.

Having a Merry one?



From: Hans de Man
Sent: December 25, 2021
To: John Curry
Subject: Re: Question about shifted tiller.

By the way, very very happy with the Hydrovane. It steered us all the way over the Atlantic. Didn’t handsteer nor autopilot all the way from Capeverds until Suriname! Best piece and most valued equipment on board!

Kind regards,

Hans de Man

Trintella V 44

We have made a very good crossing of the Atlantic ocean in December and this is also thanks to our new ‘iron crewmember’ !

From: Tim De Backer
Sent: January 06, 2022
To: Gloria Anderson
Subject: RE: Installation Hydrovane on Beta Leonis

Hi Gloria,

My best wishes for 2022 and good health for you and the whole Hydrovane Team !

We have made a very good crossing of the Atlantic ocean in December and this is also thanks to our new ‘iron crewmember’ !

The Hydrovane has been steering the whole passage, only in a few heavy sees and strong wind gusts we had to help a little by hand.

The promised functioning of the Hydrovane came true.

Concerning the parts we have to send back: is 2424 Haywood Ave | West Vancouver, BC  | V7V 1Y1 | Canada the correct address if we send it to Canada ?

Best regards,

Met vriendelijke groeten,

Bien à vous,


Tim De Backer


Cabo Rico 34

“I think it really is made for the Cabo Rico 34”

From: Nico Walsh
Sent: November 11, 2021
To: Will Curry
Subject: Question, loose transom nuts

I just completed a 300 mile run in 35 knots, the wind right astern most of the time. Pretty good seas. The vane was outstanding. I think it really is made for the Cabo Rico 34, which tracks so well in any case.

The nuts on the transom bolts had loosened when I checked after the sail. I re-torqued them (hard), and used Loc-Tite red. Any suggestions beyond that?


On Nov 12, 2021,  Richard Minielly wrote:

Hi Nico,

Thank you so much for the feedback. We love to hear honest feedback, as it provides us with crucial information on Hydrovane performance. Do you mind if we add your email to our Testimonials page?

Regarding the nuts, it sounds like you’ve done everything right to re-torque the nuts after your first large sail. On top of re-torquing and potentially adding Loctite (we don’t recommend it, but there is no harm in adding it and great peace of mind), the only other solution would be to add an additional lock nut onto the bolt, further preventing any loosening.

As a side note, now that the Nyloc nut has been sealed with Loctite, you will need to replace the nut should you ever remove it. Loctite will damage the nylon inside the nut if it is adjusted once dried.

Thanks again for reaching out and don’t hesitate to reach out again with any questions at all.


Richard Minielly

From: Nico Walsh
Sent: November 12, 2021
To: Richard Minielly
Subject: Re: Question, loose transom nuts

I didn’t use Nylocs. I should have, certainly.

Go ahead and use the testimonial.


On Nov 12, 2021,  Richard Minielly wrote:

Ah – that likely explains the loosening. Loctite and/or a second nut on there should stop any loosening. The vibration, primarily from motoring, can loosen regular bolts over a passage. We use Nyloc nuts on the entire unit to prevent nuts vibrating loose over time.

Thanks for reaching out. Please let us know if anything else comes up.


Richard Minielly

Maxi 120

“We got to know each other on some long legs between Sweden and Denmark.”

Posted By: ayla_sailing
Date:10 November 2021


I somras fick vår extra besättningsmedlem äntligen komma ombord. Vi bekantade oss på några långa ben mellan Sverige och Danmark. Ni kan läsa mer om installationen på vår hemsida ( @hydrovane #hydrovane #vindroder #windvane #namedgreta

Translation: This summer, our extra crew member finally got on board. We got to know each other on some long legs between Sweden and Denmark. You can read more about the installation on our website ( @hydrovane #hydrovane #vindroder #windvane #namedgreta

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