| |

" Sail when you can, paddle when you must "

I'd like to say that I "go back to the drawing board" -- but that's not my style. Instead I like to experiment with this and that in the hope that I may get it right. 

This applies to how I approach rudders  -- them's the things that hang off the back end of sail boats. 

I have been playing around with different rudder designs for my paddleski for months now and all this experimentation has taken me to this current model (pictured left).
Seen are TWO rudders -- one for each side of the hull.
With smaller blades
And arms made from a pair of crutches.
Each rudder uses both arms of the crutch , curves 'in' so that it can tuck behind the hull.

Short of carving out my own steering oar this make do, recycled, design may do the trick. The blades are kitchen chopping boards.(My next option is to move up a notch to a fish filleting board...! This is longer and narrower.)

When I last breasted the briny -- 8 knot winds with strong gusts -- I went back in time and tried to hold my navigational own with one rudder on one side. But I didn't have the control I needed especially when the  gusts hit.

Two rudders give me a lot more maneuverability and control on my cat like hull. My craft may not track so well but as I customize my engineering I get to understand its foibles.

So now I have rudders -- two in number -- that curve around my hull and are reinforced so that the tiller 'shudder' I was experiencing at 14 knots is subsumed in the arm and shared. The blades begin their life at the spot where the hull drops off aft and are now smaller than my original design. While they may need to be parred back further I think I am chasing correct principles.

They are like skegs you can turn and move about.

So I'm ready set to go.

In this regard -- in regard to sailing -- I was much taken with the principles advanced by the British Open Canoe Sailing Group  in a useful discussion about canoe paddling vs canoe sailing. These bods are serios sailors:
A sailable paddling canoe is primarily a paddling canoe but it carries a small auxiliary sailing rig. The main means of propulsion is paddling and a small and perhaps less efficient sailing rig is chosen because it is easier to stow and is less likely to interfere with paddling....
A paddleable sailing canoe is a boat in which sailing is the primary means of propulsion.
This is the type of boat favoured by most members of the O.C.S.G.
Paddles are carried for when the wind drops but the sailing rig is bigger and more powerful. Some small compromises in ease of paddling may be accepted in the pursuit of greater sailing performance ....... " Sail when you can, paddle when you must ".
I'm not certain if I can attain that principle -- much as I want to aspire to it. I'm working on it though and know that if I drop my mast and sail to the deck, I am back in paddling mode. But that's hardly 'clearing the decks' for paddling. I have to rely on a single blade paddle as a two blade-er is so hard to store on board. Paddling with the mast up is  cumbersome and strenuous--although my ruddering efforts suggest that I have better tracking because of what hangs off the back. (Just so long as my ridders don't get in the way of my paddle follow through).

But if I have solved the rudder issue -- 'if' -- I'm a free man: free to do so much more on board. 


Post a Comment