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Thread: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

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    Default Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    I have a Chamberlain Gunning Dory that I've been sailing with a steering oar. I'm trying to decide if it is worth while installing a rudder.

    The oar is convenient, effective, and it is a big help in coming about. My concern with the rudder is that it may be more trouble than it is worth to set up every time I go out, and that I may have trouble steering through the wind.
    Last edited by jon_m_campbell; 05-14-2011 at 06:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    On my Chamberlain Gunning Dory "Leeward" I had the small rudder as shown but with a wheel atop the rudder stock and a continuous steering line around the boat, with cam cleats so I could fix it. Very handy with the board down for rowing across the wind. Also finastkind for sailing.

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Ian,

    It has occurred to me that a rudder, rigged with the steering lines that you mentioned, might reduce the weather cocking while I'm rowing. Did you ever have trouble getting caught in irons when coming about?

    Also, when you dropped the rudder port through the bottom of the boat, did you offset it to miss the stem, as Gardner shows? I've been toying with the idea of adding local support to the stem and then passing the port through the strengthened area. The attraction of that method is that I wouldn't have to worry about fitting that block with a perfect seal all the way around. Plus, it seems cleaner to have the rudder on center.
    Last edited by jon_m_campbell; 05-15-2011 at 12:02 AM.

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    This might be of interest, along the lines of what Ian was saying. I came across it while looking for ideas for a canoe rudder.
    He uses it for row-sailing on a St Lawrence river skiff.

    http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/08/...lasp/index.htm
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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    I off-set.

    Absolutely the rudder and centerboard make a huge difference in rowing in tricky winds. With the board down I could row the mile or so out to Granuaile even in the teeth of a Gale (Force 8, winds over 35 knots) because instead of rowing straight up I could be off the wind by about 20 degrees, tacking up, and board and rudder reduced leeway to an acceptable level. Even a few degrees off the wind makes the difference between making easy weigh and not getting anywhere against the wind, and the angle effectivly lengthens and thus gentles the steep chop such a wind can throw in the harbor.

    Off the wind, the rudder frozen to the correct angle made for more consistent rowing. Still have to work hard with the uphill oar and maybe drag the downhill oar a little surfing down a wave face but at least you get to use both arms symetrically most of the time.

    It is a small rudder and the Chamberlain model is not first and foremost a sail boat so, yes, she'll fall in irons so easily that you can call it a propensity to heave-to. The static weight, rudder only, solutions are:

    Tack on the smooth or atop a wave when the bow is light and make the tack hard; or

    Learn to sail backwards so you can sail in reverse out of the tack - this is trescool for close maneuver like docking or coming to another boat so well worth learning; or

    Especially in light air when one is "ash-power sailing" anyway (amazing how fast and easily she'll go to weather in light air if you row and sail) just row her around.

    I never made a jib for Leeward. One might be tempted to backwind the jib to force her around. I am not in the slightest bit fond of that method as it stops the boat, so you're back to sailing backwards anyway, and keeping the jib tight as you head up, before it backs, holds the turn back to such a slow turn that you're likely to only get far enough to luff the jib, but not to get it aback. Such a small rudder. Most of the time worth it but at times one wishes for more.

    By the way, your dynamic trim makes the biggest difference. You can almost tack St Lawrence skiff style by hauling in the sail and running (more lurching) into the bow and then back as she passes the eye of the wind. And for running, you'll want to hang two (cheeks that is) back practically atop the rudder post to get her to bear off. Sail and crew trim count for almost as much as the rudder. Master these and the small rudder will become as it was meant to be, a nice convenience and not a big dynamic drag.

    G'luck

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    I carry a steering oar as a back-up to the rudder on my outrigger sailing canoe. It is not so painful because its primary job is to be lashed across the crossbeams to lay my side seat (hiking seat) across -- otherwise the extra clutter would be irksome. It might also do triple-duty as a sculling oar but it is not optimized for that (and I carry a spare canoe paddle anyway).

