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 350 Email Testimonials

‘Teddy bear and Hydrovane’ – photo of Allied Princess 36 Ketch

"...even a bear can keep the boat on course!"

From: Michael Carder [mailto:mfccarder@gmail.com]
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"]Bear in charge! Teddy on watch![/caption]

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED July 2016 – Roberts 44

"It has performed flawlessly so far."

"...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."

"My setup is so cool... Hydrovane, davits, and 350 watts of solar panels. I didn't have to compromise!"

From: Jason Hedges [mailto:jhedges1 AT gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, July 01, 2016 6:29 AM
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Quick Question

Will,

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

John Kretschmaer has logged more than 300,000 offshore sailing miles. Drawing from his vast bluewater experience, he teaches aspiring voyagers and is author of a number of great reads! Find out more at www.yayablues.com.

"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."

"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."

"One other feature of the vane that I really appreciate is that it eases the load on the rudder and rudder bearings."

From: John Kretschmaer [mailto:jrkretschmer AT gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2016 6:36 AM
To: Will Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane on Quetzal

Will, 

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,

John

Sent from my iPhone

 

 

Kaufman 47

UNSOLICTED EMAIL RECEIVED June 2016 – Bavaria 50

"Now we have sailed crossing the Biscay, steering with Hydrovane and are very pleased with it. I think it does a very good job. 😊"

 

From: erik AT harryz DOT no
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2016 9:18 AM
To: 'Valerie Williams'; Will Curry

Hi Will.
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.

Regards
Erik.

[caption id="attachment_5284" align="aligncenter" width="576"]Bavaria 50 Bavaria 50[/caption]

More from SY Hanna, Garcia 48 Catamaran – June 2016

The Garcia 48 weighs 23 metric tons (23,000 kg. or 56,000 lbs.)

"Credit to Tom Logsich of Logisch Yachts for good professional service."

"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."

"Often it is better than the electric autopilot ….. even while using a Parasailor with 25 knots of wind."

Moin ! 

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 : info@proyacht.de""""

 

ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

Hello !

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.

For further information or questions contact Thomas Wibberenz - Tel: 040 / 819 565 71 -  info@proyacht.de  -  www.proyacht.de/

Someday we intend to create a video sailing with the Parasailor.

Regards from Hamburg

UNSOLICTED EMAIL RECEIVED May 2016 – Allied Princess 36 Ketch

"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."

On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 7:59 PM, Will Curry <will AT hydrovane.com> wrote:

Hi Michael,

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. 

Best Regards

Will

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

Hi Will,

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!!!!!!”

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!!!!!!"

Garcia 48

VIDEO RECEIVED May 2016 – J30

Recently installed Hydrovane on a J30 "works like a charm!"

Thanks for the Video, Koos!  

UNSOLICITED EMAIL RECEIVED May 2016 – Crealock 40

Passage Update between New Zealand and Tahiti:

"A deep low just ran into a high and produced a storm with a "squash" effect... 40 knot winds and big, rough seas, mostly astern."

".... Hydrovane a miracle"

From: Sue Cross

Sent: Sunday, May 22, 2016 1:45 PM

To: will AT hydrovane.com

Subject: Thanks!

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.

Thanks, Hydrovane!

Sue

Crealock 40

 

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

[caption id="attachment_4892" align="aligncenter" width="548"]Beneteau 50 - Chesee Beneteau 50 - Thesee[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4893" align="aligncenter" width="432"]Beneteau Oceanis 50 - AH brackets Beneteau Oceanis 50 - AH brackets[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4894" align="aligncenter" width="436"]Beneteau 50 - Great Swim Platform Beneteau 50 - Great Swim Platform[/caption]

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.

[caption id="attachment_4890" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Hunter 50, downwind sailplan with Hydrovane steering Hunter 50, downwind sailplan with Hydrovane steering[/caption]

 

 

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.

[caption id="attachment_4885" align="aligncenter" width="571"]Westerly Solway 36 - Bora Bora Westerly Solway 36 - Bora Bora in the background[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4886" align="aligncenter" width="570"]Westerly Solway 36 - Galapagos Westerly Solway 36 - Passage from Galapagos to Marquesas[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4887" align="aligncenter" width="575"]Westerly Solway 36 - San Blas Westerly Solway 36 - near San Blas Islands[/caption]

 

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.

[caption id="attachment_4861" align="aligncenter" width="478"]Ovni 395 with W&S - close up 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

"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

[caption id="attachment_4840" align="aligncenter" width="556"]Hanse 430e Hanse 430e[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4841" align="aligncenter" width="554"]Hydrovanes in Noumea Hydrovanes in Noumea[/caption]

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

[caption id="attachment_4665" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Jonmeri 40 Jonmeri 40[/caption]

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

[caption id="attachment_4661" align="aligncenter" width="559"]Southerly 38 - aft Southerly 38 - aft[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4660" align="aligncenter" width="562"]Southerly 38 - above Southerly 38 - above[/caption]

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.

[caption id="attachment_4655" align="aligncenter" width="665"]Frank, Sadler 34 Frank, Sadler 34[/caption]