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Old 18-07-2013, 14:29   #1
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Bucket Rudder

I've been told that in a case of loss of your rudder you can rig up a 5 gal bucket and drag it behind your boat to use as steerage. Does anyone know how to rig this bucket rudder?

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Old 18-07-2013, 14:45   #2
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Ive never seen a bucket rudder rigged up but I can imagine how it would work.

My guess would be to have two buckets one each port and starboard rigged with a retrieval line on the base of the bucket. I would run them on a short line to try and counteract the tendancy for a long line to ride centrally behind the boat. These could be used for some kind of basic steering.

I could also imagine setting 2 longer lines with each line fixed port and starboard to the same bucket. This would possibly aide in keeping the boat on a straight line simular to how warps tend to keep a boat sailing straight.

Like I said ive never seen it just thinking out loud.

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Old 18-07-2013, 14:48   #3
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Some boats you can sail with out a rudder. Maybe this helps
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Old 18-07-2013, 15:08   #4
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Re: Bucket Rudder

it had better be a very sturdy bucket and on a bridal looped to 2 winches, adjust the centre of effort of the bucket to try and steer. i tried this old wives tail when we lost our rudder off the azores,it did not work well.

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Old 18-07-2013, 15:21   #5
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Re: Bucket Rudder

I have steered my 26 foot Shamrock power boat (assistance towing vessel) with a bucket several miles and up a small creek to a boat ramp to haul the boat after it lost it's rudder (literally....fell right out).

The other posters are correct that you need a sturdy connection to the bucket...not just the factory handles...I just drill holes in the sides under the thick parts and tie loops with medium line.

They also make decent drogues for vessels under 35 feet if you go slow enough...I also drill a bunch of 1" holes all over for the ones I use for drogues and store extra lines in them on deck because they are self draining.
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Old 18-07-2013, 23:09   #6
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Re: Bucket Rudder

I lost my rudder at sea a while back in a 43 footer and had several buckets. I rigged lines and worked for a while trying to steer by changing the drag on port and starboard. It might work well in still water on a smaller boat in constant light winds, but with a 6 foot swell and 18-22 knots of wind it didn't work.

At speeds above 4 knots those bucket handles will rip right out.

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