#1 2018-02-16 18:06:19

Charles_Grossie
Member
Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 8

Self-Steering gear - Victoria 34 - Hydrovane versus Servo Pendulum?

Hi folks,

I am considering fitting self-steering gear to my V34. I have previous experience of the Aries 'lift-up' (fitted to my Rival 34) and early Hydrovane VXA11 self-steering gear (fitted to my Biscay 36 ketch).

Both designs are very good, but each has their pro's and con's of course.

I am swaying towards a Monitor being honest and note that several Victoria and Francis 34s have been fitted with Monitor. On the same note, I also see that many Hydrovane's have also been fitted (details on each of the vendor's web sites).

I would be interested in any feedback members have based on their experiences of either designs.

Many thanks.

Charlie.

Victoria 34 Cutter - 'Anitra'.

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#2 2018-04-08 20:10:30

John_Willis
Member
From: Guernsey
Registered: 2017-04-07
Posts: 11

Re: Self-Steering gear - Victoria 34 - Hydrovane versus Servo Pendulum?

Hi Charlie,

You may already have made a decision, but if not here goes.  I am the happy skipper of Pippin, a 1997 Frances 34 Pilothouse, which came with a brand new Hydrovane.

To be honest I was scared stiff of it until I tried it for the first time and since then I have been delighted with it, particularly as I had considerable autopilot issues on my trip from Guernsey to Baltimore.   So, though no expert in such matters, here is my list of Pros and Cons;

Pros (though some of these will apply to other types too);
1.  Bullet proof (will handle a considerable impact from astern without damage, as I have discovered).
2.  Simple to use.
3.  Can even be used gently motor sailing.
4.  OK with wind well aft of the beam.
5.  Makes me a better sailor as you have to get the balance right.
6.  It can be used as an emergency rudder.

Cons;
1.  Expensive.
2.  Blade can really only be shipped at the dockside, or from a dinghy in calm water (can be unshipped easily at sea with a retaining rope).
3.  Does affect handling under engine in close quarters, but not unduly so.

I hope that helps.  Do contact me if I can help further - either on this means or email jmwillis290@gmail.com

John Willis

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