Hobie Forums

Rudder Loss Solutions
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Author:  oceanmoves [ Wed May 15, 2013 12:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions


Your picture appears to show a metal sheer PIN in the AKA bar.

Assuming that is what it is - what are the dimensions and material
(and if possible, source) of this PIN ?

I havn't decided myself if I would choose to replace the hobie designed plastic sheer PIN, but if I do,
I'd want it to be as strong as possible for obvious reasons.


Author:  KayakingBob [ Wed May 15, 2013 1:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions

That's a V1 aka. The metal pin is not the sheer pin. The sheer pin is on the body of the both V1 and V2 aka brace.

I would not recommend trying a non-sheer pin in place of a sheer pin on our boats. They are there for good reasons. I've seen way too may bent up aka (not mine) when the aka are stressed to the breaking point and something else (sheer pin?) doesn't break first!

Author:  aussieonyak [ Wed May 15, 2013 6:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions

tonystott wrote:
As some of you can no doubt recall, I once got swept 6-7 miles out to sea after breaking a rudder line in my TI. I subesquently fitted external steering lines, but on a recent overnight trip offshore, broke two rudder pins, a problem which my external lines couldn't solve............................So I have been searching for a truly redundant solution, and then Cavendish hit the nail on the head, with an emergency rudder! So I have knocked together a diagram of such a solution, as below
............................I reckon something like this is a winner if you really want to minimise risk of really offshore trips, when reaching land is not a foregone conclusion.

Love to hear reactions please.

Tony this is exactly the sort of solution that I am looking for thank you for taking the time to draw up a diagram and sharing it. It looks similar to the one Cavendish shows in his video and I think it would do the trick for an emergency.

Author:  vetgam [ Thu May 16, 2013 9:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions

A bit of work for a lazy guy like me. Still, a worthwhile project. I like the fact that the rudder ends up under the boat.

Author:  tonystott [ Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions

Progress report.

I have made the rudder as per the drawing, using a piece of solid oak dowel (25mm od) for the rudder post. A local carpenter kindly cut 6mm slots in both ends of the dowel for the 6mm rudder blade to fit in (I plan on making a spare spare LOL). For free! See it pays to get out of big cities!

The clearance inside the scupper was not much, so I took a piece of fibreglass painter pole, and cut a 3mm vertical slot in it. This is now a nice firm push fit down the scupper as it compresses, and ensures that constant use of the emergency rudder will not disastrously wear through the scupper walls. I cut a piece of 12mm marine ply to fit over the compressed glass tube, leaving some tube above to support the rudder (which will probably have neutral bouyancy anyway, being all wood).

Next I cut another collar from the ply, with a hole to be a snug fit on the rudder post itself, and drilled a hole through both for a carbon rod I had lying around (might replace this with a thin SS bolt and wing-nut)

I am also adding a small ring on the top of the post, so a line can be dropped through the scupper, gathered up from outside, and then clipped on to the post, to pull it up through the scupper.

So now I have a rudder which will fit either an AI or a TI, and all I need to do now is add a tiller (more oak dowel, with a 6mm SS threaded rod inserted in the end, with a wing-nut to go on the back of the rudder post. Plus of course cover all my mistakes in safety orange paint!

The only limitation I envisage is that with the emergency rudder fitted, minimum water depth needs to be a bit over 2 feet, so removal of the rudder after the emergency will require some wading, a small price to pay for saving your bacon, IMO :)

The real beauty of this rudder is that a bunch of us could be out on an offshore excursion, and the emergency rudder could be handed over to whoever needs it. I know the chances of the steering becoming totally unservicable are very slim, but having been retrieved after drifting about 7 miles out to sea after a rudder line broke internally, and having broken two rudder pins on the one offshore outing to Broughton Island, I do not wish to get caught out again.

I can actually see it being good practice for every group venturing offshore to have one of these available within the fleet.

Photos will magically appear soon LOL

Author:  aussieonyak [ Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions

looking forward to seeing the pics Tony - interesting enough I sold my AI to a local kayaker and offered to go out with him last week and help him learn how to operate it (he didn't really need help but I wanted to make sure he was good to go) anyway I turn up at the ramp and he tells me the rudder is a little difficult at times - we go out and as soon as a puff of wind came up the rudder lock let go (yes its an early AI without an upgrade). We "fixed" it - another puff and broke again and again and in the end he had to pedal home and to the Hobie dealer. Hobie dealer was very good and offered to do a free upgrade for him. However the point was emphasized again that without the rudder life gets hard real quick even in a sheltered bay where we were sailing.
so start taking those snaps :wink:

Author:  tonystott [ Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions

Finished the job.

