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Old 18-01-2016, 12:43   #16
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Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

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Originally Posted by Minggat View Post
Be aware that simply using the wheel brake or even tying the wheel off can still leave your steering system vulnerable to stresses other than hitting up against the stops. I'm talking about systems that use cables around the quadrant.
I agree that you need to stop the slamming against the stops. But those cables can then be vulnerable.
I inspected my system before crossing the pacific. Used the wheel lock to center the rudder while the windvane steered the boat. Several times waves slammed against the rudder and knocked it off center. Before we noticed it, the windvane was battling the off center rudder. So we locked it down harder and learned to keep an eye on it. Harder didn't help, so we knew we would just continue to recenter it. So far, all ok.
Sometime later under mild conditions one cable parted. Replaced both.
Again, some WEEKS later on a mooring in the wrong conditions with the wheel locked down & tied down, the swinging could not be controlled. One of my new cables broke.
I have a skeg hung rudder. Read unbalanced. I have learned that if I am in an anchorage where those conditions are repeated, one option that I need to consider is getting out of there.
Steering an unbalanced rudder with an emergency tiller with an unusable wheel in the way is brutal/taxing/dangerous if your stamina is already low.
I feel fortunate now. I will feel stupid for getting myself in the same position if there is a next time.
Carry spare cables.

I would consider that steering system too weak and unacceptable. Heavier cables needed? Is something flexing and causing a mis alignment that is wearing the cables too quickly? Something is not right here.

IMHO a steering system should be able to be tied firmly to any position any time with no concern. If wave action while anchored damages it , it is NOT strong enough. What happens if you fall backwards off a wave? Do you have to abandon your new catamaran?
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Old 18-01-2016, 13:18   #17
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Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

Another center and tie. Glad to see this is a consensus. We weren't sure, but it seemed like a good idea. A banging rudder is not a comforting sound.
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Old 18-01-2016, 13:26   #18
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Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

Nice thread mtm - I haven't experienced this yet but am better informed, thanks.
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Old 18-01-2016, 14:54   #19
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Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

Agree. Secure rudder amidships.
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Old 18-01-2016, 15:41   #20
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Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

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Originally Posted by SpiritofGlenans View Post
IMHO you should centre it and tie it off as rigidly as possible, so as to reduce wear on the stock and the bearings. By the same token I would also advise letting off your topping lift and lowering your boom-end to the deck to prevent wear to the gooseneck. Difficult of course, if you have a solid vang. And put a rag or something under it to save the gelcoat. Most boats are idle for more than 95% of the time, so it makes sense to prevent any unnecessary movement of wear parts.
On the 19ft keelboats on which I instruct, when at anchor/on moorings, we not only drop the boom, we also lift out the rudders completely.
dropping the boom is so French :-)

Not easy with hydraulic vang. Before i did so
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Old 18-01-2016, 15:48   #21
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Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

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Originally Posted by darylat8750 View Post
I would consider that steering system too weak and unacceptable. Heavier cables needed? Is something flexing and causing a mis alignment that is wearing the cables too quickly? Something is not right here.

IMHO a steering system should be able to be tied firmly to any position any time with no concern. If wave action while anchored damages it , it is NOT strong enough. What happens if you fall backwards off a wave? Do you have to abandon your new catamaran?
IMO, absolutely correct!!

A properly engineered cable steering system should be robust enough to absorb gross overloads with impunity, and do so for years and years. And the loads imparted at anchor, even in rough conditions, are small compared to dynamic loads encountered when sailing.

My experience is that the typical Edson steering brake is not man enough to hold much load, so tying off the wheel may well be required... it is on our boat, and I just replaced the friction pads, hoping it would help!


