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Island Packet 38
“I had an intermittent issue with my autopilot coming into Ecuador and I was unsure if I should take off for Polynesia, 3500 miles away. But preferentially using my Hydrovane, it was a non-issue and depart I did.”
From: Seth Sherman [sent via Iridium]
Sent: May 23, 2018
Subject: Serendipity HV & W&S
Two things today:
1. I had an intermittent issue with my autopilot coming into Ecuador and I was unsure if I should take off for Polynesia, 3500 miles away. But preferentially using my Hydrovane, it was a non-issue and depart I did. Getting better at and gaining confidence with my Hydrovane, I hardly ever use my autopilot with the sails up. (Feel free to use this to market your wonderful product).
2. I was getting an unusual color pattern last night: 2 red flashes at intervals between 1-20 minutes, but NOT every 5 seconds, which according to the manual, would have indicated faulty wiring. The unit seems to otherwise be working well. When the batteries are not fully charged, I’m getting about 5A @ 5k (but never 10A). The converter was never hot to the touch. Now that the batteries are fully charged (14.10V), I’m getting the expected one short green q 5 seconds. Anything I should be concerned about? The wiring looks correct to me.
Thanks and best regards,
Gallart 13.50 Motorsailor
“Sincerely I believe that it has been a great investment”
From: Jose Maria Vazqez Perez
Sent: May 21, 2018
To: Will Curry
Cc: John Curry
Subject: Re: Instalation hydrovane
I tested the Hydrovane …. was wonderful, low wind but perfect.
Sincerely I believe that it has been a great investment
Many thank best regards
Custom Alloy Motorsailor - 25 Ton
Report on passage Vancouver to Hawaii: “Hydrovane worked great. Didn’t even require much trimming of sails. Lazy man’s steering. Best thing on the boat without a doubt.”
From: P. Harris
Sent: May 15, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Minke
I’m now back in Hong Kong – alas, by airliner. Left the boat in Hawaii for now. Weather was terrible all the way, making arrival a bit later than I could tolerate to continue into the typhoon belt.
Hydrovane worked great. Didn’t even require much trimming of sails. Lazy man’s steering. Best thing on the boat without a doubt. (NB: I don’t easily admit when a product is good, so this is quite an endorsement, not that you need it.)
Little recommendation: in the next change to the system, make a slot for the windvane mount to slide into. The current arrangement, with the only support coming from the tightness of the screw, is not nearly enough in my opinion. I tied my windvane on, but I would have lost it otherwise. The vane worked loose a couple times.
Thanks again for your kind help.
Simpson Steel Pilothouse Cutter
“We quickly figured out how to use the Hydrovane. It proved itself invaluable the moment the sun set…”
From: Red Herring
Sent: May 10, 2018
To: Sarah Curry
Cc: Gloria Anderson; Will Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane delivered RODRIGUEZ / WATKINS 180079
We are in Bodega Bay right now waiting out a storm. We will likely leave Sunday to finish the run down to Ensenada. Where are you headed? We will be on the lookout for SV Kaiquest.
Yes, that is the Gold Star Marine website. www.goldstarmarine.com. Bill is a new addition to the team as their “sailboat guy” and he did an excellent job getting our hydrovane installed.
We left Port Townsend April 30th to make our way out Juan de Fuca with a destination of Ensenada. We quickly figured out how to use the Hydrovane. It proved itself invaluable the moment the sun set and I could sit and enjoy the evening instead of hold the helm. We hand-steered for only a few hours in our six day trip to Bodega Bay. I do the majority of the helming and it was a revelation to have both my hands free to help in the sail trimming and to just sit and enjoy a hot tea.
“…I must say we are very pleased with all the equipment you supplied, Hydrovane, Water Maker and Watt&Sea – all working well.”
From: William Tee
Sent: April 29, 2018
Subject: Water maker problem
Hope this e-mail finds you OK? Will, I wonder if you can help me please?
We are currently in the Caribbean and I must say we are very pleased with all the equipment you supplied, Hydrovane, Water Maker and Watt&Sea – all working well.
Our friends however, who also have an Echo2Tec water maker, are currently sailing from the Galapagos to Marquesses and a problem with theirs. I think they allowed it to run dry as they were attending a problem with their sails and the boat was rolling a lot probably sucking in air rather than water. Can you advise the most likely fault and a remedy (pump O rings perhaps?).
“We made it all the way to Hobart, over that mighty Southern Indian.
Without our Hydrovane that would not have been possible.”
From: Werner Toonk
Sent: April 11, 2018
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: And …
How are you? Thx for the ratio knob. It fitted perfectly…
We made it all the way to Hobart, over that mighty Southern Indian. Without our Hydrovane that would not have been possible.
