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Message 5 of 5
Posted by member derek on Sunday 3 October 2021

Thank you for replies and advice. As only a recent member I was not aware of the sad passing of Steve Bracken nor did I know that his products were so well regarded by Hardy owners. The past articles in the Hardy magazine make interesting reading. I have contacted "Safeboat", they are away at the moment but I hope to get a response as soon they return.
Richard, thanks for offering to share your experience, I'll be in touch if I can manage to get a Hydrofin.

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Message 4 of 5
Posted by member Richard Moynan on Saturday 2 October 2021

We are the owners of two of the Late Steve Brecken's rudder kits.

We have a Hardy Fisher 20 with an 80hp Yamaha 4 st engine. We are based on the Exe where we have notorious tides, currents and crosswinds which used to cause us to be constantly urgently correcting course. After discussions with Steve and the articles in the Hardy magazine we purchased our kit. I transformed the handling of the boat. She has improved handling at all speeds. I was so impressed that I had discussions with him about adding even larger fins either side ( rudders). His advice was that it was fine if we had hydraulic steering, but not to make them too big. When the standard ones are fitted there are recommendations for fitting in the "up" position or the "down" position, depending on your steering and intended or achievable speeds. As a result I made new fins an increase of about the equivalent to the profiles of both positions together, ie about 35%. This has proved to be a success. In neutral when manoeuvring its acts just like a rudder more than ever.
We have now fitted a second one to our Orkney Longliner 16 with a 9.9 Yam which we use as a tender from the pontoon. The pontoon also suffers from serious cross-tideflows at the middle of the tides as well as crosswinds and, again the Hydrofin has dramatically helped to improve control as you negotiate the finger-births.

The Safeboat website appears to still work and there is information there, as I understand it there was a lot of stock manufactured ready for the new season and his son is now selling off the stock. His loss was tragic for the business as well as his family because had perfected the system which was far superior to anything else on the market, suitable for all outboards and sterndrives and required no drilling or modification to fit. It was designed with sound engineering principals and tried, tested , improved and developed over several years. And most importantly he was a good friend to Hardy owners.

I would be happy to discuss with you from my own experience but with disclaimer that I do not pretend to be an expert.

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Message 3 of 5
Posted by member Terry Asquith on Thursday 30 September 2021

Derek,
See the Safeboat co website for details of the Hydrofin. I bought and fitted one just before Steve died but as yet I've been unable to get out and about to try it. I know others have been impressed. It's a hefty bit of kit that comes as a box of bits you have to assemble but it looked to be a quality product.
Terry

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Message 2 of 5
Posted by member Gary Steele on Wednesday 29 September 2021

Don't know about outboards but I have one on the outdrive of my 21ft fairline and it's a bit easier to manoeuvre than my Navigator was.

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Message 1 of 5
Posted by member derek on Wednesday 29 September 2021

Being relatively new to outboard powered vessels I am surprised at the lack of control at slow speed and zero steerage on tick over with my Pilot. As my cruising area is limited to 4/6knots this is probably going to be an ongoing issue.
I know experience will help to compensate but I wondered if "Course Keeper" as sold on Ebay is worth the outlay. On here there is some mention of Steve Brecken's Hydrofin Dual Rudder Kit but not in any great detail.
Advice and informed opinion appreciated, thanks in advance.

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