Email Testimonials

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:


Showing 341 Email Testimonials

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED April 2016 – Outbound 44

"Windvane Saved the Day"

Pacific Puddle Jump 2016 - Autopilot failures

"Thanks for a great product."

From: Morris [Sailmail email]

Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2016 10:59 AM

To: Will Curry

Subject: Windvane Saved the Day

 

Hi Will and Sarah, just wanted to drop you a note to let you know we made it to Nuku Hiva from PV. Our boat and two others had autopilot failures. One boat turned back to PV and the other hand steered all the way to Hiva Oa.

Our autopilot failed a third of the way but we had "Jane" our trusty Hydrovane. She got us thru it all with minimal hand steering. We now know a lot more about how to set her up and how to balance the sails. I even got her working when we did some motor sailing.

Thanks for a great product.

Morris and Debbie Adams

sailblogs.com/member/svimpulsive

 

Outbound 44 SV Impulse - autopilot broke en route to Marquesas

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED April 2016 – Heritage West Indies 36

"I'm now in the Galapagos Islands and the Hydrovane has been absolutely rock solid so far."

"I've had experience with [other types of windvanes] and I can honestly say that the hydrovane has performed much better than any of the others so far."

Hey Sarah and Will,
 
I just thought I'd write a quick thank you for all the hassle you went through to get that wind vane to me in St. Maarten back in December/January. I'm now in the Galapagos Islands and the Hydrovane has been absolutely rock solid so far. The test-run was a down-wind sail in heavy seas along the North coast of Colombia. I've had experience with Fleming, Monitor and Windpilot and I can honestly say that the hydrovane has performed much better than any of the others so far. I'm without a doubt a happy customer.
 
Cheers!
Alex

[Editor Note: Shipping to St. Maarten is not usually a hassle. This was a unique situation involving shipping to the USA and a freight forwarder]

 

UNSOLICTED EMAIL RECEIVED April 2016 – Rustler 36

"...for information the Hydrovane has been completely reliable and has steered me some 15,000 miles since fitting in 1997."

"I have a Rustler 36 and highly recommend Hydrovane."

"I use it all the time in preference to an Autohelm or a human crew as it is more reliable and doesn’t complain."

From: Anonymous
Sent: Friday, April 15, 2016 12:09 PM
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Bearing Kit

 

ps... for information the Hydrovane has been completely reliable and has steered me some 15,000 miles since fitting in 1997. The only replacement has been one new sail cover and 4 new cords for the wheel steering. [Remote Course Setting Line]

There is some play in the bottom of the shaft, hence the need to replace the bearings, and as I leave the rudder attached all the time the hole for the shaft in the top have become oval and oversized.

I have a Rustler 36 and highly recommend Hydrovane.

...

I have had my hydrovane since 1997 and it has steered me many thousands of miles with no problems.

I use it all the time in preference to an Autohelm or a human crew as it is more reliable and doesn’t complain.

I intend to replace the shaft bearings at some stage but I need to measure the shaft diameter before ordering.

UNSOLICTED EMAIL RECEIVED April 2016 – in German – Lagoon 39 Catamaran

"We've used the wind vane last year more extensively."
"Wir haben die Windfahne letztes Jahr ausgiebiger benutzt."

"We are so far very satisfied."
"Einmal mussten wir noch alle Schrauben nachziehen."

From: tom logisch [mailto:info@tomlogisch.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2016 11:49 PM
To: will@hydrovane.com; 'John'
Subject: WG: Hydrovane

Here is an email in German from our customer with the Lagoon 39 iCat; you can use this for your website

TRANSLATION:

"We've used the wind vane last year more extensively. Once we get the hang of what grid where in sails we are very satisfied. We took control with main / genoa and Parasail. Once we had to tighten all the screws. We are so far very satisfied."

 

Von: iCat [mailto:icathby3686 AT gmail.com]
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 6. April 2016 14:41
An: tom logisch
Betreff: Re: Hydrovane

Hallo Tom. 

Wir haben die Windfahne letztes Jahr ausgiebiger benutzt. Nach dem wir den Dreh raus hatten welchen Raster bei welcher Besegelung sind wir sehr zufrieden. Wir sind die Steuerung mit Gross/Genua und Parasail gefahren.  Einmal mussten wir noch alle Schrauben nachziehen. 

Wir sind also bisher sehr zufrieden. 

Gruss 

Zoltan 

UNSOLICTED EMAIL RECEIVED March 2016 – Beneteau 50

"We used the Hydrovane for the first time this weekend. Lights airs, dead astern."

"Aunty Ida worked faultlessly, was easy to set up and given that she is set well off center the response is amazing."

Hi Will/Sarah

We used the Hydrovane for the first time this weekend. Lights airs, dead astern. Aunty Ida worked faultlessly, was easy to set up and given that she is set well off center the response is amazing.

A little disappointed with the [defective sunbrella DRIVE UNIT] cover as a hole has appeared after only two weeks of the UK weather. I'll send some better photo's when I have the chance.

Regards

Dean

Beneteau 50 - Chesee

Beneteau 50 - Thesee

Beneteau Oceanis 50 - AH brackets

Beneteau Oceanis 50 - AH brackets

Beneteau 50 - Great Swim Platform

Beneteau 50 - Great Swim Platform

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED March 2016 – Hunter 50

"The Hydrovane was great!"

"This was our sail configuration a lot of the time while also using the Hydrovane. By using our stay sail I didn't need to have a lot of the main sail out. Hydrovane liked this configuration."

From: Jack Ormerod [mailto:jjormerod AT icloud.com]

Sent: Friday, March 11, 2016 7:08 AM

To: Will Curry

Subject: Re: New Parts For Hydro Generator

 

Hi Will,

Our crossing was great, thanks! We had to go around Hurricane Alex and divert to Mindelo for two days and then we had a fifteen day crossing from there to Guadeloupe.

The Hydrovane was great...

...

This was our sail configuration a lot of the time while also using the Hydrovane. By using our stay sail I didn't need to have a lot of the main sail out. Hydrovane liked this configuration.

Hunter 50, downwind sailplan with Hydrovane steering

Hunter 50, downwind sailplan with Hydrovane steering

 

 

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED March 2016 – Westerly Solway 36

"In 2008 my wife and I set off around the world."

"On a close inspection, we find that “Heidi” our Hydrovane, which steered magnificently at all times under sail, has three items which need replacement and one spare is also required."

"Apart from a new dress while we were in the tropics, no other work was required on Heidi, which is quite a testament."

From: kathy.jeremy AT gmail.com
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2016 9:15 AM
To: will AT hydrovane.com
Subject: Parts for Sal Darago

Dear Will,

I used to contact Sherry, but I have had my email returned. I hope this email gets through to the right person.

On 25/10/2007 I bought a VXA 2D M/HH Hydrovane unit. I fitted it to Sal Darago, our 36ft Westerly Solway. In 2008 my wife and I set off around the world. We returned to Lancashire, England in the summer of 2014 having achieved our aim. Unfortunately, on a close inspection, we find that “Heidi” our Hydrovane, which steered magnificently at all times under sail, has three items which need replacement and one spare is also required. Apart from a new dress while we were in the tropics, no other work was required on Heidi, which is quite a testament.