There is however one thing that requires attention. There is ‘slack’in the rudder. The pin that goes through the rudder, fits perfectly in the metal bar that goes into the rudder. The two holes on the side of the rudder though have worn over the years. So when steering left / right / left etc. there is always some loose moment. Not that strange since the rudder is made of ‘plastic’ where was the rest is stainless steel.
Please tell me your thoughts and possibilities. The alternative is of course to buy a new rudder, that however will also be the expensive thing I reckon.
Hope to hear.
[Editors Note: Not a common problem to have wear in the Rudder Pin hole… But an easy fix: take the rudder to a machine shop and have them use a drill press to bore new rudder pin holes. Holes must be ABOVE the existing ones and parallel existing hole. Must be exactly 90 degrees to the Shaft hole]Contact
Pearson Invicta 38 - EMERGENCY RUDDER
“We capsized the other night.
Lost our rudder.
Made it safe to an anchorage with our hydrovane rudder.
Forever your advocate.”
From: Jessie Z
Sent: Saturday, April 14, 2018
To: Will Curry; Sarah Curry; Luke Yeates
Subject: Knock down
Hey guys 🙂
Just wanted to give your company a quick thanks.
We capsized the other night. Lost our rudder. Made it safe to an anchorage with our hydrovane rudder. Forever your advocate.
I have some good footage and photos to send you all. Laptop gone, but when I’m up and running I’ll send them your way.
Enjoy Richmond boat show ! Swing by and Say hi to bob and Jody at cruising outpost for us !
-Jess & lukeContact
Beneteau Oceanis 400
A photo tells the whole story
From: Athos d’Olivier
Sent:April 21, 2018
To: John Curry
Subject: Re: Beneteau Oceanis 400
So nice to see you at the boat show!
Here’s a more recent shot that tells the whole story of my mechanical self-steering in one tidy image:
“Hydrovane: All systems Go!”
From: Andrew Robertson
Sent: April 6, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Re Bluewater 400 – Hydrovane: All systems Go!
Belated hello from Polaris 2 and our recent adventures in Tasmania where we have finally managed to get the right conditions for setting up our new crew member, Harry the Hydrovane (I bet we are the only ones to come up with this name??).
Here is a link to our recently created blog which features a segment on Harry. Some more photos are included in our blog gallery
So far so good – we look forward to extending Harry’s obvious talents on our next voyage.
Heritage West Indies 36
“We don’t have an electric autopilot so we rely heavily on the hydrovane and it has been one of very few systems that have needed almost no maintenance.”
From: SV Bob
Date: Sat, Feb 24, 2018
Subject: Parts Order A Brooks
To: Sarah Curry
First of all I should let you know that the hydrovane you sent me in a hurry when I was in Sint Maarten in January 2016 has been performing beautifully since then. We don’t have an electric autopilot so we rely heavily on the hydrovane and it has been one of very few systems that have needed almost no maintenance. We’re now in New Zealand and plan on setting out for the Torres Straits and the Indian Ocean in June. I’d like to get my hands on a couple of minor parts if possible:
1) A new fabric cover. Its for a standard vane.
2) I hear you have an upgraded retaining pin for the rudder? We do have a problem with the pin shearing through due to vibration caused by the prop wash (yes, I know, I should have installed it off-center but it’s too late now……). How much do they go for?
Very best wishes,
Alex Brooks (S/V Bob) – in New ZealandContact
Amel Santorin 46
“The new Hydrovane works very well even in 8 knots apparent wind in the doldrums from Panama to Galapagos.”
From: johan lemmens (Iridium)
Sent: Monday, April 2, 2018
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovnane box delivered
Hi Sarah and Will.
We are sailing from Galapagos to the Marquises and have 2200 miles more to go.
The new Hydrovane works very well even in 8 knots apparent wind in the doldrums from Panama to Galapagos.
Now we have a fast beam reach with 8 knots average.
We are very happy with the new Hydrovane and especially its’ ability to keep the boat on the straight in very light winds.
Many greetings Johan.
Ps Watt and Sea work well too.
Sail Magazine - Emergency Rudder Article - March 2018
“We shadowed Rosinante for 10 days and more than 1,000 miles before making landfall in Hiva Oa, in the Marquesas. While steering with the auxiliary Hydrovane rudder was fraught with difficulty, it is unlikely they could have continued without it.”
From: Sarah Curry
Sent: March 8, 2018
To: ‘John Curry’, ‘Will Curry
Subject: Rigging Emergency Rudders article – SAIL March 2018
KNOW HOW – Rigging Emergency Rudder
We were 1,100 miles from the nearest land when we received a text message on our Iridium GO: “Rudder gone. Water in bilge. Worried pumps can’t keep up. Please call!”
