Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 60 of 89

Thread: Canoe - Rudder & Tiller Ideas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default Canoe - Rudder & Tiller Ideas

    When I decided to start sailing my nearly new canoe, I tried to come up with a clip-on rudder system that meant I wouldn't have to drill any holes into the hull.

    I started by buying a rudder complete with head stock and tiller, from ebay. Apparently the rudder was from a Lark sailing dinghy.



    My next step was devise a method of attaching it to my canoe. I started playing about with ideas.



    Then by laying some plywood across the stern of my canoe, I figured a way to clamp it down using the gunwales and then started shaping and joining timber, building down until I had developed this box section to attach the rudder to.



    The completed, painted system.



    Because I really like the idea of using a traditional tiller rather than the push/ pull system, I decided to stick with the Lark tiller design and simply replaced the old Lark tiller with some hardwood around 9 inches longer, so I could reach it.

    The problem I then faced was the sweeping action of the tiller kept fouling with the sheet bridal cord and I couldn't get full range of movement from the tiller. I needed to come up with a method that allowed me to tie the bridal cord to the stern of the canoe and allow the tiller to move the full range under it. Hmm... tricky.

    As it happened, I had some angle iron in the garage and just started bending it and shaping it around the tiller until I came up with a steel frame. I took it to a local welder, who welded the corners secure, I painted it and fitted it to the box section.



    This works a treat and has served me well for nearly 3-years now, but I am not sure it is that pretty to look at.

    It is also a fair weight and as a result, my canoe sails tail heavy, bow light.



    Now that my canoe has lost it's newness, I am less worried about drilling holes in it and my thoughts have turned to mounting some Pintles to the hull by drilling them into place and hanging the rudder stock on them using Gudgeons in the traditional way.

    My issue is that I still want to use the traditional tiller design, but I would be back to the original problem of the tiller fouling on the sheet bridal cord, unless I come up with a method of tying it to the canoe in some way that allows the full sweep range of the tiller.

    Another frame perhaps? Another method? Something more elegant? I like simple and I like strong, but what and it needs to look good too this time.

    I have considered taking the sheet from the center of the boom back down to the center thwart, but the loads on the boom are too powerful for this method and it will result in the destruction of the boom, so not really an option. Other than replace the boom for a stronger one that is. The problem here is that I have a few sailing rigs and this would mean replacing more than one boom!

    This is the initial reason for the thread, but it would also be interesting to see how others have attached their rudders to their canoes, either permanently or via a clip on method.

    I would also like to see if others use the traditional tiller system and how they managed to get around tying the sheet to the stern without it fouling on the tiller.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Chris, I am glad you started this topic. I think it is well worth a careful look.

    One traditional small boat solution is to fasten the bitter end of the sheet to an eye on the rudder head itself, very close to the pintles and gudgeons. This of course requires having the rudder locked down so that the sheet can't lift it. (Not always a big issue; most of the motion is to the side.) A snap shackle would let you attach and detach it quickly. The rudder head must be strong enough to take the extra forces involved. You could then eliminate the angle iron.

    Another established approach would be to simply minimize your present concept. You could form a bronze rod into a horseshoe shape and place it at the very rear edge of your current plywood structure. Again, this would be placed very nearly above the pintles and gudgeons. In this case, the amount of tiller movement to be accommodated would be much smaller than with your present angle iron 'hoop' and the bronze rod would have an elegant look. And a bronze snap fitting could serve to make the connection to the rod.

    I have tried and am not fond of the traditional tiller arrangement in canoes as I am usually seated fore-and-aft as opposed to somewhat sideways as in a conventional sailboat. I find having the tiller behind my back to be quite awkward. If you often sit sideways, then of course the traditional system is just fine.

    I've been experimenting with some new options. I need to make some coherent sketches, which will take me a day or more, and then I'll post them for you to look over.

    Thanks for kicking this off.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    503

    Default

    Yes, or go with your idea of using traditional gudgeons and pintles, then incorporating the bronze rod by attaching it directly to the sides of the hull below the gunnels. Drill, baby, drill! Ya gotta get rid of that apple crate!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    London se6
    Posts
    342

    Default

    You could offset the rudder, one side or other, the frame work would be less than you have already, be easier to reach and would solve the problem of running the main sheet aft.
    Its difficult to reach your toys once you've thrown them from the pram.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Hi Bob. Thanks for you thoughts. As I sail a tilting sailing canoe with flying outriggers, as apposed to a trimaran which sits flat on the water, I often sit on the gunwales so the traditional tiller suits me well.

    Knowing how much force tends to be exerted on the boom/ sheet from the sail and equally on the rudder from the water, I am uncomfortable joining these two forces through two Pintels drilled to a plastic hull just above the water line!

    Your other suggestion requires me keeping the wooden transom, which I am trying to lose.

    This is what I am trying to get to, but the tiller will foul with the sheet bridal.



    This was the easiest method I could think of. Simply secure a rod or thin section of Ash to the gunwales (Marked in blue) and tie on each end of the sheet bridal. This would make a triangle with the bridal above the tiller. The downside is that the rod or section of Ash is outboard of the hull and easier to bump into a jetty or other canoe! Not such a big problem when I have outriggers on, but I don't always use them.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickboy View Post
    You could offset the rudder, one side or other, the frame work would be less than you have already, be easier to reach and would solve the problem of running the main sheet aft.
    Solway Dory have in the past made side mounted rudders, but they are inefficient. When the canoe is heeled over on one side, the rudder lifts out of the water and it loses control and the other way, the rudder stock goes under water creating more drag.

