The following emails are presented verbatim including the owners name and email addresses. You are welcome to contact them but please introduce yourself as they are under no obligation to Hydrovane.
Browse through these emails (listed in order we receive them) or search for your boat type/keywords:
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED December 2014 – Niagara 35
From: Greg Lakes [mailto:lakesmt AT gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2014 5:29 AM
To: Will - Hydrovane
Subject: Re: Niagara 35 - Greg Lakes
I've been sailing single-handed around Baja and the Sea of Cortez for about six months with my Hydrovane, and it is superb addition to the crew. Between the two of us, he is clearly the better pilot, although he's not much for conversation and he tends to sing off-key.
I'm in the yard at the moment and noticed that the bottom bearing collar is cracked at one of the screws. How serious is this, and what would you advise?
Sent from my iPad
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED DECEMBER 2014 – Alberg 35
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2014 11:26 AM
FANTASTIC! I'm coming out of Howe Sound in very light winds and vane is holding course perfectly. I wouldn't have even tried sailing this course, with this wind, with my old vane! I've enclosed picture of my installation. Wish I could do it all over again! Lots of mistakes. Still not sure if vane is completely vertical in line with my port list. Bottom bracket is only about an inch from bottom of shaft tube, but if it's pinching, it sure can't be much. I rigged remote course line yesterday. Makes things way easier! Probably talk again! Thanks for all your help.
Good to hear all is well and thanks for the photo – I presume it is okay to post your email and photo on the website?
The installation looks good. The shaft appears to be vertical on a fore/aft basis and there is still a bit of room between the bottom bearing and the ‘E’ bracket clamp. If the bearing was being pinched you would notice some friction in the system. Let me know if any further questions come up.
Will Curry, BBA
Hydrovane International Marine Inc.
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED NOVEMBER 2014 – Moody 376
This is a very unexciting story compared with many of the tales I have read on your website, especially since what happened is exactly what is supposed to happen.
I have just had a unit fitted well off-centre on my Moody 376 Grace Richard.
I tried it out for the first time today in settled conditions.
In no more than three knots of wind and with the genoa only just filling I pulled out the pins, put it in gear and unlocked the rudder.
It held a course to such wind as there was.
The airs were so light I thought it may just be boat balance dictating the course. So as a test I used the Hydrovane to tack the boat.
Which it did.
If it is that good in next to no wind I have full confidence it will perform in any conditions.
The tip about using shock cord to help locate the rudder was put to good use, especially for me as a single-hander.
I have also had a double pocketed canvas holder made which is tied to the guard rail and keeps both windvane and rudder safe and out of the way when not in use.
To make adjustment easy I have put some red tape on one side of the continuous line pulley block. Pull the red end and you go to port - simple.
mob: 07779 780 634
Home: 01752 702086.
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED NOVEMBER 2014 – Steel Callisto 45 (23 Tonnes)
From: Sylvia Norris [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 12:32 PM
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: muirsgian
Thanks so much for the quick reply, I have asked Nick to measure the shaft. At present we are considering going back into the Pacific, and if we do I am interested in the updated items.
We circumnavigated from 1995- 2001, and our Hydrovane steered 85% of the time, and our boat weighs 23 Tonnes.
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED NOVEMBER 2014 – Hallberg Rassy 382
From: dave [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2014 12:53 AM
To: Will Curry
Subject: RE: Question
Good Morning Will,
As you can see from the pic we had ours fitted to a HR382. The blade sports a couple of rows of shark teeth marks after a tussle in the Pacific. We used that Hydrovane all the time saving wear and tear on the main steering gear, a problem we had encountered using a XXXXXXX on an earlier boat.
Long Live Hydrovane Dave
Good to hear from you and happy to hear your prior Hydrovane served you well. Can we add your email to the website? What kind of boat was your Hydrovane on? We always enjoy photos.
I presume the Nic 31 you are looking at is the same as the attached photo.
Do you have any photos showing the Hydrovane? If it does not look like the current model it will be at least 28 years old. There were a number of different models pre 1986. If you have photos I can try to provide further info. Does it have the old wooden vane?
We’re happy to help however we can.