As I anticipate this emergency rudder being lent to someone else in the group on an offshore trip, I have written the instructions on the rudder blade. The bright yellow is to lessen the chance of losing it while transferring between kayaks. The tiller is offset about 30 degrees to port to give clearance to the skipper sitting forward of it.
In order to minimise any possible damage to the scupper wall, the 'glass painter pole section has a vertical split which allows it to fit firmly in the scupper, and act as the bearing for the rudder. The collar and tiller are held with wing-nuts for tool-free assembly.
A hole in the 'glass tube allows some water to escape through the scupper. The tube sits above its collar to act as a low friction vertical stop.

Author:  oceanmoves [ Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions

Where do I sign :D

Author:  tonystott [ Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions

I must admit to being a little surprised at the lack of reaction to my emergency rudder (apart from Oceanmoves, thanks mate).

I do not need response to pamper my ego, but I am intrigued that nobody seems to think that there is a real risk of needing external assistance if suffering unrepairable rudder failure while offshore. This could be due to multiple rudder pin failures (how many spares is too many?). or breakage of internal rudder lines, or (unlikely) damage to the rudder blade itself.

As there seems to be general concensus that steering TIs via a paddle is marginal at best, I came to the conclusion that having an external emergency rudder onboard for serious offshore trips is a good risk mitigator.

Is everyone else comfortable with the risk? Have you all experimented to see how effectively you could control your Island without its rudder? Just askin'

Author:  KayakingBob [ Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions

I think it's a great idea!

I didn't respond right away as I was thinking what I needed to make one. My only change would be making it all one piece so nothing needed to disassemble/reassemble. Maybe the handle on a swivel so it can pass through the scupper but then flip down 90 degrees as the tiller and to hold everything in place. I was looking at old paddles to use, but none are quite what is needed.

Great job!

Author:  NOHUHU [ Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions

Plug a T-handle onto half a paddle, and plop the blade down into the mirage well to steer.

Anyone tried that?

Author:  aussieonyak [ Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions

tonystott wrote:
I must admit to being a little surprised at the lack of reaction to my emergency rudder (apart from Oceanmoves, thanks mate).

Hey Tony - I don't know how I missed it but have been waiting to see these pics - sorry I simply missed the post :oops: What you have built here is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for - if there's one thing I have learned in going to sea over the years its preparedness and the biggest weakness of the Hobie Islands is the rudder - you could hobble home if you lost both amas and took the sail down with plenty of options for propulsion but with only one rudder option it is the weakest part of the boat for me. I've lost rudder control in the opening of a harbor with large ferry boats bearing down on me - despite the give way rules a large ferry won't deviate its course in a narrow channel, for a kayak.

The only downside I see (and I do NOT have a better idea) is having to insert the rudder from underneath. I think your weighted string idea will help a lot and its probably no more difficult than trying to change the rudder pin at sea. I'll think about that part, but honestly Tony the peace of mind this would bring sailing offshore is substantial.

Have you tested it at sea yet?

Unrelated question - what are the large white square "band-aids" on your ama - not holes I hope :) ?


Author:  aussieonyak [ Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions

NOHUHU wrote:
Plug a T-handle onto half a paddle, and plop the blade down into the mirage well to steer.

Anyone tried that?
Using the rear mirage drive hole and modifying one of the molded plugs by putting a tube through it and a tiller through that (very similar to what Tony has done for the scupper) was an idea that I had - just haven't had time to do anything with it. Its probably too close to the centerboard to be effective but might be worth trying. Tony's rudder would likely have much better steerage because of its location on the boat.

Author:  tonystott [ Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions

I plan to test the rudder in the next few days. While the idea of threading the rudder up from underneath sounds a bit daunting, I don't expect it to be too difficult, as the top of the rudder post is rounded, and should slip into the bearing tube without getting caught. With the rudder bouyant, and doesn't leave your hands until it is attached to its line, there is little risk of losing it during assembly. I will also link the various bits together with light cord so that it is harder to mislay a vital component during storage or assembly.

Those squares are retro-reflective tape (a few lost ones need replacing). I added them, and a high-viz rudder cover (with reflective strips) from a cheap safety vest, because my trailer lights are more than six feet forward of the aft end of the TI, and I was concerned about some cretin converting mine to dust. (To comply with legal overhang requirements, the central backbone of the trailer extends rearward, to a roller less than 3 feet from the stern. You can just spot a yellow reflector next to the roller)

It is quite effective at night (when all the squares are present)

Author:  aussieonyak [ Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rudder Loss Solutions

Cool - great idea Tony - I have some reflective tape on a short pvc pole I attach to my rudder which also has using the Hobie strap but its not as visible as yours is at night.

Looking forward to hearing how the sea trials go with the emergency rudder.

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