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bene505 22-04-2009 13:28

New kind of emergency rudder
I don't think I've mentioned it before here, but I love to invent things. I'm working on something new that I think no one has done before. I must make sure to NOT go into any details on a public forum, so let me provide some information which reveals nothing of the design or anything.
  • This would be an emergency rudder that can go easily from one boat to another.
  • It would not need to be permanently mounted.
  • It would not need permanently-attached mounting brackets.
  • It would be bought for less than $400, stored onboard, and easily used when needed.
  • It would be very compact for storage.
  • It would have sufficient force to overcome the effect of your normal rudder, if that was stuck to one side.
Would there be a strong need for this product?


svHyLyte 22-04-2009 13:58

Great New Old Idea
See . Go for it, however!

DeepFrz 22-04-2009 14:04

I would like to hear from anyone who has ever mounted the SOS rudder at sea. What kind of experience did you have?

gonesail 22-04-2009 14:04

looks like the scanmar rudder costs over $2000.

RetiredSailor 22-04-2009 14:21

I'd be interested in an inexpensive emergency rudder of the type you describe, if it really worked.

I know we're supposed to be able to control the boat after the loss of a rudder with juy rigged rudders, drogues, sail trim, etc, but I've never actually had to do it. It's hard to simulate this problem, unless you have a removable rudder. You can let the wheel or tiller free but the rudder is still moving around creating forces.

I read a lot about how sailors have jury rigged all kinds of things with spin poles, floorboards, etc, and every story is about how great they did, never read a story where someone failed at it. Has anyone here actually done this for any length of time, and any lessons you care to pass along?

bene505 22-04-2009 14:54


Originally Posted by svHyLyte (Post 276457)

It's different than that. That one looks like it needs to be permanently mounted. This one doesn't.

Anyway, please keep letting me know whether I should pursue it or not. I'm looking for feedback.


DeepFrz 22-04-2009 15:14

bene505, yes of course. Go for it.

Randy 22-04-2009 15:33

All offshore raceboats are required to have functional emergency rudder. You could use that as apotential market.

Meridian 22-04-2009 17:03

Bene...I think that, if you could deliver on all the claims made in your original post, you'd have a serious sales success on your hands. I, for one, would purchase if your e-rudder indeed did everything you state.
In fact, I'll volunteer to be your test-mule. Send a demo to me in NZ, and I'll trial it, and report back, on our trip to Fiji.

bene505 23-04-2009 05:11

Thanks Meridian, I may take you up on that. When is your Fiji trip? I have to make the prototype and do initial testing first, then tweak the design. Last night was spent determining a way to make the forces reasonable, so people can use it for days on end if needed.

Bash 23-04-2009 07:27


Originally Posted by DeepFrz (Post 276458)
I would like to hear from anyone who has ever mounted the SOS rudder at sea. What kind of experience did you have?

I wouldn't want to try it without davits or without a walk-thru transom. On mine, getting the top two brackets attached isn't too hard in flat seas, but getting the bottom two bolted on is a bit of a trick. I don't even want to think about having to do that in heavy seas without steerage. It would be a major effort.

Temptress 29-04-2009 03:11

I would be interested in the finished product
let me know if you get anywhere - I looking into options for this right now.......

bene505 29-04-2009 05:44

I'm doing patent searches now. So far so good. If all goes well, prototyping starts in a week. I'll let you know how it goes.

bstreep 29-04-2009 07:27

If you can deliver on what you've put together, I'd buy one in a minute.

bene505 29-04-2009 08:39

Thanks bstreep. The guidance and encouragement really helps.

Besides the prototyping starting next week, I will build a very scaled-down model and complete some initial testing before Monday. I'll keep you posted.

Cadence 29-04-2009 12:32

Sounds like a pipe dream. But have at it, if you think it will fly.

s/v Beth 29-04-2009 13:01

Could you have it just clamp on the pushpit to keep it cheap?, maybe with an adjustable entry into the water.
I could see something with teliscoping tubes that would form a triangle base attached to the pushpit, then the rudder going down (also on a teliscoping tube) with the rudder attached to it. Doesn't have to be huge, and would fold up and fit in the cockpit locker.

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