  • Vane knob or clamp (part 32)
  • Axis knob or clamp (part 33)
  • Bottom collar with set screw (part 26)
  • Locking pin and retaining clip (part not known)

...

Best wishes,

Jeremy Spencer.

Westerly Solway 36 - Bora Bora

Westerly Solway 36 - Bora Bora in the background

Westerly Solway 36 - Galapagos

Westerly Solway 36 - Passage from Galapagos to Marquesas

Westerly Solway 36 - San Blas

Westerly Solway 36 - near San Blas Islands

 

RESPONSE FROM HYDROVANE CUSTOMER March 2016 – Hallberg Rassy 42E

"I have sailed with my Hydrovane about 55 000 nautical miles and I can recommend it."

"As a whole I am very satisfied with my Hydrovane. 90% of our circumnavigation was downwind sailing."

Note from Editor: Esa kindly forwarded us his email response to a potential customer who reached out  for feedback about performance on the HR 42E.

 

From: Esa Kalervo [mailto:Esa.Kalervo  AT balticcruising.fi]
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 10:28 AM

Thanks John,

Here is my answer to Italian sailor.

Esa

-----------------------------------------

Hi Massimiliano,

I have sailed with my Hydrovane about 55 000 nautical miles and I can recommend it.

The most important thing is that it is totally independent of boat’s steering system. We had during our first Atlantic Crossing 2012 problem with steering cable and we used Hydrovane tiller while fixing that problem.

Mizzen boom

We have not used mizzen while sailing close hauled upwind. Mizzen gives practically no power in that situation. You just keep boom on one side with preventers.

There is no problem while you sail downwind. Just be carefull with preventers.

I have used topping lift to get boom high enough while gybing. But one should be very carefull.

Shaft locking pin has broken many times because of propeller’s effect to the rudder. One should have spare pins onboard. We have changed vane cover perhaps once per year because of sun.

As a whole I am very satisfied with my Hydrovane. 90% of our circumnavigation was downwind sailing. F.ex. between Cape town and St Helena we sailed five days and nights in a row just with Spinnaker on and Hydrovane took care of steering.

We spent last year from June to November in the Mediterranean and visited f.ex. Southern Sardinia and Southern Sicily, then Pantelleria and Lampedusa while sailing to the east. Later we visited Messina and Olbia.

We are now in Plymouth, UK, and sailing back to Helsinki where we are in the middle of May.

I will be happy to answer if you have any more questions or comments.

Esa Kalervo

s/y Marisol

Please use in the future this email address instead of sailmail address

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED January 2016 – Ovni 395

Photos show Watt&Sea attached to Hydrovane Shaft

"I must say the Hydrovane was an absolute joy to have and certainly one of the best decisions we made when kitting out the boat. We felt very grateful when we kept coming across boats that had had issues with their electronic autopilots."

"The Watt & Sea was also brilliant, albeit a constant challenge to keep weed off it during the crossing!"

"The Echotec watermaker has also worked very well"

From: Ian Sprigings [mailto:ian.sprigings AT btinternet.com]

Sent: Sunday, January 03, 2016 2:23 PM

To: Will Curry

Subject: Watermaker

Hi Will,

Firstly, happy new year to you all.

We have now crossed the Atlantic and are currently in Bequia in the Grenadines. I must say the Hydrovane was an absolute joy to have and certainly one of the best decisions we made when kitting out the boat. We felt very grateful when we kept coming across boats that had had issues with their electronic autopilots.

The Watt & Sea was also brilliant, albeit a constant challenge to keep weed off it during the crossing!

The Echotec watermaker has also worked very well, but we currently have an issue that I would like your help with. When running it today in the anchorage I noticed what I thought was water coming out of the control panel. I assumed it was probably a joint that had come slightly undone as it was only a very small amount. On taking out the panel I noticed that the rubber grommet at the top of the pressure gauge had come out and the water was in fact the oily liquid from within the pressure gauge. There is now about 1/2 an inch air gap at the top of the gauge.

Is this an issue? What actually is the fluid? Should I top it up?

Many thanks for your help.

Best wishes

Ian Sprigings.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The leak on the pressure gauge was simply because the nipple on the top needed to be pricked to release the air - An easy fix.

Ovni 395 with W&S - close up

Ovni 395 with W&S - close up

Ovni 395 with W&S

 

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED February 2016 – Jeanneau 45.2

"I don’t think that I have ever written to a company before, to endorse a product of theirs, but my wife and I have been so impressed with the Hydrovane that I wanted to let you know this."

"...on the Atlantic passage, it steered us perfectly for over 90% of the trip. On one occasion we were wing-on-wing for over 8 days, with winds to 30kts, at about 150° apparent, with waves big enough to surf down, and the Hydrovane coped perfectly all this time – absolutely amazing!"

"With just two of us on board, I wanted a system that was simple and effective to operate, and it has exceeded my most optimistic expectations by a considerable margin. It truly is our third crew member."

Hi Chris,

Thanks so much for taking the time to write us and we love the kind words! 

I showed your email to a Jeanneau SO 43 owner who is interested in a Hydrovane and is currently in St.Martin.  He might be interested in your feedback.

Well done on your vane design – I can certainly say that is a first!  We will call it the ‘T top’ version ;)  It’s interesting to see you added a dive weight to the main counterweights.  I can’t remember how much clearance you needed with the vane installed directly onto the drive unit – Was it 9 inches?  Our new XT vane is 1 inch shorter but that’s undoubtedly not enough.  Do you have any pictures show your complete installation?  It would also be nice to add these to the website.  I presume you couldn’t lower the drive unit/brackets?

Thanks again for the feedback.  We always say our customers are our best salesman….not us.

Cheers

Will

 

From: Chris Mennem [mailto:chrismennem AT hotmail.co.uk]
Sent: Monday, February 29, 2016 3:17 PM
To: Will Curry
Subject: Hydrovane endorsement

 

Dear Will,

I don’t think that I have ever written to a company before, to endorse a product of theirs, but my wife and I have been so impressed with the Hydrovane that I wanted to let you know this.

We ordered the unit in January 2015, and it was quickly delivered to our winter base in Sicily, in strong, well-designed shipping boxes. I found it straight forward to mount on the back of our Jeanneau 45.2, with the help of your simple and clear instructions. I was immediately impressed with the quality and engineering of the Hydrovane, and my respect for it has grown with each passage we have done.

We left Sicily in May 2015, and worked our way to Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, the Cape Verde islands, Barbados and currently St. Lucia, from where I write this in late February 2016. With every passage we were able to use it more, and on the Atlantic passage, it steered us perfectly for over 90% of the trip. On one occasion we were wing-on-wing for over 8 days, with winds to 30kts, at about 150° apparent, with waves big enough to surf down, and the Hydrovane coped perfectly all this time – absolutely amazing!

With just two of us on board, I wanted a system that was simple and effective to operate, and it has exceeded my most optimistic expectations by a considerable margin. It truly is our third crew member.

