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Old 08-08-2011, 00:12   #1
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Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

Hello to all.
I have friends who are crossing from the Galapagos to Tahiti in a LIPARI 41 made by Fountaine Pajot.

They have about 10 days before Tahiti and the auto helm has failed.
Being two up and hand steering, the remainder of the trip is going to be very difficult.

The question:
Can anyone suggest a way to jury rig some sort of self steering that gives the crew some reprieve.

For example, on a mono hull it is possible to run a rope from the clew of a jib back to the tiller and set it so that when the sail luffs, tensioned is released and a bungy strap pulls the tiller to windward correcting the boats course.

It is further complicated as this yacht has wheel steering.

Any and all suggestions welcome.

Many thanks,

Andrew
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Old 08-08-2011, 00:40   #2
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Re: Urgent Help wanted - Emergency Self Steering for a 42 foot Cat

Jib sheet, or mainsheet to wheel steering might work. Need a stout bungee. Takes some thought to plan it. But they have time.

Sometimes one can get 10 or 20 minutes by simply locking the wheel and letting her do a slow curve. Then overcorrect. Repeat.

Divert to Marquesas or Tuamotus.

Fly the chute for max speed while on helm. Drift other times.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:56   #3
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Fix Autopilot?

Since the autopilot has failed would it not be easier to fix it?
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:42   #4
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Re: Urgent Help wanted - Emergency Self Steering for a 42 foot Cat

Thanks daddle, I will forward your suggestions on tonight.
Thanks also to Boracay for replying.
The local Furuno reps believes that a power spike has corrupted the Navpilot711s firmware and only a complete reload will fix it.
Not possible 10 days out of Papeete.

There is a Furuno rep there but I am just trying to find a way to help them ease the load.

Two people hand steering a boat for ten days (even in relatively good conditions) is very difficult.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:56   #5
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Re: Urgent Help wanted - Emergency Self Steering for a 42 foot Cat

You are clearly really worried about your mates, they are lucky to have you.

I assume they are further from the beginning than they are from the end so turning back is not an option

This may sound counterproductive and a little left field.

Turn the trip into 15 days.

Assuming they are not in a shipping lane this would enable them to heave to and rest. Yes it is still a lot of hand steering but with a longer rest period.

Alternatively you might be able to use a system of pulleys to rig up a similar system to that which you describe for the monohull. Lots of lines crisscrossing the cockpit but it should be achievable.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:25   #6
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Re: Urgent Help wanted - Emergency Self Steering for a 42 foot Cat

Difficult to comment without knowing what headsails and poles they have but should be possible to rig some sort of self-steering headsails independant of the rudder. eg rig a Twizzle Rig from mast to fore deck and hang one headsail to port and another to starboard.
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:32   #7
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Re: Urgent Help wanted - Emergency Self Steering for a 42 foot Cat

if they are trying to steer the direct coarse to tahiti,and using the mainsail and jib it will be very difficult to balance the boat to self steer.

suggest just using the jib or cruising chute with the sheet let right out and steer the course that the cat will self steer,then tack down wind to their destination.

would think with the wind about 60 degrees off the stern and experiment with the sheeting and steering wheel settings ,a degree of balance where the cat will luff up,stall then drop back on coarse can be achieved.

alternatively heave too for 6 hours a day and have a sleep,...........
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:40   #8
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Re: Urgent Help wanted - Emergency Self Steering for a 42 foot Cat

Homo Sapiens is a pretty smart animal YachtRisky. Your friends don't have much choice but to continue and don't forget "Necessity is the mother of invention". They will, especially knowing that they are not alone, arrive safely I am sure.
( One time I was with my wife crossing the Atlantic using a windvane. It broke so we hand steered I forget how many days. During those days my wife burned her hand so I steered one and a half days non stop. I had micro sleeps - I was awake 10 seconds then slept a couple of seconds. We arrived OK. )
Good luck to your friends and don't worry too much. You are doing good.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:26   #9
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Re: Urgent Help wanted - Emergency Self Steering for a 42 foot Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnathon123 View Post
Y
Assuming they are not in a shipping lane this would enable them to heave to and rest. Yes it is still a lot of hand steering but with a longer rest period.
+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............
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:56   #10
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

Definitely head for the Marquesas. Should be not far off the line from Galapagos to Tahiti (and much nicer than Tahiti) Will knock 4-5 days off the passage and they can have the defective bit flown to Tahiti and back while they enjoy the Marquesas.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:01   #11
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

What kind of emergency tiller do they have? Could that be set up and lashed in some way?
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:10   #12
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by YachtRisky View Post
Hello to all.
I have friends who are crossing from the Galapagos to Tahiti in a LIPARI 41 made by Fountaine Pajot.

They have about 10 days before Tahiti and the auto helm has failed.
Being two up and hand steering, the remainder of the trip is going to be very difficult.

The question:
Can anyone suggest a way to jury rig some sort of self steering that gives the crew some reprieve.

For example, on a mono hull it is possible to run a rope from the clew of a jib back to the tiller and set it so that when the sail luffs, tensioned is released and a bungy strap pulls the tiller to windward correcting the boats course.

It is further complicated as this yacht has wheel steering.

Any and all suggestions welcome.

Many thanks,

Andrew
using sheet to tiller on a wheel it MIGHT help to use a "fool's purchase" to INCREASE rope travel...ie:around a primitive drum attached to wheel .

admitted,,Pulley friction might nix this idea where more "travel" is needed

don't forget Burtons in this regard...fewer pulleys.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:23   #13
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

PS (Downwind)
using a small jib to shadow-pull-shadow pull as steerer behind the main AND another jib poled out can be quite stable,sea allowing.
Using a "Backing jib system can also be effective.Steering sails can be set from shrouds.
small Steering jibs can be set with a haywired boom from the mainmast facing aft.,and pulling lines to each side these have less yawing and can work to a nearly dead downwind run in concert with a headsail or 2headsails from forestay...
steeringSails (with a boom)set from backstays are somewhat self-defeating per weather helm)downwind but can work too.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:08   #14
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

Please excuse me, but you say there is MORE THAN ONE on board, and it's a 41 cat...Sorry but I fail to see the issue... It's JUST the auto pilot, right? Not the main steering? They can still steer? Just have to hand steer, poor dears!!
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Old 08-08-2011, 14:26   #15
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Re: Urgent Help Wanted - Emergency Self-Steering for a 42' Cat

Look in this article about singlehanding. The was some discussion of self steering. Not sure if it will work on a cat.

http://sfbaysss.org/tipsbook/SinglehandedTips.pdf


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