We had been in contact with the owners of Rosinante, a 38ft Island Packet, since they had first announced over the Pacific Puddle Jump net that they were having problems with their rudder. We were only 60 miles from them, so we let them know our position and gave them our Iridium Go number in case they needed assistance. Two days later, they did.
We sailed as quickly as we could to their position, making room onboard in case the crew had to abandon ship. By the time we arrived, though, they had the boat under control and were making headway toward the Marquesas. They were steering with their Hydrovane self-steering gear, but complained they couldn’t hold a straight line. They could see the rudder fluttering around under the boat, seemingly barely attached. Three days later, the gooseneck connecting the boom to the mast ripped off because of the way the boom had been slamming back and forth during the many uncontrolled course changes.
We shadowed Rosinante for 10 days and more than 1,000 miles before making landfall in Hiva Oa, in the Marquesas. While steering with the auxiliary Hydrovane rudder was fraught with difficulty, it is unlikely they could have continued without it.
“…the Hydrovane is working great!”
From: Connor Jackson
Sent: March 5, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Checking In!
Just wanted to check in and let you know the Hydrovane is working great!
We’re crazy enough to be jumping off for the South Pacific, so we’ll keep you posted on how the vane works out on our little 31′ Hunter. Thanks again for the install advice and help!
S/V Sea Casa
Whitby 42 - Emergency Rudder
“I found a reef with my [main] rudder in the San Blas which was not fun.
Anyway made the 150 mile trip over 6 days pulling into anchorages in the evenings and had great maneuverability. It was a total non-event and sailed half the way so didn’t have to use my foot to steer for a good portion of the miles.”
From: Pat Salvucci
To: John Curry
Cc: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Tiller Pilot
Date: Sun, 04 Feb 2018
Several things I want to write about:
1. The pin that holds the rudder in a fixed position can rattle loose while I sit on anchor. If I catch it soon enough then I just put it back in and everything is fine. But if I don’t pay attention it can rattle far enough out that it will bend and I even had one break. Is there a trick on keeping them in place? I’m currently in Panama getting ready to transit the canal and head west.
[Editor’s note: use a heavy duty bungee in a line to cinch the Hydrovane rudder up when not in use (or when motoring) – reduces any rattle and Shaft Locking Pin breakage]
2. After sailing 1000 miles downwind using the hydrovane 100% of the time, I think I have it figured out. You had some great videos on installing the hydrovane but I didn’t see any that showed how to use one. I’m guessing you are all sailors so the learning curve on using the hydrovane was short one. Not so for us non-sailors. My AHA moment was when I realized that I needed to reposition the sail on the hydrovane to the future position I wanted the boat to take in relation to the wind. Sort of increasing and decreasing the angle of attack. A short video on how to think about positioning the hydrovane sail so the boat moves more to port or starboard would be a great help for us learning to sail types.
3. I found a reef with my [main] rudder in the San Blas which was not fun. It jammed the rudder into the prop which bent the hell out of it. I was able to take the prop off, get in fixed in Panama City and flown back. But we still had to go 150 miles to get to Colon to get hauled out and I had to fix the rudder in place so that it didn’t get into the prop again. I rigged two pulleys on either side of the stern with ropes leading to the cockpit (center cockpit) and headed out. I quickly realized that my system was awkward at best since I had to move both lines every time I wanted to move the rudder. I then rigged bungee cords to pull the hydrovane rudder to one side and one rope to the cockpit that I pulled to go in the other direction. It worked perfectly. I later tied a loop in the rope and I sat with the loop around my foot and just used my foot pulling to steer. I thought I was a genius to figure that out until I got here and read another account of someone losing their rudder and came up with the same system. So to suggest another video idea – how to use a hydrovane as an emergency rudder and what you need to set it up. I would also suggest to have the pump handle that fits into the hydrovane handle pre drilled so that it can be bolted onto the hydrovane handle so you don’t have to worry about the handle falling off.
Anyway made the 150 mile trip over 6 days pulling into anchorages in the evenings and had great maneuverability. It was a total non-event and sailed half the way so didn’t have to use my foot to steer for a good portion of the miles. I have put in a plug for the hydrovane when I tell my story. Nice to have a back up
Okay done with my long email
“We would have most definitely had a really hard time without (Wilson) the hydrovane
We had near gales all the time apart from 3/4 days”
From: Chris Glaves
Sent: March 6, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Norseman 447
Having crossed the Atlantic from lanzarote
In the canaries to St Lucia
I am so pleased that I purchased the hydrovane
I did the crossing in 19 days
We would have most definitely had a really hard time without (Wilson) the hydrovane
We had near gales all the time apart from 3/4 days
I have some go pro videos on the laptop
Hope to get them across to you