On a separate note, I wanted to show you the vane mounting bracket I designed and had made. Somehow I got the measurements wrong and the vane, when mounted on top of the unit, fouled the arch. Having spoken to you, I did not want to make the vane smaller, and therefore came up with the bracket, which lowers the vane by 230mm/9’’ and now clears the arch, regardless of articulation or direction of the vane. The bracket had to lower the vane to one side, so this had to be counter-balanced on the opposite side. I have used zinc anodes and stainless washers to obtain perfect static balance and intend to tidy this up and make it more attractive now I know it works – perfectly! The design was a bit tricky, to ensure that it cannot foul any part of the Hydrovane itself, but I think it looks ok and, most importantly, as I mentioned earlier, it works 100% - all the way across the Atlantic. I just thought you might be interested, if you have not seen this done before.

Thanks again for your advice whilst we were mid-Atlantic.

Warm regards,

Chris Mennem

 

Atlantic Crossing 1

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED January 2016 – Bowman 48 (and Najad 34, Southerly 38, Rustler 42)

... AND OTHER ARC 2015 BOATS (Najad 34, Southerly 38, Rustler 42) CHIME IN ON "Essential Items"

"...the hydrovane, which worked brilliantly when our electrical autopilot failed on the ARC."

"... the hydrovane coped with the swell even in relatively low apparent wind (eg even when we were only doing 6 knots downwind in 13 knots of true wind speed), as well as in 25-30 knots and heavier swell."

Excerpt from Practical Boat Owner, January 2016

Southerly 38 owner Nick Fabbri says: "That Hydrovane, I'd marry it if I could"

From: Peter Harvey 

Sent: Friday, January 29, 2016 3:52 AM

To: Will Curry; Sarah Curry

Subject: Re: Installation Bowman 48 Chanto

 

Hi Will and Sarah,

Just to let you know that we got to grips with the hydrovane, which worked brilliantly when our electrical autopilot failed on the ARC. We even got you some free publicity in PBO!

We very slightly altered the rudder alignment in Las Palmas after our discussion, as we decided it may have been very fractionally off centre and perhaps that made the difference. The only other change was a new cover.

We had a poled out double headsail downwind rig and the hydrovane coped with the swell even in relatively low apparent wind (eg even when we were only doing 6 knots downwind in 13 knots of true wind speed), as well as in 25-30 knots and heavier swell. We generally used it with the vane in upright position (otherwise on certain wind directions it could knock against a gps sensor at extreme deflection) and on the left hand setting. Perhaps we might benefit from your new extendable stubby, but there didn't seem to be a problem in the upright position.

We learnt when setting it to look at the hydrovane and if it was more frequently nodding one way , adjusted the wheel to make it more even, nodding both ways equally. Once set it would then just run for hours on end with occasional course adjustments when the wind shifted to keep us on the great circle route!

We did have a problem with fields of sargasso weed though!  It didn't like weed and could go off by 40 degrees, but sailing backwards freed it and also loads of weed from the keel, which had been slowing us down.

Many thanks for your help.

Peter Harvey

PBO - Jan 2016 - Hydrovane mention with Bowman 48 and others

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED January 2016 – Hanse 430e

"We sailed the 1000 miles from New Zealand to New Caledonia with the Hydrovane only: it was great and HV did a great job with winds between 10 to 45 kt."

"Thanks for this beautiful piece a gear which is more than…a piece of gear but a real third mate on board!"

From: Alain SANIEZ [mailto:ajs AT saniez.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 8:03 AM
To: John Curry <john AT hydrovane.com>; Will Curry <will AT hydrovane.com>
Subject: A bit of a feedback

 

One year I ordered our new best mate: Hydrovane 

As many people consider self steering system as absolutely unuseful with modern designed boat like Hanse, making that choice was challenging.

We sailed from New Zealand to South Africa, nearly 10000 miles. We have been using both our Hydrovane and the two in board autopilot made by Jefa, with their Simrad wind vane. We did a lot of test trying to challenge each with the other. We sailed the 1000 miles from New Zealand to New Caledonia with the Hydrovane only: it was great and HV did a great job with winds between 10 to 45 kt. Thanks for this beautiful piece a gear which is more than…a piece of gear but a real third mate on board!

You find here under some pics: installation on board of Uhambo, a Hanse 430e, and an overall picture of the visitor’s pontoon in Noumea where we could count nine Hydrovane at the same time!!!!

Kind regards

Alain

Hanse 430e

Hanse 430e

Hydrovanes in Noumea

Hydrovanes in Noumea

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED October 2015 – Jonmeri 40

"I forgot to tell you what a splendid job the Hydrovane is doing!"

"...we were out on the North Sea for 74 hours with winds from 10 to 40 knots, waveheight was up to 5m, breaking seas..."

"But, the Hydrovane was just steering and steering, required no attention at all!"

"As we sail shorthanded, husband/wife, the vane became soon our best mate."

From: Eugene Motzheim [mailto:eugene AT motzheim.se]
Sent: Monday, October 26, 2015 11:27 AM
To: John Curry <john AT hydrovane.com>

Hi again

New pictures, the choice is yours!

I forgot to tell you what a splendid job the Hydrovane is doing! Our boat is 40 ft/10 tons/draft 2,30 m with a spade rudder. On our trip this summer we were out on the North Sea for 74 hours with winds from 10 to 40 knots, waveheight was up to 5m, breaking seas because of tidal streams. We sailed both uppwind and reaching, the latter can be a bit delicate because of the big IOR-belly our Jonmeri has. But, the Hydrovane was just steering and steering, required no attention at all! As we sail shorthanded, husband/wife, the vane became soon our best mate. Better than our Neco, who gave up two weeks ago - electrical problems...

Regards,

Jonmeri 40 "Move On" from Sweden
Eugene & Angelien

Jonmeri 40 side shot

Jonmeri 40

Jonmeri 40

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED October 2015 – Southerly 38

"It works admirably, in fact I professed to having a crush on it, as it was so useful."

From: Nick Fabbri [mailto:n.fabbri AT virgin.net]

Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2015 10:25 AM

To: Will Curry

Subject: Re: Watt and sea generator for Southerly 38

 

Dear Will,

Thank you for the swift reply.

In answer to your question, I was going to mount the generator on the other side. This is to offset the drag from the hydrovane. It is also because I currently have an aquair 1000 hydrogenerator in place where I would place the watt and sea unit.

This would massively reduce the shenanigans in doing the wiring run, as it's already in place.

 

We are booked into las palmas marina  from the 31st October. Thus we will remain there for 3 weeks to prepare the boat.

If you could please quote me for the unit, plus installation as well as two props you mentioned. I may install it myself , so if you could break down the quote into costs and hen installation, I would be grateful.

 

Re the hydrovane. Please find attached some photos.

We used the unit across biscay in force 3-6. We had the unit on the smallest ratio setting , so it barely moved the rudder with the wind. This resulted in a very straight course.

It works admirably, in fact I professed to having a crush on it, as it was so useful.

As for feedback.....

 

Well we met another southerly 38 with one attached on starboard ( ours in on port). We both had to compensate for the drag by locking the wheel off centre. Ours is about 5 degrees to starboard, his to port.

