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post #11 of 18 Old 06-03-2008
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Good advice above. I wouldn't try to tack rudderless without a jib, you really do need some center-of-effort forward to pull that bow around with a backed jib.

And in a small boat, don't ignore crew weight placement. Generally a boat's bow (and the relationship between center of effort and center of lateral resistance) will steer you away from the direction in which you heel her. So heel the boat to leeward if you want to head up and initiate a tack, and to windward if you want to head down and jibe. Dinghy sailors learn this early on as a matter of "body English", but it can apply to the heavier boats as well. Without a rudder, you need all the help you can get, and this may be enough extra help to get you through the tack or jibe.

Last edited by nolatom; 06-03-2008 at 01:23 PM.
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post #12 of 18 Old 06-04-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks.

So I kill the jib quickly, then centre the main, trying to keep the boat moving a wee bit, then backwind the main. It's awfully big, so I reckon I would have to use the mid boom kicking strap.
I will practice again next time.

I could not hold her without a rudder on a gybe, so I cannot picture how that would work.
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post #13 of 18 Old 06-04-2008
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It is all about center of effort. To bring the boat head to wind move the center of effort in the sails aft. (accomplished by easing the jib or oversheeting the main) To bear away move the center of effort forward. (accomplished by over sheeting the jib or easing the main. If you spend a day on a windsurfer it all becomes obvious. Sail forward - bear away. Sail back - head up.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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post #14 of 18 Old 06-04-2008
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so also does the weight placement become more obvious on a small boat. But less obvious in a larger boat, so Rockter, it's a fairly subtle thing. You may end up in irons a few times (or on the other end, unable to steer through a jibe, which most experienced sailors can't do on a bet anyway) before you get the knack, but keep at it. It will teach you a lot about balance in a sailboat anyway.

Or, in a perfect world, don't lose your rudder. Most sailors don't (me included), that's why they don't know how to answer your question from experience, rather than from theory.
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post #15 of 18 Old 06-04-2008
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I did it twice on a 19 Westerly Nimrod oh so many years ago.

Rudder popped off and was lost. Outboard would not start. Crew (friends) near panic -- OOhhh what are we going to do.......Oh Oh.....

Easy on that boat.

Just sailed it back and picked up the rudder.

Lucky it floated.

CE and heel angle - two sheets in hand - and a little dancing.

I used to practice docking without the motor. Many with me could not figure me out. Still can't I suppose.

Good for you to practice.
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post #16 of 18 Old 12-25-2010
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A pretty good guide to all this was written up that you might want to check out. Its the only book I've seen exclusively on rudderless sailing.

Rudderless_Sailing.pdf
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post #17 of 18 Old 12-26-2010
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When I taught Sailing back in the 70s... part of the course was sailing with no rudder... on 8' sabots & 14' capris & catalinas.

Does anyone remember the difference between a 14' capri and a 14' catalina?
Do they still make them?

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post #18 of 18 Old 12-26-2010
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I always keep an oar on board.
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