Will Curry, BBA
Hydrovane International Marine Inc.
Good Day Will,
I am in the process of buying a Nich 31 with a Hydrovane . I am familiar with the standard Hydrovane ,one steered me safely on my 7 year circumnavigation without missing a beat, so this bit of kit was a priority for my new boat. My question is this one looks a bit non standard , sporting a blue Moon logo , It also appears to not have The stubby tiller. Can you please advise.
I look forward to your reply.
Regards Daveb Meaning
Excerpt from Blog of SY Miss Liz II, Hanse 505 – Major offset
Expert from Blog 'SY Miss Liz II', Hanse 505
August 25, 2014:
"Hydrovane fully functional and ready to go, as is the watt and sea hydrogenerator. Both proved themselves on the voyage, with the hydrovane working tremendously well across a range of conditions. Key being to set Miss Liz II up, properly balanced before setting it loose. Quiet and efficient with no energy draw - perfect. And at 7 knots and above the watt and sea covered onboard power usage well."
UNSOLICITED EMAIL OCTOBER 2014 – Wauquiez 38 – Cool vane cover!
From: Tony Gibb [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2014 5:11 PM
To: 'Will Curry'
Subject: RE: replacement questions
Are these two pictures enough to go on to determine age and model? We have mounted the unit on a Wauquiez 38 (Ted Hood). It has performed flawlessly since leaving Canada although it did take us a while to get used to the fine tuning but once we got that down we have been quite pleased.
Tony Gibb/Connie McCann
Onboard SY Sage 11
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED OCTOBER 2014 – Ovni 395
From: Ian Sprigings [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2014 12:11 PM
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Ovni 395
Firstly I just wanted to let you know that we have just sailed from Crete to Spain using the Hydrovane pretty much all the time and it has been fantastic!
Now to the next step of our plans....crossing oceans etc. I noticed that you are agents for Echotec watermakers and am very interested in fitting one. Can we have a discussion on what we might need, space requirement, power requirement etc etc. we are currently in Spain and will be here for the winter up until April, and would need to have one fitted before we leave here.
I am also looking at the Watt & Sea Hydrogenerator and note that you are agents for that also....can we talk about that installation?...can you supply me here also or are you restricted to Canada and US only?
Look forward to hearing from you...
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED OCTOBER 2014 – Trintel 1 – 28 ft
I bought a Hydrovane from you in 2012 to fit to my Trintel 1 Selene Fair - I am assuming you have a record of exactly what you sold me. I am selling Selene Fair and buying a Halberg Rassy 312 Mk1. Can you let me know what modifications would be required to fit the Hydrovane (centrally) to the Halberg Rassy? ... a longer shaft, for example?
PS I've loved using the Hydrovane. I do a lot of long distance solo sailing and Selene Fair is only 28ft long and the tiller steering can be hard work, so it is a joy to watch her being steered well while I relax. The way an engineer fitted it was not ideal and I had some trouble with it working loose until I fitted doubled sprung nuts and washers on longer bolts.
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED OCTOBER 2014 – Jeanneau 33i
Few more photos, use as you wish. Fitted by Ocean Rigging Lymington Yatch haven Lymington. Tried out this morning for half and hour all seem working, looks fantastic, looking forward to next trip. Anyone wants to have look at it in my area, you are welcome to give my mail address. Regards Ertan
Will Thank you for your mail. I am delighted with your product and I can not wait for my planned trip to Azores in May next year , I am sure I will have few cross Chunnel trips beforehand. Boat has twin rudders so current arrangement looks perfectly placed (jeanneau 33i. Lift keel with 85 cm minimum draft) you may use the photos in your web site as you see fit, you are welcome to refer me if any one wants to see it. Thank you for your advise to check the bolts which I shall do once I do long enough trip. Kind regards Ertan
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED OCTOBER 2014 – Finch 46 Cutter
- From: Bruce Swabb [mailto:email@example.com]Sent: Friday, October 3, 2014 12:07 PMTo: firstname.lastname@example.orgSubject: Testimonial
Greetings Hydrovane Crew!
I just had to share my thoughts with you...
