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:
XT Vane Performance on Atlantic Crossing – Wauquiez 42
From: William Wickman <wwickman AT me.com>
Subject: XT-Vane performance
Date: March 5, 2016 at 9:13:00 AM AST
To: "Hydrovane International Marine INc." <will AT hydrovane.com>
Hi John, Hi Will,[caption id="attachment_5305" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Wauquiez Centurion 42 - XT vane[/caption]
We’re in Bonaire after completing the Atlantic crossing to St. Lucia and then the 450nm trip to this nice island. I thought you might be interested in my impressions of the XT-Vane which we used exclusively during the voyages other than when we were motoring.
I was very pleased! In any conditions in which we chose to sail the vane responded quite well. During most of this roughly 3500nm we had 15-20 knots from nearly astern and I used the vane only slightly extended and with the rudder set to the most sensitive and least powerful position (all the way left) and this worked very well, maybe better than the stubby or standard vane would have worked. In the really light air I extended the vane all the way if the wind was well aft and as far as I could without banging into the arch if we were a little off the wind. IMHO this was a big improvement over the past vanes. At no time did the vane fail to respond adequately to any winds in which we chose to sail. I would say that the vane was effective in relative winds down to five knots, maybe less. So I don’t know how much more powerful the XT vane really is but to me it seemed significantly better for our boat. We never had any winds forward of the beam so how it works going to weather I cannot say but I’d be surprised if there were any problems.
Give our blog a visit at: airstreamvoyages.blogspot.com and go back a couple posts and you’ll read about the Atlantic and Bonaire passages.
Hope you’re all doing very well.
Bill & Janet Wickman
Email received August 2016 – Custom Gaff 36
To: steven slater [mailto:steven_ssvc3 AT hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2016 5:48 AM
From: Will Curry [mailto:will AT hydrovane.com]
Cc: Sarah Curry; John
Subject: RE: Hydrovane tillerpilot
Thanks for the photo and great to hear [the Hydrovane] has been performing well!
Can we add your email to our website? It would be great if you could send us a shot of the transom showing the Hydrovane installation. I believe your boat is a one-off design?
To your question, yes, you can us the tiller pilot on the Hydrovane for motoring. This will work quite well for you because the loads of pushing the HV semi balanced rudder are minimal compared to your main rudder. The tillerpilot needs to be attached a minimum of 15 inches forward of the shaft pivot which you appear to have.
Let us know how it goes and please send photos if you get a chance.
From: steven slater [mailto:steven_ssvc3 AT hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2016 5:48 AM
To: will AT hydrovane.com
I purchased one of your Hydrovanes a couple of years ago and I think it is the best bit of kit I ever bought.
As you see in the photo I have had a tiller made for the Hydrovane and I can fix my tiller pilot to it.
Am I correct in assuming that I can use this system to steer the boat whilst motoring, I am in the Med. at the moment so do a lot of motoring depending on where you want to go, there is a reason why galley slaves were popular here before motors!
Take care Steve (Lovely Edith)
Sent from my iPad[caption id="attachment_5303" align="aligncenter" width="442"] Custom Gaff 36 - External rudder - Custom A Brackets[/caption]
Email Received July 2016 – ‘Horatio’ the Hydrovane remembered – Victor 40
How cool is it to receive these emails!?
From: m.burch AT ihug.co.nz
Sent: Friday, July 8, 2016 10:57 PM
Subject: Yacht Ngaio
How delightful to come across your website by accident! I had no idea that the Hydrovane was still being made.
I bought mine in England from Derek Daniels in 1986, and fitted it just to starboard of the boarding ladder on my yacht Ngaio (launched 16 July 1986 — thirty years ago next Saturday).
Ngaio is a Victor 40 which my wife and I built from a bare GRP hull and deck. The idea of a separate rudder and a self-steering gear which did not use the main steering gear was most attractive, and that’s why we chose it. In September 1986 we set off from Falmouth in SW England to sail around the world. We arrived in our native New Zealand in November 1987, ran out of money, got jobs, got a mortgage, built a house – and never left!
