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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

Dear Simon,

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 ;-))


best regards,

Univ.Prof.Dr.Martin Langer
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
Subject: Pins

Hello Sarah,

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.



Tony Irwin
W. J. Irwin & Son


Date: Wed, Jul 17, 2019, 3:54 PM
To: Solicitors, Will, john

Hi Tony,

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


Sarah Curry
Hydrovane International Marine Inc.
Office: 2424 Haywood Ave. | West Vancouver, BC | V7V 1Y1 | Canada | +1 604-925-2660
Manufacturing: Nottingham | United Kingdom |

Nicholson 32

“…outstanding and completely dependable in every respect, I loved it.”

From: Paul Furneaux
Sent: June 26, 2019
Subject: New quote

Hi Will

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.

Best regards

Paul Furneaux

Bavaria 46

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?

Neil Williams


Reinke 11

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.

Bristol 38.8

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.




JEAN LUC VAN DEN HEEDE - Rustler 36 - Winner Golden Globe Race 2018 - Report on Hydrovane

“Suite à une préparation minutieuse, j’ai choisi l’Hydrovane pour m’accompagner dans ce périple…”

“… je ne regrette pas mon choix et je peux même dire qu’Hydrovane a une part de responsabilité dans ma victoire.”

Translation: “After careful preparation, I chose the Hydrovane to accompany me on this journey …”

“… I don’t regret my choice and I can even say that Hydrovane had some responsibility for my victory.”

Download Testimonial in French: Témoignage JL VDH

English translation:

For windvane self steering systems, the GOLDEN GLOBE RACE was a formidable test as these mechanical auto-pilots needed to work 24 hours a day (except when we were steering!) Several competitors experienced problems in this area [with their windvanes].

After careful preparation, I chose the Hydrovane to accompany me on this journey. Even with a capsize that caused a crack in the mast, the hydrovane survived unscathed. This device is certainly heavier than many others, but it also has a lot of advantages:

1 / It is absolutely reliable and I didn’t change ANY PART during this sail around the world, even after the capsize. Some bearings have a little more slack after this circumnavigation and now should be changed, which is normal!

2 / It allows to steer without touching the device since it is autonomous. This is handy when you want to leave the helm for a few minutes. Of course, when you steer yourself, you can better anticipate the movements of the boat.

3 / In heavy gales it did its job perfectly and if I capsized it was because I stayed too far across the wind and the waves.

4 / With a bit of practice of the settings, I spent 50 hours in a row under spinnaker.

5 / In the event of damage to the boat’s steering gear (whether it is tiller or wheel helm) it can be used as an emergency rudder.

So I don’t regret my choice and I can even say that Hydrovane had some responsibility for my victory.

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede wins Golden Globe Race after 211 days at sea - Rustler 36

Report on Golden Globe Race 1st Place Finisher!

“Jean-Luc Van Den Heede today won the Golden Globe Race after an astonishing 211 days and 23 hours at sea, in an incredible demonstration of seamanship.”

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede wins Golden Globe Race after 211 days at sea

Helen Fretter
    • January 29, 2019

French skipper Jean-Luc Van Den Heede has won the Golden Globe Race, the ‘retro’ solo around the world race, in 211 days

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede today won the Golden Globe Race after an astonishing 211 days and 23 hours at sea, in an incredible demonstration of seamanship.

The French skipper sailed across the finish line under spinnaker, arriving back into a grey and damp Les Sables d’Olonne. Having completely run out of fuel, Van Den Heede then sailed up the famous channel of Les Sables under mainsail.

This was the first round the world race victory for the 73-year-old, who also set a new record for the oldest skipper to sail solo non-stop around the globe. He had led the solo race for almost its entirety, and finished with a margin of over 300 miles ahead of 2nd-placed Mark Slats.

Both he and his yacht, the Rustler 36 Matmut, appeared in excellent health after seven months of non-stop sailing. Van Den Heede was in high spirits on arrival, leading the crowd in song on the pontoons, and cracking jokes throughout the press conference. He gave no impression of being particularly tired or unsteady on his landlegs, but did say that he was looking forward to a bath, a steak and a beer – in that order.

First impressions of Matmut, meanwhile, were that the Rustler was in surprisingly good condition – there were no obvious barnacles (which have so plagued other Golden Globe competitors) on the hull, the deck was not green, the topsides were shiny. A little growth on the transom and some lines threaded around the port first spreader were the only hint of what the yacht and her skipper had been through.

