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Old 13-07-2008, 23:35   #16
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Originally Posted by Jack Long View Post
I took the boat out by myself for the first time today. I didn't sail- just motored around for a half hour then came back. Getting out of the slip was a pretty horrific misadventure but when I came back I parked like I not only knew what I was doing- but was good at it. So, yay me.
Great - sounds like the way I started some 30 years back

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For grins I gave myself some momentum, cut the throttle, put it in neutral, and just let go. At first she turned into the wind and I thought that felt about right... less wind resistance in that angle... that last about 30 seconds and then she turned sideways and stayed there until I got bored.
That is about right, most (all?) yachts pay off away from the wind and then lie beam on to the wind/sea.
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I know this will sound silly but... Could my rudder be on backwards? It seems to me that the longer part of the rudder should be behind the pivot point which would make the drag pull it straight... I feel like it is fighting to turn at all times.
Yes, does sound silly but top marks for trying to think out the solution. I would say (without knowing what boat you have) that it would almost be impossible to put the rudder on "backwards". Having said that, every time something is made foolproof, along comes a better fool. No reference to you by the way. And yes the longer part of the rudder should be behind the pivot point.
The force required to turn the rudder can vary form very little to huge depending on the design, shape, degree of fouling, water speed etc. Can't help wihout knowing more details but you could just try going astern and seeing what difference there is - just to set your mind at rest.
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Okay, I don't REALLY think that is the problem but it seemed like a good way to describe how it feels.
I agree with you

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Oh, and I will have you know the seas were HUGE too. At one point while attempting to do a circle in reverse I get smacked from dead astern by a monster that had to have been... 2 feet? The sky went all black... I was looking up at fish... the bastard nearly swamped me.
You certainly want to watch out for those rogue waves, they come at you from nowhere.

Sounds like you are having fun which is the only good reason for owing a boat in the first place. Good luck with you "sea trials".
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Old 14-07-2008, 01:55   #17
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Sestina talks about just putting the tiller against the cockpit combing... If I understand correctly... on my boat that is almost u-turn position. I can be seriously off course within 10 seconds if the tiller is moved even 3 inches. Honestly, most of my steering was done within a 6 inch space.
The boat should be very responsive to the tiller. The only time we are really hard over is tacking in very light winds.

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I know this will sound silly but... Could my rudder be on backwards? It seems to me that the longer part of the rudder should be behind the pivot point which would make the drag pull it straight... I feel like it is fighting to turn at all times.
Here is a website with some great info about your boat. Scroll down the page and select Specs Page 2 and there is a picture of your boat out of the water. You should get an idea of what the rudder should look like.

Coronado Sailboat Manuals & Brochures


I doubt that it is on backwards.

In regards to steering under motor. Your prop is forward of the rudder. It is possible that the prop wash is hitting one side of the rudder, due to swirl and there will be a tendency to fall off. It shouldn't be a battle but hands off the tiller, under power, most boats turn.

Here is another website with lots of cool "pay for" data on your boat.

Coronado 30
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Old 14-07-2008, 06:27   #18
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Jack, if you look again at my post, I talk about using the tiller extension to jam against the coaming. Not the whole tiller!
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Old 14-07-2008, 06:36   #19
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Oh how I remember my first time alone away from the dock. By accident I actually eneded up sailing into my slip, and perfectly. Of course no one was there to witness it, because if there had been. I would have surely crashed, and burned into the dock, and possibly sailing up onto with only the keel stopping me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 14-07-2008, 12:50   #20
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Congratulations!

If you took that wave over the stern, you've been pooped! It probably won't be the last time, but now you've had the experience, shocking as it can be, and next time it won't be so startling.

I don't think I managed to get a boat up to the dock without shenanigans and comedy for the first six months, and I was sailing dinghies! So more congratulations are in order. Biggest learning thing for me was come in as slow as possible based on the wind and current. (Current slip is in line with a reversing current, so I'm either working into the stream - which is great! - or with it, which is not cool.)
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Old 16-07-2008, 17:03   #21
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The short term auto pilot on my boat is two bungee cords of equal size/strech. Hook them off to the stern cleats on each side and then wrap them around the tiller and hook them back on themselves. I usually sail with them on cause you can still move the tiller and when you need a couple of seconds to go grab a beer from down below or whatever, see which way the tiller is wanting to go by itself and slide the bungee coming from the otherside further toward the end of the tiller to make it pull harder. Works like a champ and it has held my point of sail for at least 15 minutes in moderate wind.
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Old 16-07-2008, 21:00   #22
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My current autopilot is also a bungee, but I'm trying to rig up a system of pulleys and rope to allow me to steer from just about anywhere on the boat.
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Old 16-07-2008, 21:09   #23
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That's pretty easy, actually: rig bungee on one side of the tiller. Rig a messenger line to the other. Pull on the messenger line to bring the tiller amidships or to one side, let the bungee pull it back to bring the tiller amidships or to the other side.

