Testimonials & Literature


1.           Articles

2.           Travel logs and web sites of sailing yachts equipped with a Holland Windvane/Bouvaan

3.           Testimonials

4.           Building reports


Articles about the Holland Windvane:

Windvane selfsteering versus autopilot

Tony Gooch

Selbst ist der Steuermann   (German)

Palstek, 2 / 2008

Bouvaan steeds populairder   (Dutch)

Mijn Boot, 07/2007


Articles about windvane steering systems:

Self-Steering—with No Strings Attached

Cruising World, 4 febr. 2002

Sorting out selfsteering options

Cruising World, 5 dec. 2001


Travel logs and web sites of sailing yachts with a Holland Windvane/Bouvaan:


“Ragaine II” (Reinke Taranga) from Lithuania


“Happy Monster” (Najad 360)


“Fenneken”  (Marieholm IF)


“Pulsatilla” (12,5 m Ketch, Ferro-cement, 14 Tons)


“Gladisant” (Albin Vega)


"Schorpioen” (Alan Buchanan one off)



* Lancelot (Kaskelot)                                              Bram en Hanny van de Loosdrecht (NL)

“We have been sailing with our Holland Windvane for many years on the North Sea up to the Shetlands, the Hebrides Islands and Iceland and the Windvane has proven very reliable and storm proof.

The construction is very strong, but yet the system functions very sensitive. We regard the construction made of commercially available materials of big importance to us. Our next boat will also be equipped with a Holland Windvane, that is for sure.” (2004)


* Octavus (Arcona 40). With this racer-cruiser with water ballast Bram van de Loosdrecht competed in the Ostar Singlehanded 2005!


* Happy Monster (Najad 360)                                  Hans Domselaar and Dory Janssen (NL)

“With the Panama channel behind us, we will arrive at the Galapagos islands within four to five days. You asked us if we use the Holland Windvane a lot??? We cannot live without it. The Holland Windvane has been steering the boat for 99% of the 9.300 nm up till today, it is indispensable!” (spring 2007)


* Ragaine II (Reinke Taranga)                                  Andrius Varnas, Lithuania

“Hello Mr.Hanco

 I,am very glad, that I have Holland vimd vane. Now I am in Caribia, Barbados, tomorrow I sail to St.Vincent island and to Grenadines. IN 14 January I will be in port of Spain, Trinidad and in first days of March I will cross Panama. This sailor from Lithuania are from My sail club and I recomended Your company and Holland vinvane. From Canaria to Caribia are aboput 29oonm and all this route bout was steered by vund wane, fantastic”.  (2009)



* Albacora (Deltavogel, Steel long keel 11 mtr)           Mr. Van Druten (NL)

The Albacora has been equipped with a Holland Windvane since 1995 and made long trips from Brittany (France) and to Poland. The owner stated to be “very enthusiastic” about his Holland Windvane. (2002)


* Mad (Hurley 830), Hilden                                      Hans Peter Reimers (Germany)

Since 10 years I have been sailing -often alone- with my sail yacht on the Baltic Sea between Eckernförde, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The Holland Windvane has been an indispensable help to me for all these years. The windvane has always given me a secure feeling because of its reliability and independence from electricity.

I have built the small Bouvaan exclusively with the construction drawings, since there was not a building manual in German in those days. Since last year I have an excellent new handbook.

Within 14 days I manufactured and assembled the Holland Windvane in a garage on a small work bench with a vice and a column-type drilling machine without any problems. Somewhat problematic I felt a counterbalancing. But also this could be solved with the translated procedures of Hanco.

I am very content with the quality of the materials (kit), and would I not like not to miss the Holland Windvane.” (2007)


* Gambler (New Gambler 35)                                   Rick Reekers (NL)

The Gambler has logged many miles, among others a double handed round trip from the Netherlands to the Caribbean. “For 11.000 nm the Holland Windvane has been our trustworthy helmsman. Light winds or 20-30 knots trade winds for weeks, “Jacq” -our Windvane- has been indispensable. On the way home entering the continental shelf we had three days storm up till 45-50 knots of wind (small storm jib with fourth reef) and steep erratic waves. We were very happy that the Holland Windvane steered us through!” (July 1991)


* Shirley (Westerly Storm 33)                                   Roger Elebaut, Nieuwpoort (Belgium)

…"we have only done a few test runs on days with light winds, but I am very impressed. The Windvane responds very well to wind shifts. We also ran a test with the autopilot coupled to the windvane and it performed very well. I am very satisfied.” (2003)


* Zilvermeeuw (Jeanneau Aquila)                             Mr. Maaskant, Lemmer (NL)

“I have bought my Holland Windvane from a friend. “She” is twelve years old and never failed or had any problems, breakdowns nor wear. How she does her job?: amazingly, indefatigable no matter how hard it blows. With strong winds she also performs better than my autopilot. Even on my previous boat, a Victoire 26 that broached frequently, the Holland Windvane did a perfect job.

If I had to choose between the engine and the Holland Windvane, I would gladly sail without engine…” (2002)


* Fenneken (Marieholm IF)                                     Hans van Laar (NL)

With his Marieholm IF Hans has sailed to the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores. On his website is the story of his trip.  Hans is looking for a bigger boat that will also be equipped with a Holland Windvane.

