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Old 21-01-2015, 07:43   #46
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Re: Juryrigging a Rudder

I've seen a lot of people tackle this problem on the offshore racing circuit. Certainly the more well-heeled boats have purpose-built emergency steering solutions that have been properly engineered and fabricated and are likely to be effective. But the remainder of the boats do not, and first-time skippers grapple with this problem since they need to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the safety inspector that they have a workable system aboard.

The first attempt is always with the spinnaker pole and and some cabinet doors, or stand-ins for them, and constructing them like a sculling oar. The straight up/down pivoting post arrangement decreases the forces on the equipment, but attaching it securely to the boat without custom hardware is a difficult proposition at best. The same problem arises with the sculling solution but needs to handle different stresses. In general, attaching the midpoint of the pole to the boat in a way that a) is secure and b) does not allow the pole to turn and "swim" due to rotation is much harder than it sounds given the tremendous pressure on it on any good-sized boat in anything worse than moderate conditions.

What the community generally lands on is using a drogue on a bridle and running the lines either to the primaries or forward to turning blocks closer to midships and then back to the primaries. Where you locate them is a function of how your boat handles and balances, whether you lost your rudder entirely, and weather and sea conditions.

It's tempting to try and construct a real "rudder" simply because that's the default concept of how we steer a boat, but in practice it is extremely difficult to fabricate an effective solution that is functionally better than the drogue approach.

The Scuttlebutt News article outlines pretty much what I've seen to be the most reliable and workable solution. One obvious benefit is that it makes use of gear that you already have on the boat, is quick to deploy, is durable, and can be adjusted while deployed to adapt to varying conditions and boat behavior.
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Old 21-01-2015, 07:49   #47
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Re: Juryrigging a Rudder

This may be a dumb idea, but what about trailing your dingy? Like a tail on a kite. Rig a bridle to your after most winches. Shift the dingy port and starboard with the winches and use the drag to turn you.

If your boat tracks poorly, I doubt this would help, but on a boat that was fairly well balanced it might work.

Of course this would be exhausting- but if you're down a rudder- maybe you just run 12 hours a day or something.

I'm curious about spade rudders being stronger than skeg hung. I've seen spades on the major production boats, certainly they improve maneuverability. But strength?

I suspect I could back over a production boat and my skeg rudder would still be in tact. It is a very heavily constructed rudder. My hydraulic steering ram looks like a piece of gear that belongs on a John Deere Front End Loader.

Unless I'm missing an important engineering principle, I don't see why a spade design would be inherently stronger.

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Old 21-01-2015, 07:56   #48
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Re: Juryrigging a Rudder

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
I've seen a lot of people tackle this problem on the offshore racing circuit. Certainly the more well-heeled boats have purpose-built emergency steering solutions that have been properly engineered and fabricated and are likely to be effective. But the remainder of the boats do not, and first-time skippers grapple with this problem since they need to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the safety inspector that they have a workable system aboard.

The first attempt is always with the spinnaker pole and and some cabinet doors, or stand-ins for them, and constructing them like a sculling oar. The straight up/down pivoting post arrangement decreases the forces on the equipment, but attaching it securely to the boat without custom hardware is a difficult proposition at best. The same problem arises with the sculling solution but needs to handle different stresses. In general, attaching the midpoint of the pole to the boat in a way that a) is secure and b) does not allow the pole to turn and "swim" due to rotation is much harder than it sounds given the tremendous pressure on it on any good-sized boat in anything worse than moderate conditions.

What the community generally lands on is using a drogue on a bridle and running the lines either to the primaries or forward to turning blocks closer to midships and then back to the primaries. Where you locate them is a function of how your boat handles and balances, whether you lost your rudder entirely, and weather and sea conditions.

It's tempting to try and construct a real "rudder" simply because that's the default concept of how we steer a boat, but in practice it is extremely difficult to fabricate an effective solution that is functionally better than the drogue approach.

