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“Within 15 mins we had it all working and were very comfortable with it. We beat, we ran, we tacked and gave it a good test.”
From: Mike Crummy
Sent: August 20, 2018
To: John Curry
Subject: Re: Jammed Worm Gear
Just as an aside, when I did my first test run after fitting the Hydrovane [2 years ago], 3 of us went out with none of us having any experience of a Hydrovane at all. All we had was your instruction manual and had watched your utube videos. Within 15 mins we had it all working and were very comfortable with it. We beat, we ran, we tacked and gave it a good test. I think I read somewhere that “it just works” and it does.
“…it performed great, no adjustments needed, just set it and forget it.”
From: Christian Tirtirau
Sent: August 16, 2018
To: John Curry; Will Curry
Subject: HV fans on the east coast
Your product is inspiring others here on the Atlantic coast of Canada, and I know of at least one sailor who’s made a decision to place an order with you.
I tested the vane this summer and it performed great, no adjustments needed, just set it and forget it. It steered in very light winds with less than 5 knots of wind from behind, with a cross swell and it did fine.
Anyways, your product is fantastic, couldn’t be happier. I will do a review and a little video on my youtube channel soon.
In the meantime, check out this film I shot this summer, and THANK YOU:
SV Northern Light
“…a strong advocate for your magnificent product which I love.”
Looking for advice on Tillerpilots
From: Terry Low
Sent: August 16, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Tiller pilot
Hello Will, I have been a proud owner of a Hydrovane on my Najad 390 for years now and I have also been a strong advocate for your magnificent product which I love.
However, the wind doesn’t blow all the time and my ancient Autohelm 6000 has packed up. I don’t really want to spend thousands replacing it when I believe I can use a tiller pilot in conjunction with the Hydrovane to steer the boat under power.
Can you recommend which model I should buy to steer my boat which is 9.5 Tonnes displacement but more like 11 tonnes with all the gear on board!
I’m hoping a basic and small integrated model will suffice.
[Editor’s Note: Adding the tillerpilot to the Hydrovane works surprisingly well. Because it is driving the semi balance Hydrovane rudder it does not matter what the pilot is rated for. We used the Raymarine 1000 on our last boat which worked well. For center cockpits some prefer one that has remote adjustment capabilities. You can view photos of what others have done here – https://hydrovane.com/galleries/tiller-pilot-addition/
Soon we hope to have tiller extensions available that are setup for tillerpilots. You need to have a minimum of 15 inches fore/aft from the shaft pivot to tillerpilot attachment.]
“…our first leg, 750 miles to A Coruña, and the Hydrovane was a great success…”
“Being new both to ocean sailing and to self steering gear it was very reassuring to see the vane coping with everything, and it steered us virtually the whole way.”
From: Andrew Cooper
Sent: August 16, 2018
To: Will Curry; Sarah Curry; Gloria Anderson
Cc: John Curry
Subject: Re: Najad 391 – Hydrovane
Dear Will, Sarah and Gloria
I’m back briefly from our first leg, 750 miles to A Coruña, and the Hydrovane was a great success, throughout a range of light following winds to some solid 25 knot winds close hauled. Your device is an extremely accomplished piece of engineering!
I had prepared a grid of basic instructions compiled from your operation manual which we all read once, but hardly needed again: we found setup and adjustment entirely intuitive and also a great reason to concentrate better on balancing sails. Being new both to ocean sailing and to self steering gear it was very reassuring to see the vane coping with everything, and it steered us virtually the whole way.
A highlight was when we were joined by Minke whales, whilst Bert the Hydrovane held course, allowing us all to watch. (It is called Bert after my father’s middle name, which doesn’t get much other use.)
Another highlight is that just with solar panels and a fairly primitive wind generator we are electricity positive, and it’s great to supplant the very old Autohelm with brand new heavy engineering that doesn’t consume amps.
Here are a few photos of the installation, and my beginner’s guide. Please use any for your gallery. In the rush of departing we could have done better photographically and I will send smarter ones from blue waters.
We leave Lisbon for the Canaries next week and then the ARC in November for St. Vincent via Cap Verde.
Many thanks for your help and advice so far.
Skeleton Crew Sailing - Watkins 36 CC
ROARING FORTIES: “…the Hydrovane held up above any expectations. In the heat of my last 4 days before pulling into Valdivia, Chile I was in 65ft seas and 50 gusting 60 kts of wind.”
Documentary in the works for SKELETON CREW SAILING: Skeleton Crew Sailing is a living, evolving story about a Navy Veteran and his friend breaking from a near decade of confinement by embarking on an Odyssey to circumnavigate South America. Partnered with the non-profit MISSION 22, our aim is to expose the lack of any transitionary program for veterans in their return to civilian life.
