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  1. #1
    Jobs_a_ good_ un's Avatar
    Jobs_a_ good_ un is offline Registered User
    Location : home bristol boat where ever we end up
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    Default Windvanes and selfsteering systems opinions

    Looking at installing a selfsteering system to my bene 411 and would like to hear over peoples opinions on the various types
    My fav so far is the hydrovane

    Thanks
    “Fortitudo et Honor”
    http://blog.mailasail.com/cafeseerose[/url]

  2. #2
    highandry Guest

    Default Re: Windvanes and selfsteering systems opinions

    I had a Hydrovane on my other boat for 10 years, during the whole of that time the only failure was the nylon vane cover died because of Uv degredation, phone call to Canada for new one, received within 48 hours. 2 Med cruises each 2 years+ and I Transat, faultless. Just fitted another one for this boat. I'm biased.. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    john_q is offline Registered User
    Location : NW Caribbean, Belize Mexico & Guatemala
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    Default Re: Windvanes and selfsteering systems opinions

    We have had a Hydrovane since 1997 and 30,000 miles later would not be without it

    Vane covers do go in the sun but the newer seem better, the only problem we have had is breaking locking pins but stainless steel rod works well in an emergency

    ALWAY tie the rudder on to the boat, mine came off crossing the atlantic this time but a short swin solved the problem

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Windvanes and selfsteering systems opinions

    Totally agree with 'highandry'. I recently completed a circumnavigation with a Hydrovane and it was faltless. Only problem was when a flying fish hit the vane and caused a small rip; this was repaired with stick on sail repair tape. It works well downwind (unlike some others). On the Pacific crossing we hardly touched it for eighteen days! A great bonus with the Hydrovane is that it is totally independant from the yacht's steering system and can be used as an emergency rudder if necessary - great for peace of mind! It is beautifully engineered, easily maintained and support from manufacturers is good. It is expensive, but well worth the extra.
    So throw off the bowlines.
    Sail away from the safe harbour.
    Catch the trade winds in your sails.
    Explore - Dream - Discover
    (Mark Twain)


    .................................................. ...
    http://www.yachtvalhalla.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Default Re: Windvanes and selfsteering systems opinions

    The last time I suggested a windvane, the reply was :

    "Well I still dont want one

    In ym gear test on the arc cruisers last year they were not highly rated either
    As apperently they didnt hold there course that well
    I dont know personally as ive never had one and dont want to spend the 4 K to buy one either

    Btw I like helming" [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

    Ace news Mark that you have seen the light re windvanes, and especially Hydrovanes - brilliant bits of kit!

    And given the occasional incidents in recent years of boats losing rudders in mid-atlantic, it is re-assuring to know that you still have an extra one bolted on to the transom.

    I hope that you will let Barbados be your first port of call in the New World, unlike TCM, who seems to not like us, always preferring to zoom to the flesh pots of St Lucia or the froggy islands instead..... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
    A lovely Jeanneau SO 40 here in Barbados is looking for a new Custodian.....PM for details

  6. #6
    Liz_I's Avatar
    Liz_I is offline Registered User
    Location : The Charente
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    Default Re: Windvanes and selfsteering systems opinions

    Hydrovane - excellent piece of kit.

    Windvanes, sadly lots of people are agin them. The boat really does need to be set up properly and if the wind changes in strength then adjustments have to be made. Nothing is fit and forget, sadly.

    Hydrovane does, however, steer the boat downwind which for most is the worst possible point of sail.

    You like helming --- hmmm, for how long??? Hours/days or weeks. Would agree that it's a pleasurable experience but it does have its limitations [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
    When the love of power becomes the power of love then there will be peace in the world.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Windvanes and selfsteering systems opinions

    Can't comment on the hydrovane, we have a monitor. It's my favourite thing on the boat! No power use, freedom from helming and accurate course. Those who say they don't work probably don't understand how to set them up. The boat must be balanced and certainly, as far as the monitor is concerned, the sails need to pull from the front. We usually have at least one reef in and that works brilliantly.

    Once snapped the sacrificial tube during extremely high winds mid Atlantic but apart from that just usual wear on the line.

    have been very impressed with Scanmar(the retailer) in California. In fact their record keeping system is outstanding. They even produced a photograph of the instillation on our boat at the London Boat show a few years when we were there asking for some advice.

    http://www.gerryantics.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Windvanes and selfsteering systems opinions

    Another vote for the Hydrovane.

    Brilliant piece of kit - but always worth carrying a 2nd vane cover if you're going to be away for a while.

  9. #9
    Jobs_a_ good_ un's Avatar
    Jobs_a_ good_ un is offline Registered User
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    Default Re: Windvanes and selfsteering systems opinions

    Hi Martin

    Yes Ive changed my mind on the hydrovane looks a fab bit of kit
    Oh and by the way I reread the article on best bits of kit it was on the arc world report in ym and although a couple of people wernt that keen other articles ive read since rate them as the best bit of kit going
    btw I still like helming but as someone else pointed out not 24 hrs a day for 3 weeks
    I have 1st of all got to get the boat to the carnaries 2200 miles from the eastern med so it might get a bit of practice before we set off
    Was thinking of antigua as 1st port of call but plan to do the whole chain eventually inc gautamala/florida/east coast of america
    Will see you in Barbados sooner or later

    Regards

    Mark
    “Fortitudo et Honor”
    http://blog.mailasail.com/cafeseerose[/url]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Default Re: Windvanes and selfsteering systems opinions

    We're Monitored and agree a great piece of kit.

    I agree with Gerry re sail balance, the more the boat wants to go in a straight line the less work the vanegear has to do.

    BTW we also have a Autohlem 7000 and if I'm honest I use this now more than the vane gear.

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