    It's best to keep the rudder at the back on the center line of the canoe.

    I have just thought of another problem, if I go for Pintels & Gudgeons! The bow and stern of the Venture Ranger angles in sharply.
    If you look at my wooden transom in the photos above, I had to make a triangular wooden block between the transom and the rudder to get the angle right. Without this, my rudder would have been pointing forward at the the bottom and my tiller would have been pointing up at my sail.

    Hmm.... this is starting to look more difficult than I first thought!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    If you flip back to the Grumman rudder fitting thread, I just linked in some images of powerful canoes with big rigs in the Canadian Pacific Northwest. These had been sent to Outnbacker on another site and I dug through them with great interest. The green canoe in the direct links, and a red one you will have to probe a bit to find, both have very interesting rudder adaptations.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    south cumbria
    Posts
    75

    Default

    Chris, I like the arrangement on "Cream of Manchester" which you indicated in your post 14 of the thread below.

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ack-tennessean

    I have thought of having a vertical post as the pivot for the forward tiller, standing up like a mini mast to which the mainsheet from the end of the boom would be attached.

    By attaching a pole to the offset arm, it would quickly convert to push-pull if conditions were such that sitting in the middle, best balances the canoe.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    931

    Default

    You know that i am going to say, push pull tiller. It really works well in a canoe and is traditional in many double ended boats without a transome. Cream of Manchester has gone back to a push pull tiller,even after he made that forward facing dummy tiller? It only takes a few hours practice to be comfortable with the new set up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    I too like the idea employed on the Cream of Manchester, but having an open canoe instead of a decked canoe, I don't have anywhere obvious to attach the second tiller to.

    I have rang Solway Dory today about their unique Pintels, but have been told that there is little by the way of adjusting the length other than a fraction using the odd washer! Probably not enough.

    Here is the webpage showing how they recommend fitting: http://solwaydory.co.uk/articles/fit...-stern-rudder/

    I have been inside the garage to check some angles, but it appears that my first hurdle is attaching the rudder to the canoe given that my canoe stern sweeps back at an angle of 110 to 120 degrees unlike the red canoe in the Solway Dory workshop. which is closer to 90 degrees.

    I would need the bottom Pintel to be approximately 25mm longer than the top one. See below:

    Last edited by Steamerpoint; 24th-January-2014 at 05:00 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
    You know that i am going to say, push pull tiller. It really works well in a canoe and is traditional in many double ended boats without a transom. Cream of Manchester has gone back to a push pull tiller,even after he made that forward facing dummy tiller? It only takes a few hours practice to be comfortable with the new set up.
    I know Dave, we have spent many a beer discussing the merits of both systems, but before we get that far, please see my previous post. Attaching the rudder to the canoe at the right angle is already giving me a headache!

    When I came up against this problem a few years back, I simply cut a wedge and screwed it on the back of my crate, but I haven't got that luxury with Pintels and Gudgeons!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Posts
    46

    Default

    I also wanted a no-holes clip on rudder that I could remove easily. Just 4 wing nuts need to be turned to get this push/pull rudder on or off:




  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    931

    Default

    Your rudder stock is set very high, as it has to get the tiller above the rear deck, so the blade is mostly out of the water. It would look and work better if it was set a bit lower. The pull push tiller wouldnt need to clear the back deck as it is out to the side, but it could be angled up as well. Our normal stern mounted gudgeons couldnt protrude far enough on the bottom fitting to mount the rudder vertically, but we could make you a custom pair that would. You only have to ask.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    THAT is a really first rate answer!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
    Your rudder stock is set very high, as it has to get the tiller above the rear deck, so the blade is mostly out of the water. It would look and work better if it was set a bit lower. The pull push tiller wouldnt need to clear the back deck as it is out to the side, but it could be angled up as well. Our normal stern mounted gudgeons couldnt protrude far enough on the bottom fitting to mount the rudder vertically, but we could make you a custom pair that would. You only have to ask.
    Nice one Dave, thanks. If it's going to make the canoe sailing fleet look more professional and less DIY, here in the UK, it's got to be worth doing.

    It was interesting chatting earlier. I think I would like to go for both options at the same time. Um.... well cater for them both non, the less!

    What I mean is that my rudder currently works fine in terms of depth in the water and without the transom, it will actually be an inch or two lower as well. The fact that Wayne (Owner of the Cream of Manchester) has both options, the traditional tiller and push pull system and yet he tends to sail mainly with the push/ pull setup says quite a bit.

    So what I would like to do, is mount my rudder on Pintels high enough to use my tiller, but mount a side arm on the rudder stock and buy a push/ pull tiller from SD to play about with also. Best of both worlds too. If I am one day to change my canoe for something nicer, I had better learn how to drive these canoes a different way.

    If I find later that I need more blade in the water, I can always make a longer blade.