It is correct that the sails need to be balanced.

Also we are still not 100% about which way to pull the string to change course. However that will come with time. It's just practice.

I have no real negatives or criticism of the unit. It will hopefully steer us over the Atlantic and beyond .

One point is that we have a lifting keel. The rudder needs to be removed before drying out.

Also we are not sure whether to antifoul the rudder as it goes green quickly.

Finally, an installation tip. We have a modern production yacht which is cad designed . Strange angles all over the transom. Thus a nightmare to get the angles correct to keep the brackets parallel to the mast.

However eventually we used an electronic spirit level app on an iPhone. We could work out precisely what the angles were, and transfer that to the band saw to cut the pads.

Also if you keep the other piece of wood from the angulated cut, it can be used to level out the angle of the backing plate, thus ensuring perfectly aligned bolts .

Anyway, I look forward to getting your quote, after that I will see if our budget can stretch.

 

Regards

Nick fabbri

Southerly 38 - shaft and brackets

Southerly 38 - aft

Southerly 38 - aft

Southerly 38 - above

Southerly 38 - above

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED August 2015 – Wauqiuez PS 40

"The Hydrovane is an outstanding piece of engineering. We have used ours for over 8000 miles now, and we are very happy with it! Thank you and your company for producing such a wonderful mechanism."

From: bagpipetune AT aol.com 
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2015 7:25 PM
To: will AT hydrovane.com
Subject: Hydrovane - Thanks and parts

 

Dear Will,

The Hydrovane is an outstanding piece of engineering.  We have used ours for over 8000 miles now, and we are very happy with it!  Thank you and your company for producing such a wonderful mechanism.

As we will soon be in Australia, would you please be so kind as to tell us how we could get additional safety pins and covers for the wind vane?  If we can get them in Australia, that would be great.  If we need to order them from you, how would we order them, how much would it cost, and how long would it take to get them from you?

Thank you very much.

Best regards,

Jeff 

s/v Joyful

Wauquiez PS 40 Joyful - Blue Planet Entry

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED October 2015 – Sadler 34

"Once you had helped me repair the twisted shaft (mid Atlantic) the Hydrovane went from 'bloody' to 'bloody marvellous!'"

"I can heartily recommend a (working!) Hydrovane. As soon as I had it set correctly, it worked flawlessly all the way to The Caribbean."

From: Colin Bastable [mailto:colin.bastable AT gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2015 9:01 PM
To: will AT hydrovane.com; Valerie Williams <valerie AT hydrovane.com>; john AT hydrovane.com
Subject: Frank (Sadler 34) Hydrovane fitting pics.

Hi all.

Back in March you asked if I had any photos showing the installation of my Hydrovane.

I have only just returned to the boat, which is in St Croix, and I took some pics.

Not especially pretty but if anyone needs a reference for installing on a Sadler 34 then they are adequate.

I shared the pics via my iCloud account. You will receive an invite.

 

Once you had helped me repair the twisted shaft (mid Atlantic) the Hydrovane went from "bloody" to "bloody marvellous!"

 

Btw, I noticed that I have lost a nylon retaining screw - holding on the plastic cover. Is there a standard spec you can share, please? I will try to find one locally (I am in Texas).

 

FYI I linked to hydrovane.com on my recent blog posting:

http://frank-justfrank.com/2015/10/17/frank-update/

 

Best

 

Colin Bastable

"Frank"

 

FROM THE BLOG....

9. My Hydrovane did not work. It kept wanting me to head to port. But my satcom did work, so eventually I emailed the company and sent them some photos. It transpired that a boat had hit my stern (probably in Gosport Marina) and bashed the Hydrovane rudder drive out of line. So with some great tech support from Hydrovane, mid Atlantic, I hung off the stern and with some nifty spanner work set things right.

10. Before fixing the Hydrovane I had been using my Autohelm. The original one burned out in Bascay when it was deluged with water and shorted out, but I found a replacement on eBay, and fitted it in January ’15. The problem being that it required a lot of battery power, which meant running the engines, and also lengthy spells of hand steering. It is easy to lose concentration when hand steering, especially close to the wind, when a tied tiller is not so effective.

11. I can heartily recommend a (working!) Hydrovane. As soon as I had it set correctly, it worked flawlessly all the way to The Caribbean.

Frank, Sadler 34

Frank, Sadler 34

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED August 2015 – “Pirate Ship”

"The H of God performed very well."

From: horatio sinbad [mailto:ahoycaptainsinbad@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2015 12:53 PM
To: john@hydrovane.com
Subject: H of G

Ahoy!

It has been a very active summer for me with plenty of chances to put the Hand of Good to good use including a trip north to Greenport, NY and New Bedford, MA for to events.  The H of God performed very well.  I thank you for your help in making it all happen.

I have enclosed a few photos of the H of G in action and battles.

Your servant, SINBAD

Doing Battle

Doing Battle

Hydrovane Named 'The Hand of God

Hydrovane Named 'The Hand of God"

UNSOLICITED EMAIL Received August 2015 – Elizabethan 31

"My wife (Pippa) and I have just finished a seven year circumnavigation in our 48 year old Elizabethan 31."

"We think it was equal to not one, but two extra crew. "

From: Dee & Pippa [mailto:demengel AT gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, August 16, 2015 11:18 AM
To: John Curry <john AT hydrovane.com>
Subject: Re: Loose Axle - needs to be held in place by its Set Screw

John,

It’s Sunday!  (Well it is here). What are you doing at work? You should be out sailing.

But thanks so much for the reply. I do have imperial Allen keys so no problem there. I’m sure I can now fix it.

Yes the attached photo is our boat. More can be found on our Blog site. http://sula-dee-pippa.blogspot.com

Best wishes

Paul (sometimes known as Dee).

 

From: John Curry

Sent: Sunday, August 16, 2015 4:49 PM

To: 'Dee & Pippa'

Cc: 'Will Curry - Hydrovane' ; 'Sarah Curry'

Subject: Loose Axle - needs to be held in place by its Set Screw

 

Hi Paul

Yes, good thing you spotted that. Without that Axle you would lose those 2 extra crew members.

We call those stainless pins/rods: Axles. There are 8 Axles in all. Each held in place by a set screw. We use Loctite to secure the set screws. For whatever reason that one has worked loose. For each Axle you can see cavities nearby for their respective ‘set screws’ that hold the Axles in place. The screws are 3/8 inch imperial (non metric). Hopefully you have a suitable Allen Key. If you have some Loctite it is best to remove the culprit set screw, coat it with Loctite as well as the cavity – then re-install it  - tight enough to hold that Axle in place.

Appreciate the excellent performance report. Is the attached picture your boat?

Cheers

John

John E. Curry, CPA, CA

Hydrovane International Marine Inc.

 

 

From: Dee & Pippa [mailto:demengel AT gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, August 16, 2015 6:06 AM
To: john AT hydrovane.com
Subject: My Hydrovane

Hello John,

My wife (Pippa) and I have just finished a seven year circumnavigation in our 48 year old Elizabethan 31.

