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Roberts 40 'Sailing Nandji'

“The Hydrovane was an absolute game changer for us onboard Nandji. With out it, we would not have been able to sail the distances we have covered.”

https://www.sailingnandji.com/windvane.html

The Hydrovane was an absolute game changer for us onboard Nandji. With out it, we would not have been able to sail the distances we have covered. We installed the new self steering method onto Nandji in Vanuatu after hand steering for nearly 3 months.

When we first departed Australia, we used a 20 year old autopilot which on the morning of the second day at sea on our first big open ocean crossing broke down. For the following 8 days and nights, we hand steered across the Coral Sea on 2 hour watches.We then continued to sail around New Caledonia and onwards to Vanuatu in this manner, completing 3 days passages hand steering the whole way, just the two of us.

We investigated into wind steering devices as they use no power operate whilst under way. Hydrovane was our choice for multiple reasons over the other brands.

The Hydrovane unit has its own independant rudder and requires no lines running to the tiller or steering wheel. As it uses its own rudder, it also provides for a back up rudder for your vessel.

The unit has the ability to be off set from centre and not affect performance. This was a major attribute for us on Nandji as we needed the device to fit on the transom of Nandji without affecting all the other things we have on the stern. The unit was mounted on port side allowing us to continually use the swim ladder, the davits and leave the solar power set up all in tact.

Hallberg Rassy 45

“We successfully used the Hydrovane for the entire 10,000 miles of the voyage with fantastic results! I don’t know why any cruiser would be without one.”

From: McCollum, Tim
Sent:  February 5, 2019
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: RE: [EXT]: RE: new sail material for Vane needed

Hello Sarah,

Yes we fed five people eight meals out of those two fish. We caught them west of Fiji on our way to Tanna Island in Vanuatu. I see your website has Vloggers on it. I have a website with videos https://www.walkaboutii.com/videos as well as started a channel on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL_wheD8BUloYvf7qpOgmPA to document my voyage around the South Pacific from Brisbane to New Zealand and then across to Tahiti and then making my way back to Brisbane. If you are interested.

We successfully used the Hydrovane for the entire 10,000 miles of the voyage with fantastic results! I don’t know why any cruiser would be without one. We even quite adequately let it steer for 2.5 days of 45-55 knots that we encountered in the Roaring Forties between New Zealand and Tahiti! I will have to find some footage of the vane working in these conditions to send to you.

Thanks for your help

Tim

Trisbal 42

“Sailing like a champion with back wind between 10 and 25 knots. Even though our ship is not an easy one to sail, old fashioned and very strong, it takes a lot of thinking to manage all the sailing parameters.”

From: Alexandra Pittet
Sent: February 14, 2019
To: Will Curry
Subject: It works perfectly!!

Hi,

Finally we had the opportunity to use our new crew member yesterday. It is perfect. Sailing like a champion with back wind between 10 and 25 knots. Even though our ship is not an easy one to sail, old fashioned and very strong, it takes a lot of thinking to manage all the sailing parameters.

Very easy to understand and adjust thank for your explanations.

It is a real pleasure. So thank you very much for the work you did – making this working – and for the time you spend answering all our questions.

We wish you the best and we are definitely going to tell everyone how great is the Hydrovane!

Alexandra Pittet

Photo AZAD.M from South Spain, February 2019

Reinke Super 11

“After circumnavigation and several years of experience with hydrovane on my Reinke Super 11 (initial doubts on performance because of offset installation and hydraulic steering with no possibility to fix the main rudder in position) i can gladly confirm that “JULIUS” performed reliably, precisely and continuously in all winds and any points of sail.”

From: Alfred Pisa
Sent: August 24, 2018
To: John Curry
Subject: experience hydrovane

Hi John,

After circumnavigation and several years of experience with hydrovane on my Reinke Super 11 (initial doubts on performance because of offset installation and hydraulic steering with no possibility to fix the main rudder in position) i can gladly confirm that “JULIUS” performed reliably,precisely and continuously in all winds and any points of sail. It did not drain the battery,not eat,not drink,not sleep and not talk back while keeping the boat on course better than any human being could.

I experienced some problems in high winds (55-60 knots and more in gusts) and high waves (20 feet and sometimes more) since it does not see the breaking waves you have to avoid and wind conditions vary a lot between crests and troughs; i resolved the problem in relative comfort by laying by under storm jib and reefed main with a hydrovane locked in central position.

In retrospective i have only high praise for the hydrovane and (if i would have known it earlier) would have saved the expensive autopilot (with all its electronics and hydraulic pump and relays) and installed a cheap removable tiller-pilot to act on the hydrovane instead.