    You only want to drill the back end of you canoe once in your life, so it needs to cater for all future needs! ;-)
    Last edited by Steamerpoint; 24th-January-2014 at 10:41 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GuyL View Post
    I also wanted a no-holes clip on rudder that I could remove easily. Just 4 wing nuts need to be turned to get this push/pull rudder on or off:

    Wow, that's an invention and a half. Great effort.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    503

    Default

    Chris,
    Rather than messing with odd length gudgeons, why not just limit the swing angle of the rudder blade so that it is vertical, allowing the pintles to just follow the stem line? Lots of boats have that arrangement. Does this affect the performance to any great degree because of the slight off-axis as the blade is rotated in turns? It seemed to work on my two sloops, past and current. One had a canoe stern. Just wondering...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    503

    Default

    Bob, I have to say, those are very interesting rudder adaptions they have up there in Vancouver.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    931

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OutnBacker View Post
    Chris,
    Rather than messing with odd length gudgeons, why not just limit the swing angle of the rudder blade so that it is vertical, allowing the pintles to just follow the stem line? Lots of boats have that arrangement. Does this affect the performance to any great degree because of the slight off-axis as the blade is rotated in turns? It seemed to work on my two sloops, past and current. One had a canoe stern. Just wondering...
    The problem with having the blade angled back, away from the pivot line, is that the leverage that the rudder blade has on the tiller is increased and the rudder feels heavy. It wouldnt be a problem with Chris's long conventional tiller as he has lots of leverage to compensate. But with a side mounted tiller arm, of perhaps only 12 inches, the rudder becomes heavy and difficult to control. Also if the stock is following the sloping line of Chris's stern, the blade will not pull up as far when he wants to pull it up for paddling or landing.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    South Coast
    Posts
    328

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    Nice one Dave, thanks. If it's going to make the canoe sailing fleet look more professional and less DIY, here in the UK, it's got to be worth doing.

    ..... my rudder currently works fine in terms of depth in the water and without the transom, it will actually be an inch or two lower as well. The fact that Wayne (Owner of the Cream of Manchester) has both options, the traditional tiller and push pull system and yet he tends to sail mainly with the push/ pull setup says quite a bit.

    So what I would like to do, is mount my rudder on Pintels high enough to use my tiller, but mount a side arm on the rudder stock and buy a push/ pull tiller from SD to play about with also. Best of both worlds too. If I am one day to change my canoe for something nicer, I had better learn how to drive these canoes a different way.

    If I find later that I need more blade in the water, I can always make a longer blade.

    You only want to drill the back end of you canoe once in your life, so it needs to cater for all future needs! ;-)
    Chris, clearly your rudder does the job but I think it may work noticeably better with more blade in the water, preferably by more than one or two inches. When sailing your canoe on Coniston it felt to me that there was a little lack of 'bite' and I had to use greater rudder angles to steer, possibly creating turbulence and slowing the boat to some extent. The other benefit of more rudder in the water would be increased control when more 'ruddering' might be essential, for example when going downwind in large waves.
    Last edited by GavinM; 25th-January-2014 at 09:34 AM.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    503

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
    The problem with having the blade angled back, away from the pivot line, is that the leverage that the rudder blade has on the tiller is increased and the rudder feels heavy. It wouldnt be a problem with Chris's long conventional tiller as he has lots of leverage to compensate. But with a side mounted tiller arm, of perhaps only 12 inches, the rudder becomes heavy and difficult to control. Also if the stock is following the sloping line of Chris's stern, the blade will not pull up as far when he wants to pull it up for paddling or landing.
    I see the illustration, the load on the blade would be higher down low than at the top, I think, but still - does this affect performance to any great degree? Given that this is a very light craft with relatively instant handling characteristics. By the picture of his damaged rudder blade, he needs a new one anyway and stops can be moved at that point. To me, "difficult to control" is a term I might use if I were solo paddling my Grumman 17 in Class 2+ waters, but not while steering a sailing canoe. Just trying to work out how difficult is difficult. But, Chris will not likely go for this anyway, so my point is moot at best.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    South Coast
    Posts
    328

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OutnBacker View Post
    I see the illustration, the load on the blade would be higher down low than at the top, I think, but still - does this affect performance to any great degree? Given that this is a very light craft with relatively instant handling characteristics. By the picture of his damaged rudder blade, he needs a new one anyway and stops can be moved at that point. To me, "difficult to control" is a term I might use if I were solo paddling my Grumman 17 in Class 2+ waters, but not while steering a sailing canoe. Just trying to work out how difficult is difficult. But, Chris will not likely go for this anyway, so my point is moot at best.
    My push pull tiller feels heavy and the steering sluggish when the rudder is not quite fully down and angled slightly aft of its sailing vertical position. It just doesn't feel right. On a few occasions when the rudder has angled back slightly while sailing, due insufficient rudder down-haul tension and boat speed 6 knots plus, the canoe has been difficult or very difficult to control, particularly when going downwind in sizeable waves. The sailing canoe equivalent of Class 2+ waters maybe? Not uncommon when sailing in UK coastal waters.
    Last edited by GavinM; 25th-January-2014 at 06:50 PM.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    503

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GavinM View Post
    My push pull tiller feels heavy and the steering sluggish when the rudder is not quite fully down and angled slightly aft of its sailing vertical position. It just doesn't feel right. On a few occasions when the rudder has angled back slightly while sailing, due insufficient rudder down-haul tension and boat speed 6 knots plus, the canoe has been difficult or very difficult to control, particularly when going downwind in sizeable waves. The sailing canoe equivalent of Class 2+ waters maybe? Not uncommon when sailing in UK coastal waters.
    I've seen the pics. Some of that business on the Solent has me doubting the sanity of certain undertakings. But, the Brits are a seafaring folk and so it goes...

