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Old 04-12-2021, 16:08   #1
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Hydrovanes

Regarding the utterly shocking price that everything to do with sailing commands:

$10 000 for a hydrovane, just a bunch of fabricated together, metal moving parts, been around for 30 years, the components of which must add up to a grand total of $300

Why aren’t people just fabricating their own version?
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Old 04-12-2021, 16:26   #2
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Re: Hydrovanes

just apply the famous Nike slogan
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Old 04-12-2021, 16:36   #3
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Re: Hydrovanes

Well, Dave, I did just that! Not emulating a Hydrovane, but taking the features of the Auto-Helm vane and designing and building my own version.

And the material costs were indeed around 300 USD, but that was back in 1984. And the labor time for design and construction and revising and actually getting it to steer the boat reliably was quite large.

Once done, it steered our previous vessel in the majority of the 86,000 miles we logged in her... a very satisfying project, but not at all an easy one!

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Old 04-12-2021, 18:00   #4
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Re: Hydrovanes

The first time that I saw a Hydrovane on a boat, I thought that too. It looked really simple and it shouldn't be hard to build one. But time was an issue so I bought one. It works flawlessly and underneath the simple appearance is some quite sophisticated engineering and construction. Much beyond my abilities to replicate.

But there are other designs that should be easier on a DIY basis. But they seem to be much complicated than a Hydrovane and with more moving parts prone to failure, and most do not provide an emergency rudder. I just watched a Christian Williams YouTube presentation for a single handed trip from Los Angeles to Hawaii and return. He spent a lot of time fixing his self-steering gear. It was not a Hydrovane and he created a very clever work around to replace a part that failed several times.

Bernard Moitessier made his own self-steering gear, it seemed quite simple and apparently worked well enough.

Sails cost quite a lot too given that they are just fabric, thread and some metal bits here and there. People do make their own but I buy them as a majority of others do.

One of the things that I love the most about sailing is fixing broken things and creating new approaches to replace something that has failed. But my skills and abilities are not up to building a Hydrovane.
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Old 04-12-2021, 18:37   #5
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Re: Hydrovanes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Noosa View Post
Regarding the utterly shocking price that everything to do with sailing commands:

$10 000 for a hydrovane, just a bunch of fabricated together, metal moving parts, been around for 30 years, the components of which must add up to a grand total of $300

Why aren’t people just fabricating their own version?
It is a small market, but the 2 or 3 top sellers are taking a big byte pricewise. Check this one I started:

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ne-243391.html
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