    I used it once during the Everglades Challenge when I actually did lose the rudder blade. I steered the boat by playing main and mizzen, and had it ready if needed in the blow. Trouble was, it is hard to fling a 9 foot long oar to the other side of the boat when needed there, when you have a mizzen mast and crossbeams in the way -- a monhull boat would not have this problem. But during a beach landing across the waves, the oar was instrumental to good control, so it paid off.

    I made mine simply by cutting an old dinghy oar (6 feet long, a raft oar most likely) and epoxying the handle and blade into opposite ends of a fiberglas windsurfer spar -- the result was strong and light. In hindsight I now know that a steering oar ought to have a much longer and somewhat wider blade, so I will modify when I get around to it. Whaleboats used them for just the purpose you originally posited -- kicking stern around quickly. I also got a chance to row in a whaleboat at Mystic, and saw the museum staff guy use his steering oar to scull the boat out through some harbor clutter -- I was sold on the concept after that. By the bye, the long oar can do another duty if pushed -- emergency mast. Mine could set my mizzen lug sail if needed, but if I dismasted my aluminum spars I may have other worse problems :-) --FWIW -- Wade

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    He uses it for row-sailing on a St Lawrence river skiff.
    I've never heard of row-sailing, but now I'm going to try it. That looks great. Ian mentioned that too. I'll have to get the sheet up to the gunwales - it's fixed to the cb trunk now.

    I like that rudder arrangement too. That's kind of what I envisioned. I hadn't quite seen the possibilities of the steering line - being able to fix the rudder position to easily. I'm tinkering with a line in a little rubens nymph pram now - it's certainly nice to be able to steer from anywhere. It makes for much better trim, however many people are in the boat.

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    I off-set.
    How did you manage to get that block at the bottom of the rudder post to fit the shape of the planking? I've been thinking about that for about 2 years now and I can't figure it out. There's probably a fool-proof way that's been around as long as boats, but I can't see it.

    the rudder and centerboard make a huge difference in rowing in tricky winds.
    I went out for a nice row yesterday morning, but I still had trouble keeping her straight. I played with the depth of the cb, trying to move the center of resistance, but it didn't help. And it was worse with it all the way up. What you say makes good sense. I think I'll go ahead with that. I'm kind of excited by it now.

    And good tips on the coming about. it helps to know that that's partly due to the nature of the boat, and not solely my incompetence.

    How long were your oars? I made 9 footers that work pretty well. Then I bought a pair of 8 footers for a second rower but they provide almost no pull at all.

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by wtarzia View Post
    it is hard to fling a 9 foot long oar to the other side of the boat when needed there.
    I don't have mizzen complicating things but it's still a nuisance. I ended up using both oars, on on each side, and just pulling inboard the one i wasn't using. It adds extra clutter, but by myself, or with my 3 year old in the boat with me, it wasn't that big a problem, and it made the tacks neater and faster.

    Whaleboats used them for just the purpose you originally posited -- kicking stern around quickly.
    I have a hunch that I would still use it on occasion for that very purpose. I'll have to look for a place that i can store it to have easy access but that still keeps it out of the way.

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    You might want to ping Bob Smalser on this Forum, and check out his articles and photos of the work he did on his Chamberlain Gunning Dory -http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/smalser/articles_614.shtml



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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    This might sound taboo, but would a quarter rudder work for you? Like a Viking ship rudder or an Indonesian double-outrigger rudder/oar. It is surface-piercing thus less efficient, but it has some pros too. I used one for three seasons on my outrigger. Each season I improved it more to allow it to kick-up on beach, ramp and rock but at the same time provide precise steering. I was not done developing it when I shifted to a stern rudder to improve tacking a little, but sometimes I miss it. -- Wade

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    You might want to ping Bob Smalser on this Forum,
    I've spent a fair amount of time looking at his boat - beautiful. I admire the way everything has its place - that's my model.

    A question - is it really necessary to have pulleys on the yoke? Is that because your hands get sore after hours of sailing? Or is it helpful to have the finer adjustments? I was thinking of just having a single line come off the yoke.

