Emergency steering gear

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9 years 10 months ago #21533 by [email protected]
It's not uncommon for rudder lines to fail.

Case in point: female surfski superstar Michele Eray was minutes in the lead when she passed Angel Island about 3/4 of way through the US Surfski Champs last Saturday when one of her rudder lines parted company from the tiller bar. With the bungy pulling on the other rudder pedal, her rudder jammed hard over and she was left helpless, unable to move forward except in a tight circle.

She was in an unpleasant situation - apart from anything else, she was in the shipping lane being passed by high speed ferries.

Eventually one of the other paddlers stopped and helped make a jury rig that got her to the finish albeit only able to steer one way. She'd been stuck for ten minutes, which allowed 4 other paddlers to pass her... and she finished fifth.

So - disappointment, but it could have been a lot worse.

Here's the thing.

ALL surfskis have this risk. All of them. It doesn't matter whether you use steel cable or dynama - it's at risk of breaking.

But there is a solution. I included a description of it in a review of the Allwave CX surfski.

The only reason I haven't installed this on my ski is that I haven't been able to find a stainless steel hook - and I'm too lazy to make one. Has anyone seen a small blunt stainless hook that could be used? Perhaps a fish hook with the end filed or sawn off?

Everyone should have this installed.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
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9 years 10 months ago - 9 years 10 months ago #21534 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic Emergency steering gear
Wow that was a real bummer for Michele!
There is another simple alternative to a bungi/hook arrangement. A simple plastic wedge can be carried in your pfd or taped to the hull in the cockpit. Although you wont really be able to steer, you can use the wedge to jam/secure the rudder and keep it from moving. A plastic toilet wedge/shim is perfect for this. Should work on any ski you are paddling.
A modification to the bunji system is to use a jam cleat to secure the bunji end opposite the hook so the tension can be adjusted.
A bunji will lose its elasticity in short order if it is stored constantly stretched.
Last edit: 9 years 10 months ago by Fath2o.
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9 years 10 months ago #21537 by kwhatmough
Replied by kwhatmough on topic Emergency steering gear
Good to know, thanks for the ideas...

I've never tried this but I suppose that in the absence of one of the above solutions you could attempt to un-thread and tie-off the broken side of the rudder line to the rear deck bungee in order to tension the non-broken side. Not sure if you'd get the required tension though, and unfortunately this wouldn't be possible for failures near the tiller bar as in Michele's case, I suppose.

New boat, same old engine.

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9 years 10 months ago #21543 by Kayaker Greg
An easy solution is what I carry in all my skis.

www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.171183...&type=1&l=b608855952
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9 years 10 months ago #21544 by [email protected]

An easy solution is what I carry in all my skis.


Nice one! Posted this to our Facebook page.

Of course it assumes something on the back of the ski that you can anchor the other end of the bungy to. Happily my Evo II has such a point in the form of the carry handle!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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9 years 10 months ago #21546 by Kayaker Greg
Just loop it over the stern like I have shown, will work with any ski.
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9 years 10 months ago #21547 by jagter
Replied by jagter on topic Emergency steering gear
Nice. That loop over the stern is a good idea.

So I can basically steal the bungee cord in front of my rudder pedals in an emergency. Tie 2 loops, and Bob's your uncle.

Of course it will be a little tricky in big swell, but doable. Much better than paddling around in circles.

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9 years 10 months ago #21550 by [email protected]

Kayaker Greg wrote: Just loop it over the stern like I have shown, will work with any ski.


Ok, right, I didn't look at the photos closely enough... :blush:

Brilliant.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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9 years 10 months ago #21551 by [email protected]
(Now come up with a solution for a broken paddle! That's also a nightmare scenario that happens quite frequently.)

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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9 years 10 months ago #21554 by Kayaker Greg
Well I managed to paddle home on half an Epic paddle once :laugh:

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9 years 9 months ago #21557 by [email protected]
I watched Dawid in big downwind conditions paddle almost as fast with one blade instead of two...

www.surfski.info/getting-started/tips-ot...rescue-exercise.html

Before you're accused of an anti-Epic bias, I should say that I've known blades from various manufacturers fail - a paddle is a piece of kit prone to failure by its nature in my opinion.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
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9 years 9 months ago #21559 by Joseph
Replied by Joseph on topic Emergency steering gear
G' Day,
No Big deal, when going off the beach miles out. we would carry a rubber wedge about 1" long cut to fit in the space between the hull and rudder, jump in Jam it in so the rudder will stay and not turn and your on your way this will work also leaning your ski if not dealing with a heavy sea will let your Ski turn a bit to were you like to land. If off the beach under a Mile most time you need nada Just speed to keep the rudder forward at least on the Gulf.

Cheers Joseph

Joseph

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9 years 9 months ago #21567 by Rod Thomas
Replied by Rod Thomas on topic Emergency steering gear
Re-read the report on that rescue exercise again. Thanks for posting it. Lots of good sense there. Hmmm. Good point about feeling uncomfortable with having to unleash to work on the rudder. Maybe I should prepare a 3m looped cord to extend the leash just for working on the stern. No point risking losing the ski.

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