    I assume any heaviness is the result of the "tail" taking more pressure than the upper portions of the blade, then? If so, I suppose that won't do. My Grumman rudder is curved to the rear, but I have not been subject to any large following sea as yet. Some rough chop but not like the Solent with rollers lifting and surfing the boat.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    I just posted some sketches of rudders, tillers, etc. to Picasaweb. As a long time teacher, I try to visualize things for myself and my students, so I have a habit of drawing concepts I wish to explain in a sketchbook to get them in order. What I have linked are images I did in anticipation of the 'Teach Your Canoe to Sail' workshop of last October.

    Picasaweb is being a bit glitchy about showing full sized images. I'll work on that behind the scenes, but I thought these drawings might be helpful to the current discussion.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/cavenag...ersAndTillers#

    These were for my own use, so are NOT fancy!

    Bob
    Last edited by Bob Cavenagh; 26th-January-2014 at 02:16 AM.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    The heeling effect of a sharp rudder post angle can be hard to visualize. This web photo of a Steve Redmond ELVER (a canoe yawl derived from George Holmes EEL) shows a sharply angled setup. The tiller goes through a rather funky motion as it moves from side to side and must also tilt up and down. I once owned one of these and noticed the effect on the helm and on heeling. It isn't an impossible situation, but a canoe rudder needs all the help it can get.


  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    503

    Default

    The last sketch in the series explains it to me well. Let's see if I get this: An angled pintle, having a rudder that is either in-line with said pintle - or - a rudder that is vertical, will behave like a pendulum when steered to turn, swinging to the side instead of rotating about the pintle. Thus, pressure is increased almost exponentially as the rudder transitions from dead ahead to any degree of turn. A neutral, balanced tiller suddenly becomes increasingly "grabby" or heavy as the degree of turn is metered out by the helmsman. Correct?

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Let me re-say that to test us both:

    A rudder blade that lines up with the pintles--that is, its front is parallel to and close to the pintle axis--turns with the minimal effort that can be expected. But if that blade tips rearwards, away from the pintle axis, the lever arm it creates is longer and so more force is required to turn the rudder. A blade out straight back, parallel to the water, can be an almost impossible bear to turn with a steer-stick.

    So: using either gravity or elastic, it is good to keep the front of the rudder blade in line with the pintle axis, even if that means the blade must be canted forward to compensate for a stern that slopes to the rear.

    Its all simple lever stuff, but not so obvious because the rudder is under water. You can test it all by putting your canoe up on horses and having a friend put some drag on the rudder blade at different angles while you push and pull the steer stick.

    AND:

    if that pintle axis can be vertical, some other issues are minimized.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    The curved blade in the very last picture is like the common Grumman blade. Its 'center of lateral resistance' is further aft than a straight blade of similar area, so it will take more force to turn. But in that example, the force required to turn it isn't all that much greater. A straight blade angled rearward would be more problematic.
    Last edited by Bob Cavenagh; 26th-January-2014 at 03:35 AM.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    I need to quit for tonight, be we could take a look at balanced rudders-those with some blade area in front of the pintle axis. Not much used in canoes, common in powerboats, but an interesting concept.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    503

    Default

    Got it. That dovetails with my experience in my sailboats, past and current. One had a balanced rudder, mounted on a round horseshoe stern, but a tucked sternpost. A high prow like a lifeboat but sweeping sheer with buttocks forming the round stern, which had a fast running flat departure. A most unusual little racer of 18ft. Handled like a Porsche, I think because of the large balanced rudder blade which spanned the pivot line of the pintles.


  31. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    What design?

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    503

    Default

    I have no idea. It was built in 78 back in Virginia by Orion Yachts, Inc. Hull number 55. Title said the model was "malibu" but I searched fro months and found not a trace on-line. I even called several boat makers in that area but found no one who knew anything. They went out of business the year this boat was made. I think it was probably a design that was ordewred by some sailing school or something. very fast and incredibly seaworthy, even with just a non balasted swing blade. There was a 5ft long pod that housed the blade that was solid with something inside - i don't know what, but the boat weighed 960lbs.

    ANyway, we're getting adrift, but here's some more pics and a vid, heading straifght for my house.





    http://s1125.photobucket.com/user/Ou...52167028854466

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    South Coast
    Posts
    328

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cavenagh View Post
    I just posted some sketches of rudders, tillers, etc. to Picasaweb. As a long time teacher, I try to visualize things for myself and my students, so I have a habit of drawing concepts I wish to explain in a sketchbook to get them in order. What I have linked are images I did in anticipation of the 'Teach Your Canoe to Sail' workshop of last October ........... but I thought these drawings might be helpful to the current discussion.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/cavenag...ersAndTillers#
    Bob
    I enjoyed looking at your drawings with very clear explanations, in words and sketches, of the concepts discussed.
    Last edited by GavinM; 26th-January-2014 at 06:05 AM.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Wow, one day away and lots to catch up on!

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    I'm going to paste in some of the draft text I've been composing for my expanded handout (the thing is starting to look more like a handBOOK). I'll break it into smaller bits for reading convenience. It MAY be useful to some folks.

    Designing and fitting a really useful rudder is perhaps the greatest challenge one faces in rigging a canoe to sail. A canoe rudder is far astern from the usual position of a single sailor, mounted at the skinniest part of an already slim hull. It is very hard to reach and adjust from within the hull, and the necessary shift in weight in doing so is likely to tip the canoe over. A good rudder system needs to be so sturdy and so reliable that it requires no attention while sailing.

    Here are some essential criteria:

    The rudder must be capable of steering the boat in all conditions.

    Whatever tiller or other steering arrangement is used must come conveniently to the hand of the sailor.It must also be arranged so that it won't foul sheets, or strike various canoe parts.

