Installation

HYDROVANE INSTALLATION VIDEOS

In August 2014 we filmed these videos which provide very detailed, step-by-step, instructions for installing your Hydrovane. Be sure to also read the instruction manual and also our TIPS page.

INSTRUCTION BOOKLET

Please download or print a PDF version of these instructions (updated April 2016):   

NEW OWNER MANUAL – A4

NEW OWNER MANUAL – Lettersize

XT Vane Retrofit Kit Instructions

INDEX

A. Considerations and Preparations before you start

B. Fitting the Brackets and shaft

C. Attaching the Drive Unit

D. Remote Course Setting Assembly

E. Fitting the Vane Cover 

F. Final Inspection Tests

G. Safety

H. Maintenance

A. Considerations and Preparations

CONSIDERATIONS

  • TIPS/WARNINGS – Read this section on our website.
  • INSTALLATIONS ‘IN THE WATER’ OR ‘ON THE HARD’? – We have seen some problematic installations that were done in a boatyard. Our preference is for the ‘in the water’ installation, primarily because it provides certainty as to where the waterline is. If done in the water, the installer needs reminding to keep lines on everything – the pieces are slippery, heavy, and valuable. Use strong tape and good knots.
  • ‘OVER ENGINEER’ to make a ROCK SOLID INSTALLATION – The loads on the Hydrovane brackets will be enormous at critical times. The weakest link need not be the ‘spacer’/timber pads, backing plates, or bolts – but that is what happens with poor installations. Use materials that are good quality and plenty strong… and periodically re-tighten the bolts through the transom, especially after the first sail.
  • Keep all parts tethered to avoid loosing expensive pieces overboard!

REQUIRED FOR INSTALLATION, BUT NOT PROVIDED WITH THE UNIT

The requirements of these items are unique from boat to boat, therefore, we do not supply with the unit:

  • TIMBER PADS – See more on this topic in the TIPS section. Timber pads are not provided, unless ordered from us. Many customers will custom fabricate. Timber pads (or spacers) are pieces of teak or suitable synthetic that are very hard and shaped in order to pick up the contour differences between the transom and the flat inside faces of the flanges. The flanges must be perfectly flush with the contact surface, or the brittle aluminium casting could fracture. Even if the fibreglass transom appears to be flat at that point it is wise to make a spacer to be sure the load is equally distributed. IT IS CRITICAL THAT THE BRACKETS CANNOT ‘WORK’ – THEY MUST BE ABSOLUTELY RIGID. Some suggestions on pad material:
    • Our timber pads are made of Oroko Teak
    • HDPE (has lots of brand names) – cheapest, easiest to work with and light (it floats)
    • UHMWPE (has lots of brand names… Starboard) – pricier
    • Phenolic plastic or Tufnol – looks like wood, but very expensive
    • Delrin/Acetol
  • TRANSOM BOLTS – Use the metric M10 or non metric 3/8″ bolts (if you have a choice the metric M10 is the better of the two (a bit thicker), although we have no history of either breaking. The bolts must be marine grade – made of 316 or A4 stainless steel.  If a particularly long bolt is required, but not available, one can be fashioned from threaded rod, using nyloc nuts on both ends and cutting off the excess. Such threaded rod is inferior to a proper bolt but considered adequate. It would be wise to file down both ends to remove any sharp burrs.
  • BACKING PLATES – The bolt head or nut on the inside of the transom must have its load distributed. Any substantial marine material can be sued as a backing plate. If metal, the 316 stainless is best. Aluminium plate is also used as well as any of the hard plastics, such as Delrin, that are listed above for the timber pads. Marine plywood is another suitable material. Depending on the thickness of the hull, a 1/8″ (3mm) stainless steel plate or 3/4″ (2cm) plywood or synthetic is normally suitable. Washers alone are just not enough support – especially on modern lighter weight boats built to minimum tolerances. Ensure that the plates are flush with the bolt head or nut. Any cavities behind the backing plate should be filled with fiberglass or epoxy resin. If there are obstructions for the bolts and the plates on the inside of the hull, two separate ones can be used. The bolts are 7″ (17.8cm) apart.
  • NO TRANSOM FLEX – If there is any flex or potential for flex under load, the likelihood for failure is very high, especially in the worst of conditions. There must not be any possible flex in the structure. Beef up the section of the transom with more fiberglass or use large, single piece, heavy gauge metal backing plates.