I recently sold my 46ft cutter which had a Hydrovane system when I purchased it. I quickly fell in love with (and in awe of) the unit, and it provided many miles of independence when sailing short-handed. The unit truly is indestructible. The mechanical autopilot gave up the ghost soon after purchasing the boat. I never fixed it! The Hydrovane was all I needed. I would not leave the wheel while motoring anyway.
Well, just this past week, I helped the new owner and his wonderful wife deliver the boat from West Palm Beach to St. Mary's GA. The wonders of the wind vane were obvious to the new owners, and will be the most important piece of gear on their eventual circumnavigation.
To the future...I have a wonderful classic plastic Hunter 37 Cutter...and yes, the mechanical autopilot is kaput. I now know without any doubt that I must purchase another Hydrovane for this boat, and save the expense of fixing the mechanical autopilot. Now to start saving my pennies.
All the best,
SOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED SEPTEMBER 2014 – Taswell 49 – over 20 tons
- From: Margie <email@example.com>Date: September 16, 2014 at 10:17:02 PM GMT+1To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>Subject: Photo of Taswell 49 All Seasons
It was good to talk to you and Sarah today on the stand.
As promised, here are three photos that show the Hydrovane. There are possibly better ones on the lap top, if so, I'll send them later.
This is an extract from our blog on our second day into a 15 day voyage from Brazil to Trinidad.
.........."At 19.45 the Autohelm stopped working! With the wind blowing 26knts, Marcus was having to helm in pretty foul conditions and I came straight from bed into my 'wets' and up into the cockpit ............... Shooting along at 7.5knts, I clambered up onto the transom to move the Hydrovane's knot on the control line back into the centre, so that we could adjust the angle to the wind from the cockpit......(I really must sew that line together so it runs through smoothly!) .........It's amazing what you can do when it has to be done and the Hydrovane, once again saved the day! When we get calmer seas I'll have to go down into the aft locker to mend the Autohelm incase the wind drops and we have to motor."
Although we managed to mend the Autohelm, we carried on sailing with the Hydrovane for the remaining 1600 miles.
Don't forget to take a look at 'Magnetic Attraction' the steel boat that's for sale at Berthon!
Lovely to have met you and hope to meet you again along the way.Margie and Marcus HaywardIsland Kea IIwww.islandkea.com
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED SEPTEMBER 2014 – Crossbow 40
- From: "Michael Day" < firstname.lastname@example.orgTo: email@example.comSent: Sunday, 14 September, 2014 9:45:43 PMSubject: Quote please !
I'm SA based ex-pat Brit planning a transatlantic crossing Cape Town to BVI's in December.
My boat is a Lavranos designed Crossbow 40, launched 2007 (which is at least 12 years after the last sister-ship but that's a looong story:) She's sugar-scooped, 40'LOA, displaces 9600kg half load with no stern platform or other overhangs.Somewhat dated perhaps by today's design standards, a tad narrow at the stern and therefore has a slight tendency to wander downwind.
And since we'll be riding the SE Trades for at least half of the trip, that's a bit of an issue.
From my web browsing, forum busting, ear bending research, Hydrovane looks the way to go.
Would therefore appreciate an approximate quote and delivery time, ASAP, and, as I know you'll need detailed images and measurements for the final spec and build, promise to get those to you by end this week.
For the moment I just need to know approx price* and if the unit can be shipped in time to arrive here mid/late November.
Would much appreciate a figure* by return email if you can.
Many thanks & regards from the sunny Cape.
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED SEPTEMBER 2014 – Hylas 46
- From: Tom Saxe [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2014 3:55 AMTo: email@example.comCc: firstname.lastname@example.orgSubject: RE: Hydrovane News - Shows, Events, and Videos!
Please pass this to John. Thanks
We met at last year’s Annapolis Boat Show and spent an hour trying to figure out why the Hydrovane, I installed, didn’t hold a heading for more than a few minutes (maybe 20 min). I left with some “to dos” to trouble shoot the problem. Well it has been a long season where I had no real need to get to the Hydrovane problem (mid way on “the list”). This past week I went off shore for about 250 NM. My list priority changed before departure.
