Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
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Re: Loss of Steering
curt, usually inability to steer completely usually comes from some mechanical break which prevents the rudder post from rotating the rudder. A jam or foul such as you describe would be more likely to inhibit but not altogether prevent steering.
The immediate response will vary depending how restricted the waters are where it happens. in a channel? Try to get sails down and anchor out quick (unless anchoring in the channel is worse than drifting--but if you're drifting towards a jetty or rocky shoal, then you have to stop your drift), meantime radio concerned traffic that you can't steer.
Got more room than that? It's possible to adjust sails to steer (not very well but better than nothing). need to go left (let's assume you're on port tack here)? luff or drop your jib, keep main drawing, put crew weight to leeward. All this moves the center of effort aft in relation to your pivot point.. Go right? then ease main way out, keep jib drawing and move weight to windward, this moves the CE forward. So do the opposite if you're on starboard tack.
What's hard though is to stop the swing once you've started it. that's when you might try to get an oar out, or drag somethng in the water alongside to induce lateral force. Me, I'd look for a tow from a Samaritan. Then he steers for both of you.
Part two is how to fix it. I don't know, what's broken?
Last edited by nolatom; 02-27-2013 at 01:38 PM.