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Old 05-20-2008
knothead knothead is offline
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Steering Without A Rudder

I recently viewed Giu's video on steering without a rudder. And yes, I realize that there is a thread devoted to comments on these videos.
This is not directly a comment on his video as much as a follow up question.
I hope he returns soon so that he might elaborate for me.

Iím not sure that the video shouldnít be called sailing without a wheel or tiller. The techniques that were employed in the video didnít work for me.

I was on a boat in the not too distant past that actually lost its rudder.
I gotta tell you. There was no steering that boat.
We were on a broad reach with only the Genoa flying and fighting a good amount of weather helm.
Anyway, all of a sudden the wheel went dead in my hands. The boat came about twice before I could even get the Genoa rolled up. I looked aft and saw; about 100 yards astern a bottom painted blue oval shape bobbing in the seas.
I know that I should have tried to balance things out by setting some main and reefing the headsail, but it was blowing 25 to 30 knots and the wheel was manageable.
Once the rudder fell off, there seemed to be nothing I could do to keep that boat from heading up.
I donít think I would have had the same experience with a full keel boat as opposed to a fin keel. The loss of the rudder on this boat just seemed to prevent it from being able to go through the water in anything that approached a straight line.
You should have seen the fiasco of being towed into Coinjock.
It was too rough to hip-tow until we got out of open water so the poor guy had to fight this 40+ foot boat swinging back and forth up to 120%. It took over 2 hours to be towed three miles.
I donít really know if there is anything that one could do except maybe use the main salon table as a makeshift rudder. I tried dragging warps, putting up sail, nothing worked to be able to control the course of that boat.
Anyone have any Ideas?
Alex?
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