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Mottle 33

“What a beautiful gadget”

From: Bruce Greaves
Sent: February-12-09 2:57 AM
To: Will Curry
Subject: RE: Hydrovane Order

Hey Will – what a beautiful gadget – got it on and working this arvo (Australian slang for ‘afternoon’) – fabulous – some pics attached for your pleasure – Bruce

Sabre 42

“We debated long and hard about which vane to buy for our future cruising and am glad we made the choice we did. Great vane and great service, what more could we ask for.”

From: Denny Flannigan
Sent: February-13-09 11:13 AM
To: Will Curry
Subject: vane

Will, thanks for taking the time to introduce me to your Dad at the show. You guys seem like a great team. Attached are a few photos of the modifications we did to make the hydrovane work on my boat.

Will, as you know I bought a used Hydrovane last year and then modified it to fit my boat. I am lucky as the unit I bought was only a few years old and was a good match for my boat, otherwise a new one might have made more sense. Over the past year you have treated me like I bought the unit from you. That is a testament to your customer service.

Last summer my wife and I set off on a summer sail to San Francisco, Hawaii and back to Tacoma. We raced to Hawaii then brought the boat back.

When we left Hawaii to come home to Tacoma we engaged the Hydrovane for its 1st real test. Over the next 19 days we saw winds from 5 kts to 45 knots. The hydrovane was great and other than an adjustment here or there to account for the different wind speeds, it drove the whole way. We debated long and hard about which vane to buy for our future cruising and am glad we made the choice we did. Great vane and great service, what more could we ask for.

Denny Flannigan

S/V Kokomo

Contact

Moody 425

“After my steering broke the Hydrovane was indispensable for me more then ever.”

From: Peter Baggenstos
Sent: Sunday, December 28, 2008 2:05 PM
To: Cynthia Yates
Subject: Hydrovane Parts

Dear Cynthia

After my steering broke the Hydrovane was indispensable for me more then ever. Having the emergency tiller lashed I sailed over 3000 miles from Trinidad to Brazil/Recife using the Hydrovane. Unfortunately one day I noticed that the ratio knob cover was broken and the bolt was bent I don’t know for which reason (see fotos attached). So I had to do ad hoc-fixing of this problem.

Salvador, BA Brazil

SY Lady Lay

Ebbtide 33

“Right now we’re about 250 miles south of Bermuda, force 6-7 NE wind and running hard. The boat is way over powered, but in hand, the vane handling it magnificently.”

“The Hydrovane is one of the few pieces of gear I have bought in the last ten years and not been disappointed with.”

From: Mike Brown
Sent: December-04-08 4:42 AM
To: john
Subject: Ebbtide 33

Hi John,

Mike Brown here from NC. A quick note from the middle of the Atlantic. On my way to the Caribbean,

8 days out of NC with some very sloppy weather. I had no chance to try the Hydrovane out until I actually got underway and I must say was not disappointed when I finally was able to engage the unit. I had made a mount for my autohelm which worked great and after a few days got some wind.

Right now we’re about 250 miles south of Bermuda, force 6-7 NE wind and running hard. The boat is way over powered, but in hand, the vane handling it magnificently. I’m trying to outrun another strong norther two days behind….. I’ll send you some installation pictures when I get a chance from a land based computer. Thanks for your support and I am working on another sale for you back in Beaufort.

The Hydrovane is one of the few pieces of gear I have bought in the last ten years and not been disappointed with. It’s a quality product that does everything promised, and more.

Take care,

Mike

Dickerson 35

“We previously owned a Dickerson 35 built in 1965 which had a 1972 Hydrovane. It worked in all the conditions we sailed in from 40 knots in the gulf stream to flat calm loss of steerage.”

