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post #11 of 22 Old 03-04-2013
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Re: Let's build an Emergency Rudder! (or not)

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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
A ER that had a post to fit inside the broken off post could work... but the stub would be out of round and then there would be the prob of locking it to the old...
I don't think so. Again, I would like to know more about HOW these rudders fail, rather than simply knowing that they failed.

I can say, based on my observation from taking the picture posted above, that the stainless steel tube that is the post is very substantial... It would take a LOT of force to bend it to the point where it breaks off. I suspect that the hull would be compromised as well, leading to other issues...

If my suspicion above is correct, the rudder post would still be sticking into the water. It would simply be missing the frame or foil attached to the post. A quick & dirty fix would be to remove a locker door, or the pullout support platform for the double berth in the salon, or a table leaf, and re-purpose it by through bolting it to the rudder post below the waterline.

If my boat were to be abandoned following a rudder failure, realize that the interior would need substantial restoration before anyone decides to go scavenging/salvaging.

If the rudder post were to snap off, leaving a stub, I suspect that the post would bind up inside in the rudder tube, and therefore the entire steering system would become unusable.


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post #12 of 22 Old 03-04-2013
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Re: Let's build an Emergency Rudder! (or not)

... Oh, and the post on the O'day 35 is a 3" OD stainless steel tube with >1/8" wall.


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post #13 of 22 Old 03-04-2013
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Re: Let's build an Emergency Rudder! (or not)

There are hundreds of pounds of force involved here, and just as many scenario's causing rudder failure.
I've got a hard time imagining the tool shop I'd have to carry to meet 10% of those combinations.

For instance, you can plan and prep all year long and if the rudder hits something and shears the post and the tube you'll have minutes to plug the hole before you sink.
If it bends it and you are stuck with a 10 degree turn to port - all your prep is shot unless you have a underwater cutting torch (you do carry one right?).

Risk planning and risk mitigation is about preparation. I place this at the same level as being hit by an asteroid.
What, you folks don't have a plan for that?
Sail trim, drag inducement amidships (bucket), sea anchor, all check.
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post #14 of 22 Old 03-04-2013
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Re: Let's build an Emergency Rudder! (or not)

I'm going to build one for my C&C 35. Here is my idea:
Place fenders on stern
Bolt triangular piece of wood to reaching strut with U bolts. The trailing edge of that piece is vertical. Use large hinges to attach a plywood rudder to the triangle. Control the rudder with lines lead from the back edge to snatch blocks and winches. Lay the whole thing against the fenders and lash it in place.
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post #15 of 22 Old 03-04-2013
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Re: Let's build an Emergency Rudder! (or not)

Actually Chuckles, as long as the post is there, you've got something to work with. If something hits you hard enough to shear the rudder post, as you rightly point out, you have bigger problems than steering.

I believe that the crudest solution would be to drill 2 or more holes along one edge of the piece of plywood that is used as the extension that converts my port setee into a double berth. Tie loops of line through these holes, and then attach the plywood to the remaining rudder post (this would be the tricky part). Use another piece of line to connect the trailing edge to both winches, and use these to steer.

Regarding the asteroids; I got that covered already. -

There's a roll of Renolds Wrap in the galley.


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Last edited by eherlihy; 03-04-2013 at 01:41 PM.
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post #16 of 22 Old 03-04-2013
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Re: Let's build an Emergency Rudder! (or not)

Unlike that substantially framed rudder assembly posted above, I wonder if it wouldn't make sense to design a rudder that would intentionally break off at, say, 1-2 feet off the tip, leaving a half rudder stub that might still function. That wouldn't address a solid hit above that point (which might still bend the stock, or worse,) but it might mitigate the results of contact with a solid object at other times, leaving you with a lesser, but still viable rudder...

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post #17 of 22 Old 03-04-2013
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Re: Let's build an Emergency Rudder! (or not)

There are plenty of examples of boat loosing the rudder.

Some probably due to poor maintenance or bad construction.

But there are also boats that report hitting something submerged damaging the ruder (or loosing it completely).

Don't think a skeg hung rudder rudder make your boat immune.

There was a well maintained Norwegian boat that lost it's rudder during the last ARC (2012).

They report that the rudder must have caught something, probably some kind of fishing gear.
Wind 20-35 knots ++ astern
Waves 4-5 meters up to 6-8 metes with some larger ones in between
Boat speed around 8-9 knots

Position is 331 nm North of Cape Verde

Boat equipped with wind wane steering, proved to be to small when the rudder disappeared.

They managed to set course towards Cape Verde, but the could not go to harbor with out assistance.

They passed Mindelo with a CPA of 35 nm, when they got the tow they where 65 nm off Mindelo and heading directly for the cliffs of "Sao Nicolaou" without being able to steer the boat clear of "Sao Nicolaou".

Rudder before


Skeg after


Plugged ruder tube on the same boat


So depending on how far offshore you are planning to go I think a complete backup solution will be in place.

Remember that the balance of the boat will change when the rudder is lost.

The tow cost 6500€ for only 65nm

Last edited by knuterikt; 03-04-2013 at 02:28 PM.
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post #18 of 22 Old 03-04-2013
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Re: Let's build an Emergency Rudder! (or not)

What about building a steering oar like were used in old-timey (like, really old) sailing ships. I have a stout whisker pole, and a leaf from my dining table. I'd lash it to the backstay at the transom as a pivot point.

I guess I had better get me some big U bolts. I always have a drill.

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post #19 of 22 Old 03-04-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Let's build an Emergency Rudder! (or not)

Glad I started this thread! woot woot!
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post #20 of 22 Old 03-04-2013
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Re: Let's build an Emergency Rudder! (or not)

I posted this (below) in the other thread on the topic.. some of the comments here are already reflecting this 'plan'...

As I indicated we built it, it 'passed inspection' but we never actually tried it beyond fitting it in place and getting it wet.

Comments included 'it would break'.. perhaps but I think a force heavy enough to break might first dismount the person trying to hold it.... Yet another indicated it would wear out a NFL linebacker in short time.. I agree with that assessment.. In the end I'm not sure it would be a usable thing in extreme conditions, even wave action might render it only 'part time effective'.. but perhaps if you're able to lie ahull in the bad bits this might allow you to make some controlled way in more benign sea states....

I do think purpose built backups like some shown above would be a much better idea, as would something like a Hydrovane...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
For discussion:

This was the setup that passed a race committee requirement for an emergency steering setup. The plan was to ubolt a pre drilled lift-out board from the V berth to the end of the spinn pole, lash it to the backstay with some kind of chafe protection and either use it as a tiller, or lash the other end to the top of the wheel (if still serviceable). This was built, assembled, installed for trial but never actually put to the test... what'd'ya think?


Ron

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