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Old 07-31-2013, 10:01 PM   #1
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City: vancouver
Vessel Model: Glasply Motorsailer
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 36
Steering - Rudder Modifications


I have always thought my motorsailer handled poorly and want to have a plan to in place to improve things when I haul out next time. It cannot back in a straight line unless I have a significant amount of speed and even then it will quite often veer to one side or the other unexpectedly. Also, the turning radius seems to be extremely wide. I am guessing here as I don't have a rudder indicator, but i would guess my rudder at full turn is approximately 25 degrees. This is a physical limitation due to the cylinder throw and the cylinder placement. I would prefer not to change this although that may be the easier option in the long run. I could potentially glass in a new base mount for the cylinder further aft of the current one and re-attach the cylinder further aft on the rudder arm fitting. If this could be done I would gain some further angle and reduce my turning radius...although I am not sure if this would assist me in backing up and i would like to cure both issues if possible. I have heard that some trawler owners are attaching 90 degree angle iron to the trailing edge of their rudders to improve turning radius but I shudder to think what this may do to reverse performance. I could go with a thruster but it is my belief the boat should handle adequately without. The following is a list of things I believe are negatively effecting the boats close quarters performance.

- Severe propwalk to starboard
- A steering setup that doesn't allow the rudder to turn enough.
- A full keel more or it a 3/4 keel that makes turning sharply even more difficult.

I welcome any suggestions and real world examples of what may have worked for you.


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Old 07-31-2013, 10:09 PM   #2
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I would attach pics but I dont think I have enough posts to do so.

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Old 07-31-2013, 10:22 PM   #3
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City: Cape Cod, MA
Vessel Name: Island Seeker
Vessel Model: Willard 36 Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,142
First check that your rudder turns 70 degrees total (35+35) If not you may want to drill a new hole in the tiller arm slightly closer to the rudder stock so you get more turn from the same cylinder stroke.

I can't comment on the rudder without seeing it.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:00 PM   #4
AusCan's Avatar
City: Adelaide
Vessel Name: Kokanee
Vessel Model: Cuddles 30 Pilot House Motor Sailer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,078
Nice boat Jarod. (not that I'm biased)
Yes - I agree with Brooksie. 25 degrees seems very limited, so its not surprising that your not getting a tight turning radius, especially with a longish keel.

You should be able to post photo's, but initially I think the moderators check them manually before they get posted, so there is a delay in the process.

Pic's of your hull would be nice to see as well.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:10 AM   #5
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City: sydney
Vessel Name: Aquabelle
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander Flushdeck
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 924
Google "articulated rudder" for another idea
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:04 AM   #6
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City: Concrete Washington State
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 17,380
I use 45 degrees of rudder deflection each way and it's very effective.

I'd relocate the slave cylinder .. however ..........

Be aware though that the effort required to turn the helm will increase. If it increases too much you may need to change other components to achieve the "movement of the helm to movement of the rudder ratio. Larger or smaller hydraulic cylinders, different size cable pulleys ect ect.

A previous owner may have changed something that's caused your slow steering and lack of rudder deflection.

North Western Washington State USA
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:05 AM   #7
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City: Vallejo CA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: penultimate Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 12,071
You may need to rebuild your ruddet setup. With this arrangement we a get 40+40 throw:

Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:30 PM   #8
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City: Everett Wa
Vessel Name: Eagle
Vessel Model: Roughwater 58 pilot house
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,919
Might want to understand and practice using the prop walk to you advantage when possible. Took me s long time to learn/use. The Eagle prop walk to port so a try to use the prop walk to my advantage by maneuvering/turning to starboard, and docking on the port side. The reverse prop walk will pull the stern to port, the bow to starboard and when docking it sucks the stern to port into the dock.

A bow thruster is probable the best solution. I would not have single with out a bow thruster as trying to turn in the direct of the prop walk, sucks big time with out a bow thruster. Maneuvering/turning to port and docking on the starboard side with out the bow thrust its a big pucker factor.

The Eagle max rudder angle allows the stern to be thrust to the side with little forward motion. Last Monday turned the boat around, the boat was at an angle, so the stern was 6 to 8 ft from the dock, put in reverse to slow the forward motion and use the prop walk to suck the stern into the dock, put in forward to thrust the stern tight up against the dock.

If really windy, and we can not get away from/to the dock we have 20 ft push/pull poles we use. They are stored attached to the mast stays, so they are not in the way and hardly noticeable, but come in handy. Poor boaters thruster.

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