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Old 27-07-2015, 09:37   #1
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Emergency Tillers

I have a recurring nightmare of the steering going on my Moody 37, don't ask why, and thought it would be prudent to cobble together an emergency tiller arrangement. Any advice on doing this? the helm would have to stand in the aft cabin with their head out the hatch unless I make some sort of through-deck fitting.
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Old 27-07-2015, 10:20   #2
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Re: Emergency Tillers

I have only used our emer tiller once and I would want to be in the cockpit, not down below.
Who ever installed the rudder shaft in our boat put a hex on the top of the shaft. That made it pretty easy to come up with tiller. Even so it was not the greatest. We made it back to a marina but ran aground because of the sloppy steering. Along with replacing the broken steering quadrant, I have upgraded the tiller set-up so if there is a next time it should work better.
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Old 27-07-2015, 10:22   #3
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Re: Emergency Tillers

I don't know if this is what you want , but it's worth a look .
http://www.selfsteer.com/faqs/faq.php?ID=194
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Old 28-07-2015, 14:54   #4
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Re: Emergency Tillers

You can tow a drogue and use the sails to "steer". The main causes the boat to go to windward and the jib causes the boat to go to lerward. Strike the balance you need. The drogue stabilizes the stern. Not a rudder, pet deposit, but it will get you going in the right direction. This way, no hardware to mount.

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Old 28-07-2015, 14:56   #5
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Re: Emergency Tillers

Pet deposit should be "per se". Sorry.

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Old 28-07-2015, 16:04   #6
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Re: Emergency Tillers

Quote:
Originally Posted by davewtsnape View Post
I have a recurring nightmare of the steering going on my Moody 37, don't ask why, and thought it would be prudent to cobble together an emergency tiller arrangement. Any advice on doing this? the helm would have to stand in the aft cabin with their head out the hatch unless I make some sort of through-deck fitting.
I assume from this you can get to the top of the rudder post? If so, then like ours you might be able to put a suitable through deck fitting (ours is an older style fuel filler deck fitting, bronze and therefore makes for a decent bearing) directly above or in alignment with the post. Ours then has a small universal joint, probably from a piece of farm machinery at a guess, which is semi permanently attached to the top of the rudder post. You simply drop a steel pipe (1.5 inch diameter I think, about 4 feet long on our boat since it has to go all the way through the aft cabin, but very strong anyway) through the hole in the deck, into the top of the uni joint, pin it in place with a very hefty cotter pin, while another bit of pipe (About 5 feet long) goes through the T head on the top of first pipe. Works a treat, reaches all the way to the midship cockpit and it's kind of nice to sail a big heavy boat with a tiller instead of the boring wheel from time to time. Hard work with an unbalance rudder like ours, but yours looks to be at least partially balanced from what I could see on sailboatdata. Do it well enough and you might end up using it when racing if that's your thing. I came up with a way of steering using a figure 8 line from the tiller and around two of the smaller cockpit winches that I felt would be sustainable over a long period of sailing, even if it was a bit of a fiddle to setup. Better than being tired out by hauling on an unbalanced tiller for what might be days and days of sailing.

The SECOND backup system we have is a pair of U bolts on the top trailing edge of the rudder to which you can attach lines to pull the rudder to either side. Have not tried this yet, but I will do as soon as I can figure out a way of not rubbing the antifouling off the boat with the lines. Thinking of using some garden hose as a sleave when the weather is warmer. Again I would take the lines up to the smaller winches in the cockpit, but line chafe would be a problem. Very much a last resort, this system.

Can't have too many options to steer in my opinion thought none of this was my work and came with the boat when we bought her. The PO was a pretty handy guy and sailed 42,000 miles on the boat.

Matt
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Old 28-07-2015, 16:39   #7
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Re: Emergency Tillers

One additional, and sorta obvious bit of advice: once you have fabricated an emergency tiller, go out and use it... in harsh conditions! The most likely time for your primary steering to fail is fighting big loads, as in strong winds and big seas. if your emergency tiller isn't man enough for such conditions (and many that i have seen surely are not), it's best to find out under experimental conditions rather than real ones.

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Old 28-07-2015, 16:50   #8
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Re: Emergency Tillers

Our boat's emergency tiller is similar. You'd have to sit in the aft cabin to drive it and it would be very difficult to look forwards out the hatch. It would essentially be a two man job to emergency steer it - one to steer and one to guide.

As GILOW said, it is possible to make an extension piece to poke the tiller out of the deck via a deck plate. I notice our boat actually has a location on the deck reserved for this as there is a small circular area devoid of non-skid immediately above the rudder shaft.

Other left field options are to have something rigged to feed back video to the person steering. Not as silly as it sounds these days thanks to things like GoPro's with wifi and MFD's with video input and remote displays.

In our case, I'm going to depend upon the yet-to-be-fitted below deck autopilot to act as emergency steering with the emergency tiller reserved for absolute last ditch use.
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Old 28-07-2015, 17:58   #9
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Re: Emergency Tillers

The head of my rudder shaft terminates just under the deck... above that is a deck plate maybe 3 inch diam. Emergency tiller lives in the garden shed, is steel, maybe 5 feet long, weighs a ton and a bit.... has a couple of eyes welded at the pointy end so that 'relieving tackle' can be rigged and lines taken to cockpit to facilitate steering.

Mind you she has Whitlock rod steering so I have a bit of a problem imagining when or why I would need it.
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Old 28-07-2015, 18:48   #10
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Re: Emergency Tillers

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Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
Other left field options are to have something rigged to feed back video to the person steering. Not as silly as it sounds these days thanks to things like GoPro's with wifi and MFD's with video input and remote displays.
This is a good idea, but I had pretty poor results when I tried it. I had already run a feed from a bow camera to the TV down below for other reasons, so it was only a matter of minutes before I went.... "Hey, I wonder if....?"

I don't know why it was, but I found it incredibly confusing and ended up steering a hopelessly wobbly line. Display delay on the circuit was trivial, field of view was wide enough to be useful without lacking detail and I am young enough to have been playing video games since I was 10, so it SHOULD have worked. But I gave it up after ten minutes by which time I was feeling dizzy and slightly nauseous.

But it SHOULD work. Don't let my abismal failure detract from the idea.

Matt

P.S. In contrast to this, I have, in desperation, sailed the same boat down a very narrow wobbly channel in Westerport Bay in the middle of a moonless night using just the display on the plotter and had no problem at all. I would not recommend it (I am very lucky not to have run aground) but it worked. Go figure.
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