From: Mike and Kathy
Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2008 11:30 AM
To: Linda Suter
Subject: new Hydrovane for Cgull Seeker

Sir

We live on our boat and wander on the east coast of the USA and down to Mexico. It seems you have moved from England since I last looked. We previously owned a Dickerson 35 built in 1965 which had a 1972 Hydrovane. It worked in all the conditions we sailed in from 40 knots in the gulf stream to flat calm loss of steerage. Mike single handed from 89 to 93 before Kathy came along and it was great. We sold the Procyon in 2000 with the Hydrovane. She sank in 2005 and a friend of ours bought the Hydrovane which sails on a 27 foot sloop now and Mark loves it.

Cgull Seeker our current home had a number 18 Monitor on her when we bought her. It worked but failed to steer below about 3 knots and wouldn’t tack. Now it may be a Hydrovane won’t tack Cgull Seeker but we want to see. We do have to back the staysail to get around usually. We do wear around if we have the sea room.

Cgull Seeker is steel and I propose to weld the brackets to the stern and I believe the HA mount seems to be what we may want. We will have to haul out to do this and we are planning to haul next year in September. We are currently headed for the Bahamas for the winter but we wanted to open communications and ask for any advice or instructions to plan our installation.

Cgull Seeker is a Holland 40 built in 1955 in Holland designed by Henk Tingen

Mike and Kathy Moore

Fraser 41

“…a few pics of our Hydrovane after 24 years since launching & 33, 000 miles.”

From: Stan & Lynn
Sent: November-29-08 4:31 PM
To: John Curry
Subject: Homers’ Odyssey

Hola John;

Back afloat in Ecuador after some land travels in Ecuador & Peru. Off towards Panama in a few days.

Attached should be a few pics of our Hydrovane after 24 years since launching & 33, 000 miles.

Hope to stop in again next summer if we are in Vancouver.

Best regards, Stan & Lynn Homer

Contact

Wauquiez Centurion 42

“We were happy with performance before but we’re more happy now. I really don’t think I could ask for more from a wind oriented self steering device. I’ll also say that the construction has proven to be just as bullet prove as it looks. We put 8283 NM under the keel in seven months this trip and did nothing to maintain the unit…”

From: Bill Wickman
Sent: November-15-08 3:06 PM
To: John Curry
Subject: hydrovane performance

Hi John,

We’re home after two fairly long passages and several shorter runs traversing islands as part of the great coconut milk run. If you remember, you sent some of the new bearings to a friend of ours and he brought them to Tonga where we installed them. We really didn’t get much chance to evaluate the system until we departed Tonga from

Nuku’Alofa on the 10th of October heading for Opua in the Northland of New Zealand.

Cut to the chase…I believe the new bearings and the mid-bearing had a positive impact on Hydrovane performance. I believe overall operation is smoother and that our boat, a Wauquiez Centurion 42, steers better with the vane than it did before we installed the new bearings. We were pleased with performance before and rather than reiterate our previous experience let me just outline where I believe the improvements were most obvious.

With the vane set in the full left  setting (least rudder movement) we got good steering performance in less relative wind than we had previously. We were also able to get smooth performance with the vane set in the middle position in less relative wind than previously. We therefore used the middle position more often and got better steering performance from the increased rudder deflections, when needed, than previously. The tendency to get thrown off course by a combination of  ave and wind shift and not have enough power to regain course relative to the wind was almost completely eliminated. During the trip from Tonga to NZL this happened once that I can remember. The Hydrovane steered the entire trip except when we were motoring and during one squall where I thought there might be some severe conditions (which never occurred) and I hand steered for about an hour. We still have never encountered conditions where the far right (greatest rudder deflection) setting works best for our boat.  We very seldom encountered winds over 30 knts and in those winds the center position still worked more smoothly than the far right position. Perhaps if we had consistent relative winds above the 25-30 knots the far right position would be better for us but that’s still speculation on my part.

So, I’ll say again, I think the new bearings are good. We were happy with performance before but we’re more happy now. I really don’t think I could ask for more from a wind oriented self steering device. I’ll also say that the construction has proven to be just as bullet prove as it looks. We put 8283 NM under the keel in seven months this trip and did nothing to maintain the unit except take the rudder and wind vane off when we weren’t going to be using them for a while and hose down with fresh water if it hadn’t rained recently. I sprayed the unit with WD-40 when we took the boat out of the water in NZL.

