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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-08-2008
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Rockter will become famous soon enough
Hydrovane...

What do you guys think of the Hydrovane?

Rockter.
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Old 04-08-2008
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the pointy end is the bow
 
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I like. Mounts easily, no control lines cluttering the cockpit, takes the load off the primary steering system, advertised as being a backup rudder and the one I looked at the boat show looks like it was put together well.
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It looks a good unit. Here is one on a sister ship, with a similar poop deck.....

Image of Hydrovane on a sister ship - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I like the idea of the aux rudder if things really go wrong. I understand that it is not as powerful as an autopilot that interfaces through the ship's rudder, but it would do. I am reminded that I must balance the sails well to make it work.

Rockter.
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Balancing the helm is good practice, but with the hydrovane I think you have some fudge factor. You can lock the steering wheel, even in a slightly off balance situation and the auxilary rudder will do the rest. In that regard, I think it would be very easy to get it set.
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Old 04-08-2008
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I have read and heard a lot of good things about the Hydrovane, I like the concept. We have a Monitor that the PO raved about (worked flawlessly on 5800NM crossing, three big storms) and I'm looking forward to learning how to use it, but the lines in the cockpit are sure to be in the way.

John
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Old 04-09-2008
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There are some disadvantages with all types, but the hydrovane once set up is always in the water, how do you back with one, and in a Med mooring they tend to get in the way. As a secondary/emergency rudder, if you lose the main ruder you will surely lose the hydrovane as it is in the water at the same time. Just my opinion.
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I remember one calm morning in 1994 noticing that the worm gear steering seemed a but stiff. A visit to the steering compartment... known as "the pit"... betrayed that one of the worm gear pins had sheared off at the first thread, and the beautiful bronze linkages had bent and needed heat-straightened.

It was flat calm, and the sun was out.

It could have been very different.

It made me a bit nervous.

I have talked very kindly to the worm gear steering ever since, oiling the linkages with gear oil and the worm with lotsa grease. I still cannot identify the manufacturer of it though.

I trust that when we back up we can lock the Hydrovane straight?
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Old 04-09-2008
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(humming) Hydro vane.....you probably think this thread is about you...
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Rockter-

I think different wind vanes are best suited for different boats... and that no one design is the best overall. I'm not familiar enough with the Hydrovane to comment on its construction, design or suitability to your boat though.
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Old 04-09-2008
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Quote:
There are some disadvantages with all types, but the hydrovane once set up is always in the water, how do you back with one
It was pretty straight forward to remove the auxilary rudder from the one I saw at the boat show. It would require a trip down a swim step or in a dinghy to do it though. I would anticipate having the auxilary rudder stowed until getting ready for long trips.

Another plus, although not exclusive, is being able to rig it to a small low amp tiller pilot.
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