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Old 22-05-2007, 13:26   #1
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No emergency tiller...

Hi all;

We are looking at a boat, center cockpit with an aft cabin, that has no provision for an emergency tiller. While our initial use, for the next two years would be largely costal, we are shopping with our eye on an extended cruise that would take us offshore.

THe steering is cable to wheel. Would you buy a boat without an emergency tiller? Could the omission be somewhat negated with spare cable, etc?

Chris
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Old 22-05-2007, 13:54   #2
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Makes me nervous, could you organize emergency steering over the transom?
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Old 22-05-2007, 13:55   #3
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The question is; if you had an emergency tiller, where would you steer it from??

Do you have a deck area above and forward of the rudder post. If not, one would have to jury-rig lines to the quadrant to steer with. A bit like a model airplane......................_/)
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Old 22-05-2007, 14:02   #4
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Aloha Chris,
One of the reasons I don't like center cockpit boats is the long cables and connections to the rudder post from the wheel. It only takes one failure in the system to cause an emergency and it takes too long to rig a new cable. An emergency tiller is a really great feature of any boat and I wouldn't be without one. My friend ran into a Russian freighter and lost his mast because his steering cable broke and he couldn't steer with the wheel. His boat had no provision for an emergency tiller even though it was an aft cockpit boat.
Center cockpit also prevents a lot of folks from rigging an efficient windvane system. Some people like center cockpit boats and some don't. I'm in the latter category.
Kind Regards,
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Old 22-05-2007, 14:20   #5
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What brand of boat is it? Most of the ones I have seen have at least something.
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Old 22-05-2007, 14:24   #6
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Chris,
Our center-cockpit ketch is also cable to wheel. It does have an emergency tiller and it also has a linear autopilot drive on the rudder quadrant. This means that you can steer the boat from the auto-pilot in the event of a cable failure.

The emergency tiller uses an extension that fits over the rudder pintle and extends through the roof of the rear cabin. The tiller then slots into this extension. The obvious quick fix is to use the autopilot drive though. Is there room for this on your boat?
Ed
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Old 22-05-2007, 14:58   #7
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An even better setup is to have a seperate tiller arm for the autopilot. This backs up quadrant failure as well.
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Old 22-05-2007, 15:05   #8
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There is not any easy way to attach an emergency rudder, but I would be installing an electronic AP, as well as a windvane, at least before we went out long term. It is an interesting layout in that there is an actual rear lazarette, something you don't find too often on center cockput boats. So fitting all of this should be not to difficult. We are going to see the boat in two weeks, I'll know more then.

Since there is a hatch over the lazarette, I might be able to rig up a crude emergency setup, if I can find some way of connection to the rudder stock. Need to see it with my own eyes, first.

Chris
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Old 22-05-2007, 15:14   #9
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Chris, what is the brand and model of boat?

Perhaps there are standard arrangements for an emergency tiller, and they just aren't obvious to you?
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Old 22-05-2007, 15:42   #10
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Chris - I have that same set-up - centre cockpit, lazarette etc.

The quadrant and top of the rudder post in under the double size starboard berth in the aft cabin.. It is accessable through a large hinged section of the plywood base of the berth. then there is open space up to the ceiling which is also the bottom of the starboard shelf in the lazarette above. The port side of the lazarette is deep - right to the bottom of the hull so the lazarette hatch spans the entire aft deck area and covers these two parts of the lazarette. I installed one of those waterproof round access ports in the bottom of that shelf right through to the ceiling of the aft cabin above the berth - another access port there too and when the berth cushion is removed and the higed base section is opened, there is direct access to the top of thye rudder post from the aft deck above through those aforementioned access ports. Of course the covers for them are screwed in when not in use for the emergency tiller - which is a 1 and 1/2 inch inside diameter thick walled steel pipe which fits over the same size diameter rudder post. There is a pivoting tiller arm attached to the top. The bottom has a 1/2 inch hole drilled through the pipe which corresponds to a similarly sized hole in the top of the rudder post. A long clevis pin then slides through both to hold it in place. voila - emergency tiller. I made up a rubber boot out of a reduction sleeve from the plumbing store which clamps around the pipe and then the larger part clamps over the lip of the access port to prevent weather entering the cabin.