Plastic backing plates

Plastic backing plates

NOT REQUIRED, BUT WILL MAKE THE INSTALLATION EASIER

  • 2″ OD PVC PIPES – To be used as dummies for the shaft and bracket struts. Both are sized as ‘imperial’ (non metric) 2″ (precisely 50.8mm) Outside Diameter (OD). In North America there is a common 2″ OD white plastic tube that is cheap and readily available (for central vacuum systems) and there is a European equivalent – 50mm pipe. Use the plastic tubes as lightweight dummies for positioning and determining strut lengths.  The actual shaft is heavy to be playing around with.

WHEN YOU RECEIVE YOUR HYDROVANE

  •  A new Hydrovane is shipped in 4 or 5 boxes, each segment fully assembled:
    1. Drive Unit and H Bracket. Also included, but under separate panels – Tiller/Fork Arm Assembly and Lead Counter Weights. But sure not to throw these out with the box!
    2. Rudder and Standard Vane Assembly
    3. Shaft Assembly
    4. Secondary bracket (A, E, or H)
    5. Stubby or XT Vane Assembly (if required)
  • When you receive the boxes, check to ensure no damage from shipping. If there are any signs of damage, notify us immediately (UPS, our preferred shipper, will only process claims within 10 days of delivery).
  • Check that the Shaft spins freely inside the outer tube. Bearings can be knocked loose or the bottom collar pressed against the bottom bearing. Holding the shaft assembly in the air by the outer tube, spin the shaft. It should rotate freely. Once the shaft assembly is installed, you will do this test again to ensure the shaft is not binding. Check that the plastic black delrin (top) and white PTFE (bottom) bearings are flush with the stainless tube. As well, check that the bottom collar is not touching the bottom bearing.
  • Take note of the shaft sleeves (grey plastic) that are included with both brackets, where the shaft slides in.  These are common to loose overboard during the installation so we recommend taping them to the bracket. The sleeve are machined to specific widths and are not interchangeable. Incorrect sleeves will result in cracked castings.

PLANNING THE INSTALLATION

  •  John and Will Curry will work with you to determine the correct shaft length and bracket configuration for your boat. You will probably have a good idea on where and how you want to mount the unit.
  • FLEXIBILITY IN PLACEMENT – Since the brackets do not require critical positioning, you may move the placement higher or lower subject to the little surprises found on the inside of the transom and the following maximums and minimums.
  • SHAFT VERTICAL – The object is to install the shaft in a vertical position, somewhere on the transom. To establish what is vertical, start with a tape on the transom from the mid point at the top to the point at the bottom (if there is one). For eyeballing, compare the in to the mast (or better yet, the keel, if the boat is on the hard).
  • BOTTOM OF THE SHAFT SITS ABOVE THE WATER – Aside from ‘off center’ and ‘distance from the main rudder’ discussions with Will or John, the shaft is intended to sit with its bottom stub 1″ (2.5 cm) above the water… for the practical reason: to avoid growth. That position is very suitable for normal operation. If, for other reasons, it is desirable to lower or raise the shaft, that is fine – subject to the obvious considerations.
  • UPPER BRACKET – Preferably the upper bracket is close to the drive unit. The higher, the better, but leave at least 7″ (18 cm) of shaft and stub for the drive unit to attach to. The upper bracket should be, preferably, no lower than 18in (46 cm) for the unit. This maximum has been stretched without consequences, but the concern is the amount of unsupported weight and structure.
  • LOWER BRACKET – Essentially the shaft is vertical and the two brackets are holders with the bottom bracket gripping the shaft at somewhere between 10 in (25 cm) and 20 in (50 cm) above the waterline. Ideally the bottom bracket is as low as possible but not too close to the bottom bearing as it will cause binding – prefer a minimum of 2″ (5 cm) of stainless visible below the clamp. If need be, the bracket can clamp on a bit lower down of the shaft. The danger is in crimping the bottom bearing.