    Another question - more embarrassing. How do you upload pictures here? I tried from a web page and directly from my computer. Neither of these worked.
    Last edited by jon_m_campbell; 05-16-2011 at 10:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by wtarzia View Post
    would a quarter rudder work for you?
    Right now I'm open to all options. What are the advantages of that? I guess you could still attach a yoke and steering lines. And it would allow me to avoid drilling holes in the bottom of the boat.

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_m_campbell View Post
    Right now I'm open to all options. What are the advantages of that? I guess you could still attach a yoke and steering lines. And it would allow me to avoid drilling holes in the bottom of the boat.
    --- Yes, you can avoid bottom holes, though you need an attachment a bit down on the hull and one at the gunwale if you use a Norse style steering oar (quarter rudder). But this need not be a through-hull fitting. On the other hand, the Indonesians used a framework to provide the bearing surfaces, but this may not suit our sensibilities. If you go to http://www.instructables.com/id/Buil...-Sailing-Gear/ involving the quarter rudder step of my build-essay, you will see one way I did it -- or go to Youtube, search for my videos under 'wadetarzia' and click on the "returning to New Haven" video, and you will see some brief filming of it. I used two posts coming out from the side of the hull to support pintles/gudgeons on a cheek piece, with the rudder hinged off that.

    An earlier version was simpler: a wooden bearing screwed to hull near waterline, and one at the gunwale, with rudder blade backed by a half-round dowell that fit into the bearings and held in by lashing on gunwale and bungee at waterline (for shock protection if I hit a rock). The lower bungee could be released when I knew I was about to beach. I varied this over a period of experimentation -- nylon line pulling in on the lower bearing and attached to a cam-cleat to release when beaching, etc. I'm not explaining this well ....

    Hey, I just remembered, Kevin O'Neil's "wikiproa" page has a link about rudders, and I discuss mine, with photos, right there. (I have posted so many places I am forgetting some of them... :-)
    http://wikiproa.pbworks.com/w/page/2...Rudder-systems

    The more I look at the Viking quarter rudder, the more I like that set-up, though. There is room to experiment and develop a quarter rudder, anyway. -- Wade
    Last edited by wtarzia; 05-16-2011 at 11:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    The rudder as Gardner designed is the least intrusive thing you can have. I did not use a yoke because a yoke cannot ever have both steering lines tight and cannot be operated one-handed from one side only - it can't push-pull.

    After experimenting with a direct rope, I made a 2:1 arrangement to make the steering less twitchy. This worked by having a large belt wheel attached to the top of the rudder stock. A line went around this and back to a pair of turning blocks on the very stern bresthook and thence forward along each gunnel, terminating at each end with a small block. The steering line that was actually held started fastened conveniently ahead of the blocks on each side, back through those blocks and then around the boat - there's the 2:1. Led through fairleads except up by the mast partners where it went from one gunnel to the other and there she had blocks. I had on each side a bit abaft amidships and just above the natural run of the steering ropes a cam cleat. If one side only was fixed it prevented line movement in one direction. The lines were laid out such that if you looked down and imagined the steering ropes a big wheel, it drove like a car. On any given side, pushing the line forward turned the bow to the other side while pulling the line back brought the bow to that side. I positioned the cam cleats to resist weather helm on the line on the weather side.

    A single athwartships tiller arm fixed to a push-pull wand would have been a more exact steering system but would not allow for locking the rudder in position so readily. The locking is not especially important for sailing but absolutely critical when rowing across or down wind.

    G'luck

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    I use both at times on my Macgreggor sailing canoe which is narrower I think. Often though I just use the leeboard and my own movement in the boat and a paddle assist if necessary. In light airs she is likely to go into irons coming about.but with a decent breeze I have no trouble.

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_m_campbell View Post
    A question - is it really necessary to have pulleys on the yoke? Is that because your hands get sore after hours of sailing? Or is it helpful to have the finer adjustments? I was thinking of just having a single line come off the yoke.