However,the only problem i really had was putting the rudder in position:

-when running under engine (in calms sometimes several days) the rudder and therefore the whole installation rattled and vibrated,caused by the propeller vortex which,in my engineering mind,creates wear and tear,vibrations,noise and stress on the material, the skippers mind and therefore on the climate with his fellow sailors.

-so, despite your info that it can withstand that, i removed the hydrovane rudder to avoid all a.m.

-To fix it again,even in calm seas was (to say the least) hell,although i could work from the swimming platform some 15 cm above water level;without this platform,i dare say,it is impossible.

-On my previous boat (Amel 53) i had a Monitor servo pendulum windvane installed, which had a rudder on a hinge,so it was easy to pull out of the water (but had many other disadvantages i will not go into here for reasons of space) although i admit that the forces on the hinge are much smaller because of the servo-pendulum principle.However,this made me think.

-My idea (even on the risk of being the cause of roaring laughter) would be:

-changing the lower circular part of the shaft below the lowest bearing into a square cross section with a u-shaped sleeve pipe in the nylon rudder and fitting over the square part of the shaft by a lower hinge bolt and fixing in place by a upper locking bolt.

– this would also have the advantage of transferring the torque and rudder forces by the square form instead of (as it is now) through the 5-6 mm fixing pin(which position,when fitting the rudder,is difficult to find with regard to height and angle,while boat is moving and waves are flopping the rudder about) and removing the risk of loosing the nylon rudder.

I admit,that there is very little probability and inclination to change a very successful and good selling product but would like submit a.m. for your possible consideration.

Yours

Alfred

Dix Pilothouse 38 @ 64° S

“Once again it worked flawlessly. We had a pretty hard Drake Passage crossing. The last 18 hours were sustained 40-50 kts with gusts common in the 60’s. Real big seas; 8-10 meters at times. Held a course with in a few degrees, didn’t flinch.”

From: Barry Kennedy
Sent: December 8, 2018
To: Will Curry; John Curry
Subject: Hydrovane 64 deg south

Will and John
Greetings form Antarctica.

Just wanted to drop you a quick note about the Hydrovane on the passage from Chile to Antarctica.

Once again it worked flawlessly. We had a pretty hard Drake Passage crossing. The last 18 hours were sustained 40-50 kts with gusts common in the 60’s. Real big seas; 8-10 meters at times. Held a course with in a few degrees, didn’t flinch.

Again by far the best money I have ever spent on the boat.

The Watt and Sea ran flawlessly the whole trip as well. We arrived with batteries at 14+ volts. Blasting music, freezer in deep freeze, charging computers, running electronics. That was also good money spent. BTW no a single connector issue.

Cheers
Barry

www.farkwar.com/boas/Spailpin

Beale 33

“We were two handed on all the passages, with the help of the hydrovane. Would have had to have been the best passage making I have had even in very strong conditions from directly astern. Probably the best thing I put on my boat.”

From: Mark Gibbs
Sent: December 15, 2018
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Excel

Hi Sarah

We fitted a hydrovane to Excel (a Beale 33) in preparation for a cruise to Tonga. Spent the last season cruising from NZ to Tonga with a trip to Nuie and back to Tonga. Left her in the boatyard in Vavau to cruise again next season.

We were two handed on all the passages, with the help of the hydrovane. Would have had to have been the best passage making I have had even in very strong conditions from directly astern. Probably the best thing I put on my boat.

Mark Gibbs

Najad 391

“Since leaving Southampton we’ve logged 4,600 miles, and I’d estimate that our Hydrovane steered over 4,500 of them…”

From: Andrew Cooper
Sent: December 15, 2018
To: Will Curry
Cc: Sarah Curry ; John Curry
Subject: Re: Najad 391 – Hydrovane advice

Will, many thanks for this. We arrived safely in St. Vincent last Sunday.

We got the rudder pin out by making a lever from a broomstick, tying it on to the loop at the end of the pin, bearing the end of the stick on to the rudder to exert pulling pressure and then wiggling the pin with a rod through the ring. This allowed us to pull the pin through with very little stress on the shaft and no damage to the hole.

Since leaving Southampton we’ve logged 4,600 miles, and I’d estimate that our Hydrovane steered over 4,500 of them, only giving way for sail changes, very light following winds, landing fish and a couple of night time squalls when we took the genoa off. It performed magnificently and on a boat operating at electricity break even there really was no other way to handle such mileage so efficiently. We were also very pleased that Kelpie was the second fastest monohull on our transatlantic leg after Time Correction Factor adjustments.

Best wishes for Christmas and the new year.

Andrew

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Island Packet 38 - VIDEO

“…my impression was that it handled the heavier weather we had really well. 25 kt and 10ft maybe. Magic.”