Our trusty Hydrovane did most of the steering. We think it was equal to not one, but two extra crew. Unfortunately we hit a snag on our final passage from the Azores to our home in south west Wales. A pin securing the vane to the gear box worked loose. Fortunately I spotted it and pushed it back in, before it fell out completely (6th sense perhaps). I couldn’t stop it working loose, though things improved when I put the vane in an upright position.

I have attached a couple of photos, and would value your thoughts on the subject.

Best wishes

Paul de Mengel

P.S. I have attached a link to my sailing Blog.

http://sula-dee-pippa.blogspot.com

 

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED August 2015 – Ericson 38

"Yes, It Works Great on the Ericson 38"

"I promised I'd let you know how my new Hydrovane performed on the passage from Neah Bay to San Francisco."

"The best fun was the night-time broad reach across a star-lit northerly gale off Cape Mendocino with bioluminescent breaking seas and the vane steering us at a 7+ knot average boat speed, surfing in the high 8's."

With Videos!

From: Brandt Faatz [mailto:bfaatz AT gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2015 5:53 PM
To: Will Curry - Hydrovane; John Curry; Sarah Curry
Subject: Yes, It Works Great on the Ericson 38

Hi Curry Family,

I promised I'd let you know how my new Hydrovane performed on the passage from Neah Bay to San Francisco.  We completed the passage on July 29th, and the HV performed brilliantly.  The Ericson 38 is known to be tender and a bit squirrelly in a following sea.  I wondered how the HV would handle that.  We had some following seas and a lot of quartering seas in wind ranging from 0 to 35 kts.  Sure enough, the boat yawed and rolled like a drunken sailor, particularly in the quartering seas, but the HV handled it all with ease.  Only once in these conditions did the rudder stall and require hand steering to get it back on course.  Performance was flawless in 8 knots of breeze wing-on-wing and broad reaching with the kite.  The best fun was the night-time broad reach across a star-lit northerly gale off Cape Mendocino with bioluminescent breaking seas and the vane steering us at a 7+ knot average boat speed, surfing in the high 8's.  (Hull speed is 7.4). 

The standard watch log entry followed the format:  position Lat/Long, wind X from direction Y, seas Z meters, Hydrovane driving like a champ.  The exception was low wind, as expected, but the vane basically worked in any wind we wanted to sail in.

Oh, and I'm glad I chose the A bracket.  Sleep was at a premium, and that extra confidence didn't hurt.

Thanks for a fantastic product and your excellent post-sales support.

Here are two short videos of the Hydrovane in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSyODpW6TTA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbbrJHfBwaM

...and a long video: Passage from Neah Bay to San Francisco

Fair winds,

--

Brandt

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED AUGUST 2015 – Contessa 26

"Don't leave home without your Hydrovane! I won't!"

"This was an awful night and I was very afraid for myself, the boat and my equipment - I had new found respect, trust and comfort in the Hydrovane after that."

"Thank you -- it is still the most technically elegant solution i have ever seen for a wind vane."

 

From: De Maio, Steve [mailto:Steve.DeMaio AT Pengrowth.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 10:58 AM
To: Sarah Curry
Cc: 'Valerie'
Subject: Re: Shaft Sleeve Part 109

 

I'm on a Contessa 26 - and am looking around for my next boat however I WILL install it on my next one - looking in the 32 to 35' range currently. 

Yeah, sure no problem you can post it. If you would like some more "color" for the testimonial, The Hydrovane worked very well "close hauled" in a storm off the NW coast of Vancouver Island in late September 2010, I was clawing off a lee shore on one side, and islands on another - winds were reported at 55 knots, and waves in the region were at least "boat length" high and quite steep with the currents. This was an awful night and I was very afraid for myself, the boat and my equipment - I had new found respect, trust and comfort in the Hydrovane after that.

I was also VERY pleased broad reaching almost running in 30 knot winds off the coast of Washington and Oregon State on 20' wave faces - another boat in the same conditions had their autopilot over -heat and they had to hand- steer -- which exhausted them. We both pulled in to Newport Oregon to rest. The Hydrovane handled the conditions easily. I was happy to "give the boat more rudder" with the settings on the Hydrovane as the boat yawed on the wave-tops.

"Don't leave home without your Hydrovane!" I won't!

From:  Sarah Curry
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 10:28 AM
To: De Maio, Steve
Cc: 'Valerie'
Subject: Re: Shaft Sleeve Part 109

 


Thanks for the info. Valerie will process this for you and send out Part #109 from our Vancouver office.Hi Steve,

Thanks for the feedback! What kind of boat were you on – and sounds like maybe you’ve just changed boats? 

Would you mind if we post your email on our website?  Testimonials mean so much to us.

Cheers,

 

Sarah Curry

Hydrovane International Marine Inc.

www.hydrovane.com | SV Hydroquest Blog

 

From: De Maio, Steve [mailto:Steve.DeMaio AT Pengrowth.com]
Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 7:57 PM
To: Sarah Curry
Cc: Valerie
Subject: Re: Shaft Sleeve Part 109

 

Thanks Sarah,

By the way, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the Hydrovane. I have used it extensively for singlehanding and will take it with me to my next boat. Thank you -- it is still the most technically elegant solution i have ever seen for a wind vane. 

Sent from my iPad

Contessa 26 Sailing

Contessa 26 Sailing

Contessa 26

Contessa 26

 

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED July 2015 – Malo 37

"Well, sailed over from Padstow (Cornwall) to L'Arberwrach in Brittany overnight and mostly with the Hydrovane."

"No vibration so the realignment fine tuning seems to have done the trick. Discovered that the third setting (least rudder movement) works best in light wind from behind. Also found that keeping the vane vertical gives the best performance, at least in the 5 - 15kt winds we experienced. It even worked when we were motoring!"

"It seems to be a great piece of kit and for it to work first go was, for me, just amazing!!"

From: Hugh Lucas [mailto:hugh.lucas AT icloud.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2015 10:06 AM
To: Will Curry
Cc: John Curry; Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Alignment of Hydrovane

 

Well, sailed over from Padstow (Cornwall) to L'Arberwrach in Brittany overnight and mostly with the Hydrovane. No vibration so the realignment fine tuning seems to have done the trick. Discovered that the third setting (least rudder movement) works best in light wind from behind. Also found that keeping the vane vertical gives the best performance, at least in the 5 - 15kt winds we experienced. It even worked when we were motoring! Some elastic to secure the locking pins when not in use stops them dangling around and you have to remember which way to pull the steering line when adjusting direction but apart from that amazingly easy and effective!! So much nicer and more efficient than using the autopilot  that I would recommend one even for non long distance cruising boats.

I'll send some pictures of the mounting when I get a chance.

Kind Regards

Hugh

Sent from my iPhone


On 15 Jul 2015, at 20:42, Will Curry <will@hydrovane.com> wrote:

Hi Hugh,

If the vibration was under sail you should try simply putting the bilge pump handle in the Hydrovane tiller to add a bit of weight to the tiller.  We had  a similar situation on a Dufour 375 and this solved the problem.  If you put your hand on the tiller and the harmonic goes away it should be easy to solve.  Let me know how it goes.  Thanks for letting us post your email.

