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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:11 am 
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The purpose of this post is to determine practical ways to steer AI when (1) sailing and (2) pedaling after the rudder becomes disabled due to a broken pin, snapped line, etc.

The easiest way, I guess, whether sailing or pedaling, is to use the paddle as the rudder. Is there a better way?

While pedaling, one can drag a hand or dagger board in the water on the turn direction. Is there a better way?

While sailing, other than using paddle as rudder, has anyone steered with unusable rudder?

If the paddle turns out to be the best alternate steering method with a disabled rudder, then carrying the paddle is a good precaution even if it is seldom used.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:12 am 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
I would never go anywhere without the paddle.
Taking it is just a basic common sense safety precaution.
Apart from needing it launching and landing, I have used it to steer while pedaling with sail furled after breaking a rudder pin and as propulsion when the drive has broken or the wind has died or you find yourself in very shallow water.
I can't imagine any alternative (daggerboard/ hand) would be as effective.
Why would you leave it behind? :? (well deliberately anyway! :wink: )


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:46 am 
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stringy wrote:
I would never go anywhere without the paddle.

I concur 100 % :!: Essential for fending off, holding position, backing down; handy as a depth gauge in shallow waters, excellent as an emergency flagging device, indispensable as an extractor in kelp. One day Murphy was with me when I completely disabled the Drive with no wind -- might still be out there using my hands and feet if not for the trusty paddle. If it can happen, it will sooner or later! I think it's absolutely foolish not to carry one at all times. :shock:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:40 am 
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I also concurr with Stringy and RR. Why go any place w/o a paddle? It is an important safety feature.

Having said that, and having used the paddle as a rudder (under sail w/ a broken rudder pin) once, I realized after only a mile, that it was a physical challenge for an older person (me!). I had another 4 mi to my destination, so I chose to head to shore (.75 mi) and change the pin. It was easy to change the pin after I made the broken one into a D-head w/ my Leatherman knife.

It would not have been so physically difficult to use the paddle-rudder if I had depowered (furled) the sail, but I was trying to catch my companion, Quirkster, who was a half mile ahead. There was no chance to catch him, or even keep up w/ him using the paddle-rudder.

Keith

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:50 pm 
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By not carrying a paddle, you cut your potential modes of propulsion by 33.3%. If you ever found yourself up a shallow brown creek, you certainly wouldn't want to be there without a paddle :) .

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:56 pm 
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chrisj wrote:
By not carrying a paddle, you cut your potential modes of propulsion by 33.3%. If you ever found yourself up a shallow brown creek, you certainly wouldn't want to be there without a paddle :) .

Actually, make that 25%. I forgot about Pirate's technique of swimming with a rope around your neck, towing the boat.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:00 pm 
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Because of my disability, I can't actually use the paddle to paddle. Still, I carry one blade of a kayak paddle to use to steer since I have broken so many rudder pins and can't change them on the water. But, I am usually a couple miles from home and I, too, have trouble holding the paddle as a rudder for that long (btw-I learned the hard way to leash my paddle when doing this). So, I mostly sail with the disabled rudder just using the sail and daggerboard to balance the boat (I never have the peddle drive in). I learned this technique when I was a kid going through safety drills. Anyway, by adjusting the rake of the daggerboard and the furl amount of the sail and the amount of sheet, one can sail almost any point of sail except really close-hauled and directly downwind and can make modest turns. It will readily hold a somewhat straight course. Gust and chop may turn the boat slightly, but it will return afterwards. This probably won't work in extremely light wind, but I've never broken a rudder in those conditions. I've sailed for miles like this. Tacking is VERY hard. You've got to drag a hand on one side, then paddle with the other trying to get the nose past the eye. So, now I just give up a little ground to windward and jibe, which is pretty easy without the rudder, because the boat just doesn't like going directly downwind through any type of chop. Many times I have found that the broken rudder can still be used to modestly help maintain course or steer, but is unnecessary (I've sailed several miles with the rudder swung up just to experiment).

One time the damaged rudder kept turning the boat to port, no matter what I did with the handle. I was still able to sail easily without the rudder or paddle. The only problem was when I got closer to shore with no wind, where I would usually paddle with my hands if I had to. As mentioned earlier, I had already lost the paddle a few hours earlier. After fighting the turn unsuccessfully for a while, I finally gave in and went with it. I paddled on the starboard side to enhance the turn when appropriate, and just made a few circles to get back to my launch area. But, like I said, even with the rudder doing this, I had no difficulty sailing straight (10 knot wind) using the balancing technique.