Check out: https://www.skeletoncrewsailing.com/
From: Skeleton Crew Sailing
Sent: July 31, 2018
Subject: Re: Hydrovane SKELETON CREW
Taylor here. Our team is all over the states now. Raising funds for our documentary doing speaking events and what not.
Winter time set in hard down in the Roaring Forties… I must say, the Hydrovane held up above any expectations. In the heat of my last 4 days before pulling into Valdivia, Chile I was in 65ft seas and 50 gusting 60 kts of wind. Beyond impressed with the ease of installation and performance of your product, I’ll be recommending it to every person I meet on the water.
One man I met in Valdivia said he’s already in talks with y’all about installing one on his own boat down there.
Anyways, as I said before, we’re all over the states now. If y’all have any events or such you’d like us to speak at and tell everyone first hand how well the Hydrovane holds up, please give me a call or email anytime.
Until then, Hold Fast.
Skeleton Crew Sailing
“…we managed to install the Hydrovane last weekend and used it while sailing from Gibraltar to Morocco without any problems”
From: Jan Reichel
Sent: August 2, 2018
To: Will Curry
Cc: John Curry ; Sarah Curry
Subject: Moody 38 – Hydrovane model VXA2D Pictures
I’d just to inform you, we managed to install the Hydrovane last weekend and used it while sailing from Gibraltar to Morocco without any problems. Just with very light wind from the back we had to adjust it sometimes. I’m really happy so far and will use it hopefully most of the time during sailing to South Africa via Brazil the next month.
Thank you again for your support!
She is everything I had hoped for… and more. Working perfectly in light or heavy air on all points of sail. …despite the massive offset on our stern.”
From: Ian Miller
Date: August 2, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: RE: XC-38 – Hydrovane model VXA2D L(shaft length)/H/E Photos and spares
I just wanted to report back to you about our FAB-YOU-LUS Hydrovane.
She is everything I had hoped for… and more. Working perfectly in light or heavy air on all points of sail. …despite the massive offset on our stern.
I am attaching some photos and sending a short video in another email.
All best wishes
“Came thru a gale on day 3. HydroVane performed great.”
From: Dave Sitarski
Sent: June 30, 2018
To: HydroVane Will Curry
Subject: Stuck Pin
I have the HydroVane installed on my 2002 Beneteau First 47.7. Installed last year in Alameda CA.
We just sailed from Portland Oregon back to Alameda. Came thru a gale on day 3. HydroVane performed great.
I was going to move the rudder, only to find the pin stuck. Tried giving it a nudge with a light plastic hammer. Moved just a bit. By using a screw driver in the loop end it did move around but still not wanting to come out.
It installed as usual with no problems. I installed in Astoria Oregon just before heading out to sea.
Is it possible the pin bent? Hard to tell.
Any suggestions so I do not damage any thing.
[Editor’s Reponse: If the rudder pin is stuck it could be that a bit of metal or debris is jammed inside the pin hole or the pin is bent. If bent, you may have to try and hammer the pin tip straight or cut off the end that might be damaged. Hopefully you can get it sorted without too much force. We now have new super duplex locking pins that are over 200% stronger than the old 316 type. We recommend using those for both the shaft and rudder pin.]
Beneteau Idylle 13.5
“So my first use of the Hydrovane was to survive….Thank you “Thing””
From: Sallie Beauchamp
Sent: July 26, 2018
To: Gloria Anderson
Subject: my vane
Hello all,Attaching some install pics. Feel free to use along with this story.
Good news is we are in Burnt Store Marina, off the hard and in water for shake down sails and small projects. Sallie has named the HydroVane “Thing” as in “Adams Family TV show.
Coming south in Charlotte Harbor from boat yard to marina we were hit with massive thunder storm for over an hour with 40 mph steady winds….gusts much higher…horizontal rain and zero visibility. Surrounded by shoals and being blown backwards towards big mean concrete bridge even with engine wide open. If nose got turned I had to fall off to get enough boat speed to get rudder authority to try to get back into the wind.
Rapidly running out of room for this I luckily thought of my new Hydrovane, put it in manual mode, and used it along with the wheel. The boat immediately responded and quickly turned against the storm.
Even under these conditions I noted the load on the HydroVane rudder was extremely light. Finally got to a place where I could anchor as an escape technique and road out storm. Our new Mantus Anchor stopped the boat immediately in high winds.
So my first use of the Hydrovane was to survive….Thank you “Thing”Contact
“So easy to deploy and “just works”.”
From: Anders Rhodin
Sent: July 8, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Our Hydrovane is now operational
We haven’t named it yet, but it might be “Bob”.
