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Old 26-10-2014, 10:28   #1
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WTB Hydrovane self steering

Hello we are a young couple with a little boy. We recently purchased our center cockpit sailboat. And after tons of research I have decided that the Hydrovane self steering system is the best match for our boat. Please contact me if you or anybody you may know have a used Hydrovane available for purchase.
Thank you.
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Old 26-10-2014, 10:44   #2
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Re: WTB Hydrovane self steering

I had one on my boat for a few years crossing the Pacific a few times....what do you want to know??
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Old 26-10-2014, 12:44   #3
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Re: WTB Hydrovane self steering

Check out their homesite. Some makers resell s/h units.

Remember older Hydrovanes had their issues. If you are 100% positive it is the Hydrovane, consider paying the premium and going with a new unit.

Depending on what boat and preferences you have, a Windpilot Pacific Plus may be an option you might like to look at.

Hope this helps a bit.

Fair winds,
b.
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Old 15-01-2015, 10:55   #4
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Re: WTB Hydrovane self steering

I just posted this on a much older thread but here goes again. I am considering Hydrovane for our 42' pretty heavy cutter. It appears to be well made and heavy duty. My friends just came off of a 2004-2014 trip down the west coast to Mexico, on to Australia, up to Thailand, South Africa, and stopped in North Carolina. They had a Hydrovane which they liked very much, except, they had to drop the dink and use it to remove the rudder as it was not removable from on deck. That may or may not be an issue for you or others but it is a definite concern of mine so I will be checking in to that. The newer models may or may not require that but it looks like they do. I will be dropping in to see them at the Seattle Boat Show this month and ask.
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Old 15-01-2015, 12:45   #5
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Re: WTB Hydrovane self steering

Not sure if you saw this one -
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...it-136574.html
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Old 15-01-2015, 13:21   #6
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Re: WTB Hydrovane self steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
They had a Hydrovane which they liked very much, except, they had to drop the dink and use it to remove the rudder as it was not removable from on deck. That may or may not be an issue for you or others but it is a definite concern of mine so I will be checking in to that. The newer models may or may not require that but it looks like they do. I will be dropping in to see them at the Seattle Boat Show this month and ask.
Unlike Pendulum Servo Vanes, an auxiliary rudder self steering vane like the Hydrovane actually steers the boat. It has to be solidly built to withstand the pressures and stresses involved in steering. Makes it next to impossible to design a unit with a kickup rudder that is structurally strong enough and ECONOMICAL to produce.

The real question is why do you need to remove the self steering vane rudder?? Haven't seen too many people dropping the boats rudder whenever they drop their anchor or tie up in a marina. There is no need to remove the rudder in most situations. Keep the anti fouling paint up with each haul out and leave it. Mine stays in the water 24/7/365.

It would be nice to easily remove the rudder on my WindPilot Pacific Plus auxiliary rudder self steering vane for maneuverability in tight situations like marinas. When not engaged, the self steering rudder is locked on centerline so it doesn't help turning the boat. The boat has a long full keel and is rudder challenged without the vanes rudder locked on centerline. Made for some serious control issues that I finally solved by using control lines attached to the wind sensing hardware of the vane to steer in close quarters. Use the self steering rudder to steer the boat by pulling on lines that mimic wind input. Since the wind vane's rudder steers the boat so much better than the boats rudder, boat is actually way more maneuverable using the lines to have the vane steer the boat than with the boats rudder. A boat with a fin keel may not have the issues my boat has.

Grounding is an issue but it's an issue whether the vane is there or not. The self steering rudder shouldn't draw more than the keel of the boat so won't actually come in contact with the bottom before the keel. The same reason that most boat's rudders draw less than the keel. You do have to exercise some caution kedging off but you have to do that whether the vane's rudder is in the water or not, especially spade rudder boats.

So the question is do you really want an auxiliary rudder vane with all its advantages like emergency rudder steering, no lines in the cockpit, etc??
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Old 16-01-2015, 08:06   #7
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Re: WTB Hydrovane self steering

RoverHi - thanks for your comments. I will ask my friend who thinks this is so important that he wouldn't recommend it after having one for 30,000nm and see what his experience was.

In general I don't like stuff in the water that might hit anything. We grounded on reefs a couple of times and once on a river bank which heeled us over. And you are right about the rudder not being lower than the keel/rudder skeg so it should be the last thing to touch. I wish I were a better navigator and charts were better - oh well.

I do like the features you get with the Hydrovane - separate rudder, no lines on deck, tidy looks, beefiness, etc. It is still on my short list - well the list isn't too long anyway since there aren't that many products out there.
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Old 16-01-2015, 12:30   #8
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Re: WTB Hydrovane self steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
In general I don't like stuff in the water that might hit anything. We grounded on reefs a couple of times and once on a river bank which heeled us over. And you are right about the rudder not being lower than the keel/rudder skeg so it should be the last thing to touch. I wish I were a better navigator and charts were better - oh well.
HMMMMMMM, I've never run aground, yeah sure. In fact, once did it with the WPP Plus vane on the back. It was on an ebbing tide, eventually ending up high and dry, so had plenty of time to figure how stupid I'd been. Was an opportunity to inspect the bottom paint, thru-hulls, prop and zincs, though.

Ages ago, a friend who was getting ready to go cruising and I were sitting in a bar on the water in Norfolk. There was a cruiser heading south who was an obnoxious ass pontificating about running aground . He was denigrating anyone who'd ever run aground. Loudly proclaiming that running aground was solely the result of not knowing how to navigate. When My friend got to Florida, he ran into the jerk again. The guy changed the subject when asked about grounding on his trip down the ICW. If you haven't run aground, you've missed some interesting places.
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Old 16-01-2015, 15:26   #9
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Re: WTB Hydrovane self steering

For all of you who are considering the Hydrovane... have you looked at the Autohelm system? It too is an auxiliary rudder with all the advantages therein, and I believe somewhat less expensive. It is marketed by Scanmar these days.

Just another option to put in the pot!

Jim
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