I was about to do all of the adjustments we spoke of at the Show, when I noticed a bit of discoloration at the frame of the “gear box”. I had installed a larger than needed fender washer on the “hold down fitting to the shaft which hit the side wall. This didn’t allow for full swing of the shaft and hence the problem. Problem solved. 250 NM with one adjustment in route.
I should have sent you a picture of me napping in the cockpit to explain this better, but I thought you would like the details.
See you at the Annapolis Show.
TomThomas K. SaxeYacht BrokerAnnapolis Sailyard326 First Street, Suite 18Annapolis, MD email@example.com 268 4100 office202 580 9944 cell
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED SEPTEMBER 2014 – Hallberg Rassy 42E ketch
- From: OJ8756@sailmail.com [mailto:OJ8756@sailmail.com]Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2014 1:09 AMTo: Will CurrySubject: Watermaker hose
Thank you Will for your answer
I cut the hose and managed to get rest of the hose out from fitting.
But how to remove nipple from coupling?
I have a plan to stay at anchor in Darwin.
By the way, you asked last year in september permission to put our experience on your web site. I forgot to answer. Yes, you can if you still want to.
You wrote Septermber last year:
Valerie passed along your email about your Hydrovane experience and I was wondering if it would be okay to post it on our website? It's good to hear it has been performing its duties.
Here is my text from September last year:
"My wife Hilkka and I are very happy to have Hydrovane. We sailed last year to the Caribbean. We had miner rudder failure during ARC and we used Hydrovane manually during reparations. We came back to Helsinki in May. Just two of us from the Caribbean. We are now in La Coruna, Spain. Our plan is to sail south, round Cape Horn, then through Pasific, North of Australia, South of Africa, Caribbean and after that to the Mediterranean. Hopefully those six pins are enough. Boat is Hallberg Rassy 42 Ketch."
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED AUGUST 2014 – Contessa 32
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]Sent: Friday, August 08, 2014 7:10 AMTo: firstname.lastname@example.orgSubject: Hydrovane Reference Material - Offline e-Version Request
Let me commend you and the Hydrovane team on a very comprehensive and thorough website (as well as effective self-steering product). I have owned and operated my Hydrovane for several years now, and when I have questions about operation and maintenance, I am always able find my answers online at your website or in the paperwork that shipped with my unit.
I do have a related request though. As more and more folks (myself
included) go paperless (to save on storage space onboard) and use laptops and tablets to access reference material while sailing, it is very convenient to be able to archive equipment owner's manuals/operating instructions on our hard drives, and access them while underway without the need for Internet connection. For virtually all my equipment and systems onboard (e.g., diesel engine, electronics, furlers, toilet, refrigeration etc.) I have been able to download manufacturer's *.PDF files for the necessary supporting references, all except for my Hydrovane.
Can you please make available your installation instructions, operation and general maintenance instructions, and tips, as downloadable *.PDF files for your customers, past and present? It would do those of us who use and appreciate your product a great service, especially when tucked away in some remote anchorage or port of call, away from Internet connectivity or a phone.
For your kind consideration.
EDITOR'S COMMENTS - Yes, PDF copies of relevant website sections should appear soon.
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED AUGUST 2014 – Roberts Spray 38 (steel) – LOA 45, 17 tonnes/37,000 pounds
- From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]Sent: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 10:23 PMTo: email@example.comSubject: testimonial
Hallo Hydrovane people!
I moved on to my boat in 2008 am still living on board. I have sailed half way around the world solo with only my hydrovane to self steer. It is a fantastic piece of equipment and probably the last item I would get rid of on the boat because it is so reliable. The only time it let me down, was in 2009, I was one month out with one month to sail before land fall, using my ssb a ham radio user contacted you explaining my predicament and within 24 hours I was provided with the dimensions of the part that I needed to replace (the ratio arm) I was able to Jury rig using what I had on board and made it to the destination with no further troubles. So I would say that not only is the product brilliant but so is the after sales service. Thanks
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED JULY 2014 – Beneteau 423 – Advice to Beneteau owners
- From: Mike and Carol Kefford [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2014 11:46 AMTo: 'Will Curry'Subject: RE: Hydrovane
Happy to provide feedback and advice to any Beneteau owners for you. Of course you may use the photo. We are trying to get one of us and "Barret" under sail for you. Attached is a passage report which you may use, discard or edit to suit, or not. We will not be offended.