So now, when the rudder breaks, I sail most of the way home without any steerage. I pull out the paddle for the last part where the wind starts getting really fluky (although I've made it several times without a paddle). This is all to say that it is best to carry the paddle for all the reasons stated in the other replies, but don't feel like you're SOL if you don't have a paddle. It's quite possible to sail effectively (but less efficiently), without a rudder or paddle. You should try it to see how easy it is.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:06 pm 
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k-bay cruiser wrote:
So now, when the rudder breaks, I sail most of the way home without any steerage. I pull out the paddle for the last part where the wind starts getting really fluky (although I've made it several times without a paddle). This is all to say that it is best to carry the paddle for all the reasons stated in the other replies, but don't feel like you're SOL if you don't have a paddle. It's quite possible to sail effectively (but less efficiently), without a rudder or paddle. You should try it to see how easy it is.

k-bay cruiser - thank you - great info - i will try to sail wo rudder or paddle - Al K


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:41 pm 
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k-bay cruiser wrote:
So, I mostly sail with the disabled rudder just using the sail and daggerboard to balance the boat (I never have the peddle drive in). I learned this technique when I was a kid going through safety drills. Anyway, by adjusting the rake of the daggerboard and the furl amount of the sail and the amount of sheet, one can sail almost any point of sail except really close-hauled and directly downwind and can make modest turns. It will readily hold a somewhat straight course. Gust and chop may turn the boat slightly, but it will return afterwards. .


I tried this yesterday, but I couldn't for the life of me find any configuration that would keep me from pointing upwind. I am familiar with balancing the helm of a sailboat, and do that all the time on big boats, but everything I tried ended up the same way - the boat pointing right into the wind. If I let out some sheet, the boat would steer up until the sail flogged. I had the drive out, but no plug.

It did work slightly with a very small amount of sail out, but not enough to sail practically.

Any hints?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:47 pm 
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Location: Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
I'll have to see the exact technique the next time I'm out. I will say that you probably can't get too far past a broad reach without the boat wanting yo go all the way through a jibe. Also, any chop or waves will affect things as they tend to round the boat up as they pass. I'm not exactly sure how much sail I have out (I'll check when I'm out), but I have found the boat moves pretty well downwind even without much sail at all. Just the windage of a furled sail stresses my anchor. When I pull the anchor, a furled sail alone moves me about walking speed. And I still have pretty good ability to change direction through a range of about 90 degrees. I know walking speed isn't fast, but it will surely get you home in a pinch.

How much wind were you testing in?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:26 pm 
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k-bay cruiser wrote:
I'll have to see the exact technique the next time I'm out. I will say that you probably can't get too far past a broad reach without the boat wanting yo go all the way through a jibe. Also, any chop or waves will affect things as they tend to round the boat up as they pass. I'm not exactly sure how much sail I have out (I'll check when I'm out), but I have found the boat moves pretty well downwind even without much sail at all. Just the windage of a furled sail stresses my anchor. When I pull the anchor, a furled sail alone moves me about walking speed. And I still have pretty good ability to change direction through a range of about 90 degrees. I know walking speed isn't fast, but it will surely get you home in a pinch.

How much wind were you testing in?

Hi K-Bay Cruiser - What's your "anchor"? - Al K


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:40 pm 
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k-bay cruiser wrote:

How much wind were you testing in?


About 12 knots. Enough to cause a little ruckus when flogging the sail. (Or at least I hate a flogging sail).

Al Kube,

I use a red "baby bubble" anchor, and it works awesome for the AI. I also have a claw type which isn't nearly as "cool."

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:46 pm 
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Location: Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
Currently I'm using a 5 lb galvanized folding grapnel style anchor. I tried to use the 2 lb purple vinyl coated pwc fluke anchor, but that sucked. It wasn't sharp enough to bite into the sand on it's own. And I can't get out of the boat to set it, so it just skips along the bottom. And the first time I tried to use it, it caught a pice of rock that tore some of the vinyl off the fluke tip where it is now rusting. The current anchor will mostly hold me in a 15 kt breeze on sticky sandbar coral sand, but I notice a very slow slip compared to other boats.


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