Rudder Steering Failure
Say you have a rudder steering failure where the rudder shaft breaks near the rudder (under water line). Say the rudder is still attached and can swing loose from the rudder mounts. An emergency tiller is rig of the stern to provide steering.
What happens to the loose rudder? Do you just leave it to swing freely or does it need to be secured in some way?
If there's no danger of it causing damage to the hull, let it swing... it should simply 'follow the flow' At sea it would be difficult to do anything with it in any event.
Last thing you want, though, is for it to jam hard to one side or the other... could be a tough situation.
Does this seem feasible? I would install some large bronze eyes during haul out fot the purpose.
Another possible approach is to drill a hole in the top aft corner of the rudder and fit an eye bolt through it with eye nut that attaches to the other side (not sure of the proper name for this but I think you know what I mean). The remove this setup and fill the hole with something not very permanent - perhaps a piece of dowel or something like that. In the rare chance you need it, you can knock out the dowel and mount your eyes without having to drag them around all the time.
I am trying to picture the situation where you might need this. If a steering cable goes your emergency tiller would do the trick. Similarly for any situation where the head of the shaft is still connected to the rudder. The shaft itself is highly unlikely to break (assuming any reasonable engineering). Perhaps if the shaft could break away from the steel webs inside the rudder (more likely) and the rudder turns independently from the shaft.
We had a steering cable go between French Polynesia and the Cook Islands this year and I was able to rig a new one (spares are a very good thing) in something like 6-8 hours. Had to be very careful as the rudder quadrant was moving in the waves and the chance of crushing a finger was pretty high. Annoyingly enough I had inspected the cables about 6 weeks before and they seemed fine. Ainia is a centercockpit and the steering cables are long and convoluted. The breakage happened in area where there was no inspection port and I only had been able to check at a distance with a flashlight.
Thanks for the idea. The boat is an S&S34. Steering is simple with just a tiller so not too much to break. Just trying to think ahead as some simple ways to jury rig if needed. The skeg mounted rudder is on two hinges (upper and lower) so should be strong.
Happy to hear all went well for you.
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