HYDROVANE SELF STEERING
Keep It Simple Stupid - or - Noddy’s Guide to setting up and using the Hydrovane.
Assume that the Hydrovane has been installed and all parts are working correctly.
1. Attach the vane and tilt to about 20 degrees.
2. Set sails and wheel/tiller to course desired (this will then determine the wind angle).
3. Remove the pins.
4. Adjust the vane so that the weight at the bottom of the vane points into the wind.
5. Using the worm gear, further adjust until the vane and weight are vertical. This means that the vane is pointing directly into the apparent wind.
6. Lock off the wheel, if need be tie the wheel into position (we use a piece of line tied around the rim and one radius arm attached to a D ring on the Helm’s seat). This is essential as in heavy seas a wave can easily knock the main rudder off its position if the wheel is not held firm.
7. Engage the Hydrovane, we routinely use the middle gear setting.
8. Fine tune the Hydrovane using the worm gear.
9. It is helpful to have the sails balanced but not essential to have them perfect! Occasional adjustments may be necessary if not. Frequent adjustments show that the sails are unbalanced. If you have a problem with this, put the Hydrovane into neutral and using the wheel/tiller to steer again adjust the sails until there is little or no pressure on the wheel/tiller. Fix wheel/tiller again and re-engage the Hydrovane.
10. To change direction use the worm gear: face the worm gear; to move to starboard rotate it counter-clockwise; to move to port rotate it clockwise. The Hydrovane has a stubby tiller which behaves the same as any tiller, so when turning to port it will point to starboard and vice versa.
It will take time to settle onto the new course and may appear to over steer, don’t readjust too soon.
11. Let the Hydrovane do its job, it will swing to and fro, and move 10 degrees either side of the mean course. That’s OK
12. When wishing to disengage: release wheel/tiller; put Hydrovane into neutral and off you go.
13. Practice makes perfect or nearly so!
14. Further detail and information can be had on the Hydrovane website. The team are extremely helpful if you contact them by email.
15. We have also got the Raymarine Tillermate set up, which also works extremely well with the Hydrovane and uses a lot less battery power than the main autopilot.
AQUA 4 GEN
Assume that the generator and the voltage regulator are installed correctly.
The propeller should be attached to a line of at least 10 metres which is then attached to the generator. At a boat speed of less than 1 1/2 knots the prop should be dropped into the sea. It will immediately start turning the line and the generator, resulting in approximately 1 amp per knot of power generation.
We found that this kept our fridge, interior lights, navigation lights, chart plotter and all instruments powered as well as providing a constant top up charge to the batteries at no effort to us.