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Thread: Emergency Rudders Show-and-Tell

  1. #1
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    Default Emergency Rudders Show-and-Tell

    Bob Johnston and I were sitting in Dura Mater's cockpit today, and I mentioned that, for me, the emergency rudder is the single most daunting barrier to preparation for doing the Long Pac. Of course, it is a very good idea to have one aboard anytime one sails offshore, too, as David Herrigel and Max Crittenden have recently learned. Bob suggested that a "sweep" might serve as a reasonable emergency rudder for DM. According to Wikipedia, a "sweep or sweep-oar rowing is a type of rowing when a rower has one oar, usually held with both hands". Here are some possibilities, just to get the ideas flowing:

    http://www.diy-wood-boat.com/Sculling.html

    http://www.solopublications.com/sailario.htm

    http://www.diy-wood-boat.com/Sculling.html

    and for that diva of boats, Ragtime! - here's a real classy option:
    http://www.shawandtenney.com/product...and-large-oars
    Last edited by BobJ; 02-13-2017 at 11:30 AM. Reason: Update title for later posts

  2. #2
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    Jan 2008
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    Santa Rosa
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    Jackie, A sweep worked in practice on my Santana 22 (but then I never really tested it in an emergency situation). I lashed it to the outboard, using the outboard as the gudgeons/pintles. But it was work! I had to pay constant attention and found that a reefed main and 90% jib was about as much sail as the rig would handle. I have serious doubts that a sweep would work on a boat as large and heavy as yours - especially in any kind of wind or seaway. You'd need a very long oar for the blade end to stay in the water and the "lever" end long enough to give you the leverage you'd probably need. And lots of strength for whatever time it takes for you to get to refuge. On the LongPac that can be several days, especially if you've slowed way down to keep things under control.

    My choice would be a "soft" rudder as Paul Kamen discusses and provides plans for in the "Resource" pages on this SSS website. It can be constructed from parts of broken spars (which should be available) and an old sail (which someone like Kame probably has sitting around. The only fittings are the ones you'd use to attach it to your transom, so the expense and the installation wouldn't be too bad. It doesn't take up much room when stowed. Since you keep your boat at the BYC and probably see Paul, ask him. - Pat

  3. #3
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    Sep 2007
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    All options to get home safe with an E-Rudder are good it all depends on your lever of comfort and how far off shore you are. Paul was Lightspeed's navigator in the 2012 PacCup and he excels in safety with simplicy. I would use his E-rudder in a pinch as a backup close to shore but xx miles off shore could be a lot of work.

    if you are serious about going off shore and you love your wife and grandkids, invest in a caset e-rudder. I got mine from Gordie.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightspeed View Post
    All options to get home safe with an E-Rudder are good it all depends on your lever of comfort and how far off shore you are. Paul was Lightspeed's navigator in the 2012 PacCup and he excels in safety with simplicy. I would use his E-rudder in a pinch as a backup close to shore but xx miles off shore could be a lot of work.

    if you are serious about going off shore and you love your wife and grandkids, invest in a caset e-rudder. I got mine from Gordie.
    Well said, I finally realized my safety is more about my family than it is about me.

    I own a Freedom 30. A guy on the East coast happened to come across an neglected F30 and was parting it out. I bought the rudder which is in excellent condition. I plan to try macgyvering a way to use the rudder in a custom cassette. I am worried about the weight but I think I can make it work. This way I kill two birds. I have the emergency rudder and I have an actual spare rudder for the boat. When I get my hands on the thing in a few weeks I have to figure out how to do the cassette.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2007
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    Dura Mater has a strong, single-piece double pulpit (not pushpit!) that wraps around the stern and provides a solid base to support the pivot point for a steering oar/sweep. We borrowed an oar from a nearby small boat to estimate the length and blade size and estimated it needed to be 12' long with a good-sized blade. The idea isn't to use it as a pivoting rudder (like Pat was doing with his outboard) but to use the leverage of the long oar to "scull" the stern around. Yes, it could be a workout in big seas.

    I think it would have as good a chance of working as many other options I've seen. I suggested she try it before spending the big bucks and drilling a bunch of holes in DM's transom. She could probably even borrow one for testing from one of the local whaleboat rowing groups. I also said "it may not work" several times.

    It could be lashed to the forward stanchions when not in use.