B. Fitting the Brackets and Shaft

Always install the H (Hinged) bracket FIRST. After both brackets are installed, and prior to final bolt tightening on the real shaft, insert the SHAFT LOCKING PIN in the top hole and the fit the rudder (held in place with the RUDDER LOCKING PIN) to check that it lies fore and aft.

H Bracket – Hinged

  1. Mark our the centerline of the transom or a line parallel to the centerline for off-centre mounting.
  2. Put the H bracket on the transom and use a dummy PVC pipe to find correct positioning where the shaft will be vertical side to side (fore and aft is not an issue at this point – the H bracket is hinged).
    • Traditional: if the transom is vertical or slopes forward from the deck, the bracket is fitted close to the deck line or on the deck.
    • Reverse and sugar scoop/platform: if the transom slopes aft from the deck, the H bracket is fitted as low as possible on the transom or on the counter underneath, but within the limits shown.
  3. DRILL HOLES – Use the bracket as a template to mark the position of the two 3/8″ (10 mm) clearance holes for the mounting bolts.
  4. TIMBER PAD – Have ready a timber pad to fit between the bracket and the hull. ‘Timber Pad’ above.
  5. BACKING PLATE – Ensure use of a backing plate. See ‘Backing Plate’ above.
  6. BOLT FLANGE TO TRANSOM – Bolt the H bracket securely on its timber pad to the hull using a sealing compound and 3/8″ (10 mm) diameter stainless steel bolts.
  7. CHECK POSITIONING – Before tightening the hull bolts, fit the PVC dummy shaft to ensure the correct location. Also be sure to check positioning of the grey shaft sleeve between the casting and the shaft tube.
  8. SHAFT CLAMP BOLTS – You may choose to fit the real shaft at this point. Or, you may continue to use a PVC dummy shaft for positioning the secondary bracket. Whenever you are ready to install the shaft, be sure to follow the BOLT TIGHTENING SEQUENCE:
    • Support the unit so that bolt B may be slackened off and the forward bolt A tightened hard. Finally, tighten bolt B hard.
  9. When the H bracket installation is complete, recheck the tightness of all bolts.

H Bracket Bolt Tightening Sequence

H Bracket Bolt Tightening Sequence

Secondary H Bracket – H/H Bracket installations On H/H installations the second H bracket is fitted as above to give maximum bracket spacing within the limits shown. If the transom is raked, the second bracket will require a thicker timber pad to keep the shaft vertical.

Installation with two HH Brackets

Installation with two H Brackets


E Bracket – Single Strut

The E bracket is a bit harder to deal with:

  • It is the only bracket without a hinge, meaning the angles are fixed and MUST be accommodated by using a timber pad to accommodate the contour of the hull and the difference in angles.
  • FIXED ANGLES – Each of the castings at either end of the Strut (Stay Tube) hold the tube at and angle of 15 degrees. The result, depending on the direction the castings are positioned, it to create aggregate angles of either 30 (15 + 15) or zero (15 – 15) degrees.

Warning: The bracket must be well aligned.  Misaligning the castings and struts cannot be solved by cranking into place when bolting together. The bracket must fit perfectly before bolt tightening. If bolted in place in other than its natural position (ie, forced into place) then there will be constant stress on the casting(s) which inevitably ends in a ‘stress fracture’ – a broken casting. The aluminum metal used can tolerate considerable flex for short periods and withstand enormous working loads BUT it cannot handle constant stress.

