The following is an example of the level of support provide by Safeboat and a real customer Testimonial:

CUSTOMER: Hi I have a 2555 Bayliner Cabin Cruiser powered by a 350 Chevy V-8, with a single Volvo DuoProp outdrive. Works great on a plane (about 25 kts) but at hull speed (5 kts) “steering wonder” is a bother.

I plan a solo 500 mile trip from the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean on the Snake/Columbia River system this fall, and desire to move at hull speed all the way if possible. I assume I would need the upward fin mounting unit but have been advised by other similar boat owners that:

  • (A) fin adapters would not improve on the DuoPro, or
  • (B) mounting issues with the VP Cavitation plate/exhaust port would not be advisable.

Please advise on the above issues and also cost and recommended model if applicable.
Regards, Jerry O. Astoria. Oregon

SAFEBOAT: Hi Jerry, Answers to the questions as follows.  Advise given is wrong on all counts:

  • Upward fins will give great steering. (Your trim fin is so much smaller and is good for trim steering, yes ?)
  • I also have a multi fit set of metal rudders which can be fitted half way
  • Our fixing to VP280 290 exhaust plate is unique as a clamp with no drilling into the unit (See www.safeboat.co.uk videos)
  • The clamp has been tested to 32 knots with extra drag on a VP280 unit in the Irish Sea.
  • Product : You would need our DRVP280290 FS model (Fast Speed Use).

DRVP280290 FS2+2CUSTOMER: Roger on all ! I thought I had better also mention that I intend to apply the same special antifouling spray-paint, designed for aluminum, that I use on the outdrive on the new rudder assembly as I moor my boat in brackish water year round and usually only haul it out every other year to renew the bottom paint. I assume such an application will not adversely affect the device, but protect it from marine growth.  Of course I will haul the boat for a few hours to clean the outdrive before mounting your rig.

I plan to perform several trials before I install it, and take compass headings wander angles, elapsed time between swing recordings, etc. on a well laid out 1 mile repeatable course. I will be sure to run this course with similar tides/currents/winds to ensure useful data.  Once installed I will repeat and compare. Before I make any changes I will also run the same course at high speed. Then I will either leave as you suggested (because I need no more further improvement) or I will systematically adjust for effect.  I anticipate needing a few days for the testing but I will send you all the data.

I should mention I do not expect miracles, but am confident that the handling improvement will be noticed. Heck Steve, just having the time for doing some testing will be fun for me as I like to experiment and have always been a good technician when doing scientific field work.

Again, thank you for all you are putting into this. You make me feel more like a partner than a customer…

Regards, Jerry

SAFEBOAT: Hi Jerry, Anti fouling is no problem. The results will be great for you and your boat. I look forward to your honest review. Ta Steve

CUSTOMER: Ahoy Steve, You are awesome Steve! It really makes a difference to get such great personalized service… THANK YOU!

Can’t wait to install and then do testing workouts.  I will send you a thoughtful and realistic results and testimonial which you can edit as needed once my experimentation is completed.  I may contact you during this process for suggestions etc.

Steve, I understand that rudder enhancements are not magic fixes guaranteeing total and complete elimination of DeepV  /outdrive wondering, but I am convinced your product is the best design available to gain significant useful improvements to slow speed handling.

I am also convinced that your attention to the details of my boat, its intended operation, etc. which resulted in a custom product, will ensure I receive “the best of the best” appliance possible. Your going out of your way to provide custom strategies (double adjustable rudders, less side-loading via narrower base plate etc.) were unexpected but definitely appreciated! Again THANK YOU!

Regards, Jerry O.

CUSTOMER:  Ahoy Steve, Enjoyed a break in our winter weather here so took the boat out for a 10 mile run yesterday. There is a nice wide spot up river that is protected by surrounding islands and shore lines and is therefore out of the currents of the Columbia River.

I set up a “ test course” with a natural range made up of a dolphin piling in the water and a large pine tree ashore. I spent an hour running speed and wandering exercises to create a base line for comparison when I install the rudder attachment this spring. I then averaged my test runs for the two hull speeds below. Test results are as follows:

  • SPEED 5 Kts;    No wind, and at high slack tide so no current…
    Wander was 10 to 15 degrees via compass, and rate of swing was 10 to 20 seconds, Self correction via averaging was inconsistent and unpredictable.
  • SPEED 8 Kts;    No wind, high slack, no current…Wander was 5 to 10 degrees via compass, rate of swing 20 to 30 seconds, and self correction more apparent but still requiring active steering to maintain course.

