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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Steering Without A Rudder
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Thread: Steering Without A Rudder Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-22-2008 07:27 PM
Classic30
Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead View Post
This may be what you are referring to.

http://www.selfsteer.com/products/sos/index.php

Somehow though, it just seems odd to me that one would have to worry about their rudder breaking off to such an extent that they find it necessary to mount an emergency rudder on the stern.

If a particular boat has a propensity for having their rudders break off, a simpler solution may be to reinforce or or re engineer the design and installation.
Yep, that's the gadget.

I don't know if you noticed, but the majority of people who lose their rudders are usually ocean racing at the time. The rudders on racing yachts (like everything else on a racing yacht) tend to be made to meet certain "go-fast" requirements.

How far do you re-engineer it? Make it strong enough to turn a supertanker?? In this case, it's much faster (and more convenient, easier and safer when you think about it) to fit an emergency rudder, than just assume the one you have will hold up under all conditions and scenarios.
05-22-2008 04:15 PM
knothead
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post

If you're doing a long trip and worried about Mutiny By Rudder, the best option is to fit one of those fold-up "emergency rudder" thingys on the stern that can be easily deployed, even when exhausted, and actually work... (sorry, no time to find a link now)

This may be what you are referring to.

http://www.selfsteer.com/products/sos/index.php

Somehow though, it just seems odd to me that one would have to worry about their rudder breaking off to such an extent that they find it necessary to mount an emergency rudder on the stern.

If a particular boat has a propensity for having their rudders break off, a simpler solution may be to reinforce or or re engineer the design and installation.
05-22-2008 03:58 PM
hellosailor Ouch, that's one I hadn't thought of. With a wheel rather than tiller, the rudder post will be an open thru-hull if the rudder falls out, rather than shearing below the hull. I suppose that means a rather large damage control plug should be kept back in there, with provision to get a collision mat rigged under the boat in order to really close it off in case a piece of hull goes with it.

I guess "cushions" for a Real Boat really should have multiple grommets sewn into them, so they could readily be used for that purpose. Sure would puzzle the sailmaker when you bring in your CUSHIONS and say "put a one inch grommet in each corner, with reinforcing."

Break Out Another Thousand...
05-22-2008 02:31 PM
primerate84 In the current issue of Sail (I just got it in the mail yesterday), there is a story about a boat racing in the Cleveland Race Week on Lake Erie that lost its rudder and eventually sank while being towed to shore. The rudder post hole could not be plugged and it filled the bilge and the cockpit faster than the pump could pump it out. Moral of the story was to check the rudder before putting the boat in the water in the spring.
05-21-2008 10:45 PM
Classic30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Last time I heard this being bounced around, the consensus seemed to be that the best jerry-rig would be to use a spinnaker or whisker pole with some large u-bolts (kept for that purpose) to affix a door or table (pre-drilled) to the end of the pole, and then using that "steering board" deployed from the stern, so the board was as far aft of the boat as possible in order to get more leverage against the pivoting on the keel.
Maybe that's what the concensus was, but there was at least one case - reported here on Sailnet even - where the crew spent valuable and fruitless time trying to rig a jury rudder only to lose that too!

One has to remember that, in the sea conditions where this is most likely to happen, the crew will also be exhausted from getting bashed around and possibly even have other things to worry about (like water coming in, for example). Wasting valuable time then putting together something that doesn't work on "your boat" might cost your your life in the end.

If you're doing a long trip and worried about Mutiny By Rudder, the best option is to fit one of those fold-up "emergency rudder" thingys on the stern that can be easily deployed, even when exhausted, and actually work... (sorry, no time to find a link now)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Apparently a lot depends on the hull shape and stability and balance, or lack thereof. A boat that balances well and steers well under just sail trim (with no rudder effort) should do better than one which always needs some rudder. But I don't think I know anyone who would be willing to drop their rudder and then go out for practice.[g]
True, however one advantage of a trailable yacht is that the rudder usually folds up out of the water - as if you never had one. It's a good place to learn if you've never tried... and the application to increased boat-speed when you go back to the helm is priceless.
05-21-2008 07:34 PM
sailingdog My guess is that it's a Catalina.
Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead View Post
It was a fairly modern (2001), wing keel, production boat. Built in the U.S.

Don't want to name it though.
05-21-2008 07:29 PM
knothead
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Last time I heard this being bounced around, the consensus seemed to be that the best jerry-rig would be to use a spinnaker or whisker pole with some large u-bolts (kept for that purpose) to affix a door or table (pre-drilled) to the end of the pole, and then using that "steering board" deployed from the stern, so the board was as far aft of the boat as possible in order to get more leverage against the pivoting on the keel.

Apparently a lot depends on the hull shape and stability and balance, or lack thereof. A boat that balances well and steers well under just sail trim (with no rudder effort) should do better than one which always needs some rudder. But I don't think I know anyone who would be willing to drop their rudder and then go out for practice.[g]
If the incident had occurred offshore somewhere, I would have definitely started drilling holes in the table but It was easier to call for a tow where we were.

It does seem like a good idea to be prepared to lose a rudder. U-bolts are cheap and I guess you could stick a candle in the holes in the table.

But it seem to me that having some steel in your rudder post would be a pretty good idea too.

Frankly though, I think it would be a lot easier to rig a jury rudder on a full keel boat.
05-21-2008 07:17 PM
hellosailor Last time I heard this being bounced around, the consensus seemed to be that the best jerry-rig would be to use a spinnaker or whisker pole with some large u-bolts (kept for that purpose) to affix a door or table (pre-drilled) to the end of the pole, and then using that "steering board" deployed from the stern, so the board was as far aft of the boat as possible in order to get more leverage against the pivoting on the keel.

Apparently a lot depends on the hull shape and stability and balance, or lack thereof. A boat that balances well and steers well under just sail trim (with no rudder effort) should do better than one which always needs some rudder. But I don't think I know anyone who would be willing to drop their rudder and then go out for practice.[g]
05-21-2008 06:59 PM
knothead
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Knothead-

What kind of boat was this??? If the rudder was large enough and the keel small enough in area, the CLR could have shifted forward enough that a large genny would give weather helm. That would probably be the case on Gui's boat if he lost his rudder, since the fin keel on his boat is really just a thin strut supporting a bulb...rather than a keel with any real surface area.
It was a fairly modern (2001), wing keel, production boat. Built in the U.S.

Don't want to name it though.
05-21-2008 01:08 PM
sailingdog Knothead-

What kind of boat was this??? If the rudder was large enough and the keel small enough in area, the CLR could have shifted forward enough that a large genny would give weather helm. That would probably be the case on Gui's boat if he lost his rudder, since the fin keel on his boat is really just a thin strut supporting a bulb...rather than a keel with any real surface area.
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