    Also, this is to meet the rule for our local ocean races that there be an awareness of emergency steering options. It may not be sufficient for the SHTP.
    Last edited by BobJ; 05-09-2015 at 10:09 AM.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2015
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    San Francisco Bay
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    I took the coward's route and bought an M-Rud from Scanmar at the boat show. Hooked it up to the "artificial wind" tiller pilot I got from Brian Boschma and motored up and down Petrero reach. Doesn't turn on a dime but looks good enough to make it home in a pinch.

  7. #7
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    I watched Scanmar's old video (I don't know if it's still on their site) of Jonathan Livingston assembling and installing an M-Rud on Punk Dolphin FROM THE DOCK. After watching it, I'd want that sucker to be fully assembled and ready to install before I headed out. I'd also put a spare halyard on it (and another one on me) before I tried to hang over the transom to install it.

    That said, about two-thirds of recent SHTP'ers have used the stand-alone or Monitor-attached M-Rud as their e-steering solution.
    Last edited by BobJ; 05-09-2015 at 10:12 AM.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    We have the SOS rudder on Shearwater (J/120) with one clever modification (previous owner) that makes it more possible to install underway. Each of the 4 brackets on the transom has a metal tapered "plug" bolted to it. So rather than trying to get the arms of the SOS to line up with the brackets and get a pin through each one, you just get the top two arms to slide over the plugs, pin those, and then hinge the whole unit down using a halyard for support until the lower arms slide over the plugs.

    For Spadefoot which is only 28 feet and 2700 pounds (modern Express 27) we are considering two options. Using the spinnaker pole attached to the stern lifelines and with lines led from the aft tip to the transom corners and forward to winches. The spinnaker pole would have a bit of chain attached to the aft tip and a halyard attached to the aft tip to keep the pole in the water the correct amount. I believe Bill Lee suggested this rig. We are going to try that out soon with the transom hung rudder removed. If that doesn't work then we will go for a cassette (continue racing) rudder. The spinnaker pole idea isn't so different from the sweep idea except we already have a 9' 6" pole and the since it hinges at one tip and steered by control lines led to the aft tip it doesn't have to be as long as a sweep.
    Life is not a dress rehearsal.

    Bermuda 1-2 on a Schumacher 28

  9. #9
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    Jan 2015
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    San Francisco Bay
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    I watched Scanmar's old video (I don't know if it's still on their site) of Jonathan Livingston assembling and installing an M-Rud on Punk Dolphin FROM THE DOCK. After watching it, I'd want that sucker to be fully assembled and ready to install before I headed out. I'd also put a spare halyard on it (and another one on me) before I tried to hang over the transom to install it.

    That said, about two-thirds of recent SHTP'ers have used the stand-alone or Monitor-attached M-Rud as their e-steering solution.
    Yes you are right about this. I put it on single handed while I was berthed in my nice quiet slip just to see if it was even possible. The main difficulty is trying to slip the clevis pin through the small hole to join the rudder (which is a little heavy, awkward with one hand and bobbing up and down behind the boat) to the steering shaft. I was eventually able to adjust the various ropes holding it to the boat so that the pin finally went in. Sure would be hard in a bouncing seaway. I am working on some messenger lines to help make the process easier.

    Another thought: A while back there was a suggestion for a short race where, partway through, racers would switch over to their emergency steering and use that to complete the race. Is there any life to this idea?

  10. #10
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    Per this thread's header and a call from our Commodore yesterday: This coming Saturday (16 May) at Richmond Yacht Club. We'll meet at the end of D Dock or between D and E at 1000 to look at stuff, then those who can will take an observer or two aboard and head out around Noon. We'll be back by 1500 (maybe earlier if there aren't many boats).

    If you're unfamiliar with RYC, E and D docks are the second and third docks on your left when you come into the harbor. If you turn into the second fairway (between D & E) there may also be a little space to tie up all the way in towards the shore. Otherwise we'll raft up on the end of D. From the land side, drive all the way out to the end - the gangway to D dock is between the Harbormaster's office and the heads. If you come by land, please bring whatever e-steering gear you want to show, a sandwich for yourself and a life jacket.

    If I can get my boat back together I'll be there with both e-rudder and a new drogue. I think Iniscaw (the boat fka Solar Wind) will come over, and Al will hopefully have Bandicoot's Monitor and M-Rud fitted. Maybe Dura Mater will have her new sweep by then? We need more boats to show up so please pass the word. Maybe Max can post this on our Faceplant page?
    Last edited by BobJ; 05-11-2015 at 09:17 AM.

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