The Golden Globe started on July 1 2018 with 18 entrants – of which just four are now still racing – and the hugely experienced Van Den Heede was among the front-runners from the outset. After fellow French skipper and early race leader Philippe Peche retired, Van Den Heede built an almost unassailable lead at the Cape of Good Hope.

While the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans saw multiple retirements and yachts rolled, dismasted and abandoned, Van Den Heede arrived at the mandatory pit stop in Hobart virtually unscathed. Matmut by then had a small leak to one porthole, but was otherwise standing up well to the rigours of prolonged Southern Ocean racing.

Before the start, Van Den Heede, together with his shore manager Lionel Régnier, had ensured Matmut was one of the most thoroughly prepared yachts in the race – including a shortened mast and all-new rigging and sails, additional watertight bulkheads, and upgraded deck gear.

But in November, in the middle of the South Pacific, Van Den Heede was knocked down in 65-knot winds and 11m seas. Although the mast held, a connecting bolt which attached the lower shrouds on the port side of the mast was damaged, leaving Van Den Heede unable to tension his rigging. He effected a temporary repair, initially planning to make for Chile to fix it, before deciding to continue racing, re-rigging ropes to support the shroud as he went – he climbed the mast seven times.

At today’s press conference he recalled: “For three days I thought about how to save the boat and so I ran off course. I started to plan my stopover in Chile … and then I said to myself: the mast is so… damn damn damn! I thought I was trying. We did have makeshift rigs, which were mandatory on board.

“Until then I have never abandoned a single race. But I admit that climbing a mast is no longer ok at my age. I climbed seven times! The worst thing was trying to undo the pins. It’s not easy in a workshop on land, but six meters high is a little bit ‘Fort Boyard’ [like the Crystal Maze]!”

Original Golden Globe winner Robin Knox-Johnston and race organiser Don McIntyre welcoming in the winner Jean-Luc Van Den Heede

With Van Den Heede having to nurse Matmut up the Atlantic, especially on port tack, Dutch sailor Mark Slats was able to reduce his lead from nearly 2,000 miles to less than 100. In mid-January the tracker was showing the theoretical advantage at just 49 miles, although Van Den Heede was better placed to extract himself from the Azores High system.

But Van Den Heede was able to reassert his lead through the final weeks, and despite a challenging Biscay crossing that brought a final test of 50-knot winds and 7m seas, arrived safely into Les Sables this morning just ahead of the gale force conditions which began battering the Atlantic town as Van Den Heede spoke to the waiting crowds and press.

The race win sees Van Den Heede complete his sixth full circumnavigation (he has started 10 times) in the ‘retro’ around the world race which set off last July to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Golden Globe.

The 2018-19 Golden Globe Race required skippers to recreate many of the limitations of the original around the world challenge, including no modern navigational aids, which made this Van Den Heede’s slowest ever circumnavigation at 212 days. Nevertheless, his Rustler 36 was a full 100 days faster than Robin Knox-Johnston’s original circumnavigation, the first ever single-handed non-stop around the world, in Suhaili.

This is also Van Den Heede’s first round the world race victory. He holds the record for the fastest east-west circumnavigation, set in 2004 at 122 days, and has twice returned to Les Sables d’Olonne to stand on the podium of the Vendee Globe  (3rd in 1990, 2nd in 1994). He also finished 2nd in the 1986 BOC Challenge Around Alone Race and 3rd in the 1995 BOC.

Despite the downpours and biting cold, the people of Les Sables turned out to welcome Van Den Heede home, lining the famous channel and waiting patiently in the rain to cheer his victory. He is a true local hero, and lives in a seafront apartment in the famous Vendée town.

Would he do it again? “After my second Vendée Globe, I said no, I will not do it again. Then after my four world tours, I thought it was over for me. Then I did it the other way and broke the record (122 days).

“Now I will not sail around the world unless someone makes a great thing that still interests me… But hey, no, I don’t plan to go around the world again. That said, my boat is for sale and I can do coaching… ”

Second placed Mark Slats is due to arrive on Friday, 1 February. He initially planned to put into La Coruna to shelter from the storm conditions sweeping Biscay, but sent a message by YellowBrick tracker today “HEADING FOR LSDO [Les Sables d’Olonne]. WEATHER SEEMS TO BE BETTER AND I AM HUNGRY”

Hallberg Rassy 42E - VIDEO in Italian

“My Hydrovane works magnificently.”

