Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-06-2012, 17:24   #1
Registered User
 
theway's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA
Boat: 1980 Pearson 323 - 34ft LOA
Posts: 374
Hydrovane thoughts

I am about to spend the $5,800 on a new Hydrovane and thought I would do one last thing. Get input from the forum. I have seen a few threads on here but most are relatively old. And I have read up on all the alternatives via articles and the websites directly, but like the Hydrovane most. Any final words or stories to share that could help me pull the trigger. the boat is a Pearson 323

Thanks,
austin
__________________

__________________
theway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012, 18:33   #2
Registered User
 
balimara's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: On the boat, or Bonn Germany
Boat: Moody 35, Sail, Sloop
Posts: 10
Re: Hydrovane thoughts

Hi Austin,
I can only write the very best about our Hydrovane wind vane. We use it now for 8 years, 6 in the English Channel and since August 2010 on our actual journey. We started in France (Normandy) then to Spain, Portugal, Madeira, Canary Islands, across the Atlantic on the Trade Wind Route, through Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Bahamas into Florida and then all along the coast (sometimes ICW without wind vane) to our actual position in the Long Island Sound.
With small crew (just my wife and I) it is for long distance cruising the additional 4 hands, which do not eat and drink, do not complain and arguing about the course and needs no sleep, you can't think about a better solution.
Of course it is a lot of money, but the benefit is enormous. The after sale service from Hydrovane is even more an argument for it. We lost our rudder sometime, when it was not in use and not properly secured on deck. In Puerto Rico we realized it and made a call to Canada. Monday called, Tuesday we had the offer and agreed, Friday the rudder was delivered from Scotland to Puerto Rico, that is Hydovane.
Take care
Manfred
__________________

__________________
Manfred
www.balimara.de
balimara.blogspot.com
balimara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012, 19:26   #3
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: Hydrovane thoughts

I have ever heard only one negative comment on them and it related to old units. Hence my educated guess is they are good windvanes. The issue I have heard about has been addressed in the new units.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012, 19:35   #4
Registered User
 
svpattyd's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Maryland
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 284
Send a message via AIM to svpattyd Send a message via Yahoo to svpattyd Send a message via Skype™ to svpattyd
We really like our Hydrovane. It is reliable and you don't have control lines in the cockpit. Good service from Will. If you later buy an EchoTec watermaker, you get a discount on the watermaker.
__________________
Patty
V42-175
http://svpattyd.blogspot.com
svpattyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012, 20:49   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,002
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Hydrovane thoughts

I've got a WindPilot Pacific Plus on my boat. WINDPILOT - Products: Pacific Plus It does an extraordinary job of steering the boat especially since I made up a lightweight windvane for it. With the Servo Pendulum providing the turning impetus for the steering rudder, it will steer the boat from almost not moving on up to hull speed. Did a great job DDW for a sail to Hawaii.
__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 04:08   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oz
Boat: Roberts Offshore 38
Posts: 165
Images: 8
Re: Hydrovane thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
I've got a WindPilot Pacific Plus on my boat. WINDPILOT - Products: Pacific Plus It does an extraordinary job of steering the boat especially since I made up a lightweight windvane for it. With the Servo Pendulum providing the turning impetus for the steering rudder, it will steer the boat from almost not moving on up to hull speed. Did a great job DDW for a sail to Hawaii.
Peter, why the windpilot and not a hydrovane? WP even looks to be
more expensive. Cheers
__________________
kjames
"The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking"
kjames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 08:01   #7
Registered User
 
svHyLyte's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa Bay area, USA
Boat: Beneteau First 42
Posts: 3,417
Images: 25
Re: Hydrovane thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by theway View Post
I am about to spend the $5,800 on a new Hydrovane and thought I would do one last thing. Get input from the forum. I have seen a few threads on here but most are relatively old. And I have read up on all the alternatives via articles and the websites directly, but like the Hydrovane most. Any final words or stories to share that could help me pull the trigger. the boat is a Pearson 323

Thanks,
austin
Our first exposure to a Hydrovane was in Sausalito in the mid-70's. The gear was aboard a young English couples' 28' home built yacht that they had sailed from Plymouth England to San Francisco. They declared they could not have made the trip without the Hydrovane (E.g., it steered them from a few miles off the Canaries to within a mile of Barbados.) I sailed with them quite a few times in the subsequent months and the gear was amazingly effective, even in the big winds and seas in the "Slot". I have since met a number of cruisers with the gear--which has been vastly up-graded since the 1970's--and all have been lavish with praise. Given that, I suspect you'll be very happy with the gear even tho' it is not inexpensive.