The Scuttlebutt News article outlines pretty much what I've seen to be the most reliable and workable solution. One obvious benefit is that it makes use of gear that you already have on the boat, is quick to deploy, is durable, and can be adjusted while deployed to adapt to varying conditions and boat behavior.
Oops, I was still typing mine when you posted this.

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Old 21-01-2015, 07:58   #49
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Re: Juryrigging a Rudder

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
I guess I'm thinking in terms of boats my size (or larger) so 40 feet.

I'm thinking I can use my fender board and spinnaker pole.

So If I strap the fender board across the back end of the boat and I've predrilled a 4 holes in it., then I can mount 2 very large U-bolts and slide the spinnaker pole through them. Assuming I have a door (or similar) attached to the end of the pole (lashed on with very tight spanish lashings and dyneema), I now only have to find a way to turn the damn thing and steer.

A set of holes drilled near the top, steering line passed through and wrapped around the pole with several turns in each direction, then led out to blocks a the sides of the transom and from there to the wheel attachement used for my windvane.

Not pretty - but should get me to where I want to go. I expect it is best to make this and test it before setting out.


Any other creative solutions?


That is my plan as well, but I'm a full keel boat and I think that helps. I know she isn't hard to steer with the sails and the rudder frictioned down, but I do not know how much that changes with the rudder being gone.

I agree on the spade rudder being possibly a very strong design. The issue with them I think is not inherit strength, but many are vulnerable to being struck by objects in the water etc.
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Old 21-01-2015, 08:05   #50
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Re: Juryrigging a Rudder

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
I'm guessing that means it's a terrible idea? I've never attempted the canoe paddle thing or lost a rudder so I have no first hand experience with this problem.

What I do know is in 20 knot winds I can go down stairs and make a sandwich without turning my auto pilot on.

So my theory was based on not needing much wheel to maintain course.



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Old 21-01-2015, 08:18   #51
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Re: Juryrigging a Rudder

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Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
This may be a dumb idea, but what about trailing your dingy? Like a tail on a kite. Rig a bridle to your after most winches. Shift the dingy port and starboard with the winches and use the drag to turn you.

If your boat tracks poorly, I doubt this would help, but on a boat that was fairly well balanced it might work.

Of course this would be exhausting- but if you're down a rudder- maybe you just run 12 hours a day or something.

I'm curious about spade rudders being stronger than skeg hung. I've seen spades on the major production boats, certainly they improve maneuverability. But strength?

I suspect I could back over a production boat and my skeg rudder would still be in tact. It is a very heavily constructed rudder. My hydraulic steering ram looks like a piece of gear that belongs on a John Deere Front End Loader.

Unless I'm missing an important engineering principle, I don't see why a spade design would be inherently stronger.

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The picture I have is the dinghy surfing down each swell bumping into the transom.
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Old 21-01-2015, 23:55   #52
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Re: Juryrigging a Rudder

I may be mistaken, but I believe that the ARC requires entries to have an emergnecy rudder - so there must be some innovative thinking out there somewhere.

Or am I mistaken?
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Old 22-01-2015, 01:47   #53
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Re: Juryrigging a Rudder

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Perhaps - but if you've lost your rudder - then any rudder will probably be better than none.

Assuming it works at all - it will help get us to some harbour.
Carsten, in my opinion the best solution for a boat like yours is a wind vane with its own rudder.

That's fairly expensive, but it kills two important birds with one stone -- self-steering using zero power and a total backup to your regular autopilot; and a completely independent spare rudder.

Jury rigged rudders rarely work very well according to all reports. I think that's because of the constant big loads rudders have doing their work. You need sturdy gudgeons and pintles to handle those loads reliably. If you don't want to go with a wind vane, the next best thing is a real engineered transom-hung rudder -- mount the gudgeons permanently on the transom and keep the rest stowed somewhere.
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Old 22-01-2015, 02:01   #54
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Re: Juryrigging a Rudder

There's always a possibility of a rudder problem, just as any other part of a boat can fail. A Malo 46 last year had a rudder failure 500nm from the Seychelles in the second half of last year ( lost the boat ) I traveled with them in 2011 and it was a good boat and Michael is a competent man. Stuff just happens. I have a spade rudder and would not go back to a full keel. But....ive fitted a Hydrovane that now gives me rudder redundancy, I love knowing I have a emergency rudder in place. In reality trying to build a rudder from your boat bits in any sort of sea other than flat is a big ask.