    The blade must be able to tip up in shallow water or if it strikes an underwater obstruction, like a rock. It must also be easy to LIFT the blade for those reasons, and to control its depth in the water.

    The lifting arrangement must not place side forces on the rudder that will influence steering or cause dangerous turning if the sailor releases the tiller or steering device.

    The entire mechanism must be light, but sturdy enough to prevent failures while sailing.

    And some desirable criteria:

    The rudder blade should be designed and profiled to provide some lift. A flat metal blade is very limited on this score.

    The pivot for blade tilting should be arranged as low as is possible. This will insure that whatever rearward pivoting is necessary has minimal impact on steering pressure.

    Similarly, the blade should be as deep as necessary, but also no longer than is necessary to perform well.
    Last edited by Bob Cavenagh; 26th-January-2014 at 02:32 PM.

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    There have been many steering arrangements for canoes since the 19th century. Some have been simple, some elaborate.


    The long straight tiller so common on smaller sailboats is pretty much anathema in canoes, as it sits awkwardly behind a sailor who is typically facing forward, not sideways, and it must swing through too wide an arc to permit effective tacking.


    Many canoes have used some sort of 'relay' system to bring the tiller forward and let it turn through a narrower arc. These do not obviate the 'tiller behind the sailor' issue, and are no longer much in favor.


    Another method has been to place a 'yoke' on the rudder head and to steer with ropes attached to this yoke. This also has been elaborated into a way of operating steering pedals. Pedals can have a place in a decked canoe with a narrow seating cockpit, but usually are not convenient in a wider open canoe.


    The current 'best practice' is to use a push-pull tiller extension or 'steer stick.' This arrangement has antecedents in Viking longboats. (Some sailors choose to have two steer-sticks, one to port, one to starboard. The stick(s) attaches to a single 'side tiller' mounted to the rudder head, or to a double yoke for the two-stick arrangement. As a practical matter, the yoke or side tiller can't extend more than a foot from each side of the rudder head, so they can't provide much of the mechanical advantage of a long tiller. This in turn means the rudder must be designed to require minimum force on the steer-stick.


    There are some other methods including an experimental one I will show later.
    Last edited by Bob Cavenagh; 26th-January-2014 at 02:38 PM.

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    The actual construction of the steering system adds some other issues to consider. All pivots must be strong,must operate smoothly, and must be as free from slop as possible so that the steer-stick or other device transmits as much rudder 'feel'to the sailor as is possible.


    If the canoe uses conventional rudder pintles and tube (or cylindrical) gudgeon fittings, the alignment of these fittings must be so effective that no unnecessary friction is incurred. A single misaligned pintle or gudgeon can add substantial friction to the steering and is to be avoided scrupulously.


    Since canoe rudders are typically rather light, it is possible to use gudgeons that consist of a flat plate with a hole drilled for the pintle. These are much less susceptible to misalignment issues.


    It is also necessary to provide some sort of lock-down device to prevent the rudder jumping out of its gudgeons if it should strike bottom.
    Last edited by Bob Cavenagh; 26th-January-2014 at 02:35 PM.

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Using a steer-stick (or push-pull) tiller extension.


    The steer-stick is NOT a tiller, but rather the exact equivalent of a tiller extension, as used in conventional sailboats. It gives no mechanical advantage, it simply allows the sailor to control the rudder from afar. The yoke or single sideways extension from the rudder head is the functional tiller. That extension can be up to a foot so so long. The point at which the steer-stick attaches determines how much mechanical advantage there is in turning the rudder.


    A canoe rudder can have such light forces to contend with that it can be difficult to feel those forces. The typical steer-stick can operate the rudder through a very wide range of angles, much more than the 90 degrees that can be needed for tacking.


    These two factors combine to impose challenges: the sailor needs some way to know the angle the rudder is making to the canoe center line, and some way to prevent it turning through more than 90 degrees.


    One simple solution is to mark the steer stick and be able to compare its marks to some fixed point in the cockpit. This can get a little glitchy if the sailor moves the stick side-to-side as well as fore-and-aft, but it is a worthwhile start. With experience, this issue may become less critical.


    It is also possible to construct 'stops' on the rudder and/or canoe hull to prevent the rudder turning through more than 90 degrees. When I first used a steer stick I found I sometimes over-rotated the rudder until it came around almost to the side of the canoe, and in a backwards orientation.

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    503

    Default

    "The rudder blade should be designed and profiled to provide some lift. A flat metal blade is very limited on this score."

    Bob, I insist that you stop continually slamming my Grumman accessories.

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    So--fatten it up with some glued on profiled cheeks.

  41. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    (This segment needs some drawings and photos I have yet to create.)


    Rudder blades most be able to tilt up—to cope with shoal water, rocks, or just to get them above water. A pivot is easy enough to arrange, but there must also be some way to hold the rudder DOWN. And there usually needs to be some sort of 'stop' to insure the blade is down to the correct position.


    The two traditional ways of keeping a canoe rudder underwater are gravity (blade is heavy enough to sink to the correct position) or a haul-down device, such as a bungee cord. Both can work, each has some advantages and liabilities.


    A wooden rudder blade is often weighted to keep it submerged and in place despite the forward motion of the canoe. This requires very thoughtful positioning of lead or other heavy stuff. On the other hand, excess weight is not desirable. This can require a bit of experimentation. A weighted rudder is not usually the best option if the rudder must slope forward to compensate for an angled pintle axis


    The alternative approach is to use a springy bungy cord to hold the rudder down. With this approach there must be a line that leads forward to operate the haul-down.


