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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 05-20-2012
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Re: Single vs dual wheel boats. Educate me on pro and con!

Bigger racing boats (say 40+') often have dual helms. I can see the advantages; with a wide transom, when heeling, it really makes sense. As said above, you can't easily reach a center wheel while you are off to the side to see the jib shape - and where you are going!

On smaller boats (say 30 - 38') it mainly adds heavily to the "cool racing boat" image, but the IMHO benefits are marginal, and offset by the cost/complexity.
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Old 05-20-2012
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Re: Single vs dual wheel boats. Educate me on pro and con!

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Originally Posted by paul323 View Post
Bigger racing boats (say 40+') often have dual helms. I can see the advantages; with a wide transom, when heeling, it really makes sense. As said above, you can't easily reach a center wheel while you are off to the side to see the jib shape - and where you are going!

On smaller boats (say 30 - 38') it mainly adds heavily to the "cool racing boat" image, but the IMHO benefits are marginal, and offset by the cost/complexity.
I agree but not with 38ft. It is not only a question of beam but also a question of beam brough back. That gives a big transom and even a 38ft boat would need a big wheel. I would say that you are probably right in what concerns 30 to 33ft where a tiller or two makes a lot more sense.

Regards

Paulo
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Old 05-22-2012
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Re: Single vs dual wheel boats. Educate me on pro and con!

I'm not so sure if it opens up internal space with Edson style steering as in the Jenneau case where the cables still go to a single centered quadrant. Just more crap with little benefit. On the other hand having two stations with hydraulic would open up a bucketful of space. The only benefit I see is to get the crew as high on the gunn'l as possible (a different discussion on hull design) and while healed over, the helmsman and crew can see each other.
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Old 05-22-2012
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Re: Single vs dual wheel boats. Educate me on pro and con!

This configuration is for TWO RUDDERS, not for visibility, not comfort/style, etc. but rather for rudder control, especially on broad beamed flat bottomed stern boats.

When such fat assed broad beamed boats heel aggressively and if only carrying one rudder the single rudder will be lifted into the air and the the high speed of the water flow against the rudder will cause the rudder to suck air down along the rudder sides .... Cavitation and complete loss of rudder control !!!!. The two rudder configuration insures that at least one rudder is totally submerged and cant 'cavitate'.

This is an OLD design going back to the original ultra-fast inland lake (ILYA) SCOW designs of the 1880s-90s. ... not only designed with two rudders but also with two 'bilge boards each offset to the side of the boat (and angled at about 20° so the board is straight down when the boat is heeled) to also prevent 'cavitation' of the bilgeboard!
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Last edited by RichH; 05-22-2012 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 05-22-2012
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Re: Single vs dual wheel boats. Educate me on pro and con!

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Originally Posted by RichH View Post
This configuration is for TWO RUDDERS, not for visibility, not comfort/style, etc. but rather for rudder control, especially on broad beamed flat bottomed stern boats.

When such fat assed broad beamed boats heel aggressively and if only carrying one rudder the single rudder will be lifted into the air and the the high speed of the water flow against the rudder will cause the rudder to suck air down along the rudder sides .... Cavitation and complete loss of rudder control !!!!. The two rudder configuration insures that at least one rudder is totally submerged and cant 'cavitate'.
..
Not only that. When a broad light modern boat with a big transom sails even at not very big angles of heel, the beam and the global foot print are small and diagonal to the center of the boat increasing LWL.

A central rudder even if a very deep one would be a lot more ineffective because it would not be at the center of the immersed surface and at the center of the water flow. It would be very much on the side of that.

Two rudders permit that for each side of heeling a rudder to be on the center of the water immersed surface. The more sportive boats even permit you to pull up the rudder that is doing mostly nothing except drag.

Regards

Paulo
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Old 05-22-2012
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Re: Single vs dual wheel boats. Educate me on pro and con!

Paulo,

The other reason a lot of the opens have pull up rudders is it allows them to remove one from the water to prevent damage from debris. This is the same reason the Open 60's use symmetrical center boards instead of asymetricals. The symmetrical reduces efficiency a bit, but means they can swap them out in case of damage.
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Old 05-22-2012
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Re: Single vs dual wheel boats. Educate me on pro and con!

I have owned both single and dual, and currently own a dual helm.

The positives are that you can switch between high and low to see around the jib. It makes getting to the transom much easier (a real big plus, honestly, for a LA or cruiser). I guess the redundancy is good, but I have never lost steering either. You can stand in the middle between the wheels (I often do) and steer so I wouldn't worry about feeling stuck on one side or the other.

Negatives in my opinion are docking (on my boat). The controls are on the stbd side making it a bit difficult to get used to if you have always done single wheels.

My preference is dual wheels.

Brian
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  #18  
Old 05-22-2012
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Re: Single vs dual wheel boats. Educate me on pro and con!

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Paulo,

The other reason a lot of the opens have pull up rudders is it allows them to remove one from the water to prevent damage from debris. This is the same reason the Open 60's use symmetrical center boards instead of asymetricals. The symmetrical reduces efficiency a bit, but means they can swap them out in case of damage.
Sure,

Some of them even have a pop up mechanism that lifts the rudder in case of a more violent shock, preserving the rudder. This mechanism would be very useful in cruising blue water cruising boats.

Regards

Paulo
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Old 05-22-2012
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Re: Single vs dual wheel boats. Educate me on pro and con!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Not only that. When a broad light modern boat with a big transom sails even at not very big angles of heel, the beam and the global foot print are small and diagonal to the center of the boat increasing LWL.

A central rudder even if a very deep one would be a lot more ineffective because it would not be at the center of the immersed surface and at the center of the water flow. It would be very much on the side of that.

Two rudders permit that for each side of heeling a rudder to be on the center of the water immersed surface.
Regards

Paulo
Yes indeed.... and those rudders are usually angled for the deepest (trigonometric) profile to match the heel angle where this occurs. The 1890 ILYA scows did this with both rudders and bilgeboards, present day scow still have this configuration.
FWIW - the bilgeboard not only angle out but 'cocked' by about 5-10° 'in' to affect better lift to windward by the bilgeboard and with no 'help' of lateral support of the rudder ..... try that on a keelboat!!!!!! (Tom Blackaller tried this 'keel cocking' on an Americas Cup boat ("Defender" - 1983?) but it didnt work too well in practice). Nothing new under the sun.

regards
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Old 05-22-2012
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Re: Single vs dual wheel boats. Educate me on pro and con!

We recently upgraded from a 37" with single wheel to a 38# with dual wheels.

There is a big difference in the beam of both yachts, from 3.48m to 3.7m so yes the dual wheels are necessary so you can sit on the side of the yacht to watch the headsail trim while steering.

It has also opened up the transom so you don't need to climb around the wheel when moving around the boat, which is nice when both racing & cruising.

Safety wise duals do give a level of redundancy if rigged correctly, we did have an issue once with the old boat when we lost the locking pin on the wheel. Despite using the emergency tiller to safely get home it was a major PITA and not something I would want to do in a big blow or sea-state.

I guess really it depends on the setup of the boat & the wheel size vs beem.
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