The Hydrovane (Horatio – the anglicised version of Horatius, he who kept the bridge in Macaulay’s poem: a lousy pun, but mine own...) steered all but about 100 of the 12,000 miles of that trip. The only fault it developed was that the spinnaker cloth covering the vane rotted out pretty quickly in the tropics, and I had to sew a replacement from ordinary sailcloth. The extra weight did not seem to make any difference.
Once back in NZ, I fitted the remote course-setting pulley and endless loop which I should have had from the start. I intended to convert it to an electric motor, but had not got around to doing so before selling the boat in 1996.
So it’s Hurrah for the Hydrovane! Give it my best wishes, and long may Derek’s brilliantly subtle invention continue to keep the adventurous on course.
Mike Burch[caption id="attachment_5299" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Victor 40 - Ngaio 2[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5300" align="aligncenter" width="637"] Victor 40 - Ngaio[/caption]
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED August 2016 – SV Zephyr, Liberty 458 (23 Tons)
From: Bill Hudson <sailorhudson2 AT gmail.com>
Date: July 31, 2016 at 8:28:45 PM PDT
To: Curry John <john AT hydrovane.com>
Subject: James, our Hydrovane
Well, we made it to Trinidad from Namibia and our Hydrovane did it all for us - again.
We left Luederitz heading out for St. Helena with a great wind off the port stern quarter. About 20 knots. During the trip, we hoisted numerous different sail combinations, from a simple poled out genoa and main, to our spinnaker. The trip (1600 miles) was a piece of cake thanks to James (our Hydrovane).
From there we were off for Trinidad this time in 30 to 35 knot winds for weeks on end. Add in a beam sea hitting us repeatedly on the starboard side. The winds during the first three weeks were off the stern. Once we neared the coast of South America we stowed the genoa and pulled up the forestaysail and changed course heading northwest. Now we were getting slammed by waves on the beam, over and over. It still kept blowing at 30-35 knots and James just kept on working, 24 hours a day for days on end. We continually flew along making great time all the while James just kept doing what he does so well-steer the boat.
In the end, we covered the 3600 miles from St Helena to Trinidad in 32 days. Not bad for a boat weighing in at 23 ton. Who says wind vanes can't steer a heavy boat even when it's of set on the stern. Not us!!!
With out our Hydrovane, the trip would have been a whole lot harder. We only had to steer the boat when we left or entered each harbor. The rest, it was our Hydrovane that did the work.
As I've told other boaters, don't leave a harbor with out a Hydrovane. Thanks for making a great piece of equipment. In the 40,000 miles we've covered, the only repair we've had to do was replace the pin that holds the rudder onto the steering shafts and it sheared off in 35 knot winds off the stern starboard quarter along time ago.
Bill and Tracy Hudson
Sent by Bill & Tracy Hudson on Zephyr
‘Teddy bear and Hydrovane’ – photo of Allied Princess 36 Ketch
From: Michael Carder [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, July 16, 2016 1:20 PM
To: Will Curry
Date: Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 4:03 PM
Subject: Fw: Teddy and Hydrovane
Here's our mascot making an adjustment to the hydrovane. Teddy doesn't know how to sail but with a hydrovane even a bear can keep the boat on course. Sorry about the "H" getting cut off in the photo, perhaps you have a bear who can photoshop it in![caption id="attachment_5294" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Teddy on watch![/caption]
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED July 2016 – Roberts 44
From: Jason Hedges [mailto:jhedges1 AT gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, July 01, 2016 6:29 AM
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Quick Question
I'm about 5 miles off the coast of Martha's Vineyard right now. We've been sailing 3 days non stop to get here. Not a big trip for most of your customers but a big one for us as we are working to build our experience to sail to the Caribbean next year. When there was enough wind to sail, we used the Hydrovane. It has performed flawlessly so far. From some of what I've read, many say you have to learn how to use a wind vane (any of them) for it to be useful. To be honest, it just seems to work for me (even though I'm sure I could balance the boat better). Most of the wind has been light (6-10 knots) but one evening we had 6 hours of 18-20 knots with 4-5 foot following seas. The Hydrovane actually had so much power that it was over steering until I put it the middle gear. Then it was perfect again. I mention that b/c I almost didn't buy the Hydrovane b/c I was worried about it having enough power to steer. I'll send you some pics soon. My setup is so cool... Hydrovane, davits, and 350 watts of solar panels. I didn't have to compromise!
