I got asked on another thread about how my Hydrovane
handled my boat
, 47 ft. I thought I'd update this thread with my thoughts.
As previously mentioned initially it was struggling in lighter winds, modern boats go faster in lighter breezes thus the vane would get over powered by the rudder
. This was rectified as explained in earlier posts.
Crossing the Indian ocean
last year it struggled at times with large following seas when the wind
picked up, just wasn't powerful enough when surfing . The big 135% genoa
was a big part of the problem, even partially furled the boat
would attempt to round up at times. It was also very hard on the autopilot
After talking to Will at Hydrovane
I decided to do away with my genoa
and swap to my 100% high clew jib
We recently did 1000nm passage
. The first 400nm from the Seychelles
to Farquar was forward of the beam, although the wind
didn't get higher than 27k the sea was quite rough. Our buddy boat broke its boom and generally got beat up. Using my jib
has made a huge difference, the Hydrovane steered the whole way, no problem.
The next leg, Farquar to Mayotte was a better angle, beam sea. Across the top of Madagascar
was rough and fast, we had two days of just under 200nm/day.
Because of the large beam swell and speed I engaged the autopilot
assuming it would handle the conditions better than the Hydrovane. In the middle of the first night the 1/2 SS pin that connects the linear drive
to the rudder
post tiller sheared, while I was a sleep of course.
We engaged the Hydrovane and it handled the conditions very well. A similar size boat (Beneteau 473) in the same area was running its engine
at 2000rpm in an attempt to get better steerage. We didn't come close to needing to do anything like this. Balanced sails
and the Hydrovane worked a treat. We sailed quite comfortably although sailing that fast for long periods in rough seas does get on my nerves, but going faster was more comfortable than going slower.
Changing from genoa to jib has made a big improvement. The surprising thing is I've noticed know performance loss by changing to the smaller sail, even in lighter winds. The big genoa, even furled tends to pull the boat sideways in certain conditions, the jib dosent do this.
Although it's taken a little bit of trial and error, which I didn't need to do on my previous smaller boat, I'm quite happy with the Hydrovane and are glad I have it.
As a side note, for the real light stuff I've added a code zero
on a furler