Regards

 

Will

 

Will Curry, BBA

Hydrovane International Marine Inc.

www.hydrovane.com

http://svhydroquest.com

 

From: Hugh Lucas [mailto:hugh.lucas AT icloud.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 3:44 AM
To: Will Curry
Cc: John Curry; Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Alignment of Hydrovane

Hi Will

Yes, no problem posting the email. We are heading for France at the moment and will take some pics when we get there.

Looking at the flow around the rudder when we left harbour this morning it looks like it is now properly aligned with the centreline of the boat. The vibration was under sail with the Hydrovane steering. Just about to try out the Hydrovane again and will let you know how things go.........

Regards

Hugh

Sent from my iPhone


On 15 Jul 2015, at 01:49, Will Curry <will AT hydrovane.com> wrote:

Hi Hugh,

It sounds like you have a bit of a harmonic which can happen while under power at certain rpm’s.  If it is excessive it may be that the HV rudder is not paralleling the centerline of the boat.  This is fairly important so you should adjust it if you can.  Put an extension onto the HV tiller which will emphasize how well it is aligned.  Please send some photos of the installation if you can.  We would like some for our library and also to see that everything is setup properly.

Also, can we post your first email to the website?  It will be most helpful for other Malo owners.  Let me know if you have further questions about the alignment.

Best Regards

Will

Will Curry, BBA

Hydrovane International Marine Inc.

www.hydrovane.com

http://svhydroquest.com

 

From: Hugh Lucas [mailto:hugh.lucas AT icloud.com]
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2015 12:36 PM
To: John Curry
Cc: Will Curry - Hydrovane; Sarah Curry
Subject: Re: Alignment of Hydrovane

Hi John,

The rudder and tiller on the Hydrovane are aligned but not with the centreline of the boat. Swivelling the whole unit within the mounting brackets has been the way to resolve this and this why I was reluctant to loosen the bolt holding the bronze tiller attachment to the inner rudder shaft - not wishing to disturb the alignment of rudder and tiller and set of the two drive rods with the rotating plastic sleeve between.

Anyway, I hope all lined up with the centreline now. We did get some vibration from the Hydrovane rudder which manifested as a hum through the boat in excess of about five knots. Is this to be expected?

Regards

Hugh

Sent from my iPhone


On 13 Jul 2015, at 18:07, John Curry <john AT hydrovane.com> wrote:

Hi Hugh

Yes, once you get familiar with it the alignment is just common sense. I am not perfectly clear of why it is not aligned but seems to work perfectly. When you have some idle moments you can re-visit those instructions and take another stab at making the adjustment. I doubt you can make a mess of it. Or maybe it is all perfectly aligned already ……….?

Let me know if you need me.

Cheers

John

John E. Curry, CPA, CA

Hydrovane International Marine Inc.

 

 

From: Hugh Lucas [mailto:hugh.lucas AT icloud.com]
Sent: Sunday, July 12, 2015 10:04 AM
To: John Curry
Subject: Alignment of Hydrovane

John

Just to say that we realigned the whole unit as this only involved the two bracket mounts and was easy to achieve. Needless to say we over rotated which became apparent when the free swinging alignment of the rudder under way meant that the tiller was not aligned with the collar hole behind for the locking pin. Nevertheless we set up the vane to see if it would work as we assumed the rudder would find the correct alignment, even if the tiller was out. Amazingly it worked perfectly first attempt!! Several people had told me it would take a lot of tweaking and adjusting before working satisfactorily. Maybe we will need to refine for different wind strengths but on the first showing the operation is much more straightforward than I had feared.

I am reluctant now to align the rudder by adjusting the bronze attachment for the tiller and drive rods although I suppose that by holding the tiller in position you could turn the rudder and this would bring the collar on the top of the rudder shaft into alignment with the hole in the tiller for the locking pin. Everything seems to be set up according to the highlighted instructions you sent through (other than the rudder alignment) so I will turn the whole unit slightly back to ensure everything else stays as it should be.

Like most equipment things are more straightforward when playing with it rather than trying to imagine things just from the manual. It seems to be a great piece of kit and for it to work first go was, for me, just amazing!!

Kind regards

Hugh

 

UNSOLICITED EMAIL TESTIMONIAL July 2015 – Bristol Channel Cutter

"For the first time engaged Hydrovane. By the end of my trip I only wished that Hydrovane could read my mind, so I could completely withdraw from steering. This is the most intelligent piece of equipment and reliable mate, worth every penny I spent on it. Can not imagine sailing without it any more."

From: vdovenko AT aol.com 
Sent: Sunday, July 26, 2015 10:14 AM
To: will@hydrovane.com
Subject: Hydrovane and BCC performance

Hello Will,

I spent weekend solo sailing my Bristol Channel Cutter in good weather in Long Island Sound.

For the first time engaged Hydrovane. By the end of my trip I only wished that Hydrovane could read my mind, so I could completely withdraw from steering.  This is the most intelligent piece of equipment and reliable mate, worth every penny I spent on it.  Can not imagine sailing without it any more.

Alex.

Bristol Channel Cutter

Bristol Channel Cutter

UNSOLICITED EMAIL TESTIMONIAL June 2015 – Hunter 460

"It took us about 10 minutes to get a feel for the unit. We are sure that we will continue to learn how to use it but we are comfortable after one outing."

"We love it!"

Hi Will,

You can absolutely use our pictures and email.  The pictures are very helpful when installing the Hydrovane.

The bungee cord trick for placing the rudder on the shaft is "The Bomb"!

Margaret

Margaret Ferrell


On Jul 6, 2015, at 7:37 PM, Will Curry <will AT hydrovane.com> wrote:

Hi Margaret,

Thanks for taking the time to send me those photos.  Can we add your email to the website with one or two of the photos?

The installation looks good.  It’s not a problem to shave down the rudder as you did.  It looks like a shark took a bite out of it!

You might want to re-locate your stern light or get our LED stern light which mounts on the back of the frame case – See http://www.hydrovane.com/our-product/parts/

It’s always wise to carry spare locking pins.  If you don’t have the offshore spares kit which includes two of them you might want to order it before you head out. 

Cheers

Will

Will Curry, BBA

Hydrovane International Marine Inc.

www.hydrovane.com

http://svhydroquest.com

 

From: Margaret's Verizon [mailto:margaret.ferrell AT verizon.net]
Sent: Monday, July 06, 2015 3:19 AM
To: Will Curry
Subject: 2001 Hunter 460 Installation

Will,

Looking back, we could have done it ourselves.  We were glad to have the assistance of an employee/friend at Norton Yacht Sales in Deltaville, Virginia.  Everything went well.  The weight of the unit lowered the back of our boat and required a slight modification of the rudder.  

It took us about 10 minutes to get a feel for the unit.  We are sure that we will continue to learn how to use it but we are comfortable after one outing.  

We love it!

Margaret

P.S.  We lost the rudder pin.  Oops

Cheers to the Hydrovane!

Cheers to the Hydrovane!

