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Old 08-06-2005, 12:00   #1
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Hyrovane steering systems

I just aquired one of these used. Does anyone have experience using one? what's the oppinion of this system?

Pat
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Old 08-06-2005, 12:25   #2
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Heard of Hydrovane, the Brit windvane....But never heard of
Hyrovane...Typo?
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Old 08-06-2005, 13:18   #3
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ARC Survey: Hydrovane Wind Self-Steering
Showing individual survey results for this piece of equipment on 10 boats - they all rated it pretty highly.
Goto:
http://www.ybw-directory.com/arc2004...nlen=0&co_id=0
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Old 08-06-2005, 17:50   #4
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Thanks Gord!
I don't know where you come up with all of these articles.
Yes it's a Typo...Hydrovane. Made in England marketed in North America by some Canadians out west.

Pat
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Old 13-09-2014, 09:22   #5
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Re: Hyrovane steering systems

Yes We had one on OuiSi, a Yorktown 33. I was satisfied with it as we went from FL to the Virgins & on to Venezuela & back.
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Old 13-09-2014, 09:35   #6
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Re: Hyrovane steering systems

There were issues with older makes. Go to their website to read where the problem was, may help you address any challenges you might encounter with yours.

I talked to two owners and both gave the make a bad name. One called his unit useless; it was a bigger (50+) Benneteau boat, off center mount.

Another crew said their unit was not responsive enough (???).

I believe both cases described above possibly with more adjustment and better understanding the units could perform very well. This much depends on how windvanes are set and operated.

I had a very close look at the design and I liked nearly everything I saw there.

Well, my 2 eurocents. The units are not vastly common but we do see them often enough to understand they are as good a system as any other of the more popular options.

b.
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Old 13-09-2014, 10:09   #7
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Re: Hyrovane steering systems

I had one years ago and they have done some improving since then. Bigger rudder and bigger vane to allow it to drive bigger boats. Like any vane sail trim and boat balance is crucial. They also act as a back up rudder if you lost yours which is one reason they are popular these days.
Good product
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Old 13-09-2014, 12:00   #8
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Re: Hyrovane steering systems

We fitted ours in 1997 and since then it has got us across the Atlantic 3 times, so 30,000 miles later we are very happy with it.

Worst weather it handled was 8 hours of running down wind with massive waves and winds between 40 and 60 knots.

It will steer down wind better than I can!! Being Centre cockpit, the lack of strings and friction is excellent and you have a spare rudder

Very rarely it needs a little help with cross seas, you just move the wheel a bit to assist it.

Like ALL autopilots you have to trim the sails properly

We have broken the rudder locking pin a few times so now have a different arrangement for locking the rudder when we are not using it, It does vibrate when under power.

The Vane covers do not last that long in the sun, but I have notice the new Owners of Hydrovane have changed the material so that problem may have gone away
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Old 13-09-2014, 23:15   #9
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Re: Hyrovane steering systems

There are a lot of them out there even though they are among the most costly vane on the market. Would be interested how yours steers in light air. With only wind pressure turning the Aux. Rudder, question whether the wind vane has enough oomph to effectively steer in light conditions.

I have a WindPilot Pacific Plus auxillary rudder system on my boat. Similar to a Hydrovane but the Aux. Rudder is controlled by a pendulum servo rudder steered by the vane. The P/S system generates plenty of power to steer in all wind conditions. Did a DDW run from SF to Hawaii in relative winds under 8k with confused following seas and it worked just fine in very trying conditions. Curious how the wind only steering works on HydroVane.
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Old 14-09-2014, 00:13   #10
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Re: Hyrovane steering systems

Our experience with light airs with the Hydrovane were quite good. They have a transmission of sorts that you can change the leverage so that in lighter winds the vane puts more power to the rudder. I actually found them to be as good as a servo pendulum in light airs. I found the weakest point of sail was beam reaching in gusty conditions, something my servo pendulum would deal with better.
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Old 14-09-2014, 07:54   #11
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Re: Hyrovane steering systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Curious how the wind only steering works on HydroVane.
On our boat, if there is enough wind to sail, the Hyrovane will work, and remember there are power adjustments available to the servo and vane angles

In practice, when sailing in company with a boat with a Monitor (admittedly they had painted their wind vane in their countries colors making it heavier), They could not get the Monitor to work in less than 10 knots but our hydrovane did the job

BUT it probably is very dependent on the type of vessel as well as sail trim
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Old 14-09-2014, 19:21   #12
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Re: Hyrovane steering systems

The use of any windvane requires a rather steep learning curve, and people that give up too quick, miss one of the most valuable pieces of gear on a cruising boat. People that expect it to be as quick a response as an auto pilot, dont like them. I have only used Aries, and a Quartermaster, but I expect that with familiarization, and practice the Hydrovane will beat the hell out of steering across an ocean. Just my 2 cents worth. _______Grant.
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Old 14-09-2014, 20:31   #13
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Re: Hyrovane steering systems

We have ours installed about 6 inches off center on a CS 40 with a reverse transom and swim step. Crossed the Pacific twice and it worked great with a bit of tweeking. The big rudder helps the boat track better as well and can act as an emergency rudder.

It has a very beefy build and has no control connections to the boat.

There was a QA issue with the rudders for a period where the shaft position made the rudder slightly overbalenced. I shaved of 1/4 inch of the leading edge as per there direction and it improved things. I was offered a new rudder but accepted some spare parts instead as compensation.

Very happy overall.
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Old 15-09-2014, 04:24   #14
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Re: Hyrovane steering systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
The use of any windvane requires a rather steep learning curve, and people that give up too quick, miss one of the most valuable pieces of gear on a cruising boat. People that expect it to be as quick a response as an auto pilot, dont like them. I have only used Aries, and a Quartermaster, but I expect that with familiarization, and practice the Hydrovane will beat the hell out of steering across an ocean. Just my 2 cents worth. _______Grant.
This has been my experience as well. I think its more about the operator than the specific gear/boat combo. Seems some people can make most windvanes on any boat work. Others can't even get previously working systems working well.

My old man can't get the hang of them. I come on watch, he's hand steering, 2 minutes later the vanes working fine, ease the main slightly, tweak the tiller lines... Banghead!
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Old 16-09-2014, 04:55   #15
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Re: Hyrovane steering systems

I haven't got that much experience with ours, but so far it has been brilliant! I really like it, it sails the boat in a very natural way.

Our boat is a 6.5 tonnes (factory spec, probably a tonne more equipped), and it fits the Hydrovane very well. I think if you're over 12 or 13 tonnes she will start to struggle.

I was apprehensive before I tried it out - thinking it would be complicated but after reading the manual it is in fact very simple indeed.

So far I would say: brilliant piece of kit.

Onno
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