Production Boats and the Limits - Page 513 - SailNet Community
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post #5121 of 5353 Old 08-23-2016
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Re: Production Boats and the Limits

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Many spades result in canoe body piercings. If internal support is insufficient with impact or repeatedly stressed hull failure and a leak nearly impossible to control underway.
I have never understood why more ocean going yachts don't put the rudder tube in a watertight locker, or surround it with a coffer dam. The latter takes up little space and is not difficult to engineer. The top of rudder is reasonably close to the waterline so the coffer dam need not be very high. In our current boat it is about 4 feet above the bottom from memory and I think it could be less if needed without effecting the functionality.

As well as the obvious safety advantage it means the rudder can be dropped while the boat is in the water.

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post #5122 of 5353 Old 08-23-2016
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Re: Production Boats and the Limits

This is probably a horribly naive question, but why aren't more transom mounted rudders? They seem so much simpler and easier to maintain, as well as creating one fewer hole in the boat.

Is there a performance reason? Does the air/water interface on the rudder mess something up?

Small boats like the Catalina 250 have an external rudder but still have a walk through transom. I suppose on larger boats it would be harder to pull a dinghy up to the back. And I guess there are aesthetic issues with having more junk on the back.

Catalina 22
on a starboard tack
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post #5123 of 5353 Old 08-23-2016
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Re: Production Boats and the Limits

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This is probably a horribly naive question, but why aren't more transom mounted rudders? They seem so much simpler and easier to maintain, as well as creating one fewer hole in the boat.
Two big reasons: a transom-hung rudder is more vulnerable than one mounted below the water line. Potential damage from dangerous waves and all that. Secondly, the larger the boat, the further the cockpit is from the transom and rudder; this can make for an awkward steering arrangement. You would need a long tiller that sweeps the aft deck. And while you can have a transom mounted rudder controlled by a wheel, those set ups look very complicated to me.

I think this is why you see primarily daysailers and coastal cruisers with outboard rudders. And of course because they are cheaper to make and easier to maintain.
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post #5124 of 5353 Old 08-23-2016
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Re: Production Boats and the Limits

what mstern said.

I suspect its as much the wheel as anything else. For some reason, people hate tillers. They want wheels, even on small boats where its totally unnecessary. Even if they take up half the cockpit and are a giant PITA. Maybe a wheel seems more "yachty"?

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post #5125 of 5353 Old 08-23-2016
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Re: Production Boats and the Limits

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I have never understood why more ocean going yachts don't put the rudder tube in a watertight locker, or surround it with a coffer dam. The latter takes up little space and is not difficult to engineer. The top of rudder is reasonably close to the waterline so the coffer dam need not be very high. In our current boat it is about 4 feet above the bottom from memory and I think it could be less if needed without effecting the functionality.

As well as the obvious safety advantage it means the rudder can be dropped while the boat is in the water.
Might be complicated by the linkages for the steering gear?

Would have saved this boat, probably:


Srecko and Olga Pust were taking part in the rally and sailing their Sweden Yachts 45 Ciao two-handed and were nearing the end of a long passage from Indonesia to the remote Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The were only 40 miles from landfall. The rudder was all but knocked off in an
impact with the submerged object (possibly a whale?). The first sign of the problem was that the boat was difficult to steer. When Srecko Pust investigated below he saw that the boat had been holed at the rudder stock.

He put out a Mayday on the boat's long range SSB radio and then the two did everything they could to save their yacht, leaving only as the boat sank beneath them.

They broadcast a Mayday. The only crew to hear this immediately was another a World ARC yacht nearby, J'Sea, a Jeanneau 52.2 owned by a highly experienced Canadian cruiser, John Cuzner. He alerted others. J'Sea and two other rally yachts, Royal Leopard and Spirit of Alcides, diverted and reached Ciao's position within hours.

The video linked below was taken from on board Spirit of Alcides, a Challenger 39 owned by Australians Gus and Linda Pallot.

"Freedom is the increased knowledge of what you can do without." —Thoreau
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post #5126 of 5353 Old 08-23-2016
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Re: Production Boats and the Limits

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Might be complicated by the linkages for the steering gear?

Would have saved this boat, probably:
A waterproof locker can be complicated for this reason you indicate, but not a coffer dam. The steering linkages, autopilot drive etc are simply mounted above the level of the top of the coffer dam.

Unfortunately it is not a practical retrofit for most boats, but if incorporated in the design/build stage it is not enormously difficult or expensive.

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post #5127 of 5353 Old 08-23-2016
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Re: Production Boats and the Limits

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Two big reasons: a transom-hung rudder is more vulnerable than one mounted below the water line. Potential damage from dangerous waves and all that. Secondly, the larger the boat, the further the cockpit is from the transom and rudder; this can make for an awkward steering arrangement. You would need a long tiller that sweeps the aft deck. And while you can have a transom mounted rudder controlled by a wheel, those set ups look very complicated to me.

I think this is why you see primarily daysailers and coastal cruisers with outboard rudders. And of course because they are cheaper to make and easier to maintain.
Interesting, I typically think of offshore double enders when I think of stern hung rudders. Pacific Seacraft Maraiah, Westsail 32, etc. I don't see how it would be any more vulnerable to wave damage than any other type, and with it's multiple connection points to the hull would certainly be stronger to stand up to following waves than a spade rudder hung out in space. Can't actually say I've ever heard of one losing a rudder, but I know of several spades that have.
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If I hit mega bucks- transom hung but piercing a sugar scoop and balanced. Section above sugar scoop just a rod.
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Re: Production Boats and the Limits

Even if there were an increased chance of losing a stern hung rudder...I'd be OK with the tradeoff of avoiding having a giant hole in my boat below the waterline where the post used to be.

"Freedom is the increased knowledge of what you can do without." —Thoreau
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Re: Production Boats and the Limits

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Interesting, I typically think of offshore double enders when I think of stern hung rudders. Pacific Seacraft Maraiah, Westsail 32, etc. I don't see how it would be any more vulnerable to wave damage than any other type, and with it's multiple connection points to the hull would certainly be stronger to stand up to following waves than a spade rudder hung out in space. Can't actually say I've ever heard of one losing a rudder, but I know of several spades that have.
There are obviously many who agree with you. Never having done offshore sailing, I have no basis to offer a personal opinion. But I have heard of waves sheering off stern railings and all sorts of fittings and equipment, so I don't see why a tiller and rudderstock would be any less vulnerable. And I always thought that those double enders and the like had stern-hung rudders because they were based on boat designs that were developed prior to the advent of the under-the-waterline rudder, not because the stern-hung rudder itself is an inherently superior design.

I don't know if a stern/transom hung rudder is "better" from a naval architecture standpoint; I suspect it depends on the boat and its intended use. But it seems to me they are cheaper to build and easier to maintain.
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