    Another question - more embarrassing. How do you upload pictures here? I tried from a web page and directly from my computer. Neither of these worked.
    Those pulleys have the nautical name "blocks", and the mechanical advantage they provide is called "purchase". You can certainly try sailing without them, then add them later if needed. Here's my first yoke -


    My Chamberlain Dory Skiff's current yoke tiller has cheek blocks along with blocks mounted on the frames to give the required 2:1 purchase -- otherwise the strain of steering is too hard on hands, wrists and elbows.

    As Ian and others have said above, one issue with steering lines is the lack of tactile feedback that a tiller provides. They can also be awkward to manage when dealing with mainsail and jib sheets, but I still prefer them to struggling with a tiller over my head when sailing with crew in the boat. YMMV





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    Last edited by Thorne; 05-17-2011 at 08:42 AM.
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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    There are a lot of variations on the Duckworks "Clasp Knife Rudder" shown in #4 above. The venerable Sunfish has a kick-up rudder that has to be slammed down into place by hand. The Laser has a kick-up, with a little line that cleats on the tiller, that can swing the rudder down while underway, and holds it most of the time, just fine. The Hobie Cat 18 has an elegant rig that includes a lock in the rudder head. Too difficult to explain in words, but in practice it works well, although expensive. What do expect of a boat with two, count 'em, two carbon fiber rudders.
    I've seen steering oars being used in surf boats, and then once outside the surf line the oar is stowed and a rudder is shipped. Which is probably a commentary on the relative virtues of the two.
    One advantage of a side-hung quarter rudder is that the "tiller" is perpendicular to the centerline of the boat, and if a push-pull link rod is attached to it, the rudder can be worked from anywhere on the boat. By changing where the link rod is attached to the tiller, you vary the "gear ratio" of the steering. Right close to the rudder, you have very quick, twitchy steering. Way out at the end you have more power, less speed. Maybe with a kind of "saw tooth" pattern carved into the tiller, and a fork-and-retainer shockcord arrangement on the link rod the ratio could be changed while underway, without going aft.
    In terms of the link rod, I'm sure that wood would be quite lovely, but the hiking stick from a Hobie Cat is quite an elegant piece of gear, telescoping glass or carbon fiber tubes. They have to be able to extend quite long, because the helmsman is sometimes out on a trapeze, eight feet or so from the centerline of the boat, and then have to be able to be telescoped very quickly and easily, because the boat can't be easily/quickly tacked with the hiking stick at full length.
    Here's a link to pictures of them. You'll notice that they aren't cheap:
    http://www.murrays.com/mm5/merchant....&Store_Code=MS
    I have read latter-day accounts from the voyage in 1893 of the Gokstad-replica ship "Viking" to Chicago, where they wrote about running off before a sea at speeds over 12kt, which suggests that her steering gear worked pretty well. This is an article about the boat, but not about the trip over:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_(ship)
    Last edited by seo; 05-17-2011 at 10:00 AM.

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by seo View Post
    ...I have read latter-day accounts from the voyage in 1893 of the Gokstad-replica ship "Viking" to Chicago, where they wrote about running off before a sea at speeds over 12kt, which suggests that her steering gear worked pretty well. This is an article about the boat, but not about the trip over:...
    --- That boat did have some nonViking modifcations such as full decking and a fore-aft rig as I recall, so I wonder if it also had a modern stern rudder? -- Wade

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by seo View Post
    ...I've seen steering oars being used in surf boats, and then once outside the surf line the oar is stowed and a rudder is shipped. Which is probably a commentary on the relative virtues of the two. ...
    --- That has been my experience. On my old proa, I needed a paddle for all downwind angles (reaching and upwind I just shifted bodyweight or trimmed sheet). Surely a needed a proper steering oar, but for more than a few hours I think it might become wearisome. I tried my nonproa 'tacking outrigger canoe' steering oar for a half hour (nonemergency) set off a steering-oar outrigger with an oarlock. That does solve some of the 'fling the oar to other side of hull' steering problems (but not all!), but it was not satisfactory (and true, I needed a steerer with a longer bigger blade). However, some outrigger sailors do have them set up for better performance than I can report, to be fair. I think I would still find them more trouble than a rudder that can sometimes be lashed for various purposes, such as rowing cross-wind. I typically use my stern studder while paddling -- I bungee the tiller for trim so that I can use a canoe paddle on one side of the hull for long periods (canoe paddles are better ergonomically than kayak paddles, at least for some people). -- Wade

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_m_campbell View Post
    I have a Chamberlain Gunning Dory that I've been sailing with a steering oar. I'm trying to decide if it is worth while installing a rudder.

