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Thread: Twin Rudder Advantage

  1. #1

    Default Twin Rudder Advantage

    When we sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, there was a J Boat in our group (either a 42 or 44) that lost its rudder while sailing transatlantic. We listened to the drama on the HF radio cruising net as they tried many different methods to jury rig a rudder. They tried all the classic solutions to the problem, and everything failed. Ultimately, they accepted a tow from a power yacht, and that also was unsuccessful. The fin keel design lacked directional stability and would turn from port to starboard in an uncontrollable fashion, and ultimately they abandoned the tow and abandoned the yacht. The owners climbed on board the power yacht and left the J Boat adrift. Several weeks later, the J Boat washed up on the rugged eastern shore of Barbados where it was quickly destroyed in the surf.

    Once again, I was glad to be sailing on a catamaran.

    I have personally known one person who lost a rudder on his cat, and he did not know that the rudder was missing until he dove into the water and went snorkling. The catamaran handled normally with a single rudder.

    When I was in Bequia, I met sailors on a catamaran, and they also told me of a catamaran that they knew that lost a rudder, and the boat continued sailing on without a problem.

    Catamarans tend to have a high degree of directional stability because they have two hulls as well as hull appendages or dagger boards that give large amounts of directional stability in the event that a single rudder goes walkabout.

    One day when you are out sailing, it might be worth disconnecting one of your rudders from the steering system just to see how it handles with only one rudder. It's easy to do on Exit Only by simply pulling one bolt on the pipe that joins together the two steering quadrants.

    How many of you catamaran sailors have lost a rudder? How did your boat handle when sailing with a single rudder?
    Last edited by Maxingout; 31st October 2008 at 04:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    australia
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Twin Rudder Advantage

    I have sailed on a 48' Schonning G-Force cat that is a very quick light cat that was performing beautifully on the 25 mile slog out to one of our neighbouring islands.While swimming around the boat we found a rudder had sheared off level with the hull.The owner could recall a slight bump a couple of weeks earlier when the rudder must have been lost as there was marine growth on the broken stump.Return journey home we keep the boat below 15kts so as not to strain the remaining rudder too much.Who would ever go sailing with only one rudder!! The owner has now replaced both rudders with ss shafts.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Twin Rudder Advantage

    My boat has kick-up rudders, so hopefully I wont ever break one off.

    Having said that, the first Oram 44C launched also has kick-ups, and they did manage to break one off - they sailed onto a reef at Great Keppel at around 6 knots one night, and the rudders both kicked up as intended, but in the general panic of running below to see if they were sinking etc, (well not sinking, but flooding) they forgot to secure the rudders in the raised position before they reversed off the reef, so the rudders snagged the bottom and got dragged back down, and one was damaged pretty badly.

    They beached the boat and inspected the hulls for damage - amazingly there was virtually none, and repaired the damaged rudder, and then went on their way.

    Later one of the crew was sitting on the rear step of the boat and looked at the opposite hull to find the rudder was gone. They hadn't noticed any major difference in the boat's behaviour, except that in hindsight the autopilot may have been working a little harder.

    With two kick-up rudders I'm hopeful I'll always be able to steer.

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