Rudderless sailing

share hints, tips and experiences
Post Reply
riverlovejoy
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:59 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Post by riverlovejoy » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:27 am

Hi all,

I've read in Finnatics the sensible advice to practice sailing without a rudder so you can get off the beach with a fixed one.

My old Finn has a fixed, and there I am practising sailing without it and as you would expect going round in little circles and sitting head to wind. I've tried all the variations I can think of, plate, body position, main sheet etc and it still won't go!

Anyone able to give me a hint?

Riv
Riv

Rupert
Posts: 6224
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:40 pm
Location: Cotswold Water Park

Post by Rupert » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:49 pm

Una rigged boats are far more difficult to sail rudderless, as it is the jib that gives most of the balance. Try sailing for a while with the rudder tied at the centre line till you get the feel of the boat, and then try again. Never tried in a Finn, but I would expect you to need to lift the plate a long way up to bring the CofLR well aft to allow for the missing rudder.
Rupert

User avatar
PeterV
Posts: 1179
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:47 pm
Location: Locks Heath, Hampshire

Post by PeterV » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:02 pm

I've sailed lots without a rudder but found it impossible in a Laser. I've also sailed Finns for many years, usually with fixed rudders, but I've never tried 'conventional' rudderless sailing. Because the centreboard doesn't move aft like most boats you cannot really balance it. However you can sail quite well with the tiller tied amidships.
It used to be very common at a Finn club (there used to be lots in Essex) to sail off the shore if the wind was blowing offshore by getting onto the bow (sitting or standing) and pulling the boom over to one side then sailing downwind out to deeper water, heeling the boat one way or the other to steer. If we had to sail upwind to get off the shore then one technique was to drag a leg in the water on the leeward side to prevent luffing up. I've raced against Chris Law and David Howlett when racing was cancelled where we all stood on the foredeck and raced downwind, then we tied the tillers amidships. It's the only race when I've beaten them. Last weekend I was coming into the pontoon and timed it just wrong so that I got onto the foredeck and the boat didn't quite reach, so I managed to sail it upwind the last bit by pulling the boom across slightly to windward and heeling the boat to steer straight.
So, there are techniques but they're all a little unconventional. Have fun learning!
PeterV
Finn K197 & GBR564
Warsash

User avatar
jpa_wfsc
Posts: 1186
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:52 pm
Location: Oxford (Work) Coteswold Water Park (Sailing)

Post by jpa_wfsc » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:00 pm

Hm. I might try that (upwind) I know from teaching youth in toppers that it certainly works downwind. I've seen it done on Laser also. Would not work on the canoe tho.

Rupert - do Moths ever do this sort of thing - or do the stays get in the way?
j./

National 12 "Spider" 2523
Finn K468 'Captain Scarlet'

British Moth, 630, early 60's 'Pisces'

!!!! Not CVRDA !!!!
Comet Trio - something always ready to sail.

User avatar
Ed
Site Admin
Posts: 3472
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:11 pm
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

Post by Ed » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:02 am

Ah.....well just had some recent experiences with sailing IC rudderless.....

As you have a jib....it isn't too bad....and I guess would be easier still with a centreboard rather than daggerboard.

Still caught me out though. Thing is that with the rudder in place - it is in fact very easy to sail without touching the rudder. I had done this many times, so was not that worried when rudder shaft broke (on outgoing tide at Rock mid-week with no-one around), but when I tried, I found that without the rudder being in place, I just spun and spun and there was no way I could gain any movement in a consistent direction. Even when I had sailed out without the rudder-cassette in the boat, it was at least stuck through the hole, providing some purpose as a 'fin'.

Luckily I remembered someone describing a similar thing on the IC forum and they had got back by attaching their boyancy aid to the back of the boat to provide some drag and help boat not spin. I did that and it worked - still not easy, but certainly good enough to get home with, across wind.

cheers

eib
Ed Bremner
CVRDA


Jollyboat J3
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
MR 638 - Please come and take it away
Phelps Scull
Bathurst Whiff - looking for someone to love it

User avatar
jpa_wfsc
Posts: 1186
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:52 pm
Location: Oxford (Work) Coteswold Water Park (Sailing)

Post by jpa_wfsc » Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:57 pm

IC K78 has just come home for some much needed re-varnish of decks. In a few weeks I will have a go at rudderless with her - perhaps just with the ruder tethered to center to start with - as one should be able to deal with problems.

Hats of Ed for achieving a home run!
j./

National 12 "Spider" 2523
Finn K468 'Captain Scarlet'

British Moth, 630, early 60's 'Pisces'

!!!! Not CVRDA !!!!
Comet Trio - something always ready to sail.

Post Reply