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“Have just returned from Antigua and have to say that our best crew member on our Atlantic crossing was – yes, you guessed it, “Jane” our HYDROVANE!!”
From: Graham Marchand
Sent: January 27, 2017
To: Sarah Curry
Have just returned from Antigua and have to say that our best crew member on our Atlantic crossing was – yes, you guessed it, “Jane” our HYDROVANE!!
Our control line is now very brittle and has been stuck together several times. Can you supply a new one please – and how do you recommend sticking the two ends together?
[Editor’s Note: We recommend a ‘heat weld’ – see the Installation Video Part II – requires two people, a lighter, and just a couple minutes of time.]
Best regards – Graham MarchandContact
Tayana 42 cc
“After four years I am still convinced it is one of the best investments I have made on “Lala”.
Set boat up and relax!”
From: Lance Rock
Sent: January 27, 2017
To: John Curry
Subject: Hydrovane setup on Tayana 42′ cc “Lala”
I was asked for info on my Hydrovane installation. Here are photos.
After four years I am still convinced it is one of the best investments I have made on “Lala”. Set boat up and relax!
Thanks again to all the people at Hydrovane!
“As well as the exceptional performance of the self steering it also improved the overall stability of the boat in gusts.”
From: Stuart Brooks
Date: Jan 15, 2017
Subject: Bavaria 30 – Hydrovane Fit
I attach a few photographs of the Hydrovane fit to my Bavaria 30. It was fitted by Peter Anderson from Buckie, along the coast from Lossiemouth.
I didn’t get as much sailing in last year, as I hoped. However, when I used the Hydrovane it performed exceptionally well. I am very pleased with it. As well as the exceptional performance of the self steering it also improved the overall stability of the boat in gusts.
I hope to sail more this coming year.
X 46 - Emergency Rudder
“We are at 600 nm of the Martinique island and we finish only with the help of the Hydrovane.”
From: Jean Vittori
Sent: January 17, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: Emergency Steering
Hi Will ,
To understand the problem you need know the mounting of the [boat’s main] steering system: on the rudderstock we have a tiller with an axis , on the lower part of this axis is the autopilot and on the upper part the steering system connected by a draglink.
During a night (always during the night !) in a thunderstorm this axis was broken just under the tiller arm : it is finished for the autopilot.
We take the wheel and when I can I go down in the aft locker: the problem was that with the movements of the wheel the upper part of the axis moved and risked to leave the tiller arm and therefore more possibility to govern the sailboat.
I locked the axle with a clamp and installed the safety tiller on the top of the rudderstock .
We finish the night at the wheel , at the sunrise I go in the water to install the rudder of the hydrovane, not easy with the swell .
We are at 600 nm of the Martinique island and we finish only with the help of the Hydrovane.
Moral: install the rudder before leaving!
Prout Snowgoose 37 Catamaran
“I had an incredible 4 days 7 hours non-stop sail from San Francisco to San Diego, CA last month and used the vane for the first time. It performed flawlessly.”
From: Kevin St. Laurent
Sent: January 8, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Flexible Solar Panels Inquiry
I’ve got two questions:
1. I’m sailing down to Mexico from San Deigo, CA starting February 2nd so my window for getting some solar panels shipped in the US is closing. Also, I want to have them installed before I depart. Any progress?
2. I’ve attached two photos of my boat sitting on a mooring ball in flat calm without the rudder installed. As you can see, about 1 of the shaft is in the water. Is this a problem? Did install too low?
[Editor’s note: Having the Hydrovane shaft sit below the waterline is not an issue, you just have to periodically clean it. You could also raise it an inch or two by loosening the bracket clamps and adjusting as needed. The shaft is isolated from the unit so no issues with electrolysis or anything like that.]
In other news, I had an incredible 4 days 7 hours non-stop sail from San Francisco to San Diego, CA last month and used the vane for the first time. It performed flawlessly.
Hallberg Rassy 48 - VIDEO & DAVITS
“We hope the photos and video help allay peoples concerns about offset mounting, a boat the size of ours (49ft, 21Ton); a dinghy on davits adjacent and a radar pole on stern – all turned out not to be a problem!”
From: Ian Cook (via Dropbox)
Sent: January 5, 2017
To: Will Curry
Subject: Ian Cook shared “Sea Cloud hydrovane HR48.m4v” with you
Hope you can access these video clips on hydrovane on Sea Cloud (Hallberg-Rassy 48). We’ve used it now almost continuously for over 4,500 miles and we are very happy with it! We hope the photos and video help allay peoples concerns about offset mounting, a boat the size of ours (49ft, 21t); a dinghy on davits adjacent and a radar pole on stern – all turned out not to be a problem!
