Rudders & wild weather

There were a couple of sleepless nights last week, as the NW coast was hit with a big SW front. This is the weather Bass Strait is infamous for. Gusts of over 100 kph were recorded in Devonport. It was the first big test for our temporary shelter. Thankfully we came through relatively unscathed. We opted to do inside work as our shelter is open at the ends, and wind blown rain can find its way in.  We decided to make a start on the rudders. These are made up of 10 laminations of 9mm plywood, shaped with electric and hand planes into the correct shape. Later the two halves are glued together, encapsulating the 50mm stainless steel rudder posts. They are very solid as they are designed to take some of the weight of the boat, when on the hard. Compared to mono-hulls the rudders are tiny for a 12m yacht (400mm x 530mm). This one advantage of cats. The steering loads are spread between two rudders, and cats by their nature are more directionally stable than monos. The flip-side is that they do not tack as well as monos. However: the ability to have two engines, makes them much easier to manoeuvre in tight confines, such as marinas. Mono’s need forward movement at all times to maintain steerage way, whereas a twin engined cat can turn on her own axis.

6 thoughts on “Rudders & wild weather

  1. Hey Pete and Deb, thanks for letting us follow your posts – it’s all a great story. Last weeks weather was pretty fun. I had the week n Cape Barren where we were sending off our nurse of 3 years (retiring) and orienting his replacements. Only problem was he got into strife with his own health and sending him out by RFDS was out of the question with the weather . But the Hobart rescue chopper braved the elements and came and saved the day. Looks like this coming week will be a bit similar weather. So when it comes time to put Selah in the sea you’d better dodge one of those weeks ….


    • Hiya John. We were thinking of you mob out there on the wild islands! Hope your fellow made it safely, those choppers are amazing. Don’t you worry Joh: I have no intention of being on the strait in anything like last week. We were hit with a big SW front in Bass Strait in the 94 Sydney Hobart. Fell off the back of a steep wave, and broke the boat. Kept going cause Hobart was our home port anyway, but had to pump 24 hrs a day till we got back. Im going to look for a quiet week, and won’t mind motoring if necessary.


  2. Hi Peter, good to see the build of the rudders… We had one if ours re-made last year after we ‘lost’ it following a bad repair job… Lots of work involved with laminating and shaping!


  3. You’re right about the manoeuvrability under power. It’s a bit like the twin screw motorboats; leave the rudders alone and steer with the motors. Looks like you have a nice shed there, John. And plenty of clamps. No such thing as too many clamps!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. We are very lucky to have a corner of my brother-in-law’s joinery shed. The actual build site is at the rear of the property, under a billy shelter: a little more exposed to the westerlies. Its gonna get cold, once we start assembling the hulls!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s