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Old 23-05-2009, 07:41   #1
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Emergency Steering Design

I have a 40' Norseman and am trying to figure out a good emergency steering system. Now, there are 3" diam access plates to the rudder shaft in each scoop. About 4" below the access plate there is a 1/4" horizontal bolt. I presume I need to make up a slotted vertical rod of sufficient strength to take the torque, insert it over the horizontal bolt, and use some kind of tiller arrangement the other end of the vertical rod for leverage.

Is this sufficient to steer, or do I need to have a more elaborate system that links the rudders on both hulls?

All suggestions and designs appreciated.
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Old 23-05-2009, 15:30   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jncrussell View Post
I have a 40' Norseman and am trying to figure out a good emergency steering system. Now, there are 3" diam access plates to the rudder shaft in each scoop. About 4" below the access plate there is a 1/4" horizontal bolt. I presume I need to make up a slotted vertical rod of sufficient strength to take the torque, insert it over the horizontal bolt, and use some kind of tiller arrangement the other end of the vertical rod for leverage.

Is this sufficient to steer, or do I need to have a more elaborate system that links the rudders on both hulls?

All suggestions and designs appreciated.
I have an emergency tiller that fits over the squared off end of the rudder post on either rudder. My rudders are connected by a long tiller bar that spans both hulls, so the emergency tiller steers both rudders. Have you checked to see if yours has a tller bar to connect both rudders?

My setup also has a built in back-up steering system. The primary steering system has cables to the steering quadrant on the port rudder and the long tiller bar steers the starboard rudder at the same time. My autopilot steers via an electric/hydraulic ram to my starboard rudder which steers the port rudder via the tiller bar. If my steering cable breaks, I have a direct steering knob on my autopilot that allows me to steer the boat by turning an 1.5inch knob. I feel better about this system than standing on the back of one hull and trying to steer with the relatively short tiller arm of the emergency tiller.
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Old 23-05-2009, 18:00   #3
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Just being able to steer one rudder should work. I know people who had lost a rudder without being aware of it, they discovered it later in a marina, then in only hindsight realised that they had noticed their autopilot had been working a little harder.
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Old 23-05-2009, 18:29   #4
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steering

My boat has a round aluminium pipe on top of each rudder housing tops & two lengths of aluminium pipe fits when needed.
Regards Bill
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Old 23-05-2009, 18:43   #5
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Try your emergency rudder before you need it. Most tillers are too short to be of any use. In most situations the tiller needs to be attached to a block and tackle or winches to be able to handle the torque that will be on the rudder. I found this out when I broke a cable on a C&C 37+ with a balanced rudder. Every time the rudder was off staight on, it threw me off the deck.
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Old 23-05-2009, 19:11   #6
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That sounds EXACTLY like the design on the PDQ32...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jncrussell View Post
I have a 40' Norseman and am trying to figure out a good emergency steering system. Now, there are 3" diam access plates to the rudder shaft in each scoop. About 4" below the access plate there is a 1/4" horizontal bolt. I presume I need to make up a slotted vertical rod of sufficient strength to take the torque, insert it over the horizontal bolt, and use some kind of tiller arrangement the other end of the vertical rod for leverage.

Is this sufficient to steer, or do I need to have a more elaborate system that links the rudders on both hulls?

All suggestions and designs appreciated.
and I have used it, just as a test. It works well. When not in use, the tiller stores in a bow locker. It is described in this manual on page 15. http://www.pdq36.com/PDQ32%20Owner%27s%20Manual.pdf
The tiller is ~ 4' long, and that seem to be enough. If we wanted more, I could stuff a rod into the end of the pipe, but at some point you worry about shearing the bolt on the tiller head, too.

Having it plug into one rudder at a time is best. There are 2 common steering failures: broken cable or related gear, and jammed rudder. In the case of a cable failure, the emergency tiller plugs right in. In the case of a jammed rudder, you need to disconnect the crossbar from the good rudder, so the other one is left alone (other fiddling may be needed, depending on the jam).

So, really, a single plug-in tiller is what you want, IMHO. Nothing fancy for emergencies! Since this is a common question, I will try to take some pics tomorrow and post them by mid-week.... Cruising till then!
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Old 24-05-2009, 10:19   #7
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Thanks all.

Helpful advise to get me going on fabricating a solution. I'll post photos if it works
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Old 25-05-2009, 19:46   #8
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Here are some photos pf the PDQ 32 tiller, as promised.

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Helpful advise to get me going on fabricating a solution. I'll post photos if it works
Very simple. Unscrew the cap, drop it in, and steer. The photo is not clear, but the slot goes through both sides, fore/aft.

Any "emergency" system is going to put a premium on sail balance. If one rudder is out or jammed, the other can only really provide trim.

I hope this helps.
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