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Graham and Jo

Rudder Load, boat turns right

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Dotterel requires a permanent push to the right on the tiller to keep her straight.The rudder was repaired in the past and I think they got it wrong. Can anyone recommend an engineering company in the Napton/Braunston area that could fix it. 

Cheers Graham

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I wonder if this is just the effect of the propeller rotation? our boat tends to aim for one bank if left to its own devices just as it tends to aim for the other bank in reverse. We have wheel steering so it is not quite so direct as a tiller but I do have to give it a bit of correction from time to time.

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6 minutes ago, Bee said:

I wonder if this is just the effect of the propeller rotation? our boat tends to aim for one bank if left to its own devices just as it tends to aim for the other bank in reverse. We have wheel steering so it is not quite so direct as a tiller but I do have to give it a bit of correction from time to time.

Thanks for the reply but it isn't prop steer - actually it is n the opposite direction and the load is significant. The boat used to go straight until the bent rudder was fixed. Arguably I should go back to those that 'fixed' it and complain but I no longer trust their engineering and have some person reasons for preferring to go elsewhere. 

 

Cheers Graham

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2 hours ago, Graham and Jo said:

Thanks for the reply but it isn't prop steer - actually it is n the opposite direction and the load is significant. The boat used to go straight until the bent rudder was fixed. Arguably I should go back to those that 'fixed' it and complain but I no longer trust their engineering and have some person reasons for preferring to go elsewhere. 

 

Cheers Graham

 

This is the bit concerning me. I find myself wondering if the rudder was not 'bent', but carefully modified by someone prior to you owning the boat, in order to correct the bias the boat has with a straight rudder. 

I'm curious about how the rudder was 'bent' as one of my boats has a slight bias and I'd like to bend my rudder like yours was, to see if I can get rid of it!

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If you train yourself to steer from the other side of the tiller you should have a pull on the tiller instead of a push, ie ( Weather helm in sailing boat parlance) much more comfortable than your ( lee helm) which is highly dangerous in a sailing boat and not good in a motor boat. Like in tiller steered sailing boats one should be able to steer equally well with either hand. 

  • Greenie 3

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To keep Belfast going in a straight line you have to hold the end of the tiller about 12" off centre. Examination has shown that this is a combination of a bent rudder - looks to have been cilled at some time - and the swan neck not being aligned with the rudder blade. Whilst it is on the list to be fixed, its not actually much of a problem, as long as you steer by looking where the boat is going, rather than where the tiller points.

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11 minutes ago, bizzard said:

Like in tiller steered sailing boats one should be able to steer equally well with either hand. 

Greenie for that.

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2 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

This is the bit concerning me. I find myself wondering if the rudder was not 'bent', but carefully modified by someone prior to you owning the boat, in order to correct the bias the boat has with a straight rudder. 

I'm curious about how the rudder was 'bent' as one of my boats has a slight bias and I'd like to bend my rudder like yours was, to see if I can get rid of it!

Interesting, when I was experimenting with extending my rudder I bolted an extension on the back end that I could remove and slice bits off until I found the best weight, this gave quite a bias to the steering but it wasn't symmetrical.

Last year I had a new bottom cup fitted and now I think the boat pulls more to one side 

rudder extention.png

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Thanks for all the comments and advice on who to contact.

Yes I can steer the boat with my left hand but want the fault fixed. 

Interesting thought on the bend being intentional, the boat looks straight so I hope isn't a banana boat.

It is an ex Alvechurch boat and the top bearing is a sloppy fit in the hull but it was when the boat steered well with the bent rudder! Steering from the other side would move the alignment of the rudder slightly to the left.

Further advice or recommendations welcome.

Cheers Graham

 

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The thing is, never over balance a rudder with the bit forward of the pivot point too big in comparison with the trailing portion. This as most will know will cause serious dangerous lee helm and will cause you to hang on to the tiller for dear life, let go and the rudder will wham over and send you straight up the bank. Better to have heavier steering than too light.  I hate most modern cars which tend to have overpowered power steering, light as a feather and  no feel at all.  I drove one of the latest Ford Eco Sport SUV's the other day, no feel at all  to it, and the brake servo was far too powerful in my opinion also, literally touch the brake and the car almost did an emergency stop, again very little feel.    Is it me? :unsure: I suppose one can get used to it though.

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Sorry to be a pedant but, weather helm means the boat will turn into the wind when the tiller is released. Lee helm means the boat will turn away from the wind if the helm is released. For a fore and aft rigged sailing boat weather helm is desired as the boat will turn into the wind and stop. Lee helm would mean the boat turning downwind and speeding up, not so good if you fall overboard. Square rigged vessels would usually prefer lee he!m because turning into the wind risks dismasting. 

 

An overbalanced rudder that swings to one side when the tiller is released is dangerous, I had one you couldn't even pick up your cup of tea before the boat was heading to the bank. I cut a bit off the front and now the boat just gently swings due to prop walk wonderful. 

