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Old 04-07-2010, 05:02 AM   #1
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On my 45' Bruce Roberts cutter the top of the rudder ends in a 2-inch long square lug, 1.25" per side. There is a cable steering quadrant but clearly this lug was meant for attaching either a humongous "Mr. Crescent Wrench" or some other tiller attachment. I'd imagine there are standard fittings for heavy equipment service that will work but I have not run across any. Any ideas where to look ?

I hope to find a purpose-built item that will have a long handle on it already, rather than a widget that would need further work or welding. A friend of mine had a machined aluminum part made, but I'm afraid the forces are too big for aluminum to work reliably at the end of a 5-foot tiller in a bad sea.

Any ideas are welcome. The lug is underneath the double bunk bed in the rear master cabin, and perforce a 5' tiller length is about the maximum that

will work there, unless the shaft is extended above deck. ( I'm quite OK with that option too, but it means above-deck steering is the only option then. )

Ivo s/v Linnupesa in St Augustine FL
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:21 PM   #2
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Based on my experience, I do not think an aluminum one will work either. I do think you must have a tiller above deck for safety reasons. I am enclosing a picture of what does work and I suggest you build something that is similar. Feel free to contact me via email if you need to, (trc1029@yahoo).

Sailorman14

2010-04-07_200057.jpg
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:37 AM   #3
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Assuming you're wanting complete redundancy without spending the money on something like a hydraulic ram (which would be useful for an autopilot, btw...) and you want to use a tiller since you've got a fitting for a tiller...

I would think that the shaft would have to be extended to an above deck position to be used with a tiller. That's most efficient.

We can be really "Rube Goldberg" here... Lets think like big, old, ships...the is the type of system on the HMS Rose aka the Surprise in the movie Master and Commander...you have room to put in a below decks tiller with line running from each side of the tiller to some sheaves (turning blocks) in your stateroom that would lead to some sort of emergency old-fashioned barrel type wheel on deck. The lines are wrapped several times around the barrel/wheel and you turn it to move the tiller as desired. If you need more leverage than your 5 ft (or shorter) tiller can provide, you can add purchase with blocks of course but that means even more turns on the wheel to have any turn on the tiller. That whole tiller below deck and barrel wheel above deck used to be pretty common.

If you have absolutely no way of bringing your tiller up directly onto the deck and, realistically, I can't image that you'll have a way of making a whole separate barrel wheel for the system I described...you still could use an emergency tiller below deck with two lines and strategically placed blocks to bring the lines to a position that they can be pulled on to move the tiller back and forth. It would be very difficult (I'd think) to steer like this and it would be much more likely that someone would put push-pull lines on the rudder itself in an emergency where the only way one could steer would be using lines.

Back out of the "Rube" mode and into reality: Get an extension fabricated and put a tiller head (whatever it's called...the square lug) up in the cockpit

Pic of a "barrel wheel" type helm on the Surprise. On the LINK to bigger pic you can more clearly see the wraps of line around the barrel wheel.

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Old 04-08-2010, 02:54 PM   #4
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Here are two alternatives I would suggest, as I read your situation.

1) A quick method to steer if your wheel steering fails completely (steering from below deck while getting direction from on deck person): Go to Harbor Feight or some cheap tool source and buy the largest breaker bar they offer. That would be about a 1" drive and would have a handle of about 3' long. Then find a piece of pipe that will fit snug over the breaker bar handle. The advantage of the these breaker bar is that you get a universal on the end so you angles won't be a problem and the length is short enough to fit in some locker or under a bunk mattress. The pipe can be separated for storage as well. You could purchase a 12 point socket to fit your 1.25 sq. on your rudder stock, however, I would expect that the socket would eventually wear and round of the 4 corners of that square. Here I would suggest that you take a large socket and have a machine shop make a 1.25" square socket to be welded to the stock socket (this gives you the well fitted 1" square to fit the breaker bar). To keep the length of the socket fabrication as short as possible, to prevent wobble, just cut the 1" square end off this stock socket and have that welded to the machined 1.25" socket. Who knows, you might find a ready make square 1.25 socket but I have never seen one.

2) Long term , on deck steering, to port for repairs of wheel steering: Same tiller and square socket as #1 but here you will have to bore a hole in the deck, as near as possible to above the rudder post square end. Purchase a set of !" socket extentions. Enough to reach deck level and attach the breaker bar there with it's additional pipe extention. If you rudder post is at such an angle that you can't run the extentions straight up through the deck, then they make socket universals, but that introduces slop into the system. In fact, once you have assembled a working system, I would have as many of the joints as possible, welded to eliminate slop in these joints. These standard socket tools do flex and twist under torque but they don't bend permenantly until they reach extreme 'yield point'. These tools are designed to take torque around 500 ft/lb or more, while standard round stock or pipe would twist and take a permanent set at a much lower torque.

Of course, in either method, you have to have a method in mind to "clear away" what ever has failed or fowled your wheel steering. The logical method might be to disconnect the cables from the tiller or disconnect the quadrant at the tiller head. Here you need to be careful to consider what is holding the rudder in the hull. In some cases, that might be the quadrant if the builder "went on the cheap".

Just my thoughts, FWIW.

Steve
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:15 AM   #5
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OK Sailorman and Steve, thanks for the inputs. I've contacted McMaster/Carr and they did not have any ideas other than the 12-pt socket as ready-made solutions. Their man agreed with me that the point loadings would not be very healthy for the rudder stock.

BTW, I do have a Roberts hydraulic ram on the rudder post for the the autopilot but we're talking fail-safe here. I want it to be simple and stoopid with only Armstrong equipment and methods available.

The torque/wrench handle idea is actually quite feasible as I have several junk units from my calibration lab scrap pile. They will do 600ftlbs of torque with no whimper at all. (The only whimpering you'll hear is from the grunt pulling that torque) I actually had considered the pulley arrangement a la Captain Hook as well and am thinking of incorporating a permanent drum/winch arrangement on the poop deck. It would normally be used to retrieve a tow-generator prop line, rear anchor or storm drogue but could also be used as an emergency torque multiplier. Bob Griffith ( author ) had used something like that and had found it to be very useful for all kinds of uses if my recall is correct.

Presently I'm thinking of bolting two 1.25" block spacers between two chunky steel plates with 4-6 bolts and attaching a laminated tapered Douglas fir tiller to that. That should be a start. The pulleys, ropes and all the other lace and trimmings could be attached later... ( oooh, the ecstasy!) Perhaps the whole Klutzenheimer Kluge could be welded to a torque wrench handle as well. That would give minimal slop and play, unlike the socket extension plans. These are good for getting into tight locations but not really suited for hours or days of continued use.

Ivo
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:33 AM   #6
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So sorry, I omitted the credits to li'l Red Bopeep, la Almiranta, with the wonderful sailing ship picture.

Aargh mateys, my bad! I'll swear off the rum from now on.

Thank you all for the suggestions. Now it's time for cogitations..

Ivo
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