    The oar is convenient, effective, and it is a big help in coming about. My concern with the rudder is that it may be more trouble than it is worth to set up every time I go out, and that I may have trouble steering through the wind.
    I have a new 16 foot Chamberlain Gunning dory - Built on the Gerald Smith "Republican" plans, and I'm at that very spot now. I have the sails, mast and boom but what prevents me from sailing is the decision on a rudder. And as discussed here years ago I see three options:

    1. steering oar

    2. quarter rudder a la Vikings

    3. kick up rudder based on Gardner plans.

    There are problems and questions with all three of course.

    Steering Oar:

    I note in Gardner's book that he has a photo of someone using a steering oar on their Gunning Dory. I don't understand how it isn't perpetually angled away from the boat and therefore put you in a turn. Or, alternatively how you wouldn't always have your arm out to make the oar parallel with the long axis of the boat. I'm trying to envision how/where I'd sit in the boat and use this. I also wonder if I should use the aftermost oar lock or install one further aft. But if I did that, I'd have to sit further aft away from the centerboard.

    I'd have to let go of the rudder to move forward to adjust the centerboard. Not ideal....


    Viking style quarter rudder

    I like this idea though I think that for it to be maximally effective it would have to be located aft. I would need to have the extension running forward as I want to be near the centerboard in order to raise/lower it.

    The negative here is attaching a solid block of wood as a standoff on the side of the boat to keep the rudder vertical. Loosening up the lashing on the upper end of the rudder stock would allow it to be a "kick up rudder" so that's a plus.

    I would like to think up some sort of test rig before I start boring holes in the boat to see if it's really effective - does it give me enough rudder authority to do the job? But I haven't yet thought of a temporary setup.


    Gardner style kick up rudder.

    What I have to determine here is whether or not there's enough wood available at the stern to solidly attache the gudgeon. I would steam bend a length of oak to follow the curve of the upper half of the stern and then fix a long tiller or perhaps use the bellcrank and endless line idea I've read about here.

    So I'm sort of stuck right now not knowing/having a hard time deciding which way to go.
    Last edited by Saville; 08-28-2018 at 11:26 AM.

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    You don't have pintles and gudgeon's in the gunning dory. The geometry of the horn (that curved stern stem on the double ended gunning dory) makes an elegant pintle and gudgeon affixed rudder impossible. Rather, have a rudder port - it's just a bit of pipe - off-set just a bit to miss the horn (stern stem) and held in place at gunnel height by either a thwart or, as I did, a deck. The rudder stock is just a pipe whose ID is a nudge less than the port's ID. Gardner called for heavy duty bronze pipe. I could not find that so I used iron pipe with lots of waterpump grease slathering it. Worked fine

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    You don't have pintles and gudgeon's in the gunning dory. The geometry of the horn (that curved stern stem on the double ended gunning dory) makes an elegant pintle and gudgeon affixed rudder impossible. Rather, have a rudder port - it's just a bit of pipe - off-set just a bit to miss the horn (stern stem) and held in place at gunnel height by either a thwart or, as I did, a deck. The rudder stock is just a pipe whose ID is a nudge less than the port's ID. Gardner called for heavy duty bronze pipe. I could not find that so I used iron pipe with lots of waterpump grease slathering it. Worked fine
    Hello Ian,

    Thanks for the response. I have the plans so I've seen the rudder port. Have to say I don't like it much. But it may come down to that. According to Gardner, Marbleheaders used the sweep so I guess I'll try that first.
    Last edited by Saville; 09-02-2018 at 07:18 AM.