It was interesting to learn that the amount of wander was proportional to the speed of the boat in the water, even at slow speeds.  In retrospect, that makes sense as the steering issue has to do with “rudder authority,” which is directly related to the amount of water flow past whatever rudder surface available. From the above data I would expect significant improvement if the rudder surface area is increased by 200 or even 400 percent. However since I do not know the physics of water flow effect via rudder size increase,

I won’t assume a simple linear formulae, such as expecting a compass swing reading to be ¼ of the above observations with the attachment. Nevertheless, I would be surprised if the addition of the new rudder enhancement would be negligible. On the contrary, I am encouraged by the noticeable differences between upper and lower hull speed performance and it just makes sense that doubling the rudder surface would cause the same effect as adding more speed.

BTW, I have been told by a number of boaters that lowering my trim tabs for slow speed motoring would make a difference. However I saw NO NOTICABLE CHANGE, OTHER THAN A REDUCTION IN GPS INDICATED SPEED, DUE TO INCREASED DRAG. Perhaps this is because I have a DuoProp instead of a single screw so already enjoy a slight advantage over most other boaters re stability.

Steve, I am planning to pull the boat in May to install your fine product (and yes, very impressed by quality and thoughtful design) so I will send you performance data under the same conditions as the above then. Finally, I can hardly wait for the spring boating season to begain!

Regards, Jerry O

SAFEBOAT: Hi Jerry, Great base line data and professional in approach. Good job.

Re Trim Tab Drag : Agreed : At these low speeds only drag and speed reduction will be felt and poorer economy as a result.
I guess “they” are saying tabs down will add stability…. True, but at a cost, when the Hydrofin Dual Rudder system will do it better.

The 2 + 2 rudders should give more than adequate steering improvement. (Single rudders each side work well enough).
The boat I use to test is similar to yours in size but without trim tabs and only has cable steering so all effects and changes to Hydrofin design can be felt through the hull performance, rear spray pattern and through the helm with cable steering.

I know you are going to have great fun when the Spring comes.

Ta Steve

CUSTOMER: Roger on all… Thank you for the quick response buddy!  Am excited and it is easy to see just how much more rudder surface I now have once I got it installed.  BTW, I coated all disassembled parts with both proper primer and then 3 coats of antifouling for Aluminum outdrives. Did the same for the outdrive itself before mounting, then shot all again for one last coat. After replacing all zincs and I will repaint transom and the bottom. Will get it in the water soon  (guessing a week or so) to do some testing. As promised I will do a quality write-up for your use. Again Steve, I am most impressed with how much thought you have put into this product ! To the best of my knowledge, no one here in the States have anything this sophisticated.  Regards, Jerry

CUSTOMER: Ahoy Steve, Got the boat in the water a few days ago. Although I did not have time to do a full test (we are under “lockdown” orders here in the States due to Virus) However, I did have a chance to get the feel of it moving my boat the mile or two directly to the mooring from the launch site.  Initial observations are excellent! Slow speed wander went from 15 degrees down to under 5 degrees, making a relative joy to put along at 5 Kts !  High speed on plane was straight and true as usual and I did not notice any adverse effects, these results exceeded my expectations.

I will again set up my test course when things settle down here and I can take my time to properly ring it out and provide you a decent write up.  As there seemed to be no adverse effects at high speeds am wondering if I should increase blade angles a bit to optimize even more?  BTW, docking was a joy…

Regards, Jerry O.

SAFEBOAT: Hi Jerry I am pleased you are happy and confirm my expectations on your test of the Hydrofin 2+2 Dual Rudder. Keep me posted. Ta Steve

CUSTOMER: Ahoy Steve,  I took my boat on  a 50 mile cruise last week up the Columbia River for more testing.  Still amazed at how much better it steers with your product I ran miles at a time at 3 different RPM’s and also with my Honda kicker to get a good feel for handling.

  • At 500 rpm my 25’ cruiser moved along at around 4.5 kts, Wander was about 5 degrees and required a bit active course correction.
  • At 1,500 rpm it  moved at about 10 kts and settled down a bit more but still required active touching up course headings. 
  • At 3,500 rpm boat was on plane and cruising at 28 kts and ran straight as an arrow as one would expect.  Turning aggressively I could feel increased resistance from the additional side loading but still felt reasonable even with the rack and pinion steering.

As always, THANK YOU for your great product and willingness to advise. Regards, Jerry O.  

SAFEBOAT: Hi Jerry, I am pleased you are getting to know “a new, better handling” boat. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts after 500 miles !

Over to you to “experiment”. Ta Steve