To install the E bracket:

  1. FLANGE FLAT ON TRANSOM – Start with the flange as close to flush with the transom as possible. As shown above, there is almost always a difference in angle to accommodate. Ideally the bolts will be perpendicular to the transom (means the bolt heads on the inside will sit naturally flush to the backing plate). This is rarely the case so the timber pad is very important. Similarly, as previously discussed, fibreglass or epoxy resin must fill the gap between the backing plate and the hull. The result must be that the backing plate sits flush, not cock-eyed, to the bolt head or nut. If the backing plate puts uneven pressure on the bolt head or nut, the risk is that the bolt could bend and break at that point.
  2. DETERMINE POSITION
    • Far from the ‘H’ – Try to maximize the distance from the ‘H’ bracket … but:
      • CLEAR OF BOTTOM BEARING – If it is the bottom bracket – keep clear of the bottom bearing – recommend 2 in./5 cm. of stainless showing above the bottom
      • LEAVE ROOM FOR DRIVE UNIT – If it is the top bracket – leave 7 inches (18 cm) of shaft for the Drive Unit to sit on.
  3. DRILL HOLES – Use the bracket flange as a template to mark the position of the two 3/8″ (10 mm) clearance holes for the mounting bolts.
  4. TIMBER PAD – Have ready a timber pad to fit between the bracket and the hull. ‘Timber Pad’ above.
  5. BACKING PLATE – Ensure use of a backing plate. See ‘Backing Plate’ above.
  6. ESTIMATE TUBE LENGTH
    • Establish Distance ‘L’ from the transom to the shaft. The strut length: L less 2″ (5 cm), less an allowance for the thickness of a timber pad. To make it easier, you can use the same PVC tube, cut the estimated length of the strut and test it.
    • The stainless struts are provided at a length of 18″ (46 cm). Once appropriate length for your installation is determined, cut stainless tube with fine toothed hacksaw.
  7. BOLT FLANGE TO TRANSOM – Bolt the E bracket flange on its timber pad securely to the hull with the backing plate inside.
  8. ASSEMBLE THE END FITTINGS ONTO THE STRUT (STAY TUBE)
    • SHAFT CLAMP: Assemble the shaft clamp around the strut and the shaft tube. As this point, you will be using the real tube. Ensure that the plastic shaft sleeve is in place (best if taped to the clamp). Tighten the bolts only sufficiently to hold the shaft clamp in its planned position. The stay tube should be touching the plastic sleeve.
    • TRANSOM CLAMP: Assemble the transom clamp around the strut with the strut fully into the clamp.
    • TIGHTEN BOLTS ACCORDING TO BOLT TIGHTENING SEQUENCE: The most common mistake, typically made by skilled tradesmen that do not look at these instructions, is to NOT properly tighten the bolts that clamp the castings on the tube. All 4 (2 on each) A bolts must be tightened first. Check that the tightening is even – the gaps in the castings are even. Only when all A bolts are tightened should the B bolt then be tightened.
  9. When the E bracket installation is complete, recheck the tightness of all bolts.

HE Brackets and E Bolt Tightening Sequence

HE Brackets and E Bolt Tightening Sequence


A Bracket – Double Strut

The A bracket is our biggest, strongest, and most versatile bracket. The A bracket solves the most difficult installation issues.

  •  Its flexibility:
    • Arms swing up or down vertically
    • Arms open in or out from  40 degree to 80 degrees separation (from summer 2013)
    • Transom attachment flanges fully rotate to become flush with any surface.
    • Struts/tubes can be cut to any length
  •  Strength –  Engineers love triangles

Warning: The bracket must be well aligned.  Misaligning the castings and struts cannot be solved by cranking into place when bolting together. The bracket must fit perfectly before bolt tightening. If bolted in place in other than its natural position (ie, forced into place) then there will be constant stress on the casting(s) which inevitably ends in a ‘stress fracture’ – a broken casting. The aluminum metal used can tolerate considerable flex for short periods and withstand enormous working loads BUT it cannot handle constant stress.

