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Old 06-11-2016, 20:42   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 7
Hydrovane windvane?

I have read everything I can find on the web about the Hydrovane self-steering gear, including lots of discussions about what its shortcomings should be: primarily not enough power to steer large/heavy vessels, especially boats with long keels. That said, I've read a number of accounts of the Hydrovane working fairly effectively for such boats, and I've found almost none that report that the Hydrovane actually failed heavy vessels.

We are considering buying a Hydrovane for our 20-ton 45' wooden ketch (traditional hull design with a full keel). If you have experience with a Hydrovane on an equivalent boat, and especially if there were serious shortcomings, we'd love to hear from you.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to tell us your experience!

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Old 14-11-2016, 01:11   #2
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Re: Hydrovane windvane?

I was very interested in a hydrovane yet decided to go with a monitor windvane. I think I really wanted to believe that the hydrovane would be the winning option because of its simplicity and slick look, lack of control lines etc. I also think they have an impressive only presence and marketing strategy over other brands. After researching for a long time and reading hundreds of reviews I decided it was not right for my relatively heavy 16ton 38footer. I concluded that the one major benefit of a servo pendulum vane over a hydrovane was the huge amount more power it was able to deliver and that it works even better in heavy winds. Personally, I can't see the hydrovane been able to take full helm control like the servo pendulum ones can. I think if your boat was beautifully balanced on all points of sail than the hydrovane would work fine to keep the boat on course however I'm not sure that its simplicity of the design makes up for less power output.

I haven't used a hydrovane. I could be completely wrong! Hopefully others who use the hydrovane will let you know their thoughts. Not trying to bag out the brand. These are just insights from my own research.

Another down side is that, surprisingly, give the less complicated design, they are more expensive than the servo counterparts. I was able to pick up a used monitor vane for a thousand dollars Australian and after another $700 had it properly modified to fit the transom. I feel mine looks good hanging off the back even though some people find them ugly.

Hope that's of some help.

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hydrovane, wind, windvane

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