How to Steer Without a Rudder

Emergency Drogue Steering

Emergency Tiller –  Every boat should have a useable emergency tiller.  On the MK3 the tiller head is forward of the pedestal making for an easy emergency tiller.  Here are some pics of a Cal 40 tiller and tiller head:


A video for the above tiller

For the Hughes 38 MK3 i get distances of 52″, 46″, 40″ and 36″ from the center of the tiller head to the aft end of the cabin roof (by scaling).  This is obviously not very accurate.  Does anybody have a better measurement for max tiller length for easiest steering?


Homemade Hunter Emergency Tiller

Trim Tab  – the Hughes 38 Mk1 (since it was built for racing under the CCA rule) had the option of having a trim tab at the aft edge of the keel. Here is a discussion.   Question:                          I





Survey Reports

i now have read two survey reports of Hughes 38’s – a Mk 1 and a Mk 3 and both report that the rudder blade is very wet.  i wonder what effect that will have on the stainless steel that makes up the internal strength of the rudder?  i also wonder how the water is getting in, thru the joint of the fibreglass and the stainless steel rudder post or thru the fibreglass itself?

Dropping the Rudder

Removing the Skeg Shoe

The “shoe”on the 1972 Hughes (NorthStar) 38 is the piece of the skeg that supports the rudder’s pivot point at the bottom, leading edge, under the rudder There are 2 large bronze slotted screws holding the shoe in place on either side. Yours may be glassed over, so it may take some poking around to find them. They aren’t countersunk very far beneath the faired surface, so you should be able to detect them with a sharp short (1/4″) probe.

Dropping the Rudder

You have to gain access to the top of the rudder post inside the void under the cockpit where the emergency tiller is located (obviously). This can be done by climbing through the doors behind the ladder below the companionway.  A pin must be knocked out of the rudder stock to allow the stock and rudder (intact) to drop from the boat.  You need about 24” (2ft) to fully drop the rudder.

Rudder Construction

Inside the rudder blade itself, are stainless steel rods that protrude aft on a 90-degree angle from the rudder post.  All this is enclosed in solid glass on the ’72 – which makes for a very strong, albeit heavy, rudder.

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