Hunter 460 Rudder - modifications like this have no effect on performance

Hunter 460 Rudder - modifications like this have no effect on performance

Hunter 460 Installation

Hunter 460 Installation

UNSOLICITED MENTION IN EMAIL June 2015 – Warrior 35

A nice read about cruising in Scotland. Culhwch is a wee “whatsit” that appears in all their photos for their grandson to spot.

"The Hydrovane does its amazing job"

From: mikejonesdowning [mikejonesdowning AT aol.com]
Sent: June-23-15 2:05 AM
To: Valerie Williams
Subject: RE: 12 june to 21 june

Hi Valerie,

Naturally as a fan of the Hydrovane I've no objection to your request. Culhwch is unable to sign a release form but we hope that my authority as his guardian is acceptable?

Don't worry you are not corresponding with a notorious ice cream thief!

Kind regards.  Mike.

 

From: Valerie Williams [mailto:valerie AT hydrovane.com]
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2015 4:37 PM
To: mikejonesdowning AT aol.com
Cc: 'Sarah Curry'
Subject: RE: 12 june to 21 june

Hello Mike, Lynn & Culhwch,

Thank you for the most enjoyable update.  Everyone at Hydrovane loved it and we would like your permission to print an excerpt, along with a photo of your Hydrovane and Culhwch.

I am a bit worried because you didn’t mention meeting up with the postmistress to pay for those ice cream cones!!!

Happy Sailing,

Valerie

 

Valerie Williams

 

 

From: mikejonesdowning AT aol.com 
Sent: June-21-15 6:13 AM
Subject: 12 june to 21 june

 

Friday 12 June

A bit of an oops, moment. Some of you may have noticed I sent my last email to rather a lot of people. I clicked on the wrong contacts list by mistake. There were many auto rejections. Some appreciative replies from quite surprising recipients. They better remain nameless because if their employer found out they had time to read, look at photos and enquire what is was all about. They might be out of a job.

Before setting out on this trip we thought of possibly going all the way to Shetland around the top (Muckle Flugga) and back through the Caledonian Canal. However having had such a slow start due to the weather and this part of Scotland being  incredible we have decided to spend the time here instead.

On expressing this plan to the skipper of the yacht next to us in Stornoway. He said it’s the right choice then asked. “Are you short of T shirts?”

I answer  “No”  but could see where is was going.

“Then you don’t need to go up there to get one then! You know, that really IS the only reason to go there don’t you!…. Been there,….. done that… and got the T shirt.!  It’s boring with all of the best bits south of here”

I thanked him for making our decision a little less painful. Perhaps on another trip we can find out if he’s correct? Somehow I doubt it.

We bid our fond farewell to Stornoway and start south.

 

 Stornoway to Bagh Diraclett (Harris)

For some strange reason the same island has two different names Lewis in the north and Harris in the south.

Regardless of the islands name it was a 35 mile sail with some motoring to yet another tiny loch. This one 100m across and 3m deep so ample room to swing around assuming we set the anchor in the middle. There were plenty of rocks to thread past on the way in. So I kept looking back trying to memorise the way out. Which of course I’d completely forgotten by the time of our exit the following morning.  But with only 50m of fetch even though the wind picked up significantly during the night we had a very restful snooze. (Lynne: Fetch is the distance the wind has blown over the water before it gets to you. The bigger the fetch, then the bigger the waves for the same strength of wind. That’s why you never see ocean size waves on a pond.)  I use the term night but its hardly getting dark this far north at this time of year. You might not be able to read a newspaper at midnight but there’s certainly no point in using an anchor light.

 

13th

Bagh Diraclett to Canna

A 04:30 start so it’s full daylight and with only 4 knots of breeze. On the way in avoiding the rocks seemed to follow a logical path. Now however, not only couldn’t I remember the way out but it all seemed completely wrong. Especially as during low water while anchored inside them, I had seen so many various different clusters of rocks.  As usual though Lynns careful work with the chart plotters save us from serious trouble as we slowly crept our way out.

Once we got out past protection of the land its blowing 21 Knots. We will be running with the wind on our quarter but still a boisterous day to be crossing the Minch.

The Hydrovane does its amazing job. Lynn goes back to bed. Leaving me to enjoy the view, worry about the fishing boats that appear to have as much of a random course as sailing yachts must do to them and time to think…. how lucky I am to be doing this!

On the west corner of Sky there is a Traffic Separation Scheme. ( Lynne: So that ships don’t bump into each other too often, at major corners and bottle necks the are defined routes.  These are usually an 8 mile wide duel carriageway including the 2 mile wide central reservation. Generally they are only marked on the charts with no physical identification. There are a whole host of regulations for these zones and very large fines for not playing by the rules. We can sail across them but it’s much simpler to avoid them if possible.)   The one at Sky is far busier than one would imagine with lots of empty tankers running north. Full ones over a certain size are not allowed into the Minch for fear of accidental pollution.

So I make the decision to cross though the traffic before hand, when as a sailing vessel they should give way to us ??????? then pass inshore of the TSS zone. This puts us on almost a dead run and with the wind squeezing up against the high cliffs it gets even windier. I should really put a reef or even two in the main as Olwyn does not like running with main only. She needs to have some headsail to keep pulling her forward so the easy option of furling the genoa is not on.  As it’s not many miles before we turn the corner when we will then be in the lee of the island I elect to carry on, over powered, not quite at the point of losing control but not comfortable with the situation either.

With just a mile or so to go a fishing boat pops out from behind the headland and then another one close behind. Okay this could be awkward! Out with the binoculars, What’s going on? There’s a mad man stood on top of the bridge working on something at the foot of the mast. The sea is quite big, they are punching into it, the spray is flying, he is getting soaked and really bounced about at every wave. It must be important.  Oh no, this could be really awkward, he's hauling up a diamond shape!

Lynne: a vessel displaying a diamond shape denotes a tug with tow over 200m long and usually they also display a ball-diamond-ball shapes in a vertical line which signifies a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre. In the pecking order of who gives way they are above us although this time I can’t spot the balls and diamond. 

Now regardless of what the collision regulations says and the true status of these vessels. I’ve got to avoid two boats joined together with wire ropes and I can only really keep going or easily turn one way. Which is towards the cliffs that are only a few hundred metres away.    

Quickly it becomes apparent that he is trying to stay inshore as much as possible. Obviously he is trying to stay out of the tide and didn’t want me inside him. It will be close but looks alright. We pass port to port with a 70m gap (Lynne That’s left-hand side to left-hand side which is good as boats usually try to drive on the right) He is taking so much spray over the bridge which is continually obscuring the whole wheelhouse, waving would be a waist of time.  

With two parallel tow ropes there doesn’t appear to be anyone onboard the second boat at all.

We turn the corner, the wind drops, the sea becomes flat, the sun comes out and Lynn deems the conditions suitable for a foray on deck. It’s time for lunch. Perfect.

On getting to Canna we pick up a visitor mooring as there is apparently too much weed to anchor. Sadly there’s also too much wind to row ashore and inspect this interesting island. It looks like a multi layered Giants Causeway but after a long day a meal, with a bottle of wine, sleep is all that I really want.

 

14th

Canna to Rum.

A nice 11 mile sail in sunshine and 10 knots of breeze.