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    A sweep works but takes work. A proper rudder is more restful and if you arrange as I did you can set the rudder to facilitate rowing in a crosswind or down wind.

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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    If you REALLY object to the rudder post system, you could consider one of the double-ender long rod rudder mounts -- I think that several outfits sell them. The good ones let the rudder slide up and down the aft stem. A number of posts here on that setup.



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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    One of the tricks that færings and delaware duckers often use is a conventional pintle on the rudder and gudgeon on the stern post positioned so you can reach the same from the stern ( your arm will be wet). Then at the top there are two gudgeons and there is a removable pin for them. On the ducker the pin is tapped at the top or has a little eye for a lanyard. On the færings, at least on mine there is a clever blackmith made gudgeon on the stern post that has the pin incorporated in it, works kind of like a door bolt.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by Saville View Post
    I have a new 16 foot Chamberlain Gunning dory - Built on the Gerald Smith "Republican" plans, and I'm at that very spot now. I have the sails, mast and boom but what prevents me from sailing is the decision on a rudder. And as discussed here years ago I see three options:

    1. steering oar




    Steering Oar:

    I note in Gardner's book that he has a photo of someone using a steering oar on their Gunning Dory. I don't understand how it isn't perpetually angled away from the boat and therefore put you in a turn. Or, alternatively how you wouldn't always have your arm out to make the oar parallel with the long axis of the boat. I'm trying to envision how/where I'd sit in the boat and use this. I also wonder if I should use the aftermost oar lock or install one further aft. But if I did that, I'd have to sit further aft away from the centerboard.

    I'd have to let go of the rudder to move forward to adjust the centerboard. Not ideal....


    So I'm sort of stuck right now not knowing/having a hard time deciding which way to go.
    I use the steering oar on my good little skiff so much that I don't take the rudder with me. It is a long oar, a ten footer which helps keep me forward. I find I can find a sweet spot in trim so that I mostly can steer with my weight and have the oar out most of the time except for tacking or downwind. Try it. Whaleboats and surfboats using a steering oar had a cross piece just ahead of the stern post with offset oarlocks. I think the whaleboat had only one but the surfboats had them on both sides.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    A oar used for steering will get very tiresome. If it is a windward leg your arm will feel like it's going to fall off in about 30 minutes or so.
    Yes, you can do it, but the geometry is just all wrong... The "tiller" should be longer than the "rudder".

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    I use the steering oar on my good little skiff so much that I don't take the rudder with me. It is a long oar, a ten footer which helps keep me forward. I find I can find a sweet spot in trim so that I mostly can steer with my weight and have the oar out most of the time except for tacking or downwind. Try it.
    I plan to try it. It doesn't cost much in terms of installation work. And while I fully recognize that the steering oar may not be the way to go, I will have made an informed decision by trying it. I will have learned something.

    Also I think it's important to remember that the Marblehead Gunning Dory CAN sail but it's forte is as a rowing boat. I expect to row much more than I will sail. But it's nice to have the capability to sail every so often.

    I'm also going to try the quarter rudder (aka steering board). Again just to see. I've thought through a temporary installation.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    If you REALLY object to the rudder post system, you could consider one of the double-ender long rod rudder mounts -- I think that several outfits sell them. The good ones let the rudder slide up and down the aft stem. A number of posts here on that setup.


    I kind of like this idea.

    I looked at the stern post yesterday. Very little of it extends past the plank ends. It's oak and beefy and beveled - comes to a point..

    So I'm wondering how the rod is fastened to the stern post in the picture above. And do the axes of the two hinges have to be on a line?

    I kind of like this idea.
    Last edited by Saville; 09-02-2018 at 04:09 PM.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    By the way here's the boat on a couple of sawhorses:

    Sawhorse1.jpg

    The stern is to the left. The run of the stern post up from the bottom is almost straight. Kind of looks like I could place a
    couple of stern post gudgeons on that section then have the rudder head curve up along the rest of the stern.
    Last edited by Saville; 09-02-2018 at 04:41 PM.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_m_campbell View Post
    I have a Chamberlain Gunning Dory that I've been sailing with a steering oar. I'm trying to decide if it is worth while installing a rudder.