The spare parts are now on board, but not yet fitted as the weld is holding up so well. I will wait until our next long spell at anchor to fit them.
SY TASHI DELEK
Beneteau Oceanis 423
Mike and Carol Kefford
Our Hydrovane was fitted by us (with the help of an engineer friend) in Gibraltar in 2011, having had it shipped there as we prepared to cross the Atlantic after three years cruising in the Mediterranean. Fitted with an excellent “stubby” wind vane to fit under the solar panel arch, we were able to learn how it worked and how we could best use it during our passage to Cape Verde via the islands of Madeira and Lanzarote. In particular, we understood how important it was to balance the sails so that the Hydrovane was not fighting to correct weather helm or lee helm. We discovered why our insurance company loves Hydrovane and we soon came to love “him” ourselves.
Like all other cruisers our steering assistants take on a personality of their own. Our Raymarine autopilot aka “Wilhelm” now had a companion “Barret”. So named after “Barret” Bonden, the coxswain in the Patrick O’Brien books, a favourite series of eighteenth century British Naval books and from which the film Master and Commander was made.
Barret was to steer us across the Atlantic in December 2011, to the Bahamas and North America in 2012 and back through the Caribbean in 2013 to Trinidad. We went through the Panama Canal in March 2014 and arrived in the Galapagos Islands in April.
The trip from Galapagos to the Marquesas Islands was to be our longest passage with just the two of us on board and “Barret” was an essential crew member for the 3000 mile crossing. He requires no power, we do not have to feed him and he never sleeps. He is the perfect crew member.
We departed from Academy Bay, Santa Cruz, Galapagos on 15 April and ran SW for the first few days with light winds between 4 and 12 knots, with the cruising chute pulling us along and Barret doing all the work. On 17 April a False Killer whale swam alongside the yacht, so close that Carol’s toes are in the photograph.
From 19 April to 3 May we travelled more westerly as the SE Trade Winds kicked in with 15 to 25 knots. However, from 25 to 30 April we also had a period of severe squalls and torrential rain. The wind was often gusting 30 to 40 knots on the edge of the squalls with the seas uncomfortably confused with crossing waves on top of the 3 metre southerly swell. During this period we often needed to hand steer for hours at a time as neither “Wilhelm” nor “Barret” could cope with the breaking following seas. This was not a reflection on “Barret” but on our steering wheel locking system which kept being thrown hard over by the following seas. We were reluctant to tie it down hard for fear of the forces breaking the rudder. We have since learnt to trust the strength of the yacht, to tie the wheel and let “Barret” do the rest.
From 4 May the squalls became less frequent, the seas were calmer and the wind backed to the east. At 10 degrees 20 minutes south we tacked back to the north for 24 hours to give ourselves a better angle of approach to the most southerly of the Marquesas’, the island of Fatu Hiva. We were then able to sail almost dead downwind with headsails poled out on either side and “Barret” doing a fine job on this most difficult point of steering.
We sighted the dramatic profile of Fatu Hiva at 0530 on 9 May, shortly after which the wind died for a while and we had to put “Barret” in neutral and motor sail until we rounded the northern tip of the island. The final three miles to Bay on Fatu Hiva was hand steering as it was such an emotional moment to approach that spectacularly beautiful bay.
Our passage had taken us 24 days, not fast at all as our conservative sail plan had been intended to look after the yacht, especially during the prolonged period of bad weather, and we still had 4000 miles to go to Australia. “Barret” had steered us the majority of the way and he and Tashi Delek had looked after us very well. We cannot wait for the next leg of the voyage and to see “Barret” deliver us, via the Tuamotus, Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to Bundaberg, in Queensland, Australia.