  1. Fix the real or dummy shaft tube into the H Bracket.
  2. Slide the A shaft clamp casting onto the shaft tube.
    • If necessary, USE OPENER: If the shaft clamp does not slide easily onto the shaft tube, remove bolt C and screw it onto the adjacent, threaded holt. Also see discussion about the Opener in the first section on assembly of the Drive Unit. Note that there are a total of 5 such Opener holes on the A Bracket – each to open the casting to get it onto the shaft or strut tubes.
  3. DETERMINE POSITION.
    • FAR FROM THE ‘H’ – Try to maximize the distance from the ‘H’ bracket … but:
      • CLEAR OF BOTTOM BEARING – If it is the bottom bracket – keep clear of the bottom bearing – recommend 2 in./5 cm. of stainless showing above the bottom
      • LEAVE ROOM FOR DRIVE UNIT – If it is the top bracket – leave 7 inches (18 cm.) of shaft for the Drive Unit to sit on.
      • FOR VERY LONG SHAFTS – If the drive unit is particularly high – means the shaft is an X+? – the bracket should be within 25 inches (65 cm.) of the top – but preferably closer.
  4. ESTIMATE TUBE LENGTHS – Estimate the required length of the struts. As with the E bracket, it is easy to experiment with the PVC tubes.
  5. CUT TUBE LENGTHS – Cut tubes to the estimated length using a fine toothed hacksaw and assemble the complete bracket by bolting it lightly together.
  6. POSITION ARMS – Swing the two arms up and rotate the mounting flanges to lay flush with the hull.
  7. FLANGE FLAT ON TRANSOM – Using the flanges as templates, drill 3/8″ (10 mm) clearance holes through the hull.
  8. TIMBER PADS – Have ready a timber pads to fit between the bracket and the hull, if necessary. ‘Timber Pad’ above.
  9. BACKING PLATE – Ensure use of a backing plate. See ‘Backing Plate’ above.
  10. BOLT FLANGES TO TRANSOM – Bolt the A flanges securely on timber pads to the hull using a sealing compound and 3/8″ (10 mm) diameter stainless steel bolts.
  11. CHECK ALIGNMENT – Check the overall alignment and location of the bracket and the overall position of the unit.
  12. BOLT TIGHTENING SEQUENCE – Tighten all bolts in the bracket assembly hard in the order shown. Bolts A first, bolts B second, and finally bolt C.
  13. When the A bracket installation is complete, recheck the tightness of all bolts.

HA Brackets and A Bolt Tightening Sequence

HA Brackets and A Bolt Tightening Sequence


C. Attaching the Drive Unit

SET UP OF DRIVE UNIT AND INSTALL RUDDER

  1. Remove the white plastic cover from the drive unit to avoid damage.
  2. Insert the VANE LOCKING PIN – to keep the top section rigid
  3. Remove the SHAFT LOCKING PIN from its sleeve in the Drive Unit frame
  4. Move the RATIO KNOB to the far left so that the plastic-sleeved Drive Arm points to the far right – at the 5 o’clock direction (more accurately 4:30 or so).
  5. Install the rudder on the shaft, held in place with the RUDDER LOCKING PIN

 FIT MAIN FRAME ONTO SHAFT

  1. Test to see if the shaft fits into the bore hole of the Main Frame. Do not force it – it might or might not fit without the use of the opener.
  2. OPENER – Find the 2 bolts at the base of the Drive Unit that clamp it onto the shaft. Check that those bolts are loose.  Note the empty middle hole… that is the Opener.
  3. If the Opener is needed, remove one of those 2 bolts. Screw it into the middle opener hole until it is hard against the far wall, then tighten this bolt only one quarter of a turn at a time until the Drive Unit frame will slide easily into the shaft assembly. WARNING: Be very careful not to tighten excessively – the casting could crack or break.
  4. Hold the Drive Unit in a bear hug and slide it onto the shaft.
  5. If the Drive Unit does not slide easily onto the shaft, DO NOT FORCE IT, but give the opener bolt another quarter turn. Keep doing so until it fits.

Shaft Bolts clamp the Frame onto the Shaft. The middle hole is the Opener.