    The oar is convenient, effective, and it is a big help in coming about. My concern with the rudder is that it may be more trouble than it is worth to set up every time I go out, and that I may have trouble steering through the wind.
    you don’t seam to want a rudder, also called a brake. If where you sail is a large expense of clear water embrace rudderless sailing, it is a joy. We so much control of the boat, weight (fore - aft, side to side) rig position, board position, sail trim if more than 2 sails. With a little bit of experimentation most boats will sail in a straight line without the complexity of the rudder. A double ended boat is ideal as fore and aft trim can be very effective without ‘digging in the transom ‘. Two of my three proas used rudderless system as does my 12ft sailing canoe. The main issue is turning the corners where if you don’t have enough sea room a rudder can be useful. If you are managing ok with an oar just keep using that.

    A mate and I recently experimented over a week with my sailing canoe and ditched the steering paddle after the first morning. This was a single lug rigged boat and we steered just on board position and heel quite successfully. Tacking was fine but more difficult when we added a skeg to help offwind and the paddle was needed to get through the eye of the wind. With a boat like yours especially if two sails I see no need for the rudder, if enough sea room

    so I don’t seam a hypocrite I am going to experiment with a rudder as I sail the canoe mainly on a narrow river.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    The rudder as designed, shaft through a pipe port let just to the side of the horn, takes nothing to set up beyond releasing the little tag line that holds the rudder up against the hull when not in use.

    If you row in open water and tricky winds, then having a continuous line steering with cam cleats so the rudder can be fixed at any angle, will, with your centerboard, become such a friend to restful rowing that you'll wonder how you lived without it.

    When sailing, that rudder is perhaps a little small and the dory can be a bit hard to tack if you think that it's just a matter of putting the helm down. I make sure I have some speed on and I both put the helm down hard and shift my weight forward to give her the oomph to get through to the other side.

    In light air I "motor sail" rowing with the sail drawing and the rudder fixed. At times like that, I can of course row through any tack.

    So, if you want affirmation that the steering oar is best - she's your boat so whatever you like is best for you.

    G'luck

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    The rudder as designed, shaft through a pipe port let just to the side of the horn, takes nothing to set up beyond releasing the little tag line that holds the rudder up against the hull when not in use.

    The issue here is that I'm not a metalworker and I don't have the knowledge, skill or tools to create the angled hole, in hull and a metal plate, and weld/fasten the angled plate to an angle-cut tube. Nor do I even to know what angle to cut the tube.

    Plus, I don't want to put a hole in the hull. Two actually (additional one for the rudder lift line)

    This rudder as Gardner drew it might be a really great thing - I'm not disparaging it in the slightest.

    But for me it's just a total non-starter.


    If you row in open water and tricky winds, then having a continuous line steering with cam cleats so the rudder can be fixed at any angle, will, with your centerboard, become such a friend to restful rowing that you'll wonder how you lived without it.

    I can imagine.

    When sailing, that rudder is perhaps a little small and the dory can be a bit hard to tack if you think that it's just a matter of putting the helm down. I make sure I have some speed on and I both put the helm down hard and shift my weight forward to give her the oomph to get through to the other side.

    In light air I "motor sail" rowing with the sail drawing and the rudder fixed. At times like that, I can of course row through any tack.

    So, if you want affirmation that the steering oar is best - she's your boat so whatever you like is best for you.

    G'luck
    I'll get the knowledge as to what's best by trying different things and learning things as I go. If it turns out that the steering oar is too awkward and tiring I'll know that from first hand experience. BTW I'll begin testing that out while someone is getting way on the boat by rowing.


    I do want a rudder. It might be fun to steer a boat by shifting weight but not very restful. So it's a question of what rudder installation. The stern post rod method looks interesting but there are things about it that I do not understand. Which is why I'm asking questions about it.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Steering Oar vs. Rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by tink View Post
    you don’t seam to want a rudder, also called a brake.

    .
    I want a rudder. I'm just not sure what kind so I'm asking questions and gathering information.

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