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED JULY 2014 – Newport 41
- From: John Kloppenburg [mailto:email@example.com]Sent: Monday, August 04, 2014 6:24 PMTo: Will CurrySubject: Re: Ali Oop in False Creek
Gertrude, from what we tried so far, is working well. I'm sure that she will steer the boat for us and I will keep you up to date with our travel and let you know how she performs. I have attached a few pictures of the install. I hope all is well with you and your family. John
EMAIL DIALOGUE ON REEFING – JULY 2014 – Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40
- From:Will CurryTo:'Palma Maritime Marco'Cc:'John Curry'Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2014 5:55 PMSubject: RE: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40
Good to hear you are getting to know your new crew member. We had lunch on Monday with Jeanne Socrates (just completed her third circumnavigation) and we were talking about off-set installations. I mentioned the effect when boats are healing and her response was “no boat should be healing.” It always amazes me that when you reef early there is generally very little loss in boat speed and the boat is more comfortable. We had at least one reef in our mainsail the whole way across the Pacific and we still had multiple 180 mile days
Anyway, thanks for keeping us posted. Can we post your email with the photos you sent
Hydrovane International Marine Inc.
Basically I have to reef a little quicker than hand held steering. I was veering approx 20 dgrs again on the hydrovane in 12-13 knots of wind (I normally start reefing a first reef in the main at 14 knots). So put in one reef in the main and all went perfect straight away. No more than 5 / 6 dgrs veering either side. So all happy! I have to start thinking a little more in cruising terms instead in fast, faster, fastest. Will take some getting used to!!
MarcoFrom:Will CurryTo:Palma Maritime Marco ; John CurrySent: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 2:44 AMSubject: Re: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40 - Hydrovane model VXA2D M(shaft length)/A/H - EURO 5,148 - Stubby + OSK
Good to hear you got your Hydrovane installed.
The vane axis inclination is used to reduce the sensitivity of the vane in heavy weather. For most conditions you shouldn't have to use this. You only want to incline the vane when it appears to be over steering.
You should be able to get the vane to steer a straighter course. You might want to read through the poor performance Tips section on our website - See http://www.hydrovane.com/instructions/tips/#6
Most of the time the issue is with getting the boat properly balanced before engaging the vane. When you lock off the wheel the boat has to want to track straight. Poorly trimmed sails or an unbalanced sail configuration can make it difficult for the vane to steer. When going downwind a pole on the genoa is mandatory. What points of sail and conditions have you been using the vane in?
Our Boat was a Beneteau first 405 that we sailed to Australia and would have similar sailing characteristics to your Jeanneau with a fin keel and spade rudder. Once we got the sails balanced we could normally keep our course deviation within 5-10 degrees which in most cases was better than the autopilot. It steered us 95% of the way across the Pacific.
Do you have any photos of the installation we can add to our library?
On another note, are you still in Mallorca? We have another customer who may be looking for someone to install his Hydrovane on a Cheoy Lee 47. If so, can I pass along your contact info?
Let me know if you have further questions.
On Sun, Jul 13, 2014 at 8:39 AM, Palma Maritime Marco <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I have succesfully installed the Hydrovane and have used it several times now. It´s an amazing unit, which is very easy to use. I do have 2 questions though, which hopefully you can shed some light on.
1. What is the function that you can tilt the vane back?? When would u use that? I can´t really find much info on it.
2. Sailing into a straight-ish line seems difficult: I have been trying the 3 different "gear" settings and it doesn´t seem to make much difference which I use, but there is quite a sway from a straight line at time. I suppose my type of boat is relatively "nervous" when it comes to wind gusts and the hydrovane just doesn´t react as quick as an electric autopilot, but sometimes the sway of the straight line is like 15 degrees either end, which seems a lot to me.
Any thought in that?
Thanks and with best regards
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED JULY 2014 – Elan 434
- From: Gerry May [mailto:email@example.com]Sent: Friday, July 18, 2014 2:49 PMTo: 'Will Curry'Cc: 'John Curry'Subject: Hydrovane comments & pix
It was good to meet up with all of you at Hydrovane yesterday. Thanks for the spare rudder pin… always good to have one of those, just in case.