With turning blocks you can use this to con from anywhere, but remember you're limited by the strength of the bungees, and you have to overcome the friction of the blocks and line.
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Old 17-07-2008, 19:01   #24
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Jack,
This is a little different that the earlier part of the thread, which seemed to me more focused on sailing, not motoring. There's a big difference, because of the prop walk. Most boats will want to turn one way or the other under power, and you need to offset that with the tiller, i.e. not necessarily in dead center. The difference in whether it turns to port or starboard is whether you have a left hand or right hand prop. On my boat a strong rubber bungee attached on only one side of the tiller will not be enough to offset the propwalk and hold a steady coarse. Next time you're out you might play with the engine and see the impact of the propwalk, and that can help you decide how best to 'tie the tiller' on a straight course under power. In all likelyhood the tiller will not be in the center.

BTW, propwalk can be very useful maneuvering in tight quarters, particularly when docking. When I come up to a 'parallel parking' side tie I can throw it into reverse at the last minute and the stern will move sideways right up to the dock, almost like I have a stern thruster. I can also do a '360 almost in place, going between forward and reverse and allowing the propwalk to do the turning. Not bad for a full keel.

I'll let others answer about the rudder, but it does sound odd.

Scot

PS - Sestina was talking about a tiller extension, not the tiller itself, against the combing.
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Old 25-07-2008, 14:09   #25
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Does anyone have experience with a tiller comb? http://www.answers.com/topic/tillers-1

I have no personal experience with the solution, but thought about this thread when I read about it in Don Casey's book recently. Seems to fit the bill for a means of holding the tiller while adjusting a sheet, etc, but please feel free to chime in if this is a terrible idea.
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Old 25-07-2008, 14:22   #26
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tiller comb

I experimented with a home-made one I whipped up in an inspired weekend.

Concept seemed good, and even the extremely crude version I built using table saw kerfs did well enough under motor. With any amount of heel under sail the tiller would pop out of the comb. I didn't have a chance to rig a bungee holding the tiller down, and I never got back to the project.

Clearly the system was used in the past, so a more finished version could be developed. For my purposes, though, it's as easy to rig a pair of rope loops.
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Old 30-07-2008, 13:08   #27
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I bought a used "new" Raymarine ST2000 for 525.

We will see how it works...
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Old 30-07-2008, 13:24   #28
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That's good, Jack. You'll fit in here nicely.

About that rudder; it appears that it could be reversed. If I recall correctly, it is a swept back rectangle that hangs from the rudder post up throught the bottom of the hull appearing at the cockpit floor with a large casting the tiller attaches to. The tiller can lift up out of the way when not sailing. I don't remember any tiller stops. The tiller hinge pin should be aft of the rudder shaft. If you have been steering with the hinge pin forward of the rudder shaft, you have been sailing with the rudder backwards! If you have been able to steer a straight line under power without the tiller jumping out of you hands, you're a better man than me Gunga Din!
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Old 23-11-2009, 06:56   #29
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Hi, you may have a balanced rudder,in which case you may be chained to tiller even when sails balanced, best then is a 12v tillerpilot;but before spending much $ experimentation with sails,sheeting ,engine revs,and of course rope may end up working for you.
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Old 24-11-2009, 15:14   #30
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If your boat has a long straight keel and the sail rig has some semblance of balance, you can successfully use sheet to tiller for distance sailing, and it will hold course otherwise long enough to mess with the sheets, etc. For successful and easy to use sheet to tiller, see John Letcher's out of print book [library? I found mine in a used book store] Self Steering for Sailing Craft. I used the system for sailing my 34' gaff schooner for years. The only thing I had to buy was the piece of surgical tubing for the lee side. Blocks and line for the windward [steering] side came from my store locker. Even so, it will cost less than fifty bucks, and is much easier to use than dinking around with rudder mount systems.
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