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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 12-28-2006
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The drag sounds very clever, actually. Very much like rigging a paravane on a long lever arm (which would increase the effective steering effort) instead of using a rigid pole, which would have been much shorter and had less effect. Sounds like someone on that boat was a damned fine engineer!
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  #12  
Old 12-28-2006
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I learnt many years ago to use just rope as a rudder.

The idea is to tie a lot of rope into a man size mess of rope.
Then from that mess of rope, two cables come to port and starbord winches.

You can, by reducing the lenght of the rope to one side, move the mess of cables to that side and thus cause more drag to that side of the boat, an cause a slow turn.

You can motor an sail with it. Guaranteed.

what you would call that in the US I don't know, but if I translate, its somethimg like "drag drone".

Last edited by Giulietta; 12-28-2006 at 07:10 PM.
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2006
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sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice
drogue, Giu.
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giulietta
I learnt many years ago to use just rope as a rudder.

The idea is to tie a lot of rope into a man size mess of rope.
Then from that mess of rope, two cables come to port and starbord winches.

You can, by reducing the lenght of the rope to one side, move the mess of cables to that side and thus cause more drag to that side of the boat, an cause a slow turn.

You can motor an sail with it. Guaranteed.

what you would call that in the US I don't know, but if I translate, its somethimg like "drag drone".
Steering by slowing down the boat doesnít sound like the best way to go. I selected a boat that is balanced enough that I can sail her by balancing the sailplan. This characteristic was one of the reasons I selected the Tartan 34C for offshore sailing. Not only does it provide a backup for steering but it also provides redundancy for the windvane steering system. As a matter of fact my first Atlantic crossing was done without a windvane and the boat sailed the trip by herself just by balancing the sailplan and tying off the tiller. That boat was a 22' Carl Alberg designed Seasprite and she was an unusually balanced design.

Of course on a delivery or sailing on a friendís boat you may not have the advantage of sailing on your first choice of boat so emergency steering is a consideration. I would go with a combination of balancing the sailplan and using a spar and piece of plywood rigged as a sweep. The closer to selfsteering you get with the sailplan the smaller the sweep needs to be and therefore the easer it is to rig and handle.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2006
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The December 2006 Cruising World has a section dedicated to this very topic. The concept of using a drogue and controlling it with starboard and port lines led through the ends of a whisker pole and through snap blocks (or just snap blocks if your boat is too beamy) to the winches seems to make a lot of sense to me. The nice thing about this solution is that you could actually practice using the method (without the whisker pole) to see how well it would work for your boat.
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  #16  
Old 12-29-2006
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Tartan,

Trust me I know what I am talking about. The rope drogue (thanks sailaway), really works. The drag is marginal (thats what turns the boat), and it works.

As for steering with sails, its not for everyone, not for everyone......my friend

The guy asking this question surely can't do it, otherwise wouldn't ask this question.
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Old 12-29-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giulietta
As for steering with sails, its not for everyone, not for everyone......my friend

The guy asking this question surely can't do it, otherwise wouldn't ask this question.
No, I actually can't even imagine how it is done. I mean I know about sheet to tiller systems, but that still assumes there is a tiller and rudder to turn. How you would set the boat up to just go in one direction using just the sails I really have no idea, I thought the boat would always round up into the wind.

Educate me.
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  #18  
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Its simple, (but my English may lack some words, and others here might explain to you in better words), I wil try.

If you think of a wind indicator, Wind vane, on top of a Church, it allways points to where the wind is blowing. This is because its built so that a larger flat vertical portion of it is acting as a "wing", and has a tendency to be "blown" with the wind.

If you now translate that to a boat, and use more or less sail behind the mast (pivot point, almost), by pulling the sheets and doing other trims to make the sail more efficient, you can make the boat point into the wind and away from it.

That is it!!! Simple said, hard to do WELL. And as Tartan said, depends on the boat, I say depends on the fingers of the man playing guitar!!! Most have a guitar but only few make it sound good!!
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Old 12-29-2006
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"That is it!!! Simple said" .. yeah right that's it.. When we lost stearing off the the coast of Puerto Rico I had done more uncontrolled jibes in the space of a few minutes than I care to remember.

We didn't loose the rudder though and while I was trying to get control of the boat with sails we were digging out the emergency tiller. I never did get it under control untill we got the emergency tiller working. (32ft catalina in 20+ knots, 3-5ft seas)

In theory it works. Given enough time and leeway. Only I had reefs 1/4mile to leeward.
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  #20  
Old 12-29-2006
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Trodzen,

I know exactly what you mean...it's all nice... on paper....again not easy and very unreliable, as seas and winds make it harder.

I stick with my rope mess thingy!! Besides without rudder, fast is the last I want to go anyway!!
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