Shaft Bolts clamp the Frame onto the Shaft. The middle hole is the Opener.

FIT TILLER ONTO THE SHAFT AND FORK HOLDING THE RATIO ROD

  1. The top stub of the shaft emerges from the frame collar (bore hole), into the open space.
  2. Lift the Drive Unit slightly to slide the TILLER Casting in the frame with two stainless rods (Drive Rods) holding the plastic-sleeved Ratio Rod.
  3. The bronze Fork Arm will fit onto the top of the shaft.

Tiller & Fork Arm Assembly fits onto the top of the shaft - Ratio Rod fits between the Forks.

Tiller & Fork Arm Assembly fits onto the top of the shaft – Ratio Rod fits between the Forks.

POSITIONING At this stage, an extra pair of hands is helpful, but can be done solo, to achieve:

  1. RUDDER @ 180 DEGREES – It is helpful to have someone hold the rudder in the dead aft position, to ensure the Shaft Pin hole is at the 180 degree fore and aft direction. Helps in locating the Shaft Pin Hole.
  2. LOCKING PIN SHOULD FIT FREELY – The shaft is in the right position when the Shaft Locking pin can move freely into its sleeve on the front of the Drive Unit and passes through the hole in the plastic collar at the top of the shaft assembly.
  3. TIGHTEN SHAFT BOLTS – Loosen the Opener, if used, and tighten the shaft bolts…. hard. Of course, if the Opener was used, then that bolt with its washers will be re-installed in its bolt hole and tightened hard.

TO SET #58 FORK BOLT – Locks Fork Arm onto the top of the shaft

  1. Shaft Locking Pin #61 inserted
  2. Vane Locking Pin #60 inserted
  3. Ratio Control Knob #21 to the far left (means the Ratio Rod #35 points between the Drive Rods #36 at a 4 o’clock direction)
  4. Rudder at the true fore and aft / 180 degree position
  5. Wrap some thick paper like a business card on both sides of the Drive Sleeve #19 (Forces suitable separation between the Drive Sleeve and the two Drive Rods
  6. Tighten Fork Bolt …. HARD …. Very Hard. That’s why it’s made of bronze.
  7. Remove the paper

TESTS

  1. SPIN the #19 Drive Sleeve – after removing the business card the Dive Sleeve should spin freely without touching either of the #36 Drive Rods
  2. SWING the Ratio Knob back and forth to see that it moves freely without touching either of the #36 Drive Rods
  3. RUDDER CENTERED – Remove the Shaft Locking Pin and swing the tiller back and forth to see that its angle from side to side is symmetrical.

 

D. Remote Course Setting Assembly

The remote course setting line allows you to adjust the angle of the vane to the wind without leaving the cockpit. Is meant to be set up somewhere handy to the cockpit. It can be as long as you like – any route – and friction is not a problem.

  • The remote course setting line should be led through the fairleads and around the grooved track as shown.
  • The line should be led to a position that is convenient – in the lifelines or into the cockpit.
  • For smooth operation, the lines should pass straight through the fairleads without any appreciable change in direction.
  • Double blocks can then be used to lead the lines forward around any obstruction.
  • The final anchoring for the line is made using the block and bungy cord provided.
  • It’s like a clothesline – make an endless loop with the line provided.  See HEAT WELD below.

HOW TO DO A HEAT WELD ON THE LINE

  1. The line must be new (no contact with salt water). Make sure both ends are clean and not frayed.
  2. Perhaps cut off a small section to experiment with first?
  3. Holding both ends to a flame (actually, above the flame so that the material can heat up slowly – do not want it bursting into flames – just slowly melting), make both ends hot enough that they are gooey.  It helps to have two sets of hands for this step.
  4. Once gooey, mash the ends together and pat down any hump (helps to wet one’s fingers for that ‘patting down’).
  5. You are done. Within maybe 30 seconds you can snap it or try to break the weld with all your strength – the weld is tougher than the line. The weld will look like a section of solid plastic.