We plan on being back in NZL in March or April to start another trip up into the tropics. With a little luck we’ll see you somewhere on the boat show circuit before then.

Thanks John,

Bill & Janet Wickman

SV Airstream

Contact

Mason 44

“I am pleased with the Hydrovane performance especially since we have a gale working off Pt. Arguellas, California and the autopilot flux gate compass appears to have crashed deactivating the autopilot.  This is why I bought the Hydrovane and it took no time at all to prove my decision correct.”

 

From: Sailmail
Sent: November-08-08 8:06 AM
To: John Curry
Cc: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Popping noise

John,

Thanks for your reply.  Not so much alarm as concern.  I’m now certain after close attention and detail inspection inside and outside that noise is from slight slipping movement of timber pads especially the new lower teak pads placed with the installation of the “A” bracket.  There is no indication of progressive deterioration and actually on some points of sail the noise has diminished.  No leaks or stress indications and the pads are on the strong thick-cored transom section not in the middle where there is no core – just thick fiberglass.  Masons need “A” brackets always- I can detail the construction to you later.

I am pleased with the Hydrovane performance especially since we have a gale working off Pt. Arguellas, California and the autopilot flux gate compass appears to have crashed deactivating the autopilot.  This is why I bought the Hydrovane and it took no time at all to prove my decision correct.  I have done so in the past and would hate to find myself be hand-steering in these conditions again.

The installation does look good and I will be sending some hi-resolution photos later.  You should not recommend xxxxxxxx in Alameda for your installations.  The work looks good but it seems to me they would have used 5200 along with the bolts to secure the pads in place and the “E” bracket was thoughtlessly put on obviously thinner transom material without a second thought.

Best Regards,

Mike Pitts

s/y Silverthorne

4th Hydrovane

“I was surprised to see that Hydrovane has gone international. Over the years I’ve bought three…”

“I can’t picture myself going to sea without one.”

From: Jerome Satterthwaite
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2008 5:43 AM
To: Hydrovane
Subject: Vane

Hi

I was surprised to see that Hydrovane has gone international. Over the years I’ve bought three – all from a man in the Midlands of the UK who seemed to be making them in his garage. Clearly the Vane has moved on since then and I congratulate you.

I am buying a Contessa 32 and I’d like to fit a Hydrovane – I can’t picture myself going to sea without one. So, please can you tell me:

  • how much will it cost?
  • will it fit the Contessa 32
  • do you have a UK agent

To my mind the Hydrovane is brilliant. It has just one defect: fitting the auxilliary rudder is difficult at sea. Has the design moved on since I last bought one to get round this problem?

All best wishes

Jerome Satterthwaite

Westsail 32

“I believe any serious cruiser who is looking at world travel by yacht should have a product like yours, as a single handed sailor, it was a must for me.”

From: Kyle Case
Sent: November-06-08 10:24 AM
To: John Curry
Subject: Re: Pictures of your Hydrovane installation on Black Coral

John,

I have done several test runs this last summer, every thing is working nicely. I believe any serious cruiser who is looking at world travel by yacht should have a product like yours, as a single handed sailor, it was a must for me.

Kyle Case

Contact

Cachalot 28

“Anyhoo, just wanted to tell you that I love it and as with anything of exceptional design and function, the cost is quickly forgotten.”

“…having a hydrovane is an absolute must as he intends to do short handed sailing/cruising.”

From: thomas clarke
Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2008 4:24 PM
To: Linda Suter
Subject: RE: CACHALOT 28′ Steel Sloop – Hydrovane model VXA2D S/H/H

Hi Linda, John et al,

Finally took some pics of your wonderful machine working on the back of my boat. Meant to send some earlier but just didn’t get to it, then there was winter etc etc. I truly love it and it has transformed my singlehanded sailing experience.

