Hydrovanes...any good?

KellysEye

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>2. I believe (based on a sample size of 1! - friends boat) that it will struggle on bigger boats.

I've seen a Hydrovane on a 52 foot boat on the hard in Trinidad. We didn't have a big boat but it was a heavy displacement, long keel with cutaway forefoot, 38 foot steel ketch which weighed 14 tons fully loaded and had no problems with our Hydrovane. To put size into context in Lagos, Portugal we knew the folks on a 32 foot GRP boat with a Hydrovane and their sail and rudder were half the size of ours.
 

macd

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I've seen a Hydrovane on a 52 foot boat on the hard in Trinidad. We didn't have a big boat but it was a heavy displacement, long keel with cutaway forefoot, 38 foot steel ketch which weighed 14 tons fully loaded and had no problems with our Hydrovane. To put size into context in Lagos, Portugal we knew the folks on a 32 foot GRP boat with a Hydrovane and their sail and rudder were half the size of ours.

That may or may not have been true once, but all HV rudders are now 3.3 sq. ft. See Tranona's post #13. Or the Hydrovane website.
 

seabright

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KellyEye - glad it worked so well.

They seem to be ok up to mid forty foot (give or take, depending on design of boat). All depends on ability to balance sail plans etc.

It'll look after our 35 foot long keel ketch very easily
 

KellysEye

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>but all HV rudders are now 3.3 sq. ft

I'm surprised you wouldn't fit a dinghy rudder to a 40 foot boat or a 40 foot boat rudder to dinghy. Rudder size is determined by boat length and weight.

>All depends on ability to balance sail plans

Indeed.
 

The_man_from_ABBA

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Monitors appear to be an eye-watering $5000 plus tax/shipping/extras...are they sold in the UK? Scanmar (distributed by seatronics) seem to be different to the scanmar international who make monitors... & although they are all over the US, I can't find anything this side of the pond.

- Used Monitors can be occasionally be found on eBay
- Scanmar International have a stand at SIBS every year
 

geem

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>We cruised the Carribean for four years and the majority of UK boats with a vane did indeed have a Hydrovane. The majority of US boats had a Monitor and a large proportion of the Germans had a Pacific Windpilot. We, and most other Scandinavian boats, had an Airies.

That's odd what I saw was completely different. We left the UK in early June 2004 and got back in late September 2010. In the Caribbean I saw only one American boat with a wind vane, they don't need them, they are not long distance sailors they just motor upwind island hopping from the east coat and often motored from island to island. I can't remember ever seeing a German flagged boat the great majority were USA, Brits, French, Dutch and Scandinavian. Aries was number two on my list but not many of them but I do remember one on a Swedish boat. The strange thing is the great exploring countries flags were hardly to be seen, we saw one Spanish flag (dismasted in the Atlantic) and no Portuguese flags. One thought we did spend three years in Venezuela, their out islands and Curacao and Bonaire diving, maybe the German boats don't go there.
We have just done a season in the Caribbean and I would guess the Windpilot was as popular as the hydrovane in the island we visited. Certainly more British boats have Hydrovanes but there are lots of other nationalities in the Caribbean. The French boats are numerous and many of those opt for Windpilot. We used our Windpilot across the pond this year. It was a nightmare due to the incredible quantity of seaweed. We were clearing weed from the Duogen and Windpilot at times every 5mins. Eventually we gave up with the Windpilot as we couldn't maintain a course with huge amounts of weed wrapped around it. The autopilot steered a better course anyway. Then we only needed to clear the Duogen to keep,us in amps!
 

michael_w

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Talking to the Jester Challenge guys, the Sea Feather seems to be the vane gear of choice for the smaller boat.

Incidentally, the Hydrovane claim, no lines in the cockpit, is bit of a fib. With mine, the wheel brake cannot hold the rudder in any seaway, so the wheel must be lashed in place.
 

SvenH

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'Mr Vane' or similar, it was being made in Holland and reasonably priced but it seemed to be suffering from a few teething troubles? If they're still in business, then by now said problems should be resolved and it may be worth a look.
There were two or three boats in the 2007 Jester challenge that had a Mr. Vane fitted.
2007 was the year of introduction for that model, and it had an issue that allowed the system to lock the windvane after swinging out to one side.
The windvane would want to return to neutral but being locked it generated a big sideways strain that would ultimately break the pushrod that connects the the windvane to the pendulum rudder.
One of the Jester participants repaired the pushrod with a part of the mounting kit he did not use but because this made the pushrod heavier, the system could not be set to steer a stable course.
As the Mister Vee systems are light weight and sensitive, a little change in weight in the pushrod need to be compensated for.

With the new carbon fibre/glass/epoxy/epoxy foam pendulum rudder the Mr. Vane self steering system now weighs 6.5 kgs.
 

robmdknapp

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So, today I pick up my sea-feather. All being well I will report back on my experience once the Cutlass is brand-spanking refitted & in the water...
Thanks again for all input.

Much obliged.
 

MagicalArmchair

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Please report how the fitting of it goes as well - good luck (I love the Cutlass 27 incidentally, my father had one and we went from the Medway down to the Med in her. A truly cracking boat, so she will do your investment proud)
 

jwilson

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Every time we list a yacht for sale on http://www.yachtsnet.co.uk/ hat has either a Hydrovane or Aries we get a string of emails from people wanting to buy just the vane gear, so they are certainly the favoured brands. We always tell the sellers not to sell the gear separately.
 

G12

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I have a hydrovane on the back of a Vancouver 28. It was on my Shipman 28 prior to that. It isn't light and as mentioned in an earlier post, it's an absolute cow in marina's as the boat really doesn't want to turn with the extra rudder locked midships. I can get the rudder on and off relatively easily in flat water though and if I'm going anywhere that I intend to use the HV I often leave the marina, go and find a place to anchor, stick the extra rudder on, sort the rest of the boat out, dial my brain in and then leave..... its a sort of ritual....
The HV works well. I have it on the least sensitive setting most of the time as otherwise it oversteers the current boat but it never did that on the Shipman as she required more rudder input. Remote course setting from the cockpit or hatch in my case is a bonus.
 

temptress

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Boat fit-out continues...masthead now sorted.

Planning to fit a hydrovane to my cutlass 27. Can people endorse this/suggest alternatives/potential issues?

Also, if anyone knows of a hydrovane looking for a new home...

Thanks muchly

I fitted a Hydrovane to my Sigma 362 in preparation for the Arc back in '93. It performed excellently for the next 8 years until we sold the boat. I found we only used it for the longer passages over 2 days or more. So, when we were refitting Temptress to go to the Med in 2001 we went through a lot of soul searching and data and decided not to have a windvane at all but upgraded the autopilot. No regrets.

Now fast forward to 2013 and we were yet again refiting Temptress, this time for a circumnavigation, we went through the whole process again. Considering all the windvane systems we could and looking at the latest autopilot technology. We went for the electronic option, with a completely separate second autopilot as a backup.

While we stand by our decision, we did decide that we thought the Hydrovane to be the best windvane system we came across.


Kevin
 
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BobnLesley

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So, today I pick up my sea-feather. All being well I will report back on my experience once the Cutlass is brand-spanking refitted & in the water...
Thanks again for all input.

Much obliged.

Congratulations, enjoy it, I'm sure it'll serve you well; a far better choice for the Cutlass than the heavier Monitor/Hydrovane/Aries.
 

KellysEye

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>the Hydrovane is by far the most popular wind vane, 90% of boats with a wind vane.

I'm not sure about 90% but it was the most popular vane on the ARC and in six and half years in the Caribbean it was the vane we saw most.
 

john_morris_uk

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Talking to the Jester Challenge guys, the Sea Feather seems to be the vane gear of choice for the smaller boat.

Incidentally, the Hydrovane claim, no lines in the cockpit, is bit of a fib. With mine, the wheel brake cannot hold the rudder in any seaway, so the wheel must be lashed in place.

And I’ll point out that this post says more about his wheel brake than the Hydrovane,,,, why is it the Hydrovane’s fault that his wheel doesn’t lock very well? Strange logic of some people in old threads.
 
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