Originally Posted by Jim Cate
A freely swinging rudder
is NOT the same as no rudder
at all. Your suggested experiment
is seriously flawed as a simulation of rudder loss.
Well, I hesitate to suggest people REMOVE their rudder as an experiment
. But if you'd like to try that, please report back here on your results.
If your rudder falls off entirely (a rare event), then assuming your rudder attachment point -- your skeg or keel
-- didn't fall off with it (and you now have much bigger problems), then the skeg/keel will provide yaw stability. All that is needed to steer the boat straight upwind is a small yawing force - which is provided by the mainsail
If the rudder linkage has failed, allowing the rudder to freewheel, then the conditions are exactly the same. If, on the other hand, the rudder is jammed in some non-neutral position, then the experiment I suggest by which the rudder be swung from side to side, is a valid simulation for whatever degree of deflection is tested. With any appreciable amount of wind
, such as Uncontrollable Urge experienced, the mainsail
will still override a jammed and moderately deflected rudder. The only difference will be that the boat will be slowed by the induced drag of the deflected rudder, and the boat won't head
But try the experiement yourself, and let us know what happens.