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Thread: More thoughts on emergency steering

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Default More thoughts on emergency steering

    Somewhat frustrating how much time and effort goes in to something you should never use... but I digress.

    Thinking specfically of a transom hung rudder. Would it be reasonable and prudent to have essentially and second set of the current rudder setup. Obviously that means a spare tiller and blade, but it also means spare pintles and gudgeons that would fit and replace the existing hardware. My thinking is that if any piece of the system breaks I would have the spare part to replace it and keep racing. The spare could still be a cassette erudder.

    My hesitation is the mostly about the gudgeons attached to the hull. Should spares replace the existing gudgeons or should/must they mount separately to the hull in a different location?

    The plus side of identical replacements is that if you break a blade, then you only replace the blade and keep using the original tiller and gudgeons. If a gudgeon breaks, you keep using the original blade and just replace the gudgeon. You get the idea?

    I ask because while staring at the stern of our boat, I'm realizing there is not a lot of real estate to mount a separate erudder and anywhere other than the original location would push the gudgeons closer together. An identical replacement would also allow the belowdecks autopilot to still function. Other options, not so much.

    Thoughts. It cracks me up that coming up with a suitable erudder is the most challenging equipment choice of all.

    Life is not a dress rehearsal.

    Bermuda 1-2 on a Schumacher 28

  2. #2
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    Sep 2007
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    Interesting that the top gudgeon looks more substantial and is mounted more strongly than the bottom one, which takes much more load. IMO* if you beefed up the bottom gudgeon and the e-rudder or cassette had its own pintles (or a single long rod if that works), the existing gudgeons would be acceptable for your e-rudder/cassette. I base that on the size and weight of the boat and the fact that those gudgeons do not appear to be welded parts.

    If you use two pintles and the rudder is not in a cassette, make sure the bottom one is at least 2" longer than the top one or you'll have a very tough time lining both of them up and inserting them in a seaway.

    * I'm just the unpaid help. I'd ask for a determination from the Safety Committee (via Brian, the 2016 SHTP Race Chair).
    Last edited by BobJ; 06-06-2015 at 11:50 AM.

  3. #3
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    Is your E Rudder intended for limping into port under reduced power ? Else I would be nervous about the gudgeon and probably the pintle.

  4. #4
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    Bob, the top gudgeon is the same as the bottom, just has two extra bolts (with the big washers). I haven't looked inside to see why the difference. My guess is the layup at the top is thinner or weaker since it is somewhat free floating up there. There is a cross-brace for the top on the front side that you can't see.

    Brian, I'm not sure exactly what you mean. In my scenarios the gudgeon and pintle would be identical (or literally the same) as shown. So the erudder assuming a similar blade as the original would still be a racing rudder. Why do you say you would be nervous about the gudgeon and pintle? Does that mean you are nervous about the original real rudder attachment (shown in the picture)?
    Life is not a dress rehearsal.

    Bermuda 1-2 on a Schumacher 28

  5. #5
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    Seems to me that as long as the pintle mounts are substantial, then simply having an erudder that's like the original would be ok. But then again that Schumacher has a very exposed rudder and all it would take is some heavy debris to rip those mounts right off, so maybe an extra set of slightly off set mounts wouldn't be a bad idea. Just my worthless two cents.

  6. #6
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    If you decide to do a second set of gudgeons I'd think about a setup like I have on Rags: a piece of tubing attached at each end to those substantial-looking brackets/u-bolts on the corners, with a top gudgeon attached to the tubing off-centerline, and a lower gudgeon below it on the transom. The tubing makes a great unobstructed place to attach one large or two smaller solar panels, which can pivot up and down for optimal sun angle. It's weight on the transom but for downwind/planing that's not a bad thing.

    After the race, the whole works is removable, except maybe the (second) lower gudgeon.
    Last edited by BobJ; 06-06-2015 at 12:21 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    I had a similar issue on my J/88. Gudgeon are quite beefy....backed up by a lot of glass inside. So accepted a low likelyhood
    of failure at that point, and so had a cassette/blade built by Gilles Combrisson. To get enough distance between gudgeons if I built (had built) a separate mounting point the upper gudgeon would have needed some sort of tripod on the deck. One failure mode exists with my setup if a single pintle fails the torque of the rudder may bend the upper gudgeon.....and then I am SOL.
    I choose to accept this and move forward as any sailboat has more than a few of these failure modes.

    ALSO keep in mind any autopilot attached to the tiller at the time of failure....may get torn away or destroyed......so a redundant autopilot an mounting system should be thought through.



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  8. #8
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    An interesting read on another alternate steering method: http://bermudarace.com/wp-content/up...t-a-Rudder.pdf

    I'm told that the vessel Shearwater, a J120, was approved for the Pac Cup in 2012 using this steering technique, or something similar. If so, why not use the method for the SHTP?

  9. #9
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    Nov 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgmo View Post
    An interesting read on another alternate steering method: http://bermudarace.com/wp-content/up...t-a-Rudder.pdf

    I'm told that the vessel Shearwater, a J120, was approved for the Pac Cup in 2012 using this steering technique, or something similar. If so, why not use the method for the SHTP?
    H-mo,

    Fabulous link - excellent testing & writeup. I forwarded to the PSSA Board for consideration for the Guadalupe Race. I hadn't considered bringing the lines to midships. Also interesting the smaller galeriders didn't work, it would seem that dragging lines/ an anchor/bucket would also be unlikely to work. Also, these guys pulled their rudder out for the testing so you might need even more drag to turn with a damaged rudder.

    Many Thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Sounds like a good option with crew. I would be concerned about the ability to rest and keep on a heading if single handed.
    Chris

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