Thanks for all your help!
Sent from my iPhone
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED June 2016 – John Kretschmer’s Quetzal, Kaufman 47
From: John Kretschmaer [mailto:jrkretschmer AT gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2016 6:36 AM
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane on Quetzal
So, I must tell you, and I mean this sincerely, the Hydrovane is simply a game changer for Quetzal. It's just great and performs better than I expected. We've now made three passages, St. Martin-Bermuda, Bermuda-Newport, Newport-Bermuda, about 2000 miles, with varying weather, from calms to Force 8/9, and the HV has done almost all the steering.
Quetzal is a good sailing boat, often topping 9 knots but the HV handles her very well. It steers like a human, lifting a bit in the puffs, easing in header, always finding her way back to the course line. And now that I have LED lights, and an efficient fridge, we're liberated from motoring just to charge the batteries to run the autopilot. The solar array keeps up now.
One other feature of the vane that I really appreciate is that it eases the load on the rudder and rudder bearings. Quetzal was built in 1986 and I just did a big rudder job, rebuilding the rudder and changing the bearings, a big job. But by keeping the wheel locked, the rudder bearings have been loading on these recent passages, which is just fine with me. Also, I don't feel the need to upgrade the autopilot now, the old one is working fine and not being used very often on passage.
I added a bit of weight, a zinc as you suggested and that took care of most of the humming and vibration. The truth is, now I don't even notice it, and I don't really care because the vane does its job so well. In three days my wife Tadji and I are sailing from Bermuda back to Martha's Vineyard, just the two of us, and knowing that we have the Hydrovane takes a lot of anxiety away.
We took some good pictures, I think, of the vane in action on the last passage and as soon as I receive them, (one of the crew was the best photographer) I will shoot them off to you.
All the best,
Sent from my iPhone
UNSOLICTED EMAIL RECEIVED June 2016 – Bavaria 50
From: erik AT harryz DOT no
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2016 9:18 AM
To: 'Valerie Williams'; Will Curry
Hi Will.[caption id="attachment_5284" align="aligncenter" width="576"] Bavaria 50[/caption]
Now we have sailed crossing the Biscay, steering with Hydrovane and are very pleased with it. I think it does a very good job. 😊
... The condition over Biscay when we used the Hydrovane was from little wind up to 30 knots from 90 degrees. We have also used it with wind from behind.
More from SY Hanna, Garcia 48 Catamaran – June 2016
Ich bin der Projektleiter und Skipper einer Garcia 48, S.Y. Hanna, ein 23 tons Aluminium Katamaran. Zur Vorbereitung der Weltumseglung im Rahmen der WorldARC wurde – nach dem Totalausfall der 12 V DC Anlage an Bord - durch Tom Logisch eine Hydrovane Windsteueranlage installiert.
Gute, professionelle Abwicklung und Installation.
Mit speziellen Halterungen für Aluminiumyachten und einer erhöhten, nach oben verstellbaren Windfahne ( das Deckshaus / festes Bimini ist 3,30 m hoch) hat uns die Hydrovane beim ersten Probeschlag überzeugt. Inzwischen haben wir die Windfahnensteuerung bei Winden von 5 – 25 kn und auf allen Kursen zum Wind ausprobiert.
