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Old 22-05-2007, 22:09   #16
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Remember it is EMERGENCY steering. If you have reasonable access to the steering gear and can get the leverage then a person can operate it from below via a large wrench or similar. Most ships have their emergency steering operated from the steering flat and rely on phone or radio to pass on the commands. Apart from getting the boat back on course the most important thing is to stop any structural damage cause by the rudder flailing around uncontrolled and giving you time to effect repairs. I had a similar problem with my aft cockpit boat and decided that being able to control & lock the rudder in a hove to position was my primary concern and after that I could decide on repair/alternative steering methods.


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Old 23-05-2007, 02:21   #17
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l have CC, and lazarette. tube goes through lazarette, taking a shaft from wind steering to quadrant then cable to independant quadrant on rudder post. Steering is solid push rods (steering arms) no cables to break, to seperate quadrant on rudder post. Both quadrants can be disconnected independently. The top of the rudder post is "squared" to take a heavy duty extension and tiller straight out through the aft hatch. For longer term "emergency" steering the aft hatch has a removable oval for the extension to slot down through (and stop water). If the worst come to the worst (excepting the rudder fall off, but then given what it is l would be breaking out the floaties) the rudder has a loop welded onto the trailing edge so that a rope can be passed down from either side and led back to the secondary winches. Would l go without emergency steering ...? Nup......

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Old 23-05-2007, 07:03   #18
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has anyone considered just an old fashioned sculling oar, not only a reasonable emergency tiller, but also a reasonable means of propulsion in port incase you lose your engine as well.

granted, it would take up more space than a normal emergency tiller, but personally, I plan to have one on my boat anyway.
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Old 23-05-2007, 11:37   #19
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I've used the sculling oar concept on boats to 23 feet but haven't on larger. I think it probably would work on boats to 30 pretty effectively. Boats longer would have a pretty serious amount of pressure in any kind of wind and sea with a sculling oar as an emergency tiller.
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Old 23-05-2007, 12:01   #20
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My boat has the same set-up that Benny and others have (almost EXACTLY like). In addition, the autopilot connects directly to the quadrant.

One thing I did do, was to VERIFY that the deck access ports actually opened (there are two - the deck one, and the overhead one), and that they are aligned with the bunk deck passthrough hole and the quadrant. I next checked that the socket that was welded to the shaft fit the quadrant and that the shaft was long enough. There was no handle - made one from heavy gauge PVC that fits snuggly over the 3 inch by 2 inch (wide) nub that is at the top of the shaft. I was able to adjust the length of the 'tiller' with a sawsall.

It doesn't sit in the best of locations, but I can see and steer at the same time.
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Old 23-05-2007, 14:35   #21
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When we were in Fiji, we visited a museum that had ancient wooden sailing proas and catamarans. They used a giant oar to steer the large cats and proas. As I recall, it would take at least two people to manhandle the oar when underway. I suppose one person could do the steering if conditions were reasonable, but if there was any sea running, it was a multiperson job.

Ancient polynesians made some awesome voyages using roughly hewn steering oars, and that proves it's possible. But I don't think a dingy oar is going to up to the task of steering a yacht. A robust steering oar would likely be necessary, and most yachts don't carry the timber for such an oar. I suppose a large long strong spinnaker pole and a section of plywood could be used in an emergency, and if that was my back up plan, I would make it up ahead of time so that it could be quickly be assembled in an emergency.

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Old 23-05-2007, 17:37   #22
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Thanks for all of the input. I'll know more when I see the boat in two weeks.

As to oars, I cannot imagine trying to manhandle an oar for more than a few minutes in heavy weather. It seems like a recipe for disaster, and adangerous situation to put oneself into. It would make a great story, though!

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Old 23-05-2007, 20:30   #23
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Sounds like you're getting great advice. An autopilot direct to the quadrant will steer the boat if a cable or sheeve fails (possible). The quadrant itself should not fail, but if it does, you're using some sort of oar or drogue setup to steer the boat until you can hail someone close in for a tow (dinghy's on the bow work, too.) Multiple failsafes (which will all fail at some point, probably together), are needed for far flung areas, but not really in the closer to home areas.
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Old 23-05-2007, 20:42   #24
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Originally Posted by dana-tenacity
Agree lashing a board to a pole sounds good in theory but sucks if you have to do it for real.
Every repair at sea sucks! But that's what being a sailor is all about, independance! Being self sufficent is what seperates the ones that will and the ones that won't............................_/)
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Old 24-05-2007, 10:17   #25
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Our center cockpit has 3 steering methods: 1) cables from wheel to quadrant; 2) hydraulic autopilot to its own quadrant; 3) emergency tiller fitted to the quadrant head.

The emergency tiller does not extend through the deck - there is a compass mounted in the aft cabin and the helmsman will have to steer from below decks.

Delpoying drogues is an interesting approach - but if you have 2 deployed won't they just reach equillibrium and the boat will wander anyway? Or likely only allow you to steer downwind / seas? Would like to know if you've deployed these in a practice run, etc.


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