From: Grant Wennerstrom
Sent: December 12, 2018
To: will@hydrovane.com
Subject: Update, sort of….

Paris, great! Good to hear of your adventures!

I’m remiss in sending you some installation photos on the IP38; but I’ve had good intentions. I’ve sent a little action video though from the trip to SF. We are intending to leave Chula Vista(S. Diego) next month for parts south. Can’t wait to get the Hydrovane fired up again. There is a learning curve and there has to be enough effective wind but my impression was that it handled the heavier weather we had really well. 25 kt and 10ft maybe. Magic. Nice to have that second rudder and save wear and tear and electrons of autopilot use. I followed your advice for reaming the lock pin hole slightly. I had a long 1/4 in bit to use with clamping pliers. Surprising how much difference just a little poking and turning made. So much better.

Best Wishes and Holidays to you and your wife.

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Wauquiez Hood 38

“…been working like a charm from the moment we pulled the pins.”

From: Andrew McMullin
Sent: December 8, 2018 2:12 AM
To: John Curry; Will Curry
Subject: Fwd: Andrew – Wauquiez Hood 38 – Hydrovane model VXA2D L(shaft length)/E/H or A/H

Hi will and John,
I think I only sent this message to Gloria the other day. (See below)

Anyway, we’ve been using the hydrovane for three days now, been working like a charm from the moment we pulled the pins.

Andrew

….

From: Andrew McMullin
Date: Tue, Dec 4, 2018
Subject: Re: Andrew – Wauquiez Hood 38 – Hydrovane model VXA2D L(shaft length)/E/H or A/H –
To: Gloria Anderson

Hi all. We had a very successful Installation of the hydrovane last week. We are setting sail in a couple of days and will be trying her out. (Or him? Or it?)

Picture is attached.
Thanks
Andrew

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Nicholson 35

“We just did our first sail with the Hydrovane. Amazing! It works like a dream.”

From: Roger Schafer
Sent: November 15, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane shipment

Hey will,

We just did our first sail with the Hydrovane. Amazing! It works like a dream. So intuitive and easy to setup, adjust, and disengage. The batteries showing 14.2 without hand steering was pretty amazing as well. Thanks for your help getting us set up with our new crew member “Heidi”.

Thanks again,

Roger and Hannah

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Tayana 52

“Hydrogenerator is awesome.”

“Watermaker is also awesome.”

“Hydrovane autopilot is triple awesome.  We absolutely love going “full green” and turning off all the noise makers.”

From: John Harrington
Sent: November 18, 2018
To: Will Curry – Hydrovane
Cc: Janet Harrington; Sarah Curry; John Curry
Subject: Re: Tango’s Watermaker via SSB

Hi Will,

Thank you for helping us out.  Hydrovane is great to work with and I appreciate your help very much.

Coming north was quite the beat up wind.  The first leg was a 6 hr sail that took 12 hrs and ended with 2 hrs of bashing into the seas, anchoring after dark, etc.  The next day we enjoyed about 6 hours of sailing then the wind turned NW and we stopped progressing so we motor sailed, skipped a planned anchorage and headed into La Paz.  Have you been here?  Seems like a really nice place.  We will be HQ’d here through the holidays before we start head further into the Sea of Cortez.  We’ll leave for the Puddle Jump from here or Puerto Vallarta.

Hydrogenerator is awesome.  I love making power while sailing.

Watermaker is also awesome.  As we worked down the coast with the Baja Ha Ha and then came to La Paz we were never worried about water.  With your help I bypassed the one failed membrane and we are back in business making about 20 gallons/hr.  We have not taken on “shore water” for over a month.

Hydrovane autopilot is triple awesome.  We absolutely love going “full green” and turning off all the noise makers.