    Both rudder types require a haul-UP line to lift the rudder, either fully, or as necessary to sail in shoal waters. Since all these lines originate at the pivoting rudder and then come forward to the canoe, it is important to insure that the forces on them do not impact rudder operation. The easiest way to do this is to lead these lines forward from a fairlead on the rudder head that is mounted as close as is feasible to the pintle axis, and from there to another fairlead on the canoe as close to the first one as can be contrived.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/cavenag...59364308288370

    The image above shows the principle, but the gap is still too wide, so that tension on the line tends to pull the rudder to one side or the other.

  42. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    503

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cavenagh View Post
    So--fatten it up with some glued on profiled cheeks.
    One this one, I'm ahead of you for once - at least in the concept phase. I've though of that. The blade on the Orion was a 4ft long thin steel plate, about 1/4 inch thick and 6 inches wide. But, it was totally encapsulated with a build up of resin/glass so it presented a decent, faired profile of 3/4 inch width.

    In principle, the same could be done with a Grumman rudder blade, but I have a question:

    My rudder blade is the curved type. Would it not be better to make one up that is similar to Steamerpoint's, or the other Grumman type that is straight? You see the issue of profiling a curved shape, yes? The plate is easily obtained and the job an uncomplicated one in my shop. I have found that MAS epoxy sticks to alloy quite well and the added weight would not be an issue, and may actually negate the rudder floating at speed. E-glass is not known for bouyancy.

    So, there's a target out yonder. You may fire at will, or in the case of our cousins in the UK, loose the arrows.
    Last edited by OutnBacker; 26th-January-2014 at 05:00 PM.

  43. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    No arrows, no slings or barbs. And I don't know where Will is standing, anyway.

    If you can put your hands on aluminum plate, it might make for a good experiment. Might as well try a more rectangular blade. Try for the usual 6061T6, if you can. Perhaps about 9" wide, or a bit more.

    I'd drill some through-holes in the plate to connect the glass on both sides, and I'd use the technique of sanding through the wet epoxy to insure the aluminum doesn't oxidize.

    If you can work it out, you could bed some lead into the mix near the AFT end of the rudder, and as low as possible. That will help the blade stay down. My only concern is making things too heavy for the rudder head and pintles.

    If you make the blade too long, you can always cut it down.

  44. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    503

    Default

    I have several 10lb bags of lead shot around here somewhere. I'm with you on all except the sanding part. I know that alloy can oxidize under a layer of glass, and that's potentially bad for adhesion down the road. Explain, please.

    As to the final weight, I'm not too concerned as the build up will be pretty minmal at maybe 1/8" on either side. That'll give a total width of about 3/8". Not very much added bulk or weight, I think. Just enough to fair into a nice foille.

    I did the same to my stock Grumman leeboards, which had all the hydrodynamic efficiancy of a kitchen chopping block. Now, they are virtuallu silent and make no wake to speak off. Nor do they dump water in the boat at speed.

  45. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Somewhere along the line, someone discovered that if you sand aluminum through the coat of epoxy that you are applying, it sticks better, evidently by keeping air from the aluminum. That is part of the GFlex instructions from West, and other folks do it too.

  46. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    503

    Default

    Okay, so a thinned seal coat over the alloy, then a sand through? A simple man, I'm having trouble visualizing how the removal of the seal coat, or parts thereof, makes things stick better. Help me out here.

  47. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    No seal coat. Clean the metal. Lay on your first coat of epoxy, attack the aluminum with sandpaper right through the epoxy, so air never hits the aluminum again. Keep adding coats, but no sanding to bare metal. You might look up the instructions for G-Flex. I'll see if I can spot them.

  48. #48

    Default

    Just an idea about the issue with your tiller fouling the traveler bridle. On the Crawford Melonseed Skif there is not bridle, the mainsheet is attached to the tiller above the rudder stock and led forward along the tiller handle to a clutch cleat, which nobody seems to use. I don't know why you couldn't install a swivel block on the tiller handle just above the rudder stock, then run the mainsheet from the end of the boom, to this swivel block back to another swivel block on the end of the boom and down the boom to where ever you want to run to your mainsheet cam cleat. With a rudder gudgeon stop the rudder won't be raised and neither will the tiller and the mainsheet is out of the way all the time….just an idea….

  49. #49
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Bridgewater Canal, Cheshire
    Posts
    1,541

    Default

    Sand through the wet epoxy - brilliant idea!

    I spend a fair part of my time looking at things like adhesion failure and generally things that are stuck become unstuck because something gets in the way. It only takes one layer of atoms. If I look at the top layer of atoms on a sheet of prepared aluminium then I see all sorts of hydrocarbons, oxides, and odd aluminium compounds, chlorides etc, but no pure metal. This is why many metal prep paints etc are chemically aggressive. They remove the surface layer, and the best ones then promote chemical bonding to the underlayer. Most epoxy does not chemically bond to aluminium, its a mechanical bond, filling the voids and "gripping" to the local roughness. By sanding the aluminium you remove the surface crud layer and by doing it with the epoxy in place you prevent further contamination and work it into the now rough base metal surface. The oxide layer on aluminium is Al2O3, alumina, it is very tough, very chemically inert and unfortunately for mechanical bonds, very smooth (and slippery). It is the same stuff that is produced by anodising and good, thick, dense anodised surfaces are used in newer non-stick pans (and the latest trangias). They have a great advantage that they are far more heat resistant that old teflon surfaces.