Sie lehrt Demut und Geduld – denn sie zeigt sofort jede Nachlässigkeit bei nicht ausbalanciertem Segeltrimm auf. Stimmt der Segeltrimm, ist es nur noch eine Sache des Probierens in welchem Gang und mit wie weit ausgefahrener Windfahne die Anlage am besten läuft. Sie macht das dann oft besser als der elektrische Autopilot…
Auch unter Parasailor bei 25 kn von Achtern.
Da die Yacht mit kleiner Crew gesegelt wird, ist eine zuverlässige Steuerung mehr als willkommen und in Verbindung mit der Hydrogeneratorhalterung auch sehr praktisch.
Kein Stromverbrauch durch den elektrischen Autopiloten und noch Stromerzeugung durch den Watt&Sea.
Wieder zwei redundante Systeme mehr.
Weitere Auskünfte oder Fragen gerne an Thomas unter : email@example.com""""
I am the project manager and skipper of a Garcia 48, ‘S.Y. Hanna’, a 25 ton/23,000 kg. aluminum catamaran which has a Hydrovane wind vane provided by Tom Logisch. We are preparing for a circumnavigation with WorldARC. The Hydrovane installation was inspired by the total failure of the boat’s 12 V DC system.
Credit to Tom Logsich of Logisch Yachts for good professional service. The installation of the Hydrovane included suitable fittings for the aluminum and extra structure to accommodate the bimini which is 3.3 m. above the water.
The first test was convincing in winds of 5 to 25 knots and for all points of sail. The Hydrovane teaches humility and patience - because it immediately shows any negligence in not attending to sail trim. Some experimenting is required as to sail trim and the Vane settings. Often it is better than the electric autopilot ….. even while using a Parasailor with 25 knots of wind.
Because the yacht is sailed with a small crew, more reliable steering control is welcome as is the hydro generator (Watt & Sea) that is conveniently attached to the Hydrovane with a bracket designed for that purpose.
All in one package two redundant systems: no power consumed by the self steering and electric power generated by the Watt & Sea.
Someday we intend to create a video sailing with the Parasailor.
Regards from Hamburg
UNSOLICTED EMAIL RECEIVED May 2016 – Allied Princess 36 Ketch
On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 7:59 PM, Will Curry <will AT hydrovane.com> wrote:
Good to hear your Hydrovane has successfully been performing its duties. Gusty conditions with confused seas is always challenging so it sounds like you have been quick to master the vanes operation.
Yes, no problem on rounding off the bottom of the rudder – you can use an angle grinder or something similar. If you take off too much the vane might get over powered by the rudder so just do what is needed to make the corner round. Adding a tillerpilot is a great solution because it takes very little power to turn the Hydrovane semi balanced rudder. I would be tempted to go with the tillerpilot before a wheel pilot but it’s up to you.
Re: Watt & Sea – The new mounting bracket is a nice addition and makes the W&S mount fairly simple – No additional holes in the transom and easy to remove when in port. I’ve attached some photos of recent installations. You would want the Cruising 300 long shaft version to accommodate the offset mount. [Pricing to follow]
Let me know if you need further spec’s.
Will Curry, BBA
Hydrovane International Marine Inc.
From: Michael Carder [mailto:mfccarder AT gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2016 3:19 PM
To: will AT hydrovane.com
Subject: watt and sea generator
We really like our Hydrovane. Installation was done on the hard. The instructions were clear and comprehensive - I think I might have called you once. We had it steering the boat within ten minutes. It's finest hour was a 24 hour run across the Gulf of Maine in 20 plus knots of wind on the starboard quarter, with gusts to 35, and confused 6 foot seas. We are thoroughly pleased with it.
We are interested in a watt and sea water generator. Like the sound of the cruising version, mounted on the hydrovane shaft. Please send a quote.
Our boat has its rudder attached to the keel so we slid over the crab pots we didn't see when we were in Maine last year. But the ones with the double floats snagged the hydrovane rudder a couple of times. Could I round off the leading edge of the hydrovane rudder?
