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Old 29-11-2015, 11:06   #1
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Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

Hi everybody, I'v have a Sun Oddysey 29.2, 8.5 length and 2.8t displacement.

We use it for weekend cruising, in the north atlantic coast in Spain. It's equiped with Raymarine St2000, that is not enough when wind is over 20knt.

I've askd for budget to install a Raymarine EV200, and It's about 4k VAT included. It's about in the same range as a Hydrovane.

My Raymarine dealer tell me that EV200, will fit perfect for my needs.

what's about hydrovane, is it suitable for coastal cruising? or it's worth only once you get into blue water cruising?
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Old 29-11-2015, 11:30   #2
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Re: Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

An electric autopilot will be much more functional than a windvane for coastal cruising. Windvanes come into their own on long offshore passages.
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Old 29-11-2015, 11:44   #3
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Re: Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

".....that is not enough when wind is over 20knt......"

Are you sure that it is not a problem of sail setting? If you balance the sail differently your existing pilot could be enough. If to much luffing is the cause try increased reefing of the mainsail.

What is the difference in power between the ST2000 and the EV200? Look for the Kg/M or lbs/ft figures. Maybe they are not so different after all and the dealer is an equipment seller after all.
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Old 29-11-2015, 12:03   #4
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Re: Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

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Originally Posted by sailormed View Post
".....that is not enough when wind is over 20knt......"

Are you sure that it is not a problem of sail setting? If you balance the sail differently your existing pilot could be enough. If to much luffing is the cause try increased reefing of the mainsail.

What is the difference in power between the ST2000 and the EV200? Look for the Kg/M or lbs/ft figures. Maybe they are not so different after all and the dealer is an equipment seller after all.
that's with 20knt TWS, downwind
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Old 30-11-2015, 11:35   #5
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Re: Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

Self-steering vanes work just fine for all sailing, coastal or open ocean. The idea that self-steering is only for long passages is total hoooey. When the boat is under sail, the self-steering is driving my boat. Has been that way for 40 years. You do need to be somewhat aware of what is going when sailing in close quarters just in case there is a gross change in the relative wind. Somewhere i thought there is a regulation that you need to maintain a lookout when underway even when under autopilot. Autopilot users seem to forget about that little detail.

The Hydrovane is good gear but one of the most expensive self-steering systems out there. WindPilot, Aries, Cape Horn, Fleming and others make servo-pendulum systems that are way cheaper and often available used quite cheap. Unless you have to have auxillary rudder self steering, might want to look at pendulum-servo and used if cost is an issue. Your Raymarine 2000 will work just fine to steer the boat when powering. The tiller pilot might be able to be rigged to the self-steering if you want compass generated heading at super low power drain.
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Old 30-11-2015, 12:25   #6
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Re: Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

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Self-steering vanes work just fine for all sailing, coastal or open ocean. The idea that self-steering is only for long passages is total hoooey. ......
It may be hoooey to you but in practice that is the way the vast majority of windvanes are actually used. That's why the vanes and paddles come off when most users make their landfall.
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Old 30-11-2015, 13:31   #7
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Re: Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

This report about electronic autopilots and hydrovanes in use during ARC 2012 might be of special interest for you:
Autopilots on Atlantic test: ARC survey – Yachting World
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Old 30-11-2015, 14:13   #8
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Re: Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

My Australian yacht (Swanson 36) has both a Fleming windvane and a wheel pilot. She has done an awful lot of both coastal and blue water cruising in recent years.
The wheel pilot fails once the wind and sea get up but will remain useful longer under motor. But still eventually, and too soon, is overcome.
The Fleming is often not so good while coastal cruising as the constant windshifts mean one is constantly adjusting the Fleming. Still better than hand steering.
Offshore, the Fleming comes into it's own, it is quite happy in severe gail/storm conditions on most points of sail. Maybe down wind is a bit risky. But my tactic in such conditions is to get about 70 deg. off the wind which is about as close as she will go in dreadful conditions.
Now back to the question. I would agree the ST 2000 is not up to the task. As a choice between a better pilot or windvane, I would go the pilot but be mindful it they take a lot of power compared to the ST 2000.
My solution would be to keep the existing pilot and get a windvane and you will be equipped for nearly all conditions.
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Old 16-12-2015, 18:24   #9
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Re: Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

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It may be hoooey to you but in practice that is the way the vast majority of windvanes are actually used. That's why the vanes and paddles come off when most users make their landfall.

I would say that the vast majority are in fact not used at all as the biggest reason for that phenomenon. Wind vanes need a bit of experience to work well and lots of users give up too easily. And they need a fairly constant wind, which is more unlikely in coastal sailing.

Can't say what the TS should do, but I for one was very happy when I first put my new Hydrovane into practice on our 3000 mile trip last year. There is something magical about wind vane steering, like it was the way God intended us to sail or something. You need to be able to balance your boat, though, and balance it well. And if your ST2000 is not coping in only 20kts of wind, it sounds to me like your boat is not balanced. Then a wind vane won't work either.

I would want an autopilot first, if nothing else for steering under power. But I love my wind vane.

BTW, our Raymarine STX-10 coped extremely well in 40kts and 20ft confused seas on the Bay of Biscay. I got more and more faith in it as the night wore on.


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Old 16-12-2015, 19:05   #10
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Re: Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

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I would say that the vast majority are in fact not used at all as the biggest reason for that phenomenon. Wind vanes need a bit of experience to work well and lots of users give up too easily. And they need a fairly constant wind, which is more unlikely in coastal sailing.