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Old 18-01-2016, 15:57   #22
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Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

Bluestocking is a 12ton, long keel sloop which sits in 25 ft of water in front of my house. I have watched her ride out at least 10 full or near full hurricanes. I have lots of 3/4" chain scope. I ALWAYS lock the helm with about 15 degrees of helm. If I don't, she will sail on her hull windage. By locking the helm she will round-up quickly on one tack, and fall-off against her chain on the other. Leaving the rudder centred, she sail like crazy.
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Old 20-01-2016, 06:39   #23
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Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

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Originally Posted by Redline452 View Post
Better to tie it off to avoid slamming back and forth. Usually centered, but if anchored in a current one can still steer the boat from side to side.


On my first boat with tiller steering, I used an aviation control lock with the red canvas streamer prominently labelled "REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT". I just told anyone who asked that it was a fast boat.
Aww... My two tag streamers are worn out from overuse !

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Old 20-01-2016, 07:14   #24
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Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

I centre and lock out using my cape horn lines and cam cleats, easy to do with my arangement. can't see why you would leave your rudder to continually hunt back and forth and possibly bang hard over which has happened on occasion if left free to do so.
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Old 20-01-2016, 08:34   #25
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Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

The locking device, whatever it be, should be as close to the top of the stock as possible. Jim Cate is absolutely right. Because it's at the "wrong end" of the set-up, the little pinch-lock/friction brake on a typical Edson pedestal is of no use to man or beast - let alone to a ship.

In TrentePieds a removable "radius rod" from the quadrant to the side of the "steering flat" will go in at next haul-out. Bit of a pain in that it will only be accessible through a hatch, but better that than having things lash about.

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Old 20-01-2016, 08:53   #26
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Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

Have always locked mine on center.

Yesterday I tried BlueStockings method of locking at 15 degrees (estimated) off center with good results. My boat loves to sail at anchor, in any amount of breeze. Locking off center all but eliminated the sailing. This in light winds, so will continue to experiment with different wind speeds. Thanks for posting that Blue, first time hearing of that idea.

For what it is worth, my Edson pedestal wheel lock works fine. No problem for over five years now. Maybe my rudder is easier to control?
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Old 20-01-2016, 08:55   #27
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Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

The friction lack on mine is only good for extended motoring and hand steering, It's a balanced rudder and the prop wash acts on one side more than the other causing the rudder to deflect to port when under power, it's useful for that, but little else.
Just looking at the surface area of an average rudder it's apparent that even slight pressure over such a large area amounts to significant force.

Mine sails on anchor no matter where I position the rudder, I've considered but not tried a drogue off the stern to see if that helps, I have not tried a riding sail $$
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Old 20-01-2016, 09:18   #28
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Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

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Originally Posted by mtm124 View Post
Sitting on mooring ball in heavy weather. Watching wheel turn back and forth. Is it best to let wheel and rudder move on its own or should rudder be secured in fixed position? Looked on several sites w/out determining answer .
Lock it off.

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Old 21-01-2016, 06:33   #29
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Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

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The friction lack on mine is only good for extended motoring and hand steering, It's a balanced rudder and the prop wash acts on one side more than the other causing the rudder to deflect to port when under power, it's useful for that, but little else.
Just looking at the surface area of an average rudder it's apparent that even slight pressure over such a large area amounts to significant force.

Mine sails on anchor no matter where I position the rudder, I've considered but not tried a drogue off the stern to see if that helps, I have not tried a riding sail $$
Excellent freudian slip Pilot!
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Old 21-01-2016, 06:52   #30
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pirate Re: Rudder positioning during anchoring or mooring

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Originally Posted by four winds View Post
Have always locked mine on center.

Yesterday I tried BlueStockings method of locking at 15 degrees (estimated) off center with good results. My boat loves to sail at anchor, in any amount of breeze. Locking off center all but eliminated the sailing. This in light winds, so will continue to experiment with different wind speeds. Thanks for posting that Blue, first time hearing of that idea.

For what it is worth, my Edson pedestal wheel lock works fine. No problem for over five years now. Maybe my rudder is easier to control?
I also set off centre at anchor/mooring... same reason.. I also drop the boom to port using the topping lift if leaving her for a while.. or the wind getting up.
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