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Old 25-09-2018, 06:53   #1
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Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

Greetings fellow sailors!


We are three Innovation Engineering students and sailors at the University of Halmstad wishing to contribute to the sailing community with a new product, and we have this idea of designing an emergency rudder for sailboats, at the right price and quality.

We are considering to do this as our thesis. What do you fine sailors think about this idea? Any input is greatly appreciated.

The result of the work will consist of a prototype and a business plan spring 2019, and our ambition is that the business plan will be able to attract further investment and take the product into reality.


Best Regards
Oskar / Voiliers Libres

PS. If you are interested giving us more input: We also have a secondary idea of a modern take on the yuloh, having a separate thread.
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Old 25-09-2018, 07:42   #2
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Re: Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

My initial thought is that sailboat rudders vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. They vary by the size and type of sailboat and they all have different rudder stocks of varying lengths and diameter. I can't imagine how you could make an emergency rudder which was made for anything more than one particular boat.
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Old 25-09-2018, 07:48   #3
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Re: Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

You mean like this?
https://www.scanmarinternational.com/emergency-steering
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Old 25-09-2018, 07:49   #4
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Re: Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

A well executed design for a reasonable price would have a market. A couple of requirements:
1. mountable in rough conditions. Some sort of cassette slot, instead of pintles.
2. multiple sizes for boats say 28 to 46ft.
3. light weight
4. easy break down, easy storage
5. flexible tiller routing for different sterns
6. minimal holes in yacht for mounting hardware.

Not an easy design criteria
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Old 25-09-2018, 08:21   #5
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Re: Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

On my 1972 30' Columbia, 11000lbs loaded up, I used an oar & oar swivel with gudgeon/pintle to connect. Installed G/P to sit high on transom. Used oar and cut into 2 pieces that would connect with metal sleeve. Just snapped in oar swivel with quick release pin and locked in oar (bolted). Simple and cheap. But admittingly never had to use, except for experience / trial run. Maybe you just need to make available larger / smaller oar type shaft and replaceable blade. Good luck. Lots of variables.
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Old 25-09-2018, 09:28   #6
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Re: Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

My plan:
If the wheel-to-rudder cable system fails, Iíll use the emergency tiller that came with my Catalina.
If the rudder falls off, Iíll call Sea Tow or similar. Plus, the Coast Guard, since Iíd probably be taking on water, too!
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Old 25-09-2018, 10:33   #7
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Re: Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailnav View Post
...since I’d probably be taking on water, too!
Not at all, since the vast majority of non-cable failures are bent shafts--just enough so that you can't steer, but no hull damage. Most are in fair weather. I've had this happen to a number of associates. Nothing wrong with the boat... other than going in circles.

Consider that a rudder failure can be off a lee shore. That happened to me once, and I had far too little time for that (15 minutes?). All it takes is a submerged log, which can happen quite near shore. I was able to rig a drogue in just a few minutes, which was enough, with tuning, to get me to a safe harbor 30 miles away. In fact, even with a spare rudder available, you should be able to rig some manner of drogue, just to stabilize the boat. A boat with no steering is a wild ride if there are waves!


I've tested a lot of drogues, and while they work better than you think for steering, a rudder is far better.



Unlike a car, you should never rely on AAA to come to the rescue.
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Old 25-09-2018, 10:53   #8
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Re: Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

I think this is a worthwhile project, particularly for blue water cruising. I like Paul L's design criteria, but would like to offer another. I hate any single-purpose thing on a boat as it just a waste of space and poor design. Everything should be perfect for it's everyday purpose, and adequate for a backup purpose. My problem with the Scanmar International product, linked above, is that you must store it until needed. Almost makes you wish for a stray log so you can use the thing! Can you design an adapter to mount on existing hardware to create a good rudder? I've heard of people using the wash bucket for a drogue (Thinwater's story), and bonding a table top to a spinnaker pole to make a steering oar which is lashed on the side. Certainly with a little foresight, an engineer could come up with a better way to put these together well.
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Old 25-09-2018, 10:56   #9
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Re: Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