ADJUSTING DIRECTION OF COURSE SETTING This adjustment is not necessary at all – some friction in movement of the Course Setting Line is actually helpful  – not a negative – but if you choose…………. and it is more convenient to have the lines leaving the unit at an angle to one side, the casting below the worm gear can be rotated. The casting has been set to hold the head of the unit with a small but noticeable vertical clearance (necessary to ensure smooth operation). BEFORE ADJUSTING THE POSITION OF THE CASTING, NOTE THIS VERTICAL CLEARANCE.

  1. Loosen Nut – Slacken the nut at the front of the casting, immediately below the worm wheel.
  2. Rotate the casting until the fairleads point in the desired direction.
  3. Position – Push the casting upwards as far as it will go and then move it downward a little to establish the original vertical clearance.

Remote Course Setting Line

Remote Course Setting Line


 E. Fitting the vane cover – Standard or Stubby

  1. Spray liberally with Silicone Spray – Do not worry about messing up the vane cover… it all dries up and disappears. Spray the inside of the vane cover, covering the entire perimeter (the part that will touch the aluminum frame). Also spray the outside of the frame. Be quick, it soon dries up. OR ….. use water – soak the inside and tube.
  2. Pull it on like panty hose – Slide the cover on the frame, smoothing down the leading and trailing edges and insuring that the seams are exactly placed over the tubes. It takes a lot of yanking and pulling. You can squeeze the side of the tube frame inward. It helps a bit.
  3. Lacing – Start near the casting. Push the laces through the eyelets from the inside outwards, diagonally hole to hole until the end of the lace is reached. Tie a knot across the bottom of the tube at this stage. There will 2 or 3 pairs of holes still not laced.
  4. Sweat the laces – No it is not too short!  At this stage the cover will seem to be 3 or even 6 inches (15 cm) too short. This is not so. Once a portion of the lacing is threaded, use the line to cinch down the cover. Sweat it like old style corsets. The material is stretchy – will not rip. TIP: Use cable ties (also known as a hose tie, zap-strap, zip tie) to help cinch and then cut away when done.

Vane Lacing

Vane Lacing

***

Fitting the vane cover – Extendable ‘XT’

  1. Follow Steps #1 and #2 as above for Standard or Stubby Cover
  2. MUST USE CABLE TIES. Before lacing, first cinch down the cover by using Cable Ties (Zap Straps or Zip Ties) – long ones. Only need 3 or 4. Loop them through the eyelets and around the lower big, square, black frame tube. The purpose is to put minimal pressure on the round tube.
  3. Once the bottom of the Vane Cover has been pulled down sufficiently so that its surface is flattened, then do the lacing onto the round tube.
  4. Finally, cut and remove the cable ties.

F. Final Inspection Tests

For part names and numbers it is best to refer to the PARTS webpage. These tests are also explained in our videos.

DRIVE SLEEVE TEST – DRIVE SLEEVE MUST SPIN FREELY This is the most important test! Must do!

  1. Shaft Locking Pin #61 inserted
  2. Vane Locking Pin #60 inserted
  3. Ratio Control Knob #21 to the far left (means the Ratio Rod #35 points between the Drive Rods #36 at a 4 o’clock direction)
  4. Check that the Drive Sleeve #19 spins freely and does not bind on either of the Drive Rods #36.
  5. TEST: Swing the Ration Control Knob #21 back and forth causing the Ratio Rod #35 to move between the vertical (6 o’clock) and 4 o’clock positions. It should swing freely through all positions, without touching either of the two Drive Rods #36.

Drive Sleeve Test

Drive Sleeve Test

SETTTING THE FORK ARM ASSEMBLY ONTO SHAFT (IF THE DRIVE SLEEVE IS BINDING).

