Reply To: Emergency Rudder setup for a Dufour 455 Grand Large Arpege

Bob Garrett

    A few years ago some members of our local yacht club lost their rudder while crossing the Atlantic. They managed to still finish their crossing with the only support being some other yachts passing them fuel and food as they were much slower. Their emergency steering was an anchor tied to fenders towed behind and steering by moving where it was towed from. Okay for going downwind.
    As a result our club had a race where all had to do one upwind and one downwind leg without normal steering and using only what would normally be onboard. We made an imitation of our washboards out of plywood (as we did not want risk the actual washboard), and lashed it to our genoa poling out pole. That was then lashed to the pushpit so we could steer it by moving what became the tiller. It was astonishing how heavy it was to steer – made me very aware of how much stress is on a rudder.
    Anyway, we won as we were the only boat that managed to tack which we struggled with until we realised we had to back the jib to get the head round.