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Old 07-07-2011, 06:50   #1
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Vague Steering

Hello,

One of the "issues" I have with my lovely yacht, is her handling... She's a steel Thames Barge style affair with chain driven wheel steering. She seems to take forever to turn and in marinas is quite frankly worrying. We have found the faster she is moving the better, but in slow docking movements scary.

Any suggestions?
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:06   #2
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Re: Vague steering

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Originally Posted by Iceni View Post
Hello,

One of the "issues" I have with my lovely yacht, is her handling... She's a steel Thames Barge style affair with chain driven wheel steering. She seems to take forever to turn and in marinas is quite frankly worrying. We have found the faster she is moving the better, but in slow docking movements scary.

Any suggestions?
The next time you have her hauled, look at increasing the size of the rudder. The Hiscock's had a similar issue with Wandered IV and resolved it with a major mod while on the hard in NZ. For the story--and photos--see Hiscock's "Around the World in Wanderer IV"

If you trouble finding a copy of that book, stop by the Cruising Association HQ at Limehouse Basin, London.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:12   #3
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Re: Vague steering

Thanks for that, I'll look the book up. -Someone else has suggested lengthening the rudder, she's triple keeled so a bit hard to make it deeper without loosing grounding abilities.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:20   #4
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Re: Vague steering

Iceni,

I had the same trouble with an older 40' hvy displacement power boat. I removed the 1/2 heart shaped rudder and had a new one cut that increase the size by about 30%, basically squared the aft end of rudder and added a 3" forward section ahead of the rudder post to help balance the additional area. Made cruising and docking with single screw much easier. Might take a look at your rudder shape and see if that would help.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:39   #5
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Re: Vague steering



This is an old photo of her hull out of the water -no changes from this photo, I'm considering adding an extra 1 ft to her rudder at the aft?
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:09   #6
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Re: Vague steering

Those bilge keels probably give good straight line steering, but resist turning.
Judging by the height ot the person, that rudder would appear to be 3ft x 6ft.
may require a bit more aggressive throttle when docking.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:41   #7
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Re: Vague steering

Thanks Blue Stocking, thats whats happening, but she is so un responsive in docking that the bow just wants to swing... I'm hesitant to look at bow thrusters due to the cost! Restoring to ramming front around with Tender seems to be the best option at the moment.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:06   #8
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Re: Vague steering

The easy way of improving rudder effect is to add a bulge on both sides up the trailing edge of the rudder. It has a name but it's effect is to improve rudder effect by a marked degree. Something like a splayed angle on each side could be bolted through.
In plan view it should look like a fish tail, or a Y , with the edges being an inch or so from the face of the rudder. Bonus of bottling through is it's easy to fit and remove. I'm sure you won't remove it. (In use on the boat next to mine after rudder! troubles).
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Old 07-07-2011, 22:40   #9
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Re: Vague steering

There are double hinged or articulated rudders that enhance steering performance
Imagine a second rudder on the trailing edge of the existing rudder...
You may be able to modify yours.
Van der Velden ® Marine Systems Timon rudder and Becker Marine System have some examples.
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:53   #10
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Thanks for the suggestions, The Becker system looks like something I could have a go at fabricating to add to it. Will read up more about hinged rudders as I've never heard of them before.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:12   #11
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Re: Vague steering

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Originally Posted by James S View Post
There are double hinged or articulated rudders that enhance steering performance
Imagine a second rudder on the trailing edge of the existing rudder...
You may be able to modify yours.
Van der Velden ® Marine Systems Timon rudder and Becker Marine System have some examples.

Steel hull--how about a Kort nozzle around the prop.
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:06   #12
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Re: Vague Steering

G'Day,

A basic question that no one has asked: How many degrees of rudder movement can you get? If the swing is limited, this can affect low speed maneuvering.

At first glance, the rudder area appears "normal"... certainly not grossly undersized. But the long and deep keel plus the bilge keels will certainly reduce maneuverability at low speeds.

Interesting boat, BTW!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:37   #13
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Re: Vague Steering

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Thanks for the suggestions, The Becker system looks like something I could have a go at fabricating to add to it. Will read up more about hinged rudders as I've never heard of them before.
I've seen homemade versions of these on fishing boats in Alaska and a tug somewhere.
Robust linkage is the key I think.
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Old 30-07-2011, 10:47   #14
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FIXED IT!'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was a bottle screw on the rudder chain that just insisted on working loose five minutes after we sailed out! Can't wait to get a good tide in now to test the steering!

Thank you all for suggestions!
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Old 30-07-2011, 10:48   #15
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Thanks for the compliment on the boat by the way Jim, sorry I missed that before. I've got more photos of her at www.icenitribe.org

Tony.
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