  1. Shaft Lock Pin #61 Inserted
  2. Vane Lock Pin #60 Inserted
  3. Ratio Control Knob #21 to the far left (means the Ratio Rod #35 points between the Drive Rods #36 at a 4 o’clock direction)
  4. Loosen the bolt that holds the bronze Fork Arm and Tiller assembly onto the top of the shaft.
  5. See the Drive Sleeve #19 in the picture? It is the grey plastic that spins on the Ratio Rod (sticks downward). Get a business card or equivalent paper or cloth. Cut a small piece that can wrap around the Drive sleeve and fit between the Forks (Drive Rods).
  6. Now tighten that same bolt #58 that holds the Fork Arm and Tiller assembly onto the top of the shaft. Tighten it HARD.
  7. Remove the paper or cloth.
  8. Feel that the plastic Drive Sleeve spins freely.
  9. Pull out the Ratio Knob and move it back and forth…. can you easily spin the Drive Sleeve now?  If it still touches one of the Drive Rods, you should do the whole exercise again. If it continues to touch, contact John.

DRIVE UNIT ON SQUARE? The tiller and the rudder must be on a true 180 degree setting, parallel to the center-line of the boat …….. and the face of the Drive Unit is at right angles to the center-line. If they are off, it is like trying to walk while you are leaning 5 degrees to starboard. Try to eyeball it:

  1. Shaft Locking Pin #61 inserted
  2. Vane Locking Pin #60 Inserted
  3. Extend Tiller – With the rudder held on that 180 degree plane, if you can, try sticking a 3/4″ (12 mm) dowel or rod into the hole in the tiller. A tube over it works as well – 1.5″ (38 mm). The purpose is to make it visually more obvious if the tiller is on a true 180 degree setting.

If the Tiller and Rudder are not lined up on the that 180 degree plane, then reset as detailed above.

TILLER FLIPPING TEST

  1. Set Ratio Control Knob in ‘neutral’ or far right position
  2. Flip the Tiller back and forth

The tiller must freely move freely from side to side with only the slightest push. If it stops before going fully over, the problem can be either:

  •  Bottom collar #26 is binding on Bottom bearing #25. There must be a hair of space between the two. Use a credit card to space apart.
  • Lower bracket is too close to the Bottom bearing. We suggest at least 2″ (5 cm) of stainless shaft tube showing above the white or black lip of the bearing.

 G. Safety

  • RE-CHECK BOLTS – Check that all the bracket and hull bolts are tight after first using the unit!  Check at intervals afterward.
  • TETHER THE RUDDER – Use a length of line, not less than 3/8″ (10 mm) diameter, tied through the rudder handle and secured loosely to some point on the stern, to ensure that the rudder is not accidentally lost. THE RUDDER DOES NOT FLOAT.
  • TETHER THE LOCKING PINS – All 3 Locking pins have tethers.
  • TETHER THE VANE – the Vane Knob secures the Vane in place, but a tether is prudent.
  • ROTATE RUDDER LOCKING PINS – The Locking pins are interchangeable. The Rudder pin does suffer from metal fatigue over time. Best to periodically change it with spares or rotate it with the other locking pins.

 H. Maintenance

  • SOAP AND WATER AND WD40 – In addition to regular washing with fresh water, at least once a year the whole of the unit, including castings, should be cleaned with fresh water and detergent. When dry, the unit, again including castings, should be thoroughly sprayed with a light aerosol oil such as WD40.
  • SPRAY CASTINGS WITH CORROSION INHIBITOR – The gray metal aluminum casting could use periodic spraying with a corrosion inhibitor, especially the brackets as they are closer to the water
  • EVERY JOINT SHOULD RATTLE – If any of the axels, shafts, or bearings are removed for cleaning or adjustment (although no reason to do such), the unit should be reassembled so that there is a slight but noticeable end play between the moving parts. The Hydrovane is designed to ‘rattle’ – so, do not re-set those joints to remove the ‘rattle’ or ‘looseness’. The purpose of the loose joint is two fold:
    • There must be room for a delay in the transition from a course change in one direction to a course change in the opposite direction. Otherwise, the system would be ‘on’ all the time – another type of ‘over steering’.
    • The joints need space to accommodate salt and dirt build-up. Otherwise a tight system soon becomes too tight causing unnecessary friction.