It’s on our new Outbound 46, Horizon. We’ve tested in now for a couple of days and it works great. So easy to deploy and “just works”.
I have one question about a humming noise that comes and goes. Think it’s the rudder vibrating. Seems to be mostly when the vane are standing tall. Anything we can do to avoid or minimize these vibrations?
[Editor’s Note: Working on a solution – involves squaring off the trailing edge of the Rudder]
I also noticed that there’s play in the shaft. I can move the shaft approximately 1 mm sideways both at the top and bottom. Is that normal?
[Editor’s Note: Yes, that is normal]
Thanks and regards,
Hallberg Rassy 43
Tunisia to Spain: “The trip took three days and we had conditions ranging from very light winds to a F6 downwind run with 2 meter following seas. The Hydrovane (Doris) performed brilliantly throughout the journey and kept us on course the whole time.”
From: Steve Neal
Sent: July 2, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane Mounted on HR 43
Firstly, I have to say I’m very impressed with our new Hydrovane. We made our first voyage with it this week, from Tunisia to Spain. The trip took three days and we had conditions ranging from very light winds to a F6 downwind run with 2 meter following seas. The Hydrovane (Doris) performed brilliantly throughout the journey and kept us on course the whole time. We’re very happy we made the decision to install her. You can see her in action on our Facebook page.
The only problem that has persisted has been the vibration we noticed while motoring, as mentioned in our last email. I’ve attached a video clip with sound so that you can hear the noise we’re getting, both outside and inside the boat as it resonates through the hull. We notice the noise much more at speed, anything below 5 kts and it’s very infrequent. Anything above 6 kts and it becomes much more frequent and much louder.
[Editor’s Note: Currently working on a solution to this. We also sometimes hear it on our current boat, Jeanneau 43, only at faster speeds. We never experienced it on our Beneteau First 405. Solution involves squaring off the rudder’s trailing edge.]
Best regards, Steve.
“… this time running three days of steady 30 knots.”
From: Michael Mullin
Sent: June 19, 2018
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Back in service
She (we call our faithful helper “Ananda”) got us to Ensenada , see the palms, again this time running three days of steady 30 knots. Didn’t need help, either. Post repair post strong gale foto.
Wish our diesel motor was as reliable, are (again!) dealing w major trouble.
Keep well, hydrovane rules!
“…all the money spent on my Saltwhistle your Hydrovane is by a million miles the best value.”
From: Steve Hawen
Sent: June 15, 2018
Hi Will , first sail today with the new addition! I have to say that all the money spent on my Saltwhistle your Hydrovane is by a million miles the best value. I am sure you have heard this a million times but so easy to fit and use . Love it already. Thanks team.
“We just did our first sea trial and were very impressed—beer and sandwiches without a whisper of fuss. Hector, our windvane, steered perfectly throughout lunch. Gotta love him.”
From: Thom Bland
Sent: June 16, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane Photos
Hello you two,
Just wanted to let you know that I don’t need a new stay tube. Seems I cut it correctly after all—-will wonders never cease?
We just did our first sea trial and were very impressed—beer and sandwiches without a whisper of fuss. Hector, our windvane, steered perfectly throughout lunch. Gotta love him
The unit does NOT adjust easily when we try to put the actual vane into irons. Is that just a matter of washing and lubing him or is that a common problem?
[Editor’s Note: for a stiff course adjustment gear on any older unit, yes, try washing with fresh water and soap. No lubricant! If that doesn’t work, try reaming out the two Worm Bearings just slightly – see Operation & Troubleshooting Guide]
Thanks again for all of your excellent help and advice
All the best
“So far I have done just over 750nm and the hydrovane has been fantastic, just about to do another 400nm hop up to Brisbane from Newcastle with a good blow from astern the whole way.”
From: Nigel Fox
Sent: June 17, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: The bin
Will send more photos when the water gets that much more tropical blue and desirable at some secluded anchorage around Oct, November time.
So far I have done just over 750nm and the hydrovane has been fantastic, just about to do another 400nm hop up to Brisbane from Newcastle with a good blow from astern the whole way. By the time I get to Townsville I should have a couple of thousand NM under the Hydrovane so will do you one then at the moment shes been working well in 31knots this coming hop should be all 20-25knots wind the whole way so some good time should be had. 😉
Hope all is well with you & the family. When ever you visited Newcastle? Plenty of people here remember your visit so seeing my Hydrovane has brought out many a comment from long term residents of the marine here.
[Editor’s note: we (Sarah and Will) made landfall in Coffs Harbour, Australia in 2014.. and enjoyed the Newcastle Yacht Club for a few nights as we hopped down the NSW coast to Sydney. Great spot!]