Happy New Year Ian and Cathy Cook”Contact
“…demonstrates how well our Hydrovane handles even in rough seas and strong winds. This is my son, Bob and I on the Pacific Puddle Jump to French Polynesia.”
A letter to Latitude 38 about gear on the Pacific Puddle Jump:
“Gear I liked… My Hydrovane self-steering system worked flawlessly. I mounted a tiller-pilot to it for windless days. It worked well so I seldom used my Raymarine ST-6000 autopilot.”
From: Joel Sorum
Sent: December 22, 2016
To: Sarah & Will
Hi Sarah & Will, This is a large file but it demonstrates how well our Hydrovane handles even in rough seas and strong winds. This is my son, Bob and I on the Pacific Puddle Jump to French Polynesia. We made the 3,000 mile hop from Cabo San Jose to Hiva Oa in 21 days on Compañera, my Tartan 3800.
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and really hope to see you both in 2017. Maybe I’ll sail to BC on my way back from Hawaii.
Joel’s Letter in LATITUDE 38 January 2017
YOU DON’T WANT FLUFFY TOWELS
I did a 21-day Puddle Jump with my Tartan 3800 OC Compañera last spring starting from Cabo, and loved how my boat did. She’s still in Tahiti, and I’m planning to bring her home this summer so I can do another Baja Ha-Ha in 2017. Gear I liked:
- The cruising gennaker on the Selden CX25 furler, as it provided great performance in a variety of conditions.
- My DeLorme InReach satellite communicator, which interfaced well with my iPad. It fact, it worked so well that I never activated my Iridium satphone.
- My Hydrovane self-steering system worked flawlessly. I mounted a tiller-pilot to it for windless days. It worked well so I seldom used my Raymarine ST-6000 autopilot.
- My Spectra watermaker worked great — but you have to change the filters.
Now for things that either didn’t work or weren’t adequate:
- The Yanmar 38-hp diesel wasn’t powerful enough in demanding conditions.
- While the engine had been well maintained, spare parts were critical.
- My 300-watt solar panels worked great, but were insufficient.
- My Primus Air Silent X Wind Turbine generated little power when sailing downwind. I replaced it with a Primus Air Breeze and had better results. I regret that I didn’t have a Honda 2000 portable generator.
- My Adler-Barbour refrigerator was a power hog. Performance improved after I re-insulated the interior, reducing the volume.
- The most frustrating was a short in the microphone for my SSB, which meant I could listen to the other boats in the Puddle Jump, but I couldn’t communicate with them!
- Several bilge-pump float switches failed during the crossing.
- You don’t want fluffy towels in the tropics. Replace them with easy-to-dry backpacker towels.
- I brought way too many blankets, comforters and clothes.
- I didn’t use my paper charts a single time.
A carefully planned-out medical kit, including several types of antibiotics, is essential. I developed a seriously infected finger that required a trip back to the States from the Marquesas. Upon arrival in the States, I had to undergo emergency surgery and was hospitalized for several days.
Remember, there are no West Marine or similar stores in French Polynesia; it’s all 220-volt, so there are no 30- or 50-amp outlets; the currency is different; and they use the metric system. The navigation system is different, too. ‘Red, right, returning’ in French Polynesia will put your boat on the reef. The French also use butane rather than propane, and the fittings are different.
Compañera, Tartan 3800 OC
Latitude 38 Response: Readers — We can’t recall a respondent who didn’t love their windvane, and many reported great success using a tiller-pilot to drive when motoring.Contact
Prout 39 Catamaran
From our German Dealer, Tom Logisch: “The cat lost his hydraulic steering short after ARC start and the rest of 3000 miles he used the HYDROVANE”
From: Tom Logisch
Sent: December 23, 2016
To: John Curry, Will Curry
we wish you all mary christmas time and a good start in 2017!!
Here the news from today:
The cat lost his hydraulic steering short after ARC start and the rest of 3000 miles he used the HYDROVANE
After you were with me in Las Palmas on board and still gave a few good tips for the hydrovane, we were then also the next day started and the hydraulic steering promptly fell 2 days, no wheel. We had no autopilot. We then decided to try steering with the Hydrovane and after some getting used it, it worked quite well. We have used it the entire Atlantic crossing, which together with the course has given us a total of over 4000 nm through the water. Anyway, we have made it then to the party. All in all it was a good investment. Best greetings from St Lucia, Karl Heinz “
Gern hören wir wieder von Ihnen!!