    A good test of a fantastic bond is to pull it apart - if the base material breaks first and the bond is still in place, then it is (was!) a good-un. Think an epoxy wood joint where the wood fails first. This is an extreme instance of a mechanical bond where the wood surface is so rough that it soaks in.

    Graham

  50. #50

    Default

    Hello SteamerPoint, take a look at the way the Crawford Melonseed Skiff mainsheet is rigged. I posted this down the line, but essentially there is a swivel block on the tiller just above the rudder stock. The mainsheet runs from the end of the boom held in place with a stopper knot, to the swivel block on the tiller and down the tiller handle to a clutch cleat. If you wanted to run the mainsheet like you have on your boat, the swivel block eliminates the bridle/traveler. I had a Crawford MS and this system worked very well. If you want more purchase, you simply add some blocks. Just a thought….

  51. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    G/Flex 650 instructions. There are other epoxies in the series, too:

    http://www.nrs.com/global/repair/2270_Gflex_Epoxy.pdf

  52. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mayrel View Post
    Hello SteamerPoint, take a look at the way the Crawford Melonseed Skiff mainsheet is rigged. I posted this down the line, but essentially there is a swivel block on the tiller just above the rudder stock. The mainsheet runs from the end of the boom held in place with a stopper knot, to the swivel block on the tiller and down the tiller handle to a clutch cleat. If you wanted to run the mainsheet like you have on your boat, the swivel block eliminates the bridle/traveler. I had a Crawford MS and this system worked very well. If you want more purchase, you simply add some blocks. Just a thought….
    Definitely an idea worth considering Mayrey. I have steered clear of this idea in the past (No pun intended) because I didn't want to disrupt the movement and resistance of the rudder and any combining of forces runs this risk if not done correctly.

    Over the last 24-hours I have been giving Dave's offer of an extended pintel bolt more thought and I can see some other issues. Where the pintel goes through the sloping stern, it will bottom out on the upper side of the hole, but not the bottom! Also the nylon securing filler plate on the inside of the canoe won't be sitting right unless the holes in this are also cut at an angle.

    I am a little disappointed that a development to attached rudders to plastic canoes only works if the stern is 90 degrees to the water. As soon as you start talking 110 to 120 degrees, as with the Venture Ranger canoes, things are more challenging to get the design to work. I had it all figured out in my mind too.

    I have actually been thinking about remaking my rear transom from aluminium and permanently attach it to the rear of my canoe.
    I can easily work with aluminium and instead of trying to weld it, I can use solid or tucker pop rivets.

    I could even drill a single hole in the stern of the canoe to secure the lower point of the aluminium transom and resist any sideways movement. If I concentrate on form, strength and function this time, I could make something easier on the eye, that I just leave fitted at all times.

    I'll talk to Dave more about his long pintel idea first though when I see him next.

  53. #53

    Default

    If memory serves me correctly, Solway has gudgeons that attach directly to the stern, requiring you to drill holes directly into the stern(no easy task), then the gudgeons screw through a formed rubberized backing plate that fits to the inside curvature of the stern. These would allow the rudder to be mounted with these gudgeons at the proper distance from the hull. The pintel(single or two separate)would then be vertical and 90 degrees to the rudder stock.
    There is no disruption to the movement of the tiller and/or rudder with the mainsheet run through a swivel block mounted at the aft end of the tiller handle. If there is any pressure and/or resistance from the tension of the mainsheet through the swivel block, it's certainly not noticeable. The angle of the mainsheet varies to the position of the boom on the Crawford MS, and the rudder/tiller operated freely. The intent of a traveler is to gain movement and distance away from the helmsman as well as allow a great angle of the boom to sheet. You could fabricate a traveler as has been suggested and mount it to the railings. However, I seriously doubt this is any better than the swivel block attached to the tiller handle. IMO this traveler is more in the way and therefore isn't an option I would choose. I'm outfitting my Grumman 17 with a yawl rig, my mizzen boom is approximately 5 feet long, about 3 feet will be aft of the stern. I plan to attach the mizzen sheet to the end of the boom, run forward to a point where I will mount a swivel block to the after most part or the stern deck and then through a cam cleat with fairlead on the deck. My mizzen is 16.4sf and I don't anticipate any issues with the mainsheet rigged in this manner. My main mast is 12' and my mizzen mast will be about 9.5', so I'll have plenty of head room for the main, the mizzen will easily clear the stern/rudder(push-pull tiller)and the booms will be at approximately the same level. The mizzen is 4'10" foot, 8' luff, the main is 6' foot and 10' luff, providing 46sf, a bit more as my measurements aren't completely accurate.
    With all that said, you could certainly fabricate an aluminum secondary stern, but I would strongly suggest you reinforce the area of attachment and use good sized backing plates. You might also consider using SS nuts/bolts in the event you wanted to remove it at some time in the future(resale of the canoe minus the sailing rig). In this case you could remove the secondary stern and easily fill the holes with epoxy and touch up the paint, or simply reinstall the nuts/bolts and backing plate with some sealant.
    A point of interest, the Grumman sailing components I purchased used came with a steering thwart which simply moves the rudder yoke function further forward with a clamp-on thwart and a swivel arm that a tiller could be attached. Lines are run from this steering thwart/yoke to the yoke on the rudder. I prefer the push-pull tiller arrangement, which I admit takes some getting accustomed to. But it's a positive tiller, I'm using a universal oarlock and a long oak 1x2 tiller handle(shaped and epoxied). The oarlock with the tiller handle thru bolted to the yoke of the oarlock makes a dandy "U" joint. I will be happy to provide photos of my rig once I complete the outfitting and build. Currently I'm making outriggers similar to the size Solway offers, a modified design using two struts versus one and they're a bit larger in depth and width, and will have a more rounded torpedo shape. I'm not good enough to make a fine hull shape which might want to steer the canoe when they hit the water, a more bulbous shape with must provide buoyancy and stability. I know, they won't be as pretty as the Solways' but they'll work fine and cost much less. I consider my labor a "labor of love"….

