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Old 01-02-2019, 03:28 PM   #1
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Was Told I Need Bigger Rudders

On my 45 ft Bluewater Coastal Cruiser I was told that I have high speed rudders and that's why it is hard to dock or control at low speed. Is there a way to add on to the rudders to get a larger surface or due I have to buy new rudders.
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:32 PM   #2
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On my 45 ft Bluewater Coastal Cruiser I was told that I have high speed rudders and that's why it is hard to dock or control at low speed. Is there a way to add on to the rudders to get a larger surface or due I have to buy new rudders.
Huh? Twin screw?

I rarely touch the steering wheel when I am docking... I center the rudders and work the throttles...
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:43 PM   #3
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Who told you that?

And like Mystery said, most vessels with high speed rudders seldom touch the wheel at slow/docking speeds, that's what the twin engines are for.

Depending on what your rudders are made of, you may be able to add to them. You could have new larger rudders fabricated or you could install articulated rudders.





[QUOTE=kartracer;727963]I was told that I have high speed rudders and that's why it is hard to dock or control at low speed. QUOTE]
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:28 PM   #4
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There are some threads about adding on to a rudder to make them more responsive. Although if you have twins using the rudders at slow speeds isnít that necessary.
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:44 PM   #5
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One, you really shouldn't need them...

Two, if you decide you do, like someone said in another thread....there is tons of used parts from recent hurricanes available. Just a lot of work to locate a set.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:14 PM   #6
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We have what you would call high speed rudders too. I call them my ping pong paddles. And yea, low speed maneuverability is cruddy when you use rudders... and you can a little bit. Still, bigger rudders will cost you a great deal of speed due to drag. I donít think it would in any way be an easy or cheap job. It might be cheaper to add a thruster if you donít have one. You would need new tillers and stuffing boxes and I would bet custom fabricated rudders. Moreover, will your steering be able to push the greater mass and against the pressure more water will create? I know this post is more questions than answers, but TBH, you should be able to get used to handling her as time goes by (assuming this boat is new to you).
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kartracer View Post
On my 45 ft Bluewater Coastal Cruiser I was told that I have high speed rudders and that's why it is hard to dock or control at low speed. Is there a way to add on to the rudders to get a larger surface or due I have to buy new rudders.

In general, rudders on semi-displacement or planing hull boats are of little use at slow speeds, and are completely useless in reverse. The small size of the rudders is more about the draft of these vessels than about 'high-speed'.



With twin engines, you want to center the rudders and use the sticks.


I have seen some boats 'upgraded' with a (very expensive) articulated rudder, but these are generally single engine boats.