I wanted to share with you my first impressions of the Hydrovane which we were able to employ for most of the stretch between the Aeolian Islands (NW of Messina Strait) to Cagliari, Sardinia. In a word, fantastic… with sails and the boat’s rudder in trim, it was dead simple to engage and adjust, achieving a stable helm almost instantly. We were in relatively flat water with 12-14 knots at 100-110 degrees apparent, so perhaps these gentle conditions helped to shorten the learning curve. Even so, I was amazed how easy it was to experiment with different vane angles and ratio knob positions to find the groove, so to speak. We settled on the most sensitive ratio knob position with an almost vertical vane in these conditions. I found the gentle rocking motion of the vane to be almost hypnotic… what an amazing piece of engineering!
I have attached a few pictures.
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED JUNE 2014 – Offshore/Rhodes/Reliant 40/41 – also see his March 2009 email
- From: sigmund Baardsen [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]Sent: Monday, June 30, 2014 10:24 AMTo: John CurrySubject: Heading East
It was lovely to see Will and Sarah's excellent (informative) piece in Latitude 38. They are inspirational. Please convey that to them.
MARY T is now on the hard. We have scraped off hundreds of 10-12mm barnacles and wet sanded the bottom. We do not consider that a paint failure, as La Paz Bay has 85F. water temp and is rich in nutrients. After three weeks, our anchor chain is the size of your arm, with marine growth. Unlike the Chesapeake, where marine life is dying of eutrefaction, due to industrial and agricultural pollution and mostlythe pig farms, here the oyster, clam and crab fisheries are prospering.
Carol is sewing covers for all the new varnish. The first 6 coats applied three months ago, at Catalina are already breaking down and have been re-coated, with another three. God I am hating varnish. It’s a mug’s game, south of 40 Deg.
Everything is removed from deck and/or double lashed, on account of hurricanes. The jack stands are well chained and the boats are jammed in so tightly that it is unlikely that any individual boat could go down. The yard is a far cry from the Cherubini Yachts yard. Here it is dirt aprons, flea-bitten dogs and dog shit everywhere, abandon boats, broken and abandon boat parts everywhere. It is a place of broken dreams, yet it is familiar, comfortable and we somehow find hope here. There is happily no travel lift, but instead a there is a cement launch-ramp, into the water and a big submersible trailer with hydraulic arms that support the boat.
We have found an inverse relationship, between appearance of the yard and care given the vessels. In the yards with flash new equipment, smart uniforms, travel lifts and fancy offices and restrooms, they care more about insurance, waivers, disclaimers, documentation and paperwork than they do about the boat. That is a sentiment not widely shared, particularly in the U.S..
Tomorrow we are off the boat, into a B&B operated by cruising friends, from 25 years back, at Moorings Pto. Escondido. That should be fun.
After a few days rest we are flying East, to sail on a sistership in the Chesapeake Bay/Long Island Sound area. The Annapolis boat show is on our itinerary.
Will you be there?
We have seen as least six new HYDROVANES here in this yard alone. Your improvements are subtle. Congratulations. You seem to be not only holding your own but gaining against the electric auto pilots. The HYDROVANE/tiller pilot combination must be much more economical as well as versatile than an equivalent under- deck autopilot.
Coming down the coast we had a few 168/mile days, with three reefs in the main and a scrap of jib. that's not bad for an old boat with a 27 foot waterline.
On the 6th night, a threaded stem-ball, unscrewed from the control rod. (My fault, not yours). We had to had steer. It was exhausting. With fatigue we started to make slow decisions and bad decisions. Rather continue, deeper into folly, we hove-to (a forgotten virtue) and rested. At daylight we put into the salt works at Cedros Island, where there is a machine shop. I was able to make the repair, with parts on board in fifteen minutes. Then we slept for fifteen hours straight.
Avoiding fatigue is important to "Survive your dream". Fatigue is insidious in its effect on our faculties. We don't even think of drinking and driving, yet people brag, "I was steering for18 hours, couldn't leave the helm, because of the storm". That's stupid. That is a message that cruisers need to hear.
Congratulations on helping so many to achieve and survive their dreams.
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED JUNE 2014 – Scandia 32
- From: Arthur Robey [mailto:email@example.com]Sent: Friday, June 27, 2014 8:06 PMTo: firstname.lastname@example.orgSubject: Thank you.
Sorry about the delay. Life got in the way.
I just wanted to tell that I am very pleased with my vane, 'Atilla'.
