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Old 14-09-2012, 08:36   #16
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Re: Hydrovane thoughts

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Originally Posted by Dulls View Post
...In all the forums people praised both the servos and hydrovane but there was enough in the forums for us to go the servo pendulum way and at the same time only spend $1000 and not several thousand. ...
Where do you find an Aries for $1,000?
My Hydrovane quote is $6,000.
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Old 14-09-2012, 09:07   #17
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Re: Hydrovane thoughts

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Where do you find an Aries for $1,000?
My Hydrovane quote is $6,000.
It was a second hand airies (lift up) and it was being sold by a yachty at the yard we were at. He had never got it to work well. It turns out he had the rod set up wrong and in 15 years had never picked it. At the time we were looking at a hydrovane.
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Old 14-09-2012, 12:27   #18
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Re: Hydrovane thoughts

You need patience and diligence searching Craig's List and Ebay. I got my WindPilot Pacific Plus from SF Bay Craig's List for $1,700. Sold the Monitor with wheel adapter that wasn't working on my boat for the same price. Have seen numerous Monitors, Aires, Flemings, even a few Hydrovanes for under $2,000.

The auxillary is a back up for ship's rudder failure but is also a lot of drag towing around the second rudder. Pendulum Servo types don't have nearly as much drag as the rudders are smaller and aren't trying to steer the boat. Just saw an Aires somewhere last week for a $1,000.
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Old 14-09-2012, 14:10   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi
You need patience and diligence searching Craig's List and Ebay. I got my WindPilot Pacific Plus from SF Bay Craig's List for $1,700. Sold the Monitor with wheel adapter that wasn't working on my boat for the same price. Have seen numerous Monitors, Aires, Flemings, even a few Hydrovanes for under $2,000.

The auxillary is a back up for ship's rudder failure but is also a lot of drag towing around the second rudder. Pendulum Servo types don't have nearly as much drag as the rudders are smaller and aren't trying to steer the boat. Just saw an Aires somewhere last week for a $1,000.
I will start my hunt on Craigslist, but I would worry that I wasn't getting all the parts. Maybe I just need to brush up on the parts inventory for each. And for something so important I would feel better knowing it was new, fresh of the "shelf". Who knows what some of these used vanes have been through. I have never seen a used Hydrovane, but will keep my eyes wide. Thank you.
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Old 14-09-2012, 14:19   #20
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Re: Hydrovane thoughts

I have been thinking of eventually adding a Hydrovane to my 42' centre cockpit boat which has davits. I like the davits for inshore work but I'm interested to know how easy it is to remove the Hydrovane when inshore so that the tender can be simply raised on the davits.
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Old 14-09-2012, 14:38   #21
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I have been thinking of eventually adding a Hydrovane to my 42' centre cockpit boat which has davits. I like the davits for inshore work but I'm interested to know how easy it is to remove the Hydrovane when inshore so that the tender can be simply raised on the davits.
The rudder is advertised as easy to remove. But I don't think I've seen anything about removing the whole unit. I guess it would be based on how good your access is to the bolts . Or there maybe another more intelligent way.
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Old 14-09-2012, 15:38   #22
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Re: Hydrovane thoughts

FWIW,

IN my experience (many thousands of miles at sea) with an auxiliary/trim tab wind vane system the ships main rudder takes care of unbalance issues, not the wind vane rudder. Thus a much smaller rudder permits adequate control.

There are some issues with the set up, though:

1. As mentioned above, the aux rudder does create drag whenever it is in the water, in use or not.
2. You must provide a means of securing it when not in use, especially when reversing under power.
3. It does not have as quick response to yaw as a servo does. The aux has to wait for the apparent wind to shift and move the air vane in order to generate a correcting rudder movement. The servo blade is swept sideways by the yaw movement itself, and thus starts generating the correcting rudder movement sooner.
4. Our previous boat was an old IOR one-tonner, which suffered all the usual downwind squirreliness they are noted for. Having the aux rudder in place and locked when hand steering markedly reduced that tendency. This can be an advantage.

And for Greg: I don't know how hard it is to remove the Hydrovane rudder, but it is a big bit of kit, and not that easy to store when not in use. We had thought to remove ours on I-one when not passage making, but could never find a place to put it!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 14-09-2012, 15:50   #23
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Thanks Jim, could you give us all a run down of your experience with the Hydrovane (it sounds like you have/had one) maybe a little bit more about how/when/where you used it. And if you were buying a vane today, which would it be?

Thanks,
austin
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Old 14-09-2012, 16:03   #24
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Re: Hydrovane thoughts

G'Day Austin,

Sorry if I gave the wrong impression. My aux vane was home designed and built, similar in nature to the Autohelm commercial model. We used it on Insatiable I, a PJ Standfast 36, over a period of 17 years, cruising from SF and ending up in Australia, covering about 86000 miles in all. Of those miles, the vane steered something like 50,000 -- never actually totaled that up, but essentially all the non-coastal miles plus some of the coastal as well.