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Old 22-01-2015, 02:03   #55
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Re: Juryrigging a Rudder

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Carsten, in my opinion the best solution for a boat like yours is a wind vane with its own rudder.

That's fairly expensive, but it kills two important birds with one stone -- self-steering using zero power and a total backup to your regular autopilot; and a completely independent spare rudder.

Jury rigged rudders rarely work very well according to all reports. I think that's because of the constant big loads rudders have doing their work. You need sturdy gudgeons and pintles to handle those loads reliably. If you don't want to go with a wind vane, the next best thing is a real engineered transom-hung rudder -- mount the gudgeons permanently on the transom and keep the rest stowed somewhere.
Dockhead,

I'm mounting a windvane this spring - so I can use that. It is an Aries, which is a servo - pendulum so I'll have to rig something to enable me to use it.

But Peter Mathiasen (the manufacturer) is very helpful - he's been asked this question before and there are some options.
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Old 22-01-2015, 02:06   #56
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Re: Juryrigging a Rudder

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Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
There's always a possibility of a rudder problem, just as any other part of a boat can fail. A Malo 46 last year had a rudder failure 500nm from the Seychelles in the second half of last year ( lost the boat ) I traveled with them in 2011 and it was a good boat and Michael is a competent man. Stuff just happens. I have a spade rudder and would not go back to a full keel. But....ive fitted a Hydrovane that now gives me rudder redundancy, I love knowing I have a emergency rudder in place. In reality trying to build a rudder from your boat bits in any sort of sea other than flat is a big ask.

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I agree completely - therefore the reason for this thread. We talk about rigging emergency rudders, but very , very few have actually given the pure nuts and bolts practical aspects of this any thought. Or tried mounting one while in the comfort of your marina. Do you have all the necessary bits and pieces? Do you know how to rig it? Can you do it at sea?

For me personally - the answer to all those questions is a resounding "NO", although I am giving it serious thought which is more than most can say. I'll also have solution and have test rigged before the end of this summer.
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Old 22-01-2015, 02:07   #57
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Dockhead,

I'm mounting a windvane this spring - so I can use that. It is an Aries, which is a servo - pendulum so I'll have to rig something to enable me to use it.

But Peter Mathiasen (the manufacturer) is very helpful - he's been asked this question before and there are some options.
I'm not familiar with the Aries - does it have its own rudder like the hydrovane?
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Old 22-01-2015, 02:12   #58
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Re: Juryrigging a Rudder

Hi, I gave it serious thought and the conclusion I came to is it is just to hard. As much as I didn't want to spent the money ($7000aud) Im glad I did. I now have my jury rigged rudder in advance . Secondly in the right conditions its the best auto pilot I've ever had. Theory and reality are a long way apart.

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Old 22-01-2015, 07:19   #59
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Re: Juryrigging a Rudder

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I'm not familiar with the Aries - does it have its own rudder like the hydrovane?
I've looked at their website -- looks like the Aries activates the boat's main rudder.

You might consider selling it and buying a Hydrovane, which has its own rudder -- two functions (self-steering, and spare rudder) in one device.

See: Welcome to Hydrovane Self Steering - Hydrovane

http://www.hydrovane.com/our-product...ency-steering/
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Old 22-01-2015, 08:51   #60
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Re: Juryrigging a Rudder

We were extremely paranoid of rudder loss for our Atlantic crossing due to the constant reports of steering issues others were having. Before we left, we built a mounting system with a cassette that is removable when coastal cruising, but thankfully didn't need to use it. It sure put our mind at ease!

Here are a few photos:



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