Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: SE Alaska
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Rep Power: 10
Hydrovane is the Cadillac of self-steering. I have one, and beleive it is much stronger than any servo-pendulum I have ever seen or used. Being able to lock the helm is a huge benefit offshore, esp with wheel steering. They steer very well in light air, and of course are probably the best emergency rudder you can have since it is already deployed, you are already familiar with it, and it will have the power to steer the boat. Yes, you can hook a cheap tiller pilot to one if thats your game.
2) rudder is always in the water (I can remove it from my swim ladder but this is a scary job and you get wet!)
3) It fights my prop wash. I can only motor at about 4 knots.
4) It is heavy, but heavy means strong
1) off center installation works fine
2) no lines in cockpit
3) very strong
4) very efficient, works in ALL wind conditions (from drifting to storm force at least)
5) permanent auxiliary rudder
6) they last forever (mine is 35+ years, all original parts)
7) no learning curve, it works perfect the first time you use it assuming it was installed correctly, no fussing as with servo-pendulum designs
8) very high quality material with little to go wrong
9) you can remove the entire thing leaving only the brackets with just a couple of [big 3/4"] bolts.
10) great customer support, even for someone with a 35 year old unit not buying anything!