Hydrovane Installation

Date: June 2015

The project: Hydrovane self steering windvane. This is a bit of a no brainer for us! Of course, it is our family business, but also we know personally how important a piece of kit it is. ‘Ernie’ – our Hydrovane on Hydroquest – steered us 95% of the way across the Pacific (at least 7,500 nm of open ocean). Can’t imagine crossing an ocean without a windvane.

‘Ernie II’ is our newest crew member. ‘Ernie’ is short for Ernest, John Curry’s middle name.

The considerations: The Jeanneau SO 43 has the best swim step so an off-center installation will be a must.  So our only real considerations are:

  • How far off center?
  • How to properly shape the timber pads?

Time: One full day to shape the H Timber Pads, install the lower H Bracket, and drill holes for the A Bracket.  Second day to finish installing the upper A Bracket and fit the unit.

The outcome: A stellar installation, if we do say so ourselves!

Of note:

  • L (Shaft Length)/ A (Upper Bracket)/ H (Lower Bracket) installation
  • 26″ off center
  • Sandwiching and shaping the pad for the H Bracket was the most difficult part due to the various angles of the transom at our desired fitting location.
  • The Shaft sits about 1″ out of the water which is ideal so it won’t attract growth. The waterline comes up considerably when we are underway.
  • The Shaft sit quite close to the stern fender strip – so close that the rudder does not actually fit on. No problem – we took a ‘shark bite’ out of the rudder so that it has enough room to turn properly. This has no affect on performance.
  • We positioned the A arms so that the inboard arm sits parallel to the centerline of the boat, and outboard arm is on the same horizontal plane. This is visually pleasing, preserves as much of the swim step as possible, and will be easy to eventually make a nice teak platform for.
  • We run the remote course setting line forward so it can be reached from the starboard cockpit settee

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