Thanks again to everyone at Hydrovane.

~~~

From: John Harrington
Sent: November 8, 2018
To: Will Curry – Hydrovane
Subject: Re: Echotec Watermaker Preformance

Hi Will,
The runs from SF to San Diego were basically motor sailing in 8-12 ft swells with light and variable puffs from any direction. The main was a roll buffer more than anything else. The first two Baja runs were similar but I took a chance on offshore wx and ran 100 miles out. We sailed some. The last leg was a nice quartering run and the Hydrovane worked great. Tango was QUIET, no machinery running.

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Cal 29

“The Hydrovane works great. I love it.”

From: Thomas M Nickerson
Sent: October 29, 2018
To: John Curry
Cc: Will Curry – Hydrovane
Subject: Re: Cal 29 – Hydrovane model VXA2D M(shaft length)/H/H

Hi John-

I installed my Hydrovane on my Cal 29 and circumnavigated Vancouver Island last summer with it. The Hydrovane works great. I love it. But the time has come to move up to a larger boat, and I have my eye on a Hallberg-Rassey 42E Ketch. The HR has a flush transom, which will likely make installation a breeze. 😉 But I want to make sure the Hydrovane unit I have is big enough and powerful enough to properly steer the larger and heavier 42′ HR. What do you think?

Tom

[Editor’s note: Yes, we have supplied many Hydrovanes for the HR 42E]

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Rustler 36 - Jean-Luc Van Den Heede - GOLDEN GLOBE RACE

Golden Globe Update Day 113:

“[GGR Leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede sailing the Rustler 36 Matmut] was full of praise for his Hydrovane self-steering. “In a gale it has a big advantage because it is not steering the boat’s rudder, but has its own. This little rudder is far more efficient than the big rudder.” ”

Listen to the Soundcloud Phone Call:

 

DAY 113 – NEWS UPDATE

October 22, 2018

“Jean-Luc Van Den Heede sailing the Rustler 36 Matmut, is now well out in the Pacific, enjoying a 2 week lead over 2nd placed Mark Slats (Ohpen Maverick) who left the BoatShed.com Hobart film gate behind yesterday.

Speaking via Satphone to Race HQ today, the 73-year old Frenchman reported “Good winds today and yesterday…I try to go as fast as possible.”

He made repairs to his gennaker and was full of praise for his Hydrovane self-steering. “In a gale it has a big advantage because it is not steering the boat’s rudder, but has its own. This little rudder is far more efficient than the big rudder.” ”

Read FULL DAY 113 GGR UPDATE EMAIL

Amel Santorin 46

“We have safely arrived in New Zealand. Thanks to the very well functioning Hydrovane…”

From: Johan Lemmens
Sent: October 21, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Ganesha

Hi Will and Sarah, and parents.

We have safely arrived in New Zealand. Thanks to the very well functioning Hydrovane, which we updated in St Maarten, if you remember well.

I need to change the seals on the Watt and Sea’s.

….

Many greetings
Johan Lemmens on Ganesha in Opua, Bay of Islands.

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Spencer 42

“Our most important crew, faithful servant Ananda, got us home. We were one month on a close reach pounding back from Cabo San Lucas to Ucluelet, against strong NW winds.”

“…With Ananda steering the whole way. As many as 6 days went by & never touched the tiller or the vane.”

From: Michael Mullin
Sent: October 11, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Ananda the twice repaired

Will, for your interest:

Our most important crew, faithful servant Ananda, got us home. We were one month on a close reach pounding back from Cabo San Lucas to Ucluelet, against strong NW winds.

On the way down we ran for three days in front of violent 30+ NW. Hydrovane engaged but with assistance to prevent broach. Spent 48 hrs standing, facing aft, tiller in hand. The vane was bent by the end. I straightened it out with clamps. That got us to Mexico, again running in front of NW but less strong.

Then the pile driver crunched into us. The shipyard in Ensenada repaired that, very well.
At which point you sent a new vane. We finally picked it up on Sept 3 rd, the day we left, (another story. )

The second repair got us home.

Will get the new one in service in the spring, hopefully for a trip to Haida Guaii.

Absolutely love your Hydrovane

Keep well, Michael

~~~~~~

On Fri, Oct 12, 2018 at 11:38 Will Curry <will@hydrovane.com> wrote:
Hi Michael,

Thanks for taking the time to send this report. It sounds like Ananda has been serving you well, aside from the damaged vane frame – Good to see you have a replacement assembly. Normally once the vane tube is damaged it shouldn’t be repaired as the weld creates a weak point which you’ve discovered.

It sounds like you did the clipper route back to the Pacific Northwest. I’ve always been intrigued by this option rather than pounding up the coast. How far offshore did you have to go? I know some people that have sailed half way to Hawaii before changing tacks.

If you get any good photos of the vane and the boat in Haida Gwaii we would love to add them to our library. Cheers.

Kind Regards,

Will Curry

~~~~~

From: Michael Mullin
Sent: October 12, 2018
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Ananda the twice repaired

What you call the clipper route, yes. We had total and steady NW winds. 30 k violent along the coast & out quite a ways. Spent three weeks on stbd tack, close hauled, skirting the bright red and seeking the nice 15k green, on the weather fax. About 300 m out parallel to the coast then ending up 530 out at 136W off Oregon. Then 10 days on port tack back into the coast. Ran 10 hrs downwind once, 100 m out with dolphin escort; then the last morning a wild downwind surf. With Ananda steering the whole way. As many as 6 days went by & never touched the tiller or the vane.

But Ready for a rest. Thinking of painting it, signs of corrosion starting. Suggested paint?

Keep well
Michael

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