Hope this helps with your situation
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Old 22-05-2007, 20:28   #11
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I wouldn't have a yacht for sailing offshore without an emergency tiller of some sort. Back up steering systems are part of the offshore game.

One of the things I liked about my catamaran was the fact that I had four different ways of steering the cat. I had two steering wheels each going to it's own separate quadrant. There was an autohelm 700 linear drive autopilot, and as a final safety measure, we had an emergency tiller that went through a deck plate on to the top of the port rudder post. The rudder post was squared off on top, and the emergency tiller was made from heavy duty aluminum pipe in the form of a socket that slipped over the rudder post in an emergency.

We also had two rudders on the boat since we are a catamaran, making a very redundant steering system.

We have had the Privilege catamaran for 13 years, did an eleven year circumnavigation, and our steering hasn't failed us yet. May our good fortune continue.

I have been in three storms with winds to fifty knots, and if we had lost our steering in any of those incidents, we could have gotten into real trouble. If the steering cable fails in forty knots of wind and 20 foot seas, you will find it very difficult to steer the boat using only your sails. Traditional crusing boats with long keels may be more forgiving in such circumstances because they have a great deal of directional stability, but it wouldn't be fun.

In the last two transatlantic ARC rallies, there have been boats that lost their rudders, and as I recall, the yachts were abandoned because they weren't able to steer the yachts without rudders. Whether your rudder falls off or your steering cable breaks, the end result is the same. You can't control your yacht.

When I had my Westsail 32 and my Pearson Renegade 27, I practiced sailing without using my tiller/rudder. It's surprising how well you can sail a full keel yacht offshore by balancing your sails.

Cheers,
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Old 22-05-2007, 20:56   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxingout
In the last two transatlantic ARC rallies, there have been boats that lost their rudders, and as I recall, the yachts were abandoned because they weren't able to steer the yachts without rudders. Whether your rudder falls off or your steering cable breaks, the end result is the same. You can't control your yacht.
There aren't enough McGyver's out there. A rudder can be fabricated from the head door or any other flat panel by mounting it to the transom with some sort of hinge device. Even cloth screwed to the panel/transom will work as a hinge.

The problem being, when rudders are lost they damage the boat causing it to take on water. It's better to have a break-away rudder then a break-away hull.

And a pole strapped to the panel makes a mighty fine tiller!
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Old 22-05-2007, 21:19   #13
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emergency steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by witzgall
Hi all;

We are looking at a boat, center cockpit with an aft cabin, that has no provision for an emergency tiller...Would you buy a boat without an emergency tiller? Could the omission be somewhat negated with spare cable, etc?

Chris
Yo Chris,

on most boats one can find SOME way to connect emergency steering. If this is truly not possible with your existing setup, you can add a self-contained wind-vane or an SOS-Rudder:
http://www.selfsteer.com/products/sos/index.php

best, andy
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Old 22-05-2007, 22:01   #14
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Not wishing to question other responses but I've tried to use a pole plus board and found it very very hard to control a 50 footer with such a set up. The loads on the emergency rudder were so great it was near impossible to stop the inboard end wanting to tear itself free from our lash-up.
As a result, we've practiced and now carry two sets of drogues to keep us in a straight line under sail. No good of course when you get back to a port - but IMHO great to steer you back there!

Agree with all others. It must be possible to rig an emergency tiller somehow - and worth modifying boat to make one fit. The use of an autopilot if attached direct to rudder stock also is smart.

Good luck

JOHN
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Old 22-05-2007, 22:24   #15
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If you are installing a vane look at something like the hydrovane which has it's own auxilliary rudder, I think Monitor now offer something in the way of an emergency rudder too.
Agree lashing a board to a pole sounds good in theory but sucks if you have to do it for real.
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