Find an experienced friend (or hire a captain) to show you how to steer and manuver with the sticks...
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by kartracer View Post
On my 45 ft Bluewater Coastal Cruiser I was told that I have high speed rudders and that's why it is hard to dock or control at low speed. Is there a way to add on to the rudders to get a larger surface or due I have to buy new rudders.
I had run a twin with fairly small rudders for years. It docked wonderfully. IMO, if running at any speed with ONE engine and you can't go straight ahead; the rudders are too small.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:53 PM   #9
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I had the rudder enlarged on my single engined previous boat and it made a huge difference to turns, they used the old rudder base and built on it.
But with twins, you have the turning effects the props create, in addition to fwd/aft propulsion. For close quarters work requiring concentration,I simplify by centering the rudders, lowering rpms to near idle, leave the rudders and throttles alone as much as possible, and go in and out of gear as required. Some instruction might speed the learning process and help put together a series of things you probably already know.
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:33 PM   #10
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Well, I hate to throw a bucket of cold water on those who say you donít need rudders to dock a twin screw boat but I would disagree. Use of rudders while docking greatly enhances the bag of tricks at hand for variable conditions including high current, breezy days and tight spaces. You will need rudders to walk a boat sideways into a berth. If you donít know how to do this, have someone show you how, it will certainly enhance your boat handling skills. Although I have a bow thruster, I seldom find use for it as I use my rudders in conjunction with engines to get into tight spots. Oh and btw I consider my rather small rudders to be a detriment and would rather have larger but they work well enough for me to single hand my 53í, 62,000lb boat into most berths.
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:52 PM   #11
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I have used helm turning 90 degrees to line up and back into the berth but, there is a risk at a busy time of forgetting to straighten the rudders. Though one time I left the helm over it helped angle the boat into the berth. Rules like "not touching the helm" are made to be broken.
Walking the boat sideways using helm has been discussed before but I recall many contributors could not make it work on their boat.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:43 PM   #12
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A little throttle burst will overcome lack of rudder size if you need it.
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:28 PM   #13
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Well, I hate to throw a bucket of cold water on those who say you donít need rudders to dock a twin screw boat but I would disagree. Use of rudders while docking greatly enhances the bag of tricks at hand for variable conditions including high current, breezy days and tight spaces. You will need rudders to walk a boat sideways into a berth. If you donít know how to do this, have someone show you how, it will certainly enhance your boat handling skills. Although I have a bow thruster, I seldom find use for it as I use my rudders in conjunction with engines to get into tight spots. Oh and btw I consider my rather small rudders to be a detriment and would rather have larger but they work well enough for me to single hand my 53í, 62,000lb boat into most berths.
Gotta agree with this. To say that one should ignore his steering is overstating it by lots. Sure one can do a lot with two props, but the rudders have their uses as well as stated above. Don't think I would go to the trouble and expense of enlarging or replacing my smallish rudders if I had two props though. Practice! My CHB is single with one rudder and its factory size which is smallish, but we manage with the help of the bow thruster, usually.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGillicuddy View Post
Well, I hate to throw a bucket of cold water on those who say you donít need rudders to dock a twin screw boat but I would disagree. Use of rudders while docking greatly enhances the bag of tricks at hand for variable conditions including high current, breezy days and tight spaces. You will need rudders to walk a boat sideways into a berth. If you donít know how to do this, have someone show you how, it will certainly enhance your boat handling skills. Although I have a bow thruster, I seldom find use for it as I use my rudders in conjunction with engines to get into tight spots. Oh and btw I consider my rather small rudders to be a detriment and would rather have larger but they work well enough for me to single hand my 53í, 62,000lb boat into most berths.
Ditto. Except I don't use thrusters.
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:42 AM   #15
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As they say, all boats are compromises. Change the rudders and what other handling characteristics will change?

I have run across a few that the rudders were all but useless at low speeds....usually boats with props in tunnels or pockets.

But the vast majority of twins, even with smallish rudders handled fine as twins, with or without using the factory designed/installed rudder.

For cruising, there are lots of singles without thrusters that manage,. A twin that is less manueverable is hard to imagine....unless single engine.
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:40 AM   #16
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Maybe I need docking lessons rather than bigger rudders
Thanks all for the money saving tips !!!!!!!
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:46 AM   #17
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I too use my rudders and twin engines. With bursts of power and use of forward and reverse (bow thruster too) the vessel can be walked sideways. We are blessed with big rudders which helps even more.

Rudder use and alternating engines is quite similar to how IPS and Zeus work, absent computer help.
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:30 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
A little throttle burst will overcome lack of rudder size if you need it.

Yes, but only in fwd gear.
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:11 AM   #19
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Might enjoy reading about tow boats and flanking rudders or flanking doors.


Prop wash, prop walk, etc. Prop wash on rudders on aircraft is a topic also.


Those tows pushing a mile of barges don't have thrusters and they can walk sideways.


"Was told I need bigger rudders" This is a humorous title for a thread. Gives rise to a bunch of jokes and I can't quite put any together.
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:36 AM   #20
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kartracer or anyone else looking to modify your rudder/s should very carefully consider the structural ramifications of doing so.

I changed the steering attach point on the horn where it attached to the rudder shaft to increase the swing to 45 degrees. The boat turns much much better but my whole rudder system is very heavily built. Even steers backwards w a little speed (2-2.5 knots) but I need to hold on to the helm very tightly to insure the rudder dosn’t slam over against the steering cylinder (no stops).

Rudders over 35 degrees should only be for slow boats. Slower than SD.
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