Managed to get first dibs on a Hydrovane!!!!!
Excellent news, as its the self steering system I wanted.
I've now got to finalise my thinking over how I sort the transom area out, as there's a lot going on!
I need to shorten the mizzen boom by about 12", which shouldn't be a problem as the sail is at least 18" short of the boom end anyway, and then I need to see how the Hydrovane lines up with the davits... if the vane isn't high enough, then I may need to get the vertical element of the davits shortened so that they go through the pushpit rather than over... the key factor may well be the length of the Hydrovane shaft... but i'll only know once I start the fitting process.
The final challenge will be the length of the fitting brackets... the mounting tubes might not be long enough... but its only standard 2" 316 stainless, so not hard to get a longer bit.
Lowering the davits may make sense anyway, as then the LED stern light built into the Hydrovane may well be in the right place and unobscured, so will remove the need to fit one on the end of the davits themselves.
Much to contemplate!
For those thinking what the heck is a self steering system, its a clever arrangement that uses wind direction to turn a rudder and keep the boat on track... basically, its a smart system of gearing that as a vane mounted on the stern blows one side or the other as the wind shifts, turns the rudder, by using simple mechanical advantage.... very effective, and doesn't use any electricity, so saves on battery capacity.