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1 hour ago, bizzard said:

The thing is, never over balance a rudder with the bit forward of the pivot point too big in comparison with the trailing portion. This as most will know will cause serious dangerous lee helm and will cause you to hang on to the tiller for dear life, let go and the rudder will wham over and send you straight up the bank. Better to have heavier steering than too light.  I hate most modern cars which tend to have overpowered power steering, light as a feather and  no feel at all.  I drove one of the latest Ford Eco Sport SUV's the other day, no feel at all  to it, and the brake servo was far too powerful in my opinion also, literally touch the brake and the car almost did an emergency stop, again very little feel.    Is it me? :unsure: I suppose one can get used to it though.

I agree with you there, they cut off the old rudder and welded on a new one. I am not sure about the lineup or ratio of the two parts.

1 minute ago, Detling said:

An overbalanced rudder that swings to one side when the tiller is released is dangerous, I had one you couldn't even pick up your cup of tea before the boat was heading to the bank. I cut a bit off the front and now the boat just gently swings due to prop walk wonderful. 

 Possibly also it isn't balanced, I haven't tried releasing it with a bit of opposite rudder to see what happens but will.

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2 hours ago, Graham and Jo said:

Thanks for all the comments and advice on who to contact.

Yes I can steer the boat with my left hand but want the fault fixed. 

Interesting thought on the bend being intentional, the boat looks straight so I hope isn't a banana boat.

It is an ex Alvechurch boat and the top bearing is a sloppy fit in the hull but it was when the boat steered well with the bent rudder! Steering from the other side would move the alignment of the rudder slightly to the left.

Further advice or recommendations welcome.

Cheers Graham

 

Well I am having a new bottom bearing fitted next time we come out and also a new spigot on  the bottom of the rudder and I will make sure its all fully centralised 

 

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Worth fitting a trim tab to the back edge of the rudder.  This is a bit of 3 mm x 25 mm strip heavily tack welded on.  You can then bend it sideways with an adjustable spanner so that the boat goes in a straight line when you let go the tiller. Bend the tab the right way!  If you are pulling the tiller to the left, bend the tab to the left and viccy verky.

Choose your spot and the adjustments can be done with the boat in the water though you will get a wet arm! The amount of bend needed may vary a little with power setting so choose a comfortable  cruising speeed to calibrate at.

N

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3 minutes ago, BEngo said:

Worth fitting a trim tab to the back edge of the rudder.  

N

Having had a career in  the aircraft industry I like trim tabs. Of course I would want fully automatic hydraulic control linked to the boat's GPS sytem but seriously thanks for the suggestion.

 

Cheers Graham

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2 hours ago, Graham and Jo said:

Having had a career in  the aircraft industry I like trim tabs. Of course I would want fully automatic hydraulic control linked to the boat's GPS sytem but seriously thanks for the suggestion.

 

Cheers Graham

Fly by wire.  You don't have an over balanced rudder, I think its just not aligned properly with the tiller. How is the swans neck held onto the stock. Many are on a tapered square, but the odd ones are on just a plain taper which can be slackened and moved to suit you.

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Might be worth just centralising the tiller then having a squint at the rudder to see if they are in line, when I set mine up I didn't get it quite right, turned in its own length one way, carried straight on the other.

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The rudder blade might be warped sideways, caused by welding and they didn't straighten it afterwards.

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1 hour ago, Bee said:

Might be worth just centralising the tiller then having a squint at the rudder to see if they are in line, when I set mine up I didn't get it quite right, turned in its own length one way, carried straight on the other.

As Bee says, try this first.

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25 minutes ago, Stilllearning said:

As Bee says, try this first.

In my case its not the alignment of tiller and rudder as there is still weight on the tiller to keep the boat straight, not where the tiller is pointing

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16 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

In my case its not the alignment of tiller and rudder as there is still weight on the tiller to keep the boat straight, not where the tiller is pointing

This is the same issue as Dotterel, it is not alignment of the tiller and rudder but a significant weight on the tiller to keep straight. I was interested in the bend after welding theory. I might employ a friend of mine to remove the rudder where the boat is now and have a look at it. 

Cheers Graham

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17 minutes ago, Graham and Jo said:

This is the same issue as Dotterel, it is not alignment of the tiller and rudder but a significant weight on the tiller to keep straight. I was interested in the bend after welding theory. I might employ a friend of mine to remove the rudder where the boat is now and have a look at it. 

Cheers Graham

 

I too find people conflate poor tiller alignment with tiller bias to one side. They are  different and unrelated problems. It seems to be happening in this thread too. 

I can't imagine how a bent or modified rudder could possibly correct tiller bias though, but this seems to have happened in the case of grahams boat. Graham, can you remember how exactly your rudder was bent before you had it straightened?

Edit to add, actually I can imagine. If the flight blade on the rudder is angled a few degrees out of parallel from the main rudder blade, this might compensate for tiller bias. 

Edited by Mike the Boilerman

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