I only have one questions and one suggestions. How do I get the control line to operate in a continuous loop? Do people splice the line so it goes over the pulleys and through the eyelets or what, am I missing a fundamental thing?? How do others deal with this? [Editor – a heat weld – found in Instructions]

Anyhoo, just wanted to tell you that I love it and as with anything of exceptional design and function, the cost is quickly forgotten.

BTW, a friend of mine is looking at the purchase of a boat and I have already advised him that having a hydrovane is an absolute must as he intends to do short handed sailing/cruising. How was life possible on boats before the Hydrovane I’d like to know.

Many thanks again, cheers,
Thomas Clarke

Ovni 435

“…a must for short-handed sailing.”

From: Rory Edwards
Sent: Monday, September 29, 2008 3:14 AM
To: Hydrovane

Hello,

We bought a Hydrovane unit from you in 2006 and fitted to our OVNI 435 Nella. The unit performs very well and steered 95% of the way from Spain to Trinidad last year. It seems very reliable and a must for short-handed sailing. The only difficult bit was having the bracket made for the OVNI. The unit was expensive but well worth the investment.

Thank you very much. Attached are some pictures of typical Hydrovane sailing.

Rory

Contact

Bavaria 42

“Your advertising of a fantastic gear is 100% true. It just works.”

From: Carl Barnarp
Sent: July-28-08 1:43 AM
To: Will Curry

Sending you some mounting pictures for our Hydrovane fitted to a Bavaria 42 Cruiser.

Your advertising of a fantastic gear is 100% true. It just works.

Best Regards

Carl Barnarp

Freedom 40

“The Hydrovane is a wonderful companion who only has one disadvantage: leads to martial strife about the name…”

From: I&G Strathcarron
Sent: July-04-08 3:11 AM
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane Photos

Hi Will,

The Hydrovane is a wonderful companion who only has one disadvantage: leads to martial strife about the name…

I want to give it a man’s name as it is solid and reliable and does not talk back or let one down, but my wife wants to give it a woman’s name as it is slim and elegant, long-suffering and just gets on with its work without making a big hoo-ha every five seconds.

We have compromised and now call it/him/her the rather unmacho Francis/Frances or now just Franny.

However I got caught out the other day saying “Think I’ll set up the Fran-man.” Her on deck not amused at my amendment, but Fran-girl sounds too woofy even for her.

Yours off the rocks

Ian S.

Lord Strathcarron
s/v Vasco da Gama
Cascais, Portugal

Catalina 36 - South Pacific

“We love our Hydrovane and wouldn’t trade it for any other piece of gear on the boat. It is so easy to use that the entire crew, including our 12-year-old son who does his own watches, can command the boat with confidence.”

From: Chris Burns
Sent: April-26-08 10:27 AM
To: Will Curry
Subject: Hydrovane Sails Pacific

Will, John and the Hydrovane Crew:

I wanted to let you know that the Hydrovane installed on Wind Dancer, a Catalina 36, has steered us every sailing mile from Alaska to where we are today — about halfway between the Marquesas Islands and the Tuamotus Archipelago in the South Pacific. That’s about 7,000 sea miles without a hitch. We love our Hydrovane and wouldn’t trade it for any other piece of gear on the boat. It is so easy to use that the entire crew, including our 12-year-old son who does his own watches, can command the boat with confidence. With ‘Hydie’ at the helm, we never have to worry.

Along the voyage we’ve met myriad other cruisers with the old fashioned Monitors and other servo windvanes, all of them griping about chafed lines, broken blocks, wobbly courses and exactly which points of sail are worth using them on.

I just have to silently laugh knowing that I have none of those worries. ‘Hydie” has driven us through 45-knot gales never losing her way. On the other end of the spectrum, in the Doldrums recently, floating under bare poles in about 2 knots of wind, the Hydrovane actually held a course through the night. A boat traveling with us (using a Monitor or similar windvane) had drifted 5 miles in the wrong direction by morning.

Fair winds,

Chris Burns s/v Wind Dancer

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