We arrive a Rum and set the anchor first time. Having been here before I have some idea where there’s not much weed so get mud straight away. (Lynne: Mud is best type of seabed to anchor in.)

I inflate the dinghy and we row ashore. We’ve still not needed to use the new outboard, as it takes a bit of time to set up and the distances ashore have not been great. Could it have been a waist of money? As it’s one of the first really warm and sunny days up here we both fancy an ice cream. A stroll along to the village shop where we pick a couple of cones from the display freezer outside. However on trying the shop door we find it locked.  We enquire in the village hall, which is all part of the same building asking who do we pay? “The shop doesn’t open on a Sunday. Will you be around tomorrow?  If so you can pay the postmistress then” Do we look particularly trustworthy or are they very trusting? Either way I like this place even more than our last visit.

Whilst eating the cones we follow some signs leading to “Tatty house craft shop”

We are greeted by a young couple who are the most open chatty locals we’ve come across. In fact they almost couldn’t stop talking long enough for the other one to speak. They have been renovating their cottage of a couple of years, he works in IT so has to travel “off island” quite a bit. He explained why I was having no luck with the fishing. Pollock feed over rocks and it’s too soon for the mackerel to have moved into the bays. “But keep trying you will catch something eventually!”  They talked about the wildlife, the sometimes grumpy but always helpful islanders, there being only TWO children in the school, that Muck was the most friendly of the small islands with a very cohesive community and so on, in fact, just about anything else you could think of. It was just like being back at home in South Wales.

I described them as locals, which they are. However they are not from the Western Isles or even from Scotland but from Magor just a few miles along the M4 from home!

 

15th

The much awaited stroll across Rum.

Lynn is not sure that the word stroll is quite appropriate as anything that gives you sore legs and feet has to be more than that. She does admit it was an enjoyable 20 miles though. It was windy enough to keep the midges at bay, clear enough to see the breathtaking mountains, with proper climbing necessary to walk their ridges, which sadly or perhaps fortunately made that route impossible for us!

Herds of dear, lone stags, Highland cattle, the quirky island architecture. The monied Edwardians had very strange ideas, moreover on their own private world they could do absolutely anything they wanted. I even saw my first Cookoo.    

 

16th

Rum to Mallaig

A bit of a ground hog day.

An easterly wind is forecast so it’s time to leave. This time we don’t arrive in time there’s a queue for a pontoon space. After an hour or so due a very kind man from the Isle-of-Man who was prepared to move off a finger and raft in between a couple of larger boats we get along side. He and the marina manager both get well rewarded with some of Lynns cake. I wonder if Donald has come down off the sugar high from his portions yet? For those of you who have eaten Lynns cakes will know that they are in the same irresistible league as cooking bacon and should be classified by the Genève Convention as chemical warfare. 

 

17th

Lynn sorts out some washing. I get 80 litres of fuel delivered by the local chandlers @ only 55p per litre. We do a short circular walk through the hills and have a nice meal in a pub. Perhaps I misjudged Mallaig last time.

 

18th

 Mallaig to Loch Ceann Traigh

We settle the harbour dues, getting a really good deal from the manager. Let’s hope the Genève Convention doesn’t investigate!

It’s a bit of an ugly day, raining, windy and lumpy. The forecast is for 18 knots gusting 25 which is exactly what we get. What comes as a surprise are the very nasty seas after rounding the Arisaig peninsula. Even with 2 reefs in the main and the genoa it still feels unsafe and that we could easily broach. The anchorage we are heading for is pretty open but described as offering excellent shelter and holding in southwesterly gales.  We have a westerly and not a gale, I just cannot believe with only a few miles to go that it will be safe let alone comfortable.  It is in a corner of a bay, a bit of a trap. It’s late in the day and I have no idea of what plan B should be as all the alternatives are very unpalatable. As we get closer there is a slight lee (Lynne: protection from the wind) from the land and amazingly quickly the sea stops being scary. Ok now it’s going to be just a matter of comfort, nothing worst. Then again in the last half a mile the waves get even smaller? I just don’t understand why they are not propagating around what is a very small headland. Why can’t Combe Martin be like this? It’s a bay on the North Devon coast that always seems to be troubled by swell.

We anchor very close in, near rocks as usual and have a pretty wobbly night. The roughest night at anchor so far but we both manage to eat a good meal and get some sleep as Olwyns 9 Tonnes dampens the worst.

 

19th

Around Ardnamurchan to loch Drumbuie

05:30 start. All the books give The Point of Ardnamurchan a fearsome reputation and after the day before I’m a little apprehensive.  The forecast is for slightly less wind and I want to arrive at the end of the flood. Two miles off is recommended the distance too avoid the worst of the conditions but as we approach I can see that 500m will be more than enough on this occasion. So that’s what we do, sailing around inshore of quite a few yachts still going the other way.

Then a gentle run into loch Drumbuie where we anchor in exactly the same spot as our previous visit.  No gorgeous but unobtainable French temptresses anchored near by this time though to spoil my sleep.  Which is what we both do very quickly.

 

20th

We had planned to move on to Tobermory but the rain and fog dissuaded us. If we are going to end up stuck on board we might as well do it here for free. So we do what most married couples do with time on their hands. Lynn paints and I read a bit and update this account.     

 

21st

Tobermory yet again

 

A quick 6 miles back to what has become our familiar berth. This time the throttle cable didn’t snap but the whole crew of six from the next boat wanted to help and take our lines. As per my theory regarding shore side help, total chaos ensued and what would have been a nice gentle docking in light wind became a bit of an ugly most un-seaman like affair.  I’m pleased to say although Lynn had been forced through politeness to relinquish the lines she gave very firm instructions ensuring that no actual damage occurred. Once Lynn stepped off and the duty harbour mistress also joined the crowd on the finger someone announced that the fenders were on too high. So they all set about helpfully lowering them.  

The fenders had been set at the correct height by Lynn originally, it was simply that with so many people now on the finger it was almost ready to sink!  

We have had a special request from the nice people at Hydrovane for some photos. Culhwch was happy to oblige. Please remember he is in every photo. 

Mike and Lynn xx  

Culhwch hops out to look at the Hydrovane

Culhwch hops out to look at the Hydrovane

Culhwch meets a real Highland Cow

Culhwch meets a real Highland Cow

Unsolicited Email Received June 2015 – Roberts Offshore 44

"It's working perfectly. It's mounted 600 mm off center......no problem."

Nice installation with big offset.  Boat is a steel Roberts Offshore 44.

 

Will Curry, BBA

Hydrovane International Marine Inc.

www.hydrovane.com

http://svhydroquest.com

 

-----Original Message-----

From: matsolofjansson1 AT gmail.com

Sent: Friday, June 12, 2015 6:57 AM

To: Will Curry

Subject:

 

Hi Will

I bought the windvane in november last year, installed it in Las Palmas and now we are in Portimao/Portugal. It's working perfectly. It's mounted 600 mm off center......no problem.

But.... The plastic wheel on the vane clamp has become loose and there's a crack in it. It's easy to glue, drill a hole and put a pin in, but if it is a guarantee - thing, that's even better.

Best Regards.

Mats-Olof Jansson.     

Rober