It would need to be mounted permanently. The loads on the rudder are substantial to allow an emergency mount that would last, specially in bad weather. There are already manufacturers for such, one of them shown above. There are others, such as Hydrovane, that offer an emergency rudder as an option on their wind vane.
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Old 25-09-2018, 12:05   #10
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Re: Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

Last July I met a girl who sailed Panama to Marquesas. She lost her rudder half way and towed a bucket for the remainder. 50 day passage to Hiva Oa. A pole across the transom allowed the bucket to be pulled from side to side. She said it worked quite well.
A steering oar is a beast to handle and would wear out a helmsman quickly.
The windvane is the most promising but most cruisers don't have one as they block the whole transom with a stainless cage.
A vertical shaft with hardware to hold a rudder blade and tiller would stow easily, but still needs a permanent gudgeons mounted at the waterline and deck. This would be a hazard on my swimstep, but something could be bolted on thru predrilled holes in an emergency. Another stainless triangle could be made to clamp to the pulpit for the top gudgeon.
While this is possible, it's a project of low priority given the frequency of failures on 2007 Jeanneau 49s. I'll opt for the bucket on a pole.
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Old 25-09-2018, 12:22   #11
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Re: Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Trusty View Post
I think this is a worthwhile project, particularly for blue water cruising. I like Paul L's design criteria, but would like to offer another. I hate any single-purpose thing on a boat as it just a waste of space and poor design. Everything should be perfect for it's everyday purpose, and adequate for a backup purpose. My problem with the Scanmar International product, linked above, is that you must store it until needed. Almost makes you wish for a stray log so you can use the thing! Can you design an adapter to mount on existing hardware to create a good rudder? I've heard of people using the wash bucket for a drogue (Thinwater's story), and bonding a table top to a spinnaker pole to make a steering oar which is lashed on the side. Certainly with a little foresight, an engineer could come up with a better way to put these together well.
Yea, I like the multipurpose approach for boat stuff. I think you could build a good looking carbon fiber emergency rudder that was integrated into the head door. Sort of an artwork thing.
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Old 25-09-2018, 12:46   #12
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Re: Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

Perhaps something along the lines of this idea -

This article claims that a drogue attached to a bridle, then to midship blocks was stable and was able to turn the boat well since the pull was up near the center of lateral resistance.

https://www.yachtingmonthly.com/sail...steering-30065
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Old 25-09-2018, 12:50   #13
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Re: Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

Recreational boating market size: Tiny.
Recreational boaters who prep for major emergencies: Tinier still.
R.b. who have money available to spend on prepping everything: Won't fill a charter bus.

Other than that, if you can make it cheap enough ($499 tops, $99 better, $49.95 great) and you can figure out a way to perhaps freeze-dry it so it stores compactly, and a way to make "one size fit all" a whole lot better than tube socks do...

I just think the practical engineering and marketing issues make it a non-starter. Would love to be wrong about that, because there are more and more aging boats, and the internals of the rudders (armatures and corroding stainless rudder posts) make some real concern about these things worth attention.
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Old 25-09-2018, 12:51   #14
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Re: Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Trusty View Post
... I've heard of people using the wash bucket for a drogue (Thinwater's story)....

Not a wash bucket. That plastic crap would be useless, and a canvas bucket is designed (should be, so you don't dislocate you shoulder) to collapse under load.


If I were going far out of sight of land I would carry a purpose built drogue, for steering and other uses. There are jury rigs, but in fact, well design single-purpose items nearly always outperform multi-tools, which are mostly useless.


The most proven steering jury rig drogue is an anchor hanging just below a fender. You have it, it is adjustable if rigged properly, and it is strong.
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Old 25-09-2018, 14:53   #15
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Re: Manufactured Emergency Rudders - are you in need of it?

Sounds interesting Thinwater. Do you have a photo or sketch?
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