I have an old style belt driven autopilot which worked just fine going round Vancouver island on a previous boat. It was however 26' long and was a lot lighter than the Princess. I plan to try it this summer. If it doesn't work we will get a tiller pilot and hook it up to the hydrovane tiller. What size would you recommend?
Regards, Michael Carder.
VIDEO RECEIVED May 2016 – Garcia 48 Catamaran (23 Tons!)
Hydrovane installed May 2016....
"It works perfectly on a 23 tons aluminum cat - GARCIA 48, entered in the next WORLD ARC"
And later: "This week we tested the GARCIA with 25 knots wind from behind - excellent with your XT vane!!!!!!"
VIDEO RECEIVED May 2016 – J30
Thanks for the Video, Koos!
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED May 2016 – Crealock 40
From: Sue Cross
Sent: Sunday, May 22, 2016 1:45 PM
To: will AT hydrovane.com
Bob and one very experienced sailing friend are currently (May, 2016) making the passage the "wrong way" from New Zealand to Tahiti. A deep low just ran into a high and produced a storm with a "squash" effect. They headed north to miss the worst, but still encountered 40 knot winds and big, rough seas, mostly astern. Here is Bob's report after the wind abated a bit and the HF radio was able to make a connection:
" ...stormsail does a real good job. Hydrovane a miracle."
They were actually able to get some sleep (strapped into their bunks) during the 48 hours of the storm.
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED April 2016 – Outbound 44
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
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED April 2016 – Heritage West Indies 36
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.
[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
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
From: tom logisch [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2016 11:49 PM
To: email@example.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
"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
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.
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.
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.
Dean[caption id="attachment_4892" align="aligncenter" width="548"] Beneteau 50 - Thesee[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4893" align="aligncenter" width="432"] Beneteau Oceanis 50 - AH brackets[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4894" align="aligncenter" width="436"] Beneteau 50 - Great Swim Platform[/caption]
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED March 2016 – Hunter 50
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
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.[caption id="attachment_4890" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Hunter 50, downwind sailplan with Hydrovane steering[/caption]
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED March 2016 – Westerly Solway 36
From: kathy.jeremy AT gmail.com
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2016 9:15 AM
To: will AT hydrovane.com
Subject: Parts for Sal Darago
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)
Jeremy Spencer.[caption id="attachment_4885" align="aligncenter" width="571"] Westerly Solway 36 - Bora Bora in the background[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4886" align="aligncenter" width="570"] Westerly Solway 36 - Passage from Galapagos to Marquesas[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4887" align="aligncenter" width="575"] Westerly Solway 36 - near San Blas Islands[/caption]
RESPONSE FROM HYDROVANE CUSTOMER March 2016 – Hallberg Rassy 42E
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
Here is my answer to Italian sailor.
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.
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.
Please use in the future this email address instead of sailmail address
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED January 2016 – Ovni 395
From: Ian Sprigings [mailto:ian.sprigings AT btinternet.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 03, 2016 2:23 PM
To: Will Curry
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.
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.[caption id="attachment_4861" align="aligncenter" width="478"] Ovni 395 with W&S - close up[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4862" align="aligncenter" width="478"] Ovni 395 with W&S[/caption]
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED February 2016 – Jeanneau 45.2
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.
From: Chris Mennem [mailto:chrismennem AT hotmail.co.uk]
Sent: Monday, February 29, 2016 3:17 PM
To: Will Curry
Subject: Hydrovane endorsement
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.
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED January 2016 – Bowman 48 (and Najad 34, Southerly 38, Rustler 42)
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.
UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED January 2016 – Hanse 430e
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!!!!
Alain[caption id="attachment_4840" align="aligncenter" width="556"] Hanse 430e[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4841" align="aligncenter" width="554"] Hydrovanes in Noumea[/caption]