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Old 08-08-2011, 14:36   #16
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Re: Urgent Help wanted - Emergency Self Steering for a 42 foot Cat

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+1

In any event, hand steering itself is not tiring, just the hours - and that's mostly boredom - If you are sailing to the wind on a general heading (and not trying to follow the compass to the nearest degree) then not so tiring.

Failing that, they could press the Red Button............
Hey wait, I'm missing the red button on my boat. I was obviously taken advantage of when I bought the boat.

I want a red button!
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Old 08-08-2011, 14:54   #17
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

here you are
:whist ling:
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Old 08-08-2011, 19:10   #18
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

Thanks everybody for taking the time to provide input. - There are plenty of gems in here that I will pass on.
Particularly the simple ideas of running sails well forward and see if the boat can be pretty much dragged directly down wind.
Also the option of a divert to the Marquesas if it gets to hard is again very sensible.

For those that think hand steering two up for 10 days is easy, my experience is different.
I found it extremely fatiguing and it leaves little room for dealing with problems like sickness, injuries, bad weather and other equipment failures.

Iíll pass this on and feed back the results.

Thanks once again for helping out a fellow cruising couple
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Old 08-08-2011, 19:20   #19
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

If the trades are blowing and the seas are up... I dont see hand steering as anything less than fatigueing...."super balance" the boat, using mostly headsail if necessary, Heave to if too tired, slowdown if necessary and gut it out I guess!
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Old 08-08-2011, 20:33   #20
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

I second the idea of dropping all or most of the main and trying things under jib or jibs alone with wheel locked. My old cat would track like on rails downwind like that, but still needed some help to keep from rounding up from time to time. In the worst case scenario if they get too tired I strongly suggest just taking down the sails and getting some sleep, possibly with a small drogue out to keep them pointed comfortably downwind. Sure, it is a bit slower, but handy to be fresh and alert, especially as you are approaching harbor. With two onboard it really shouldn't be too bad--four hours or so off and on isn't bad at all, and it's how a lot of folks sailed around the world in the old days.
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Old 08-08-2011, 21:23   #21
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

I kind of agree with Kettlewell. They should be maintaining a watch anyway. Might as well be steering. Four and four is reasonable if conditions aren't bad. Safety first, though. JMO
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Old 08-08-2011, 23:02   #22
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Braine Self Steering

You are probably thinking of Braine self steering used in model yachts at the beginning of the last century.

There is a web page here of it being applied to a larger yacht.

Very fiddly and difficult to get right, which is why its not used much these days.


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Old 08-08-2011, 23:37   #23
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

Hmmmm i have a very random idea.. (most of the others are better- but its worth suggesting, just in case it actually works).. How about a stormsail/trisail run up the back stay with its clew pulled forward and sheeted to the wheel/emergency tiller via a couple of snatch blocks.. It would take some playing, but may just work assuming the boat doesnt suffer a lot of lee/weather helm.
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Old 09-08-2011, 00:04   #24
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

!0 days to Tahiti to me means Tuamotus are about somewhere. Call in to the islands and rest for a few days, tinker with auto pilot. Marquesas is an unhelpful idea, slog back to windward for what assistance? No electronic experts there for sure!
Press on to Papeete.... lots of help there, at a price!!
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Old 09-08-2011, 00:15   #25
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

Most boats can steer themselves just using the steering wheel brake. You would be surprised. One trick with it is to put in one more reef than is needed. That greatly reduces the tendency to round up. Twizzle rigs also work if the wind is aft of 120 or so.
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:29   #26
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

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!0 days to Tahiti to me means Tuamotus are about somewhere. Call in to the islands and rest for a few days, tinker with auto pilot. Marquesas is an unhelpful idea, slog back to windward for what assistance? No electronic experts there for sure!
Press on to Papeete.... lots of help there, at a price!!
How slow is your boat? 10 days out from Tahiti is not yet at the Marquesas on their cat.

I think we were 3 or 4 days Marquesas to Tuamotus, then 2 days at most Tuamotus to Tahiti.
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:11   #27
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

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For those that think hand steering two up for 10 days is easy, my experience is different.
No one said that hand steering 2 up for 10 days is easy (or fun) - but it ain't exactly hard either, and if it is a constant battle (rather than occassional gentle inputs) then something is wrong with your balance / set up (and, as already said, heave to now and again for a rest)..........BTW I think the technical term for hand steering is "sailing" ..................just needs the skipper / crew to turn off the DVD player and surface above deck, but I appreciate priorities onboard differ............
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:32   #28
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

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Hmmmm i have a very random idea.. (most of the others are better- but its worth suggesting, just in case it actually works).. How about a stormsail/trisail run up the back stay with its clew pulled forward and sheeted to the wheel/emergency tiller via a couple of snatch blocks.. It would take some playing, but may just work assuming the boat doesnt suffer a lot of lee/weather helm.
Please don't fall off the boat looking for the back stay........
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:57   #29
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

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How slow is your boat? 10 days out from Tahiti is not yet at the Marquesas on their cat.

I think we were 3 or 4 days Marquesas to Tuamotus, then 2 days at most Tuamotus to Tahiti.

Appologies Mike, you are quite right, Marquesas to Tahiti appox 780 miles. Should have consulted my log instead of spouting out!

So the answer to their dilema is stop off and rest, maybe one of the cruisers in Nuku Hiva or Hiva Oa will know a bit about autopilots?
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Old 09-08-2011, 20:48   #30
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

...and a plastic bucket cut out for the wheel spokes and further haywired might serve as a drum for self-steering lines.
Further to the steering jib facing aft from the main,(for downwind)it'd be an improvement to possibly add haywired battens just to quiet the sail when "on-course".Also,a hayired stay on it's luff.The temporary boom should be heavy to the same purpose.Obviously,the mainsail furled boom will be dropped to the deck for all this.
I'm keen on this is because I used it with a squaresail on a Wharram ,but wheel steering is a new factor.That would seem the trickiest,getting the right amount of rudder travel and power per off-course yaw,so the easier shadow jib will clue them in and once that's working,the staysail system will be an elegance...
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