„Because of my own experience and those of others with different Windvane selfsteering systems, the Holland Windvane stays number one for me. I have deep respect for the design.“ (2001)


* Xara (X 95)                       (NL)                                      

“We bought one of the first ones second hand, it is really a delight sailing with the Holland Windvane.“ (2002, Caribbean)


* Pulsatilla (12,5 m Ketsch, Ferrozement, 14 Tonnen)  Bart Simons (NL)

„Since 1990 our Holland Windvane takes care for us, holding our hand free and our feet warm. “Japie”, like our windvane is called, is our pilot, a reliable extra crew member. (website: http://bsimons.net/) (2004)


* Dombo (Ovni 32), Vlaardingen                               Fam. Den Hartog (NL)
”From the first moment on, our Holland Windvane has performed immaculately, we are very satisfied with it“. (2006, Vilamoura, Portugal)


* Goose (Amphirite 43), Netherlands                         Arjan Zilver (NL)

“We are very satisfied with the Holland Windvane. We have been travelling for 5 months now and we have crossed the Biscay twice in rough conditions (40 knots of wind and waves of approximately 6 meters). In all circumstances the Holland Windvane performed excellent at any course.” (September 2007)


* Johannes van Dijk:

A few years ago we delivered a Maxi 999 from England to Den Helder. We had 2 days force 8 on a broad reach with impressive waves. I do not like a windvane on the stern of my own boat but I was very glad we could be inside or sit under the sprayhood for the entire trip. We couldn’t have “survived” without the Holland Windvane. (2007)


* Noud van den Braak (Jeanneau Melody):

“……I would not know what to do without the Holland Windvane……” (from the Azores)


Willem van lunteren (Hartley 39):

“The Holland Windvane is a fine piece of engineering, very user friendly and reliable!!!”




Building reports:



Doug Stewart

Windalay II, Endurance 35 Cutter,                (Canada)


Building the Holland Windvane was about what I expected in terms of difficulty and time required. What was unexpected was the difference between working with wood, which I have done quite a bit of, and working with metal, which I had never done. At first I found it a bit daunting and wondered if I would be able to finish this project after all. But, as with most things, it all gets easier as you develop a few techniques, and I ended by feeling quite confident as I approached each new section. The most difficult thing for me at first was grinding/polishing in order to get one tube to fit well inside another. I’m sure that with an expensive machine designed for the purpose that this would be simple. Like most DIYers, I work with what I can afford, which in this case was a drill and a Dremel tool, and variously shaped grinding bits. After a while I realized that polishing out the inside of one tube and polishing down the outside of the other was just time consuming – keep at it and you get there.


I was impressed with the quality of the pre-built parts – they all fit where they are supposed to, and there were adequate quantities of raw stock for the parts that need fabricating.. It requires a lot of looking at drawings to understand which part goes where, however there probably isn’t a better way to write these instructions, and it does all make sense eventually.


I decided to save up all the welding until the end, but I did take a couple of parts to my chosen welder early on to show him what I was doing and he did have a few bits of advice regarding fabrication, so I would advise anyone else to do the same.


The end result is a good looking device that seems to have almost no friction, and I’m looking forward to mounting and testing it.


April 15th, 2007  Garden Bay (BC)



Frank van Koten and Han Niemeijer

Feniks, Aluminium ‘Brise de Mer 34’,            (NL)


The fact that a Holland Windvane costs a third of a Monitor or Fleming is not our main reason for our choice. During our long voyages we were able to compare different brands and came to the conclusion that the Holland Windvane some advantages has that were important to us.

On January the 14th of 2007 after a demonstration in Hanco’s Holland Windvane workshop, we were convinced of the technical system and confident in ourselves to build a large Bouvaan.

Satisfied of our purchase we returned home with the handbook and a crate full of pipes and parts. We stuck to our schedule and built the Windvane in three weeks. The fourth week the Holland Windvane had been mounted on the stern of our Brise de Mer and we were ready for sea trials.

We were encourage to build the construction exact to the building instructions, which we found very apprehensible and included many extra building tips for us. Because of the lay out in different models we kept always a good overall picture of the process.

We had several questions that were answered by E-mail swiftly.

In the second week things developed very fast, the frame, vane unit, course mechanism and the pendulum part were functioning well according the test procedures. Not bad since we are no do-it-yourself diehards. Myself, Frank, have a career in classical music and Han earns his money in the IT branch.

After building the functional units, we put them together by electric spot welding. (comment Hanco Poot: electric welding in only suitable for bigger parts, it can easily burn through the thin materials if not done carefully). Subsequently we had everything TIG welded by a professional. This cost us twine 60 Euros. Now everything looks perfect. The wooden pendulumrudder took us two hours to shape.  Assembling was a piece of cake. After the final test procedures and calibrations we were ready for sea trails.

We were able to customize the mounts on our stern because of the use of standard measurement pipes.

With 3-4 Beaufort winds sailed on the IJsselmeer. After setting course and the vertical angle of the vane the Holland Windvane took over. Also off wind with spinnaker the windvane steered very well, a small miracle we thought based on comments of windvane steering in general on this course.

We like very much that sensible parts of the Holland Windvane are protected by the pivoting frame that minimizes the effects of a collision with floating or underwater objects. In case of damage every parts can be bought in the shop or reproduced by hand with a special set of building drawings.

We like the styling and the modest size of the Holland Windvane. The ball bearings transfer the light forces of the wind to the powerful drive of the pendulum with virtually no friction. The Fleming and Aries system have a more direct transmission with gear wheels but the exposed gear is more vulnerable and has a lot more friction.

In retrospect we consider building the Holland Windvane an interesting and satisfactory experience. It was instructive and a “crew bonding process”, though it took a little more time as we anticipated.

In September we plan to sail for two months to the Azores or to Ireland.


Hilversum, Netherlands,  30. May 2007   

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