Can't say what the TS should do, but I for one was very happy when I first put my new Hydrovane into practice on our 3000 mile trip last year. There is something magical about wind vane steering, like it was the way God intended us to sail or something. You need to be able to balance your boat, though, and balance it well. And if your ST2000 is not coping in only 20kts of wind, it sounds to me like your boat is not balanced. Then a wind vane won't work either.

I would want an autopilot first, if nothing else for steering under power. But I love my wind vane.

BTW, our Raymarine STX-10 coped extremely well in 40kts and 20ft confused seas on the Bay of Biscay. I got more and more faith in it as the night wore on.


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There's a certainly irony to your post on how great windvanes are. Why did you select the AP over the vane?
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Old 17-12-2015, 03:39   #11
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Re: Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

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There's a certainly irony to your post on how great windvanes are. Why did you select the AP over the vane?
Sheesh you're a cynical person. I did not state that I had the windvane at the time, so why make the assumption?

As it happens, I did, but it was my very first crossing with it and my first storm. We had the floorboards coming up with water in the boat during the storm as water was coming in through the anchor locker which turned out not to be watertight. Somehow, with all that going on, and my experience of windvanes which was 2 days old, it seemed too much to worry about that too.

Windvanes are great but I still have much to learn about them. Is that allowed, your royal highness?

All I was saying is that I was impressed with the AP's abilities over such high and confused seas. I would always select a belt-and-braces approach if possible and I'm very happy to have both. I can't see any possible irony in that.


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Old 17-12-2015, 12:12   #12
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Re: Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

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Sheesh you're a cynical person. I did not state that I had the windvane at the time, so why make the assumption?

As it happens, I did, but it was my very first crossing with it and my first storm. We had the floorboards coming up with water in the boat during the storm as water was coming in through the anchor locker which turned out not to be watertight. Somehow, with all that going on, and my experience of windvanes which was 2 days old, it seemed too much to worry about that too.

Windvanes are great but I still have much to learn about them. Is that allowed, your royal highness?

All I was saying is that I was impressed with the AP's abilities over such high and confused seas. I would always select a belt-and-braces approach if possible and I'm very happy to have both. I can't see any possible irony in that.


Onno
The irony to me was just that you promoted windvane use, then went into an example of the AP working so well. I like wind vanes and have used an Aires for many years and a Sailomat for few. I decided not to put one on my current boat. In reality less and less cruising boats are relying on windvanes and many that are still mounted don't get used. Some of this is because people don't take the time and effort to learn to use them. Some of it is that the modern APs are much more reliable than in the past and it is easier to generate the juice to run them now. In the end the APs steer better and are easier to use and faster to setup.
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Old 17-12-2015, 12:31   #13
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Re: Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

We've come from Ireland to France to include day and overnight sailing. Now in S Brittany and use the Hydrovane in all conditions. No battery probs etc. you just tweet it for your own boat (ours is an Oyster 435). Sailors sail, so get your boat sailing where you want it to go ie well balanced. Then switch to Hydrovane when the smallest of tweets will do. Don't get me talking about my3K euro Raymarine stuff. AND of course your dealer will recommend the product he/she gets a commission on. Rant over!
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Old 17-12-2015, 14:48   #14
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Re: Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

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We've come from Ireland to France to include day and overnight sailing. Now in S Brittany and use the Hydrovane in all conditions. No battery probs etc. you just tweet it for your own boat (ours is an Oyster 435). Sailors sail, so get your boat sailing where you want it to go ie well balanced. Then switch to Hydrovane when the smallest of tweets will do. Don't get me talking about my3K euro Raymarine stuff. AND of course your dealer will recommend the product he/she gets a commission on. Rant over!
Me too I love my vane, an Australian Fleming. Bullet proof.
But you have teased a question. What are the problems with your Raymarine equipment?
Rant coming ?
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Old 18-12-2015, 13:10   #15
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Re: Raymarine EV200 vs Hydrovane

You did ask!
Bought SPX30 (The brains) and P30 (the control display in the cockpit) one fine summers day, didn't install til next season.
Unusually, I did RTFM (reading d manual etc) and installed thus. Plug and play easy peesy! No not that easy. Bought at Oyster (Foxs) excellent service and most courteous. Couldn't get the yoke to work so was advised to contact Raymarine helpline for expert advice. Either they have too many complaints or only employ one person but I got the usual 'please hold we value your call' for over 15 mins. Then I sent a query to Raymarine tech department who asked me to send an installation drawing which I did. That was the last I heard from them.
Problem 1. Raymarine supply a plug and play system (idiot proof!) with one tee piece short. IE when you buy the spx30 and the P30 you need to order an extra tee piece. HELLO!
Problem 2. Raymarine supply the gear which doesn't work without little blue thinghys (termination pieces). AND this indication is nowhere to be found in the manual. Remember I did RTFM. It seems it's a well kept secret that everyone except this idiot (the buyer) knows about.
FINALLY, I can't calibrate the new compass dispite going around in circles (as per the manual) to the amusement of other yachties.
I've no intention of waiting on the phone for a busy customer service. So I rant at Raymarine at every opportunity and sing the praises of HYDROVANE, which was just 'plug and play'.
By now, 3 years later, I'm sure they'll say there is a new model that I could buy!!
Rant over.
Oysterbob.
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