Motoring with just the rudders?

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dlandersson
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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by dlandersson » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:13 am

Once I and a friend went sailing. I forgot to lower the swing keel (we were talking a lot). We had a pretty good time until it was time to dock, then we noticed the steering was pretty bad.

But the whole time on the water, sailing, 2-5 knots, it was ok. 8)
Neo wrote:I know it's a drag but I sail with the OB leg still in the water .... Now days that's mainly because I'm too lazy to lock-and-lift it. :D

But I'm currently working on the AutoPilot setup and I was wondering what it would be like if I centered and fix the OB, then under low power, just steered with the rudders .... Has anyone had experience of this?
Last edited by dlandersson on Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by Tomfoolery » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:02 am

sailboatmike wrote:In short, if there is anything hard or dry to hit in the near vicinity I want the centerboard down at least a bit
And as a related aside, for maneuvering in shallow water, like late season on Lake Ontario when the water is low, or hauling the boat at a ramp, I undo the rudder hold-down lines so if I hit anything, they can kick up. Some nice anchor-and-hang-out locations have weeds that become shallow enough to hang the boat up on the rudders (and foul the prop), and I sure don't want to have to pay to replace them.

The rudders stay down by themselves at a couple of knots or less while maneuvering, but at such low speeds, even if they move a little, it wouldn't matter; just pull them back in.

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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by tlgeddes » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:21 pm

Neo wrote:I know it's a drag but I sail with the OB leg still in the water .... Now days that's mainly because I'm too lazy to lock-and-lift it. :D

But I'm currently working on the AutoPilot setup and I was wondering what it would be like if I centered and fix the OB, then under low power, just steered with the rudders .... Has anyone had experience of this?

I’m glad you asked this question. I was thinking about a Man overboard situation while sailing and had the same thought of being in a situation when I need to get the sails down or motor going and may not have time to reattach the motor to the steering. I was thinking that motoring with just rudder steering would work for maneuvering and even for motor sailing since one could leave the weight off of the helm by only having rudders attached.

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Neo
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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by Neo » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:17 pm

kadet wrote:You need about 2 knots of through water speed to get any meaningful steering happening, not ground speed as if you are moving at the same speed with the current you have no flow over the rudders so no real steerage way.
Thanks for point that out Kadet. It's too easy now days to look at a GPS Speedo and think you know whats happening but it's that old spinning wheel on the Triducer that tells the truth in the water. 8)

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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by paul I » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:53 pm

What you want to do definitely works on a :macx: . I have done it with mine. It handles fine at low motoring speed. I have even docked that way (with centerboard down). I can't vouch for an :macm: but I doubt its much different.

Beware however that depending on the size of your prop and the amount of misalignment of your rudders and/or the OB center lock position, it is possible to scrape up a rudder on the rotating prop when steering to full port or starboard.

I know this because, once again, I have done it with mine. No serious damage, just a light gouge in the gel coat, but still... not something I want to repeat. :|

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Neo
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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by Neo » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:28 pm

paul I wrote:Beware however that depending on the size of your prop and the amount of misalignment of your rudders and/or the OB center lock position, it is possible to scrape up a rudder on the rotating prop when steering to full port or starboard.
Thanks Paul. that's interesting. Fortunately for me I have a JackPlate on my BF50 so prop is way behind the back edge of the rudders :)

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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by kadet » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:48 pm

Neo wrote:It's too easy now days to look at a GPS Speedo and think you know whats happening but it's that old spinning wheel on the Triducer that tells the truth in the water. 8)
Or in Yamaha's case a water pressure sensor that registers speed on the Command Link 8)

Image

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Neo
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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by Neo » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:17 pm

kadet wrote:Or in Yamaha's case a water pressure sensor that registers speed on the Command Link 8)
Wow that's cool and interesting too. My BF50 has a built pressure line for a speedo senor on the front of the gearbox. Don't know where it goes and I've never given it a second look because in the bad-old days (on a previous boat) I used to have a water pressure speedo, that was nothing short of useless :D ..... I'm assuming your sensor/system works well? :)

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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by kadet » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:52 pm

Neo wrote:
kadet wrote:Or in Yamaha's case a water pressure sensor that registers speed on the Command Link 8)
Wow that's cool and interesting too. My BF50 has a built pressure line for a speedo senor on the front of the gearbox. Don't know where it goes and I've never given it a second look because in the bad-old days (on a previous boat) I used to have a water pressure speedo, that was nothing short of useless :D ..... I'm assuming your sensor/system works well? :)

I'll let you know when I fork out the $150 for it, motor is still new and being tinkered with 8) I got the electronic Lowrance gauges so I can hook into the Command Link on the Yamaha.

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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by Chinook » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:37 pm

Regarding the original question, I've done what you suggest a number of times. I have a 2.5hp kicker, mounted on a retractable transom bracket. When I'm trolling for salmon with downrigger, I use the kicker motor to power the boat at my desired slow (2 knot) speed. With the kicker locked in place the boat steers fine in calm conditions. I've also used the kicker to get back to a dock when having trouble with the big outboard. With that little engine, there's a definite limit on how well it turns the boat in a moderate breeze. Sometimes, I've had to lean over the stern and turn the kicker, to help things out.

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Neo
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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by Neo » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:23 pm

Thanks Chinook :)

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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by dca81 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:04 pm

I routinely sail/motor with the rudders and dagger board down and motor locked in placed. I have not experienced any issues with control or getting in and out of my slip. I slip at a deep lake, so only environmental control challenges are sometimes I have significant cross winds. However, I seem to simply adjust without any overwhelming problem. My slip is almost a straight shot when coming in, but I do have to maneuver a little (90 degrees) when backing out. I don't have the quick release system and simply jury rigged a system to lock the engine in place. It takes a few minutes to lock the engine in place at the beginning of the season, then I remove it at the end of the season when pulling the boat out. I use the motor primarily only to get out of the slip/bay to the lake, and from the lake back into the bay/slip. Occasionally when winds are light I will motor sail, but the motor is usually just idling when I do this. In fact this is my wife favorite way to sail since she hates the heeling of the M26.

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Neo
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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by Neo » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:10 pm

Thanks for your experience on this DCA .... I'm convinced now that this is the way to go :)

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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by Mr Seas » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:24 am

Hello,
I'm new to the forum, so please forgive me if I'm repeating anything that has already been said.
I have a 2011 26M with a 2016 Merc 60 4 stroke.
I installed the motor quick disconnect kit from Blue Water Yachts, which I highly recommend! The only time I connect the engine to the steering system is when I am going over 6knts or if it is windy and I'm maneuvering at the dock. I find the boat tracks better at low speed with the rudders down and the motor locked straight ahead and no center board. If I'm in the dock area I will lower the board 1/2 way. I really like the way the boat handles much better now! The steering is so light and easy without the engine.

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Neo
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Re: Motoring with just the rudders?

Post by Neo » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:40 pm

Mr Seas wrote:I'm new to the forum, so please forgive me if I'm repeating anything that has already been said.
Welcome and no worries :) .... What part of the world are you placed?
Mr Seas wrote:The only time I connect the engine to the steering system is when I am going over 6knts or if it is windy and I'm maneuvering at the dock.
This is why it's so good to have new guys join the forum. Either intentionally or non-intentionally they do things differently that we can all benefit from. 8)

Thanks for your feedback on this :wink:

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