FWIW...
__________________
"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
svHyLyte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 08:42   #8
Registered User
 
theway's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA
Boat: 1980 Pearson 323 - 34ft LOA
Posts: 374
Thanks everyone for the feedback and experiences. I'll report back when I get it.
__________________
theway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 12:07   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,002
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Hydrovane thoughts

The Hydrovane relies totally on the wind to turn the auxillary rudder. The WindPilot Pacific Plus uses a servo pendulum to input steering motion into the auxillary rudder. The WPP rudder will steer my boat if boat is moving at all. It's limited only by the ability of the vane to sense the wind, not supply force to turn the auxillary rudder. I made up a bigger (8"x4') windvane out of lightweight corrugated plastic that I use in light air and/or sailing DDW. The stock plywood vane was lacking in very light condtions. The vane will steer the boat in relative winds of less than 5 knots and maybe down to 2-3k. Don't have enough experience in very light winds to prove the lower end. Did a TransPac with the winds directly aft at 10k for most of the trip. Despite some lumpy seas that constantly tried to throw the boat off course and a relative wind at 5k or less, the WPP steered without issues. I've heard, but no perpsonal experience, that the Hydrovane has problems with light air sailing because the windvane doesn't generate the energy to turn the steering rudder. A problem when sailing downwind where relative wind is a problem for all vanes. The pendulum servo on the WPP also generates plenty of power to turn the auxillary steering rudder lock to lock at faster boat speed. Don't know if that's an issue on the Hydrovane.

Both vanes can steer no better than the size of the auxillary steering rudder of the vane allows. Assume that steering ability, not wind sensing, is similar for both vanes. A comparison of auxillary rudder steering area would give a better indication of that which I haven't done. I've no experience with the Hydrovane but you might want to ask those who do how they steer the boat in a variety of conditions. In this day and age of big fuel tanks and engines, a lot of cruisers never experience the light air ability of boat or self steering. Don't know how many cruisers I've heard brag they turn the engine on when speed drops below 4k.

I ended up with the WPP because my boats steering system had so much internal inertia and friction that a Monitor wouldn't steer the boat below about 4k of boat speed. Also like the comfort of having another way to steer the boat if the boats steering sytem is compromised. Think a Servo Pendulum vane steering via the boats rudder is the most sensitive form of self steering if you don't have boat steering sytem issues. I would've stuck with the Monitor, if I could have made it work in light air.

Fleming, believe they are out of Australia, also make a servo pendulum actuated auxillary rudder steering vane but they are even pricier with the strength of the Oz dollar. http://www.flemingselfsteer.com/products/global-auxilliary-rudder/
__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 13:16   #10
Registered User
 
Sabbatical II's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Lake Macquarie
Boat: Bluewater 420 CC
Posts: 756
Images: 1
Re: Hydrovane thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Think a Servo Pendulum vane steering via the boats rudder is the most sensitive form of self steering if you don't have boat steering sytem issues. I would've stuck with the Monitor, if I could have made it work in light air.

Fleming, believe they are out of Australia, also make a servo pendulum actuated auxillary rudder steering vane but they are even pricier with the strength of the Oz dollar. http://www.flemingselfsteer.com/prod...lliary-rudder/
One of the more learned and experienced members on this forum was concerned about the change in apparent wind when a vessel acelerated down a wave face with a following sea. When the boat accelerates the aparent wind moves forward and a steering device set to wind angle (autopilot or a vane) wants to bear away. At the bottom of the wave when the boat speed reduces and apparent wind moves aft, there is potential for an accidental gybe before the self steerer can react.

Can you please comment on your experience with this?
__________________
Greg
Sabbatical II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 13:38   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,002
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Hydrovane thoughts

That is a problem on multihulls and possibly the flat bottomed ultra planing monohulls. Have never had that issue with a vane on my boats even though have seen over 10k boat speed in short surges.

The problem for wind vane self steering on a cruising boat is boat speed and wave shadowing in the trough dropping the relative wind speed to near zero when running DDW or close to it. Running wing and wing at or close to hull speed hasn't been an issue. Have done a number of 150 mile plus days running wing and wing on 25'-27' waterline boats

Trying to run DDW with a spinnaker has been a problem. Set a spinnaker on my Westsail 32 with about 10k winds in 10' following seas with the Aires steering and the boat promptly rounded up wrapping the spinnaker around the head stay. The additional power of the spinnaker and a following sea caused the relative wind to drop so low the vane thought it was becalmed and didn't compensate for a following wave slewing the boat around. Tried it a couple of times with the same result. Heading up 20-30 degrees cured the problem but didn't get me where I wanted to go as quickly.

