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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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  #41  
Old 08-11-2008
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Losing a keel has happened on bigger boats, and on the ocean, with deaths as a result generally. Do a google search for Moquini. They lost a keel....no survivors. Do a search for Bavaria 42 Match and see what happens when a production boat is badly designed. Look at what happened to the Cape Fear 38 down in Texas.

Losing a rudder is bad...but losing a keel is usually fatal.

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Originally Posted by purplemoon View Post
I couldnt imagine loosing the rudder while making passage. I have heard of people loosing a keel tho, and that was followd by disaster, but it was only on smaller vessals and in lakes.
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  #42  
Old 08-11-2008
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Wow, so much already said.

This happened to me, I posted about my experiences just a month ago. I just want to say that NONE of these solutions are perfect, everything depends on the wind/sea conditions, boat size/type, and your available equipment.

In my case, approximately 20mph winds and 4 foot seas deemed sail steering completely impossible, lashing anything undersized and under mounted was a complete waste of time, and if I hadn't had an outboard and a radio to call in a PAN, I'd say it was moving from inconvenience to emergency pretty quickly. While the boat was safe from immediate danger the jibing, spinning, and uncontrolled drifting would've eventually been bad news inviting rigging failure or other complications. Left to our own without an outboard and coast guard I'm sure we would've figured something out, but sail steering and lashing objects to the remaining rudder didn't work whatsoever and I have to believe any jerry-rigged drogue would've done similar.

I like the drogue idea, but I severely underestimated just how much force is required to keep a boat tracking straight in high-wind and seas... I have a few doubts about other people's suggestions. With a transom mounted rudder you can practice this sometime and see how it goes. With a hull/through hull rudder and wheel setup, just pray it never happens.

After my incident, I'm thinking some kind of backup rudder that is actually tested and capable is required gear.

I have heard of the wind-vane's rudder working as a backup.

Trust a guy who finally shook off the sound, you never want to hear fiberglass tearing and/or failing on your boat out at sea. It's the worst sound you've ever heard and you know you're not going to enjoy that sail for too much longer.
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  #43  
Old 08-11-2008
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Well said Birdy.
Quote:
Trust a guy who finally shook off the sound, you never want to hear fiberglass tearing and/or failing on your boat out at sea. It's the worst sound you've ever heard and you know you're not going to enjoy that sail for too much longer.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #44  
Old 08-14-2008
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Old 09-27-2009
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next challenge

once sailing without a rudder has been mastered the next challenge is to learn to sail backwards !
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  #46  
Old 09-28-2009
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Naval sailing clubs required that you master both of those before checking out one of their boats
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  #47  
Old 09-29-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post

What would you do if lost your rudder ?
Ours can be trimmed to self steer (on most but not all points of sail). So I'd start messing with sail trim until I could get her going the right way.

Closer to port I'd need a sweep but i could get those parts out of the interior.
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  #48  
Old 09-29-2009
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"What would you do if lost your rudder ?"
Depending on where you are and what the circumstances are (food supply, miles out, wx impending)
1. Set up a radio watch schedule with USCG or friends ashore indicating "we are not in distress, simply disabled, and wish to keep up a scheduled watch"
That way if things degenerate in a hurry, there's someone watching your clock.
2. Try to self-trim as best the boat and conditions allow, see if you can make way in a useful direction.
3. Try to rig a steering board, often the salon table or a berth has been designated for that purpose, along with a boom and appropriate fittings. Try to rig other means of steering.
4. Re-appraise situation after all attempts to rig self-steering have been made, i.e. can you make useful progress? Or should aid be called?

Conditions (position, sea state, wind, food and water, crew schedules) will dictate the calls that have to be made.
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  #49  
Old 09-29-2009
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We are confusing completely losing a rudder with locking one in position and then learning how you can trim sails to affect the boat

Clearly if you have NO rudder you not going to be able to control the boat until you get something jury rigged in as a rudder
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Last edited by tommays; 09-29-2009 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 09-29-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
We are confusing completely losing a rudder with locking one in position and then learning how you can trim sails to affect the boat

Clearly if you have NO rudder you not going to be able to control the boat until you get something jury rigged in as a rudder
Depending on the boat, actually losing the blade doesn't preclude you from steering by sail balance. (think full keel, flap rudder) I agree that a spade ruddered, high aspect ratio finkeeler would probably be unsteerable if it lost its blade.
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