He worked exactly as promised, first time out.
I am thinking that I should invest in two more for my little yacht.
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED JUNE 2014 – Hallberg Rassy 412
- From: email@example.comTo: firstname.lastname@example.orgSubject: FW: Hallberg Rassy 412 - Hydrovane model VXA2D L(shaft length)/A/H - £4,750 - 3 Timber PadsDate: Sun, 22 Jun 2014 16:54:15 +0100
John, having used our Hydrovane (nicknamed 'Helga"!) on and off for a couple of weeks I thought I would send you some reflections.
Overall when Helga is working she is amazing. Her ability to sail the boat smoothly and quickly astonished me even after reading various reviews before we purchased. My wife is a bit prone to seasickness and we clearly notice the difference as soon as Helga is engaged or dis-engaged. Shen even managed to steer the boat well when motorsailing on number of occasions. However, there are number of points worth mentioning or discussing:
1. We had to fit Helga slightly off centre on the starboard side. We do have a bimini and a backstay where the main elements of the bridle and blocks are on the port side. The impact is that on starboard tack Helga works almost faultlessly on any point of sailing but really struggles to find clear air on port tack with the apparent wind forward of the beam. Obviously the heeling angle of the boat effectively lowers Helga further into the wind shadow. Given that we have few options with the bimini and backstay - please see photo - I'm not sure whether there any easy answers to this. I would welcome your thoughts.
2. On our boat the normal genoa is low footed with minimal overlap but we do carry and use a 'code zero' sail in up to around 12/13 knots of wind with the true wind more than 55/60 degrees off the nose. The balance of boat is much more sensitive to changes in wind strength with this sail up and Helga needs a bit more adjustment as we go along.
3. I also note your comments about removing the rudder for manoeuvring in marinas. We have found this to be absolutely essential, particularly since our boat is fitted with a sail drive well forward rather than a traditional propeller. With Helga's rudder locked centre it is absolutely impossible to get any side ways kick on the stern when driving on to pontoons. We had a couple of quite embarrassing moments until I realised what the issue was!
4. Please could you send me a couple of spare pins? I've read your comments about rotating the pins to prevent fatigue failures. I'd like keep two spare.
PeterJohn's response to Peter's questions:
• DIRTY AIR – You might be surprised to hear that we have never had a report of dirty air affecting performance when beating ……. although such is certainly possible/understandable. Part of the reason is that cruisers so rarely have to beat upwind and that is such an easy point of sail steering wise. If you ever do get in that situation again you can try:
o Shift the sheeting to the traveler (if you have one)
o Slack the main sheet a bit
o Put a reef in the mainsail
o There is an expression: ‘Gentlemen never go to weather’.
• HEADSAILS – If you have a true genoa with a low foot I always recommend having them recut to put the clew higher making the length of the sides more like an isosceles triangle so you can see beneath it and when you slack its sheet the sail doesn’t simply open at the top. Genoas are one purpose sails – meant to go upwind – a direction that cruisers try hard to avoid. When off the wind, even with the headsail on the leeward side it is often wise to put a pole on the clew to tighten up the sail – keep it from collapsing and filling. That collapsing and filling corrupts the boat balance sending confusing signals to the HV.
• RUDDER REMOVAL – For arrival in a marina it is much preferable to remove the rudder ……. unless you have an extra pair of hands to use the HV rudder – two rudders are better than one.
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED JUNE 2014 – Valiant 40
- From: Mike Meador [mailto:email@example.com]Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2014 6:31 AMTo: 'Will Curry'Subject: RE: First time Hydrovane owner - Valiant 40
Thanks again for your support. Our maiden voyage from Florida to the Chesapeake Bay on our just-purchased 1991 Valiant 40 was uneventful. The Hydrovane hadn’t been used for at least six years; I lubricated it as you suggested, installed the rudder and vane, set up a control line, and quickly figured out how to engage it once we were underway. It functioned as advertised, much to the amazement of a couple of crew who weren’t aware of wind vanes. We used it for a third of the trip; other times we were forced to motor sail with the autopilot.
I understand the loose, no-lubrication engineering design, but what about using a bit of silicone grease on the worm gear?