From: M. Bianchi
Sent: June 28, 2019
Subject: R: Hydrovane Installation

Hi Will,

My Hydrovane works magnificently. My Hallberg Rassy has crossed the Atlantic twice, to get to the Caribbean and to return, and has done so many miles, maybe 90%, with the windvane.

The only flaw is that, when the windvane is not in use and is locked and the boat is sailing, both sail and motor, the shaft has a lot of vibration. This led to the breakage of the stop pin.

Since then I lost the spare pin you sent me, now I need you to send me two new pins.


Do you have any suggestions for me to decrease the vibration of the rudder?

Thank you for your attention and best regards.

M. Bianchi

Contessa 35 - No Bullshit, Just Sailing: Erik Aanderaa - VIDEO

You Tuber Erik Aanderaa uses the Extendable ‘XT’ Vane!

From: Erik Martin Aanderaa
Sent: June 12, 2019
To: Will Curry

Hi Will!

Your adjustable vane worked perfectly all the way along Shetland – Faroe Islands – Norway in the usual bumpy and windy weather😊 And the video does very good online! Many ask about the Hydrovane!


Cross 42 Mk II Trimaran - Andy Turpin - Latitude 38

“From the list of Andy and Julie’s favorite pre-cruise upgrades: Hydrovane – This amazing, non-electrical, windvane steering device performed brilliantly, even in sloppy following seas.”

After 23 years of wishing bon voyage to Tahiti bound sailors, Puddle Jump founder Andy Turpin finally got to make the crossing himself. 

Download Andy’s article here:

Latitude 38 June 2019 -Pacific Crossing- Andy Turpin


Tayana 52

“Tango’s Hydrovane systems (Hydrovane, Hydrogenerator, and watermaker) make our nomadic life possible.”

From: jeh20011995
Sent: Tue, Jun 11, 2019
To: Sarah Curry

Ia orana Sarah,

Papeete is great! Tango’s watermaker has the new membrane installed. I haven’t run it yet because we are in Marina Papeete. I’ll run it in the next week or so when we journey to Marina Tiana for fuel before leaving for Moorea and the more westerly Society Islands. Thank you again for all the support. I’ve included some photos and I’ll mention the great support in our blog (

Just for your info, with the new docks, good security, all the shops, chandlerys, and restaurants within a short walk, Marina Papeete is far better than Marina Taina.

Tahiti is our breath catching stop before we visit several remote islands & in mid July heading toward Tonga (swim with the whales), then New Zealand. We are thinking of waiting out the cyclone season then heading back to the Gambier & Tuomotus with a 2nd return to NZ before we decide the next step… probably getting into the Med.

Tango’s Hydrovane system (Hydrovane, Hydrogenerator, and watermaker) make our nomadic life possible. They are reliable, essential, and well supported when needed. Thank you again for great products and support. I’ve attached some photos for you.

John and Janet

CSY 44

“It has performed amazingly well.”

From: Neil Montague
Sent: March 22, 2019
To: Gloria Anderson; Will Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane shipment

Hi all

2 days of testing of the new Hydrovane. It has performed amazingly well. A couple of finished pics attached i will send a full report when I reach the Azores


Neil Montague

Contessa 32

“Die Hydrovane ist die beste Anschaffung überhaupt.”

“The Hydrovane is the best purchase ever.”

Wonderful report received by Tom Logisch, our German dealer:

Hallo Herr Logisch, ich schulde Ihnen noch ein paar Fotos.

Die Hydrovane ist die beste Anschaffung überhaupt. Steuerte selbst bei abenteuerlicher Kreuzsee an der norwegischen Westküste (dangerous sea areas) raumschots hervorragend.

Die Watt and Sea leistet auch gute Dienste. Nur die Aufhängung und das Festgezurre bei Nichtgebrauch nervt. Das könnte vom Konstrukteur verbessert werden.

Beste Grüße
Bernd Koltermann

Google translate:

Hello Mr. Logisch, I owe you some photos.

The Hydrovane is the best purchase ever. Steered even with adventurous cruise on the Norwegian west coast (dangerous sea areas), downwind excellent.

The Watt and Sea also does a good job. Only the suspension and fixing when not in use annoying. That could be improved by the designer.

Best regards
Bernd Koltermann

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