You can rig an autopilot to the self steering to compensate for the relative wind issue. You get a very low drain compass steered boat doing that. I haven't done it but others have. Sensitivity setting of the autopilot could be an issue if there are strong following seas but it is with a straight autopilot steered boat as well.

Unless you are cruising on a catamaran or a TP50 and have to run a spinnaker DDW, the vanes work fine.

FWIW, Jim Brown included plans for a trim tab wind vane on his Searunner trimarans. Saw a couple of them cruising with these when we were in SoPac. Didn't ask the skippers how they worked, however.
__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 20:05   #12
Registered User
 
theway's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA
Boat: 1980 Pearson 323 - 34ft LOA
Posts: 374
Re: Hydrovane thoughts

Here is one of the neat things about the Hydrovane in light or heavy winds. It has a ratio control that can increase or decrease the power to the rudder with three degrees of power.

Below is from Hydrovane website.

Examples - In light airs, when the vane may be vertical for maximum power, the resulting rudder movement can be reduced if necessary to avoid over steering, by moving the Ratio Control to a less responsive setting ie to the left. In heavy weather, when the vane axis will be declined for stability the ratio knob can be moved to the right to give more rudder control from a smaller vane movement - although at higher speeds the rudder might stall - as the angle of attack is too much - then back to the middle setting.

LIGHT AIRS - The shortcoming of many systems is their inability to deal with light airs when going downwind - the nirvana for offshore cruisers - gentle tradewinds. If there is enough wind for the sails then there will be enough wind for the HYDROVANE as there is so little friction in the system and the balanced rudder requires relatively little effort to control. Depending on the sea a Hydrovane should be effective in 3 to 6 knots of apparent wind.
__________________
theway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 06:33   #13
Registered User
 
Dulls's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: hervey bay
Boat: Freya double ender 40 ft
Posts: 85
Re: Hydrovane thoughts

we looked at a hydrovane and the theme from many of the blogs etc is they require more concentration on sail balance and work better on some boats then others. I think they work best on fin keel boats. We decided to go with an old airies(Much cheaper)and have no regrets.The other thing is not many people have expeirence with both vanes. We subjectivly think the servo pendulum is the best. The other thing is most of us have not used both types of windvane. My expierence is with 2 servo pendulum types. The airies being the better of the 2 we have used.
__________________
Dulls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2012, 10:35   #14
Registered User
 
theway's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA
Boat: 1980 Pearson 323 - 34ft LOA
Posts: 374
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulls
we looked at a hydrovane and the theme from many of the blogs etc is they require more concentration on sail balance and work better on some boats then others. I think they work best on fin keel boats. We decided to go with an old airies(Much cheaper)and have no regrets.The other thing is not many people have expeirence with both vanes. We subjectivly think the servo pendulum is the best. The other thing is most of us have not used both types of windvane. My expierence is with 2 servo pendulum types. The airies being the better of the 2 we have used.
Do you have any links to those blogs/articles? I've seen a bunch but don't remember reading any suggesting sail balance required more attention.
__________________
theway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-09-2012, 08:07   #15
Registered User
 
Dulls's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: hervey bay
Boat: Freya double ender 40 ft
Posts: 85
Re: Hydrovane thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by theway View Post
Do you have any links to those blogs/articles? I've seen a bunch but don't remember reading any suggesting sail balance required more attention.
The way i searched for all the issues was to key in to Google "Problems with hydrovane" Or "Problems with airies etc Then you end up in the many forums etc The other issue is that the servo pendulums are using your boat rudder to steer the boat. I think i would be reasonable in saying it is better then an auxiliary rudder in terms of efficiency. Hydrovane recently increased the size of the aux rudder. If you have a smaller auxilary rudder steering your boat then you are forced to be more accurate with your sail balance. The servo pendulums drive the boats main rudder. 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. I also detected the pattern that the hydrovanes worked better on the fin keeled and below 35 ft range. The servos seemed to be great on all boats. In terms of downwind they all need water speed over the paddle or aux rudder to work. Most people will avoid sailing dead downwind just like in racing. You have to travel more distance but you go faster as you have more apparent wind speed and all vanes need apparent wind over them. Again i cannot stress enough that i have never used a hydrovane.
__________________

__________________
Dulls is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
hydrovane

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 00:58.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.