  54. #54
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    503

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cavenagh View Post
    G/Flex 650 instructions. There are other epoxies in the series, too:

    http://www.nrs.com/global/repair/2270_Gflex_Epoxy.pdf
    Thank you, GrahamC. I was aware that etching is required for the best results, but did not have a clue as to the degree of importance.

    Bob, so it is a wet sand op. through goopy epoxy, thinned. How pleasant a prospect. I am still curious though, about the cleanup. Is the wet epoxy to be wiped off with all the alloy bits, ect? I have plenty of denatured alchohol.

  55. #55
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Nope. Leave the alloy bits in place. Consider them thickener. Unless you can skim without exposing any bare metal at all.

  56. #56
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    503

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cavenagh View Post
    Nope. Leave the alloy bits in place. Consider them thickener. Unless you can skim without exposing any bare metal at all.
    Okay then. Sounds straight forward enough.

    I shot an e-mail to Dave E. in that Canadian group with the interesting rudder brackets. he said they are aluminum, bent around to the form of the stem. Some furnituer padding to avoid abrasion. He had a local machine shop do it from his template. Gudgeons are bolted on. The whole assembly is bolted thru the side, just under the gunnel. From a distance it looks clever to me. I asked for some close-up pics. Stay tuned.

    I suspect it is the same thing I made for my friend's Tripper, but more refined, in alloy. I'm going over to the other thread and find the link to the pic...

    Post #40 http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ng-help-needed!
    Last edited by OutnBacker; 27th-January-2014 at 03:34 AM.

  57. #57
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mayrel View Post
    If memory serves me correctly, Solway has gudgeons that attach directly to the stern, requiring you to drill holes directly into the stern(no easy task), then the gudgeons screw through a formed rubberized backing plate that fits to the inside curvature of the stern. These would allow the rudder to be mounted with these gudgeons at the proper distance from the hull. The pintel(single or two separate)would then be vertical and 90 degrees to the rudder stock.
    My issue would be that these Solway Dory pintels are designed to drill through the stern of the canoe, which is 90 degrees to the waterline. No part of my canoe stern is 90 degrees to the water line and at best is around 115 degrees meaning that the pintels are likely to be angled downwards. Not ideal, so I need to identify a better way of attaching my rudder to the canoe.

    Then when I have figured this bit out, I can then look for the best way to attach the sheet bridal. If the rudder pintels are strong enough, attaching the sheet bridal to the rudder stock is an option, but if not, I'll need to look for another method.

    The main reason I am still using my current wooden transom is because it works. It's not pretty and it's quite heavy too, but if the Solway Dory Pintels are awkward, the idea of making a lighter, more attractive version of what I currently have does look quite likely.

  58. #58

    Default

    Can you not install the Solway gudgeons slightly above and below the curvature of the stern to obtain a 90 degree to the waterline position? Even if the rudder angle is slightly forward, that is angled towards the bottom of the hull, the tiller handle can be made to lay flat. In fact, on the Melonseed, the stern is angled inward towards the bottom of the hull, forming a shallow "V" with the angle of the tiller handle to rudder position as the gudgeons are attached to the stern. The rudder however is shaped to follow the keel line, level with the waterline and slightly below the keel. Looking at the profile of the rudder hung on the stern, the shape is like a backwards/upside down "Z". The screwed in Solway type gudgeons are a cleaner attachment. However, fabricating an aluminum secondary stern which is thru bolted to the hull sides(reinforced with proper backing plates)just wide and far enough aft to attach pintels or gudgeons will work just fine. You can paint the aluminum to dress up the appearance. Ideally a single tube welded with two arms/tangs the length of the tube(gudgeon)which could be thru bolted to the hull sides will keep the rudder mounted as close to the canoe stern as possible, and using a single rod for a pintel makes sense vice two gudgeons/pintels…IMHO

  59. #59
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Steamerpoint,

    I've been looking at your images of the old rudder setup. Three ideas:

    1. The rudder head is very far from the water. That puts a lot more side leverage on the blade and may have hastened its cracking. I also note a hole in the blade near the crack. If that is a wood-cored blade, I wonder if some water intrusion hastened the problem?

    2. The bottom of that rudder head is straight across. A curved bottom might have spread the forces vertically.

    3. You might consider adding a nacelle at the attachment point for a new lower pintle. That would let you kick the bottom of the rudder rearward and could really look nice. Here is an old car taillight to contemplate....envision the pintle at the very tip of the taillight. YOUR nacelle would be near the waterline. Since NACELLE is not only an aircraft engine fairing but also Old French for a small boat, it seems fitting.



  60. #60
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    I wondered if I could make something from a single sheet of aluminium and two rows of rivets so I decided to make a tiny model.

    I guess the answer is yes, in theory I could.


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •