Please select your home edition
Edition
Festival of Sails 2018 728x90

Yet another jury-rig steering idea

by Christine Kling/Sail-World Cruising on 27 Jan 2014
Learnativity’s jury-rigged rudder control SW
Recently we published a story of four sailors who lost their steering some 300 miles offshore and, after a few days of attempting repairs, called for rescue and abandoned their cat. We queried the decision, quoting one sailor and his crew who completed 1400 miles in the Atlantic without a rudder (See story. Now, courtesy of the Ocean Cruising Club, here is yet another method of jury-rigging a steering system once you have lost control of your Christine Kling, author and sailor, tells her story: Recently, there has been lots of discussion out in the world of cruising boats about the abandonment and rescue of the crew aboard a catamaran off the coast of Virginia that lost control of their rudders.

They had lots more go wrong than we did, and they were in the frigid and dangerous waters of the North Atlantic in January. I would not presume to suggest they should have done anything differently.

However, I’m very glad that I was sailing with captain Wayne who, like me, grew up watching MacGyver and put those problem-solving skills to work to figure out a way to get Learnativity to sail her way to Majuro.



We were 211 miles south of our waypoint off the end of the island (or about 225 from the anchorage) when we lost control of the rudder, but in looking at the track we sailed I think we did over 250 with the jury-rig.

(in skipper Wayne's words: Our rudder shaft sheared off just below the flange where the 2.5' SS rudder shaft bolts onto the flange connecting it to the shaft going up through the hull where it attaches to the lever arms that the hydraulic cylinders push and pull against. The good news is that we did not donate the rudder to Davey Jone's Parts Department at the bottom of the sea due to the way the skeg hung rudder on Learnativity is set up it is captured within this top flange and the similar one on the bottom where it attaches to a short shaft set in a bushing in the skeg. The bad news was that we had no way to turn the rudder and therefore no steering!)

Back to Christine:

It wasn’t like we figured it all out right away.

In case you want to take a look at our steering jury-rig, I’ve included a video below that Wayne shot with my GoPro when he’d finished tying up the rudder lines. Pay careful attention to the rising and falling of the transom in the seas. If you have a tendency to get seasick, watch it at your own risk.

Given that she is a steel boat, the rudder has zincs on it that Wayne used to keep the lines from sliding up. The ropes go around the rudder, and then they are lashed together at the trailing end and led up to either cleats or the radar/wind generator posts for tying off. On deck we were able to pull in by mere inches to move the rudder this way or that and steer the boat. It worked remarkably well.

Oddly enough, throughout the whole adventure we felt like we were doing much more than making do. We ate well, listened to music, laughed and had fun.

Maybe it wouldn't work with all boats, but it's another idea of how to improvise when it all goes wrong at once.

Here is the video:


Pittwater to Paradise 2018 660x82Sail World NZ Lone WolfMusto AUS 2017 660x82 3

Related Articles

Hit the road Jack – Sailing Royalty farewells its king
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, farewelled one of Pittwater & Sydney’s all-time great sailors, Jack Gale on Thursday The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, farewelled one of Pittwater & Sydney’s all-time great sailors and much loved Club Life Member, Jack Gale, on Thursday 14th September 2017.
Posted on 16 Sep
Oceanis – 2018 set to be a prolific year
Alongside the new Oceanis51.1, Beneteau announced four new Oceanises to satisfy a broad range of aspirations this autumn 30 years on, the best known range in the world continues to show its vitality. Alongside the new Oceanis 51.1, which won over the experts at its first sea trials, Beneteau has announced four new Oceanises to satisfy a broad range of aspirations this autumn.
Posted on 15 Sep
Navico and Bavaria Yachts announce new partnership
The brand new Bavaria R55 motorboat will come fitted with Simrad NSS evo3 as and Simrad 4G radar as standard. The highly acclaimed Bavaria C57 which launched in January 2017, and the all new Bavaria C65 are fitted exclusively with B&G Zeus³ multifunction chartplotters. Zeus³ launched at the end of 2016 and features the new SolarMAX™ HD screen, offering the brightest and clearest display on the market
Posted on 12 Sep
Beneteau Cup – Register your interest today
Participants will have a great day of races and then finish on a high note with the presentation, dinner and live music. Flagstaff Marine Beneteau would like to invite all Beneteau owners, their family, friends, colleagues, and crew to join us for the 2017 Beneteau Cup, hosted by CYCA, Rushcutters Bay.
Posted on 12 Sep
Top rated products, as chosen by you
Double cuffs, adjustable hem and double storm flap with drainage channel over the zip and the rollaway fluorescent hood Articulated sleeves ensure freedom of movement while the fleece-lined collar, hood and hand warmer pockets add warmth. Safety touches include prismatic reflectors for visibility in low light, making this waterproof and breathable jacket your foul weather protection for offshore sailing.
Posted on 31 Aug
Pulling G’s with Beneteau – Pt II
Just a little while ago we pulled some Gs with Beneteau’s Mr Product, aka G3. Just a little while ago we pulled some Gs with Beneteau’s Mr Product, aka G3. You can go back and read Part One of the story of Gianguido Girotti, as and when you may like. However, for now we’ll push on with the incredible semi-foiler Figaro 3, and the new Oceanis 51.1, along with what they represent for the brand as a whole. It is a very interesting tale, especially as Beneteau...
Posted on 31 Aug
Twenty-ninth blog from Jon Sanders - He's made it to Bundaberg
Departed City of Noumea for Bundaberg State of Queensland, Australia. I was going to leave on the Saturday but didn't. As it transpired, when asleep, as snug as a bug, - in the protected comfort of Port Moselle Marina - Noumea. Five yachts outside at anchor or on moorings went onto the rocks. Sadly damaged. I think nobody was onboard. Other yachts with crew OK.
Posted on 29 Aug
Pulling G’s with Beneteau – Pt I
In a car, just the one G will have you straining at your seatbelt. In a car, just the one G will have you straining at your seatbelt. Over nine (+ve) in an aircraft, and without a G-suit, you will be unconscious. So at three G’s, and pulling no punches with them either, we not only enjoyed our opportunity to sit with Gianguido Girotti (G3), we got to learn a lot as well!
Posted on 23 Aug
2017 J/111 World Championship - Preview
Every team’s journey to a starting line is a tale of organization, crew alignment, vessel preparation and practice Every team’s journey to a starting line is a tale of organization, crew alignment, vessel preparation and practice. Add in international travel, and the complexity snowballs. Then, weave in the pressures and prestige of a World Championship— in this case the 2017 J/111 World Championships (August 23-27, 2017), hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, California — and situation compounds.
Posted on 21 Aug
Twenty-eighth blog from Jon Sanders - He's made it to Noumea
Noumea' New Caledonia a long Island kinda lies south-east to north west. 30 N Miles wide and 220 miles long 'Noumea' New Caledonia a long Island - kinda lies south-east to north west. 30 N Miles wide and 220 miles long, sort of. Plenty of reef. The fringing reef well out with several well posted passages into the Lagoon. Once inside the lagoon one cannot steer a course direct to Noumea, or one would come to a grinding halt. 'Crunch' (Coral reef and Islets). Never the less a small boat paradise....
Posted on 17 Aug