I usually post every other Friday, but I recently received an email from Hydrovane outlining Golden Globe Race participants’ along with their respective winvanes detailing any issues they’ve had during the race. They proudly highlighted the participants who had Hydrovanes, and surprisingly every single one of them had no issues with their wind vanes! Two of the top three finishers have a Hydrovane. I found it pretty interesting, and it made me feel more confident in the investment in adding one to Coconut! The third participant just finished early this morning and it’s pretty exciting to follow.
I will be honest and say I have not yet figured out how to use the windvane, they’re apparently better for ocean passages rather than coastal cruising. Wind vanes have a slight variation in direction as they go off the wind, and an autopilot keeps a tighter and more reliable course. I had mostly light winds hopping down the coast and you need at least 10 knots I’m guessing to have enough wind to keep it steering.
I’ve also not yet found a way to keep my wheel in place (step #1 to using the hydrovane) but even when I had a friend on board messing with the vane while I kept the wheel straight, the boat kept rounding up. I’ve talked to some people in passing who say the trick is to balance the sails, which I could really see being key. Another confession, I do not know how to balance the sails properly! After searching online, it seems there are several books on how to trim sails. If anyone has any recommendations feel free to enlighten me!