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
with best regards
tom logisch – exploring the world in a better way UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
tel.: +49 33203 71501
Custom 36 - Modified XT Vane
“This is our first cruise with our new Hydrovane and during its course I have fallen deeply in love with our Hydrovane ! It has steered us in ALL conditions, even the most demanding, and is beautifully SILENT!”
From: Peter Moffitt
Sent: December 20, 2016
To: Will Curry
Subject: XT vane
We have just returned from a 3,500 NM cruise from Sydney to Lizard Island in Far North Queensland (about 280 NM south of Cape York) and return to Sydney. This is our first cruise with our new Hydrovane and during its course I have fallen deeply in love with our Hydrovane ! It has steered us in ALL conditions, even the most demanding, and is beautifully SILENT !
You would be interested to know that I cut 90mm off the top of the XT vane to allow it to clear the obstruction by the corner of a solar panel on the radar arch (in its un-extended form). I removed this 90mm height from both the tubular frame and the nylon cover. You wouldn’t know the difference in the photo I previously sent you, and I have found that it works fine un-extended despite the slight shortening.
However I have one issue with the XT vane – no matter how tightly I screw the knob on the bottom of the movable part of the vane frame to hold it in an extended position, when it is fully tightened it still doesn’t grip to hold it extended. It was OK in the beginning but over time it has lost its grip. I’ve tried lubricating the thread with silicone grease to make sure that the thread tightens right up, but it still doesn’t quite grip. Do you have a fix for this please ?
[Editor’s note: First thought was the ‘olive’ went missing. Wasn’t that… Turned out to be that the olive was installed correctly, but where the olive bears against the male threaded part attached to the bottom of the aluminium tube, the aluminium tube was recessed slightly from the plastic male thread element. Added a coupling ]
Cheers from Peter
“Making course adjustments is super simple, I don’t even need to put down my coffee cup to do it.”
From: Mark Hibdon
Sent: November 30, 2016
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Rawson 30 Hydrovane Photos
I am very pleased with our new Hydrovane. We have had it out several times now in light conditions only, winds of 20kts or less, but it has worked great on all points of sail. Making course adjustments is super simple, I don’t even need to put down my coffee cup to do it. Here are a couple photos of the completed install.Contact
“We left our home in Hood River, OR in October, 2015. Since then we’ve put quite a few miles on our Hydrovane…”
“In general, our vane has been amazing – really a life saver.”
From: Arpag Family
Sent: November 25, 2016
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Batu – Spare Parts Order
Dear Sarah & Will,
I’m sorry we never made it up to Barkley last year to hang out with you guys as intended, but we were scrambling to get ready to go. We left our home in Hood River, OR in October, 2015. Since then we’ve put quite a few miles on our Hydrovane, heading down to mainland, MX, then puddle jumping through the islands, and now spending the cyclone season here in New Zealand. In general, our vane has been amazing – really a life saver. But, we are in need of some spare parts to keep things functioning well.
I’ve assembled what I believe are the necessary parts…
Regarding comments on the website, of course! We’re outspoken Hydrovane supporters and have already converted at least a couple boats. In this age of cheap, disposable gear, it’s an incredibly well-built piece of equipment!Contact
“Our Hydrovane is our workhorse, either with a simple electronic tiller pilot or with the vane.”
From: Tony Maslin
Sent: November 19, 2016
To: John Curry
Subject: Hydrovane overhaul
Our Hydrovane is our workhorse, either with a simple electronic tiller pilot or with the vane.
We are at 40,000 miles now and it’s still in pretty good shape, just a series of plastic washers are cracking up – please see photos – and I can’t find the part numbers.
Also, please will you advise about how slack the bottom bearing can come before I should replace that.
S/V Tana Vika
“We have tested it this summer on our trip from the Netherlands to UK london,
it was perfect!”
From: Michel Tonino
Sent: September 11, 2016
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Hydrovane on Winner 1120
Here are some photos of our sailing yacht Syrinx, with the hydrovane. Our
yacht is a Winner 1120, dutch design.
We have tested it this summer on our trip from the Netherlands to UK london,
it was perfect!
Allures 45 - VIDEO
“…very happy and it is brilliant on passage.”
From: Martyn Morris
Sent: September 21, 2016
To: Will Curry ; Sarah Curry ; John Curry
Subject: Some feedback Allures 45
Here is a little video that says it all, I think.
This video was taken some months ago in Atlantic France, north of La Rochelle. We are now on the Costa del Sol in Spain and getting ready to winter the boat. We used the Hydrovane extensively across Biscay and down the length of Portugal. We have now stowed the main mechanism as have been doing coast hoping for the past month. I have made a little wooden cap for it and it is now a very useful step for getting off the boat in these Mediterranean marinas.
So in summary, very happy and it is brilliant on passage.