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post #551 of 3067 Old 10-28-2008 Thread Starter
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The issue of a steerage failure has been thoroughly flogged over in the Anti-BFS thread and it got me thinking...

I've seen Giu's very good video as to rudderless steering with the sails (though I still challenge him to pull it into the slip that way). But in an admittedly quick search of the threads, I've not seen a good explanation of how to properly rig an emergency tiller.

I'm starting to think this is a pretty important skill to learn for BFS - so how about some newbie help here.

Dog - you mentioned a boathook and vice grips set up. I think I can see that for a tiller (which I have) to a degree - but how would it work for a wheel? And what's the actual set up for both?

And, as long as the rudder is still on the boat, what are kinds of failures that you can fix, versus the ones that are hopeless?

Thanks.

Last edited by smackdaddy; 10-28-2008 at 11:57 AM.
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post #552 of 3067 Old 10-28-2008
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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Dog - you mentioned a boathook and vice grips set up. I can see that for a tiller (which I have) to a degree - but how would it work for a wheel? And what's the actual set up for both?

And, as long as the rudder is still on the boat, what are kinds of failures that you can fix, versus the ones that are hopeless?

Thanks.
Smackdaddy-

The problem with Ronnie's boat was that the wheel steering system's rudder quadrant, which is how the wheel turns the rudder, was no longer fixed to the rudder stock/shaft. This usually happens when the key, a small metal part that registers the quadrant and prevents it from rotating freely, shears off. Chances are likely that the key on this boat was 47 YEARS OLD... Nothing dealing with the wheel would have allowed you to steer the boat, since the wheel was no longer effectively "connected" to the rudder.

The vice grips could be attached to a rudder stock and give you a point to lash/attach the boat hook. The boat hook, provided it was stout enough, would give you the leverage needed to turn the rudder.

I've used vise grips to do just that on a Farrier 9a, when the rudder post casting broke. Not fun...but workable.

BTW, most wheel steered boats have a rudder stock that an emergency tiller can be affixed to. In some cases, the emergency tiller has to be affixed below decks, since there is no good access to the rudder stock on-deck. One problem that occurs on a wheel steered boat, and this actually was part of Ken Barnes's problem, is that if the wheel is damaged/bent, it can often prevent you from being able to turn the rudder. In a case like that, you'd have to disconnect the wheel steering before you could use the emergency tiller.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 10-28-2008 at 12:02 PM.
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post #553 of 3067 Old 10-28-2008 Thread Starter
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Dog - gotcha. Thanks. I was just looking at the thread about the guy's bolt failure on his PS 31 (JohnP was part of that discussion as well) and understand the problem a bit more - and your explanation of the solution.

So, essentially, if Ronnie's "post" had actually broken, depending on where the break happened, he still could have possibly rigged steerage directly to the intact part of the stock right?

So, to continue in the vein of completely uninformed questions and wrong terminology - what if an actual tiller busts (say at the top bolted "collar")? Is this a fixable situation? Or does the rudder just meander to the bottom of the drink? And how would you tie into the stock in this situation?

Thanks for your help dude.

Last edited by smackdaddy; 10-28-2008 at 12:36 PM.
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post #554 of 3067 Old 10-28-2008
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The three wheel boats I've owned all require the wheel be dismounted to give the e.tiller swinging room. Better make sure you have the 1-1/4" or whatever it is Edson nut wrench handy. That's larger than commonly carried.

PS - a packing gland spanner works in a pinch; and EVERYBODY with an inboard engine has one or two of those . . . don't they?

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PS - a packing gland spanner works in a pinch; and EVERYBODY with an inboard engine has one or two of those . . . don't they?
Not sure about my packing gland, but I know the Admiral's is definitely enlarged.
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post #556 of 3067 Old 10-28-2008
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Dog - gotcha. Thanks. I was just looking at the thread about the guy's bolt failure on his PS 31 (JohnP was part of that discussion as well) and understand the problem a bit more - and your explanation of the solution.

So, essentially, if Ronnie's "post" had actually broken, depending on where the break happened, he still could have possibly rigged steerage directly to the intact part of the stock right?
Yes, possibly, depending how accessible the remaining portion of the rudder stock was.

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So, to continue in the vein of completely uninformed questions and wrong terminology - what if an actual tiller busts (say at the top bolted "collar")? Is this a fixable situation? Or does the rudder just meander to the bottom of the drink? And how would you tie into the stock in this situation?

Thanks for your help dude.
If the tiller actually snaps...that's probably the simplest of situations to deal with, since you can often slip something over the remaining piece of tiller and steer the boat that way. Most rudder stocks aren't kept in the boat by the collar at the tiller, but usually by something down below, where the rudder stock passes through the rudder tube.

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post #557 of 3067 Old 10-28-2008
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...this actually was part of Ken Barnes's problem, is that if the wheel is damaged/bent, it can often prevent you from being able to turn the rudder. In a case like that, you'd have to disconnect the wheel steering before you could use the emergency tiller.

Not totally accurate. You COULD disconect the wheel steering, or you could remove the wheel, or you could cut the bent section of the wheel off. (You do carry a hacksaw and/or bolt cutters right?) Ken Barnes problem wasn't mechanical, it was that he was stupid.

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Cool - thanks again Dog. Hey, man, you ain't so bad! I mean if you're willing to help me out - you must have some heart.

Okay, one more hypothetical and I'll leave you alone....

Tlller. Stock shears at the collar. Stock is still there but too far down in the tube to "grab" onto. Screwed?

[Start the clock.]









And for the bonus round, let's throw in one more complication: At the very moment of shear, you're just at the mouth of the marina where you are picking up two topless Norwegian ladies who want to film a documentary of your voyage. They're watching closely to see what happens. What do you do now?
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...this actually was part of Ken Barnes's problem, is that if the wheel is damaged/bent, it can often prevent you from being able to turn the rudder. In a case like that, you'd have to disconnect the wheel steering before you could use the emergency tiller.

Not totally accurate. You COULD disconect the wheel steering, or you could remove the wheel, or you could cut the bent section of the wheel off. (You do carry a hacksaw and/or bolt cutters right?) Ken Barnes problem wasn't mechanical, it was that he was stupid.
Oh boy, here we go again.
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post #560 of 3067 Old 10-28-2008
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There are several ways to jury rig a device that could be used for emergency steerage.
A piece of plywood lashed to a spinnaker pole is one. Than lash that to your rail. No plywood, take off one of your saloon doors, cut it up into a usable size.
Another option is the use of drouges, no drouge, try using a bucket. No buchet, drag a sail, just don't get any of them fouled.

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