rudder "safety strap" concept

Bill Wallace (
Tue, 21 Dec 1999 09:24:35 -0500

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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>This brings up a question I have had. I recall an occasion where my kick
>up rudder did just that in very shallow water. It both kicked up and also
>the upward pressure was enough to knock the rudderpins out of the gudgeons
>such that the whole unit became disconnected from the hull. Fortunately
>our rate of travel was so miniscule as to only remove the rudder about an
>inch behind the boat from its normal position and the friction of the
>tiller on the top of the transom kept the rudder within reach, but I have
>thought, what if I was going faster and under sail power so I couldnt stop
>soon (and thus lost my rudder? FREAK?)
>Has anyone considered a "safety strap/cable" type concept for the rudder?
>I did use a similar concept once for the outboard (I connected a bicycle
>security cable around its mount and secured that to the most rearward mount
>of the cockpit SS Rail). It was for anti theft on an overnighter, but I
>knew it was also functional if I lost the motor somehow (longshot of
>course) off the transom or motor mount.
>Thomas Westerman (boat currently totally outlined in white christmas lights)
>P19 #578 (thinking about naming her "Liahona")
>Colorado Springs

Consider drilling a hole through the rudder pin that goes into the gudgeon
(the top pin),
and have a steel pin that you push through (just a cotter pin - attach it
to a string
tied to the rudder so you don't lose the pin). That will keep the rudder
to the boat, and still leaves with the ability to steer if the rudder kicks
up (which you might
REALLY want to do if you are headed into shallow water).
That is the solution to the problem on most small boats. The only problem
is that you
absolutely need a drill press to drill the hole in the rudder pin, as you
can't just drill it
by hand (no way to keep it centered.)