The Hydrovane was an absolute game changer for us onboard Nandji. With out it, we would not have been able to sail the distances we have covered. We installed the new self steering method onto Nandji in Vanuatu after hand steering for nearly 3 months.
When we first departed Australia, we used a 20 year old autopilot which on the morning of the second day at sea on our first big open ocean crossing broke down. For the following 8 days and nights, we hand steered across the Coral Sea on 2 hour watches.We then continued to sail around New Caledonia and onwards to Vanuatu in this manner, completing 3 days passages hand steering the whole way, just the two of us.
We investigated into wind steering devices as they use no power operate whilst under way. Hydrovane was our choice for multiple reasons over the other brands.
The Hydrovane unit has its own independant rudder and requires no lines running to the tiller or steering wheel. As it uses its own rudder, it also provides for a back up rudder for your vessel.
The unit has the ability to be off set from centre and not affect performance. This was a major attribute for us on Nandji as we needed the device to fit on the transom of Nandji without affecting all the other things we have on the stern. The unit was mounted on port side allowing us to continually use the swim ladder, the davits and leave the solar power set up all in tact.