Emergency Steering

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I've been researching emergency steering for some time. I found several good resources

1) The manual references this a little (on page 29 in my manual) - "For emergency steering another pad eye can be fixed to the outside of the hull. With ropes to each side of the tiller and then the ropes connected together, a tiller can be connected to the two ropes that will steer the boat by moving one rope one way and the other rope the other way. "

2) A web site by another (ex?) Gemini owner (Mr Fowler)

We purchased the blocks and line, and installed the setup for option 2. Both option 1 and 2 fall short (for me) as they don't describe the tiller position / use / mounting. Kyle suggested we could use the winches, but if we are expecting to use the winches for the sails, they won't be free to steer with.

I then discovered a 3rd option - also from a Gemini Owner (Richard Roscoe in the UK). Richard has lots of offshore, race, and boat building experience. This one included the details for the tiller. With Richard's permission I have posted the plans and pictures in the files section of the yahoo group (only to be used for personal use, not for profit), here is an explanation from my correspondence with Richard when I was pestering him with questions.

The rudder arm extension us used both to raise the lines clear of any chafe issue and to increase/improve the mechanical advantage. The tiller (made from a base and pole) mounts to the cockpit roof support poles, only slightly modified to add a small bearing. The tiller base is made of wood and epoxied, and a tiller pole sheath is epoxied/fiberglassed onto the base. The tiller pole slides into the sheath when needed. The tiller pole and sheath (and bearings on the roof support) are made from a cut of windsurfing pole (which naturally tapers). Richard had an old one available, I was able to purchase one 2nd hand for $40 (it looked new), but was told I could have had a free one from the local wind surf shop (from the many old / broken ones out back) IF I could have waited a few extra days. The plan calls for an aluminium rudder arm extension, but I Richard made a wood/epoxy one (which allowed for the stainless steel wing nut bolts). Having one made, it would be better to use the 4 tapered grub screws shown on the drawing, as there are no loose parts to fiddle with when you are trying to fit it in the dark with the boat jumping all over the place.

The bearings for the tiller base are pieces of carbon tube (ex. broken windsurfer mast) slit vertically and then bonded around the two stanchions with epoxy paste. This is to give a roughly vertical pivot and to allow the plate to be slipped over the stanchion and retained by the keyhole slot. 1 3/4" to 2" dia. grp tube would do. [I found that the bearings of this size would interfere with the screws on the post base plate, so used slightly smaller]

Gravity keeps the tiller base it in place when in use.

You will need to use dyneema rope, otherwise stretch makes the whole thing useless.

The plan for the tiller base is not exactly what either Richard nor I built - I modified it slightly in order to make use of a slightly smaller bit of wood available, Richard in his final design uses a different lead for the steering lines

The tiller arm - the Top of an old windsurfer mast is good for the tiller, as you can cut another piece from lower down to produce a perfect tapered socket to match (and attach this to the tiller base), when it is assembled on the stanchion it cannot come out.

For now Kyle and I have a combination (Part Mr. Fowlers design, using the Tiller of Richard Roscoe). Kyle suggests aso that the steering cables should be disconnected if the emergency steering is required (to reduce resistance); presumably these will be broken anyway if you need the emergency steering)

For Photos - see Directory

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