Incidentally, I believe that Scanmar still markets the Autohelm vane, and I suspect it is less expensive than the Hydrovane... you might give that a look as well.

We started to put a vane on Insatiable II when we first bought her. Decided on a Windpilot servo, but the owner of that company talked us out of it! His concern was that a boat that surfs readily can get into big strife with any windvane, due to the big changes in apparent wind angle as one rapidly accelerates down the wave face. We decided to not go that way... and now that we have a lot of miles in this boat, I wish we'd gone on and done it. In surfing conditions it would be dangerous, but in the 90 percent (a guess!) of the miles sailed in NON-surfing conditions it would be fine. Meanwhile, the cost in USD of his very nice vanes has more than doubled. Grrr.

Hope that this is of help, Austin.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 14-09-2012, 16:26   #25
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Quote:
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...
Hope that this is of help, Austin.

Cheers,

Jim
Yes it does, thank you. I have about another month to continue the search, but at some point I need to just get one and see how it goes. I plan to depart San Francisco around October 2013, so I have some time to work out any kinks.
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Old 20-09-2012, 14:08   #26
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Re: Hydrovane thoughts

Could those of you with experience with either the Hydrovane or the Wind Pilot 'Pacific' please comment on how easy each is to operate from a distance? For example, remote control lines led to near the main hatch so the on-watch would not have to go up on deck. This would be really useful information, critical actually, as on my 30 footer I am not eager to go aft at every wind shift as I had to do years ago with a Gunning wind vane.
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Old 20-09-2012, 15:43   #27
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Re: Hydrovane thoughts

This may not be appropriate use of the forum, but I have a Sailomat 3040L for sale. It is an auxiliary rudder windvane, suitable for a larger, or high transom boat, or a smaller boat with some modification. If anyone is interested, please let me know. $950.

Chris
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Old 21-09-2012, 09:43   #28
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Re: Hydrovane thoughts

The WindPilot Pacific Plus is relatively easy to operate from the companion way. I ran a long continuous control line that I stored on a couple of hooks on either side of the companionway. Just pull on the lines in the correct direction to change the course. On ocean passages and even coastal, don't constantly tweak the heading. On a passage to Hawaii only reset the course a couple of times a day.

Only problem with changing the course is the unit has a knurled wheel that the course change line wraps around to move wind sense vane. You have to grab both lines and keep tension on them so the line moves the wheel and doesn't slip. Even being religious about keeping tension on the lines, the line will slip a little on the wheel. Eventually the join in the lines ends up too close to the knurled wheel housing and won't pass through. It's not a big thing but something you have to to be aware of and adjust the position of the line join in relation to the vane steering houseing. I don't steer the boat once I'm under sail. Use the vane to do all the steering including tacking. That's where the line slppage is an issue because of the length of line needed to change the positon of windvane. As I said it's not a big thing just have to be sure the line join is close to being centered.

The passage was DDW and vane steered fine in relatively modest relative wind but failrly quick daily runs of 140nm plus. Boat did yaw a bit and the windvane was going lock to lock to control it but it did okay. My boat is full keel and fairly resistant to course changes.

The big problem I've found with the WPPP is maneuvering in the harbor or close confines. When not in use, the WPPP rudder is locked straight ahead. Since my boat (Pearson 35 long keel center boarder) is rudder challenged without the vane, turning it to get into the slip was often a challenge as the boats rudder had to fight the long keel and the WPPP rudder. After struggling with it for a couple of years it suddenly came to me to use the WPPP rudder to help turn the boat. I take wind vane off paddle and hook lines to the wind vane weight and steer by pulling on the lines. It's worked a charm as the WPPP rudder steers the boat way better than the boats rudder.

Installing the steering rudder in the water is a pain with the WPPP. It's buoyant so you have to force it down into the water and it's very difficult ot hold it vertical. The rudder coupling is very tight tolerances and the rudder has to be near perfectly aligned for the rudder to slip into it. For me, it stays in the water almost all the time and I don't look forward to R&Ring it.
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Old 21-09-2012, 18:00   #29
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Re: Hydrovane thoughts

Just been sailing using an old airies lift up. Our boat is a long keeled 12 tons(cut away fore foot) and wheel steered. Conditions slight seas wind from dead astern. Airies steered fine from 7 knots apparent with 3 knots of through water speed. Below that problematic. By changing cse 10 deg off the wind it increased our boat speed and airies control which is how i would sail dead down wind just for comfort etc...With a bit more tinkering we may be able to improve on that. People with